Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DEADWOOD DICK 1847 - 1930


May 6, 1930, Deadwood, South Dakota, the Black Hills gold mining town, where dance halls and saloons bring in tourist, the last of a picturesque procession of early plainsmen died of old age and pneumonia.

'Deadwood Dick' m Indian fighter, fur trader, pony express rider and military scout for General George Custer. He was 83 years old.

With the death this year of 'Poker Alice' Tubbs, it left 'Deadwood Dick' the lone survivor of the Black Hills pioneers, whose exploits gave reality to Wild West novels.

Gone before there was 'Wild Bill Hickok' who was shot in the back of his head by Jack McCall in a Deadwood gaming house. Preacher Smith, killed by the Indians, Johnny Slaughter, stage coach driver, shot and killed by robbers stealing a shipment of gold .
“Poker Alice”, graduate of a select southern girls school, attained the distinction of a poker and faro dealer in the gold camps, was the best known woman character of early Black Hill days.

Another was 'Calamity Jane' who was Martha Jane Canary, who had a
questionable reputation, but gained the 'nickname' when mountain fever broke out in General Cooks camp near Rapid City and she nursed sick soldiers back to health.

Most of of the pioneers we talk about today, 'died with their boots on' but Deadwood Dick did not. Surviving the rigors of the wild west pioneer life, he lived to become a tradition and was pointed out to tourist as the last landmark of the 'old west'. Last year, he made a trip to Washington, D.C. by airplane and was received and honored by President Coolidge.

He was born, 1847, Richard Clarke, in Hansbourough, England, came to America at age16, joined up with a party of prospectors in Illinois and made the difficult over land trip to the black Hills when the 'gold rush' was at it height.

As Richard Clarke he became a stage coach driver out of Deadwood where he became known
as 'Deadwood Dick' .

Abstract: Wilmington Evening Journal, May 6, 1930, Wilmington, Delaware

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