Law Men

Editors' review

January 22, 2017

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Complete List of Old West Lawmen

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The Old West was often a lawless place, where outlaws frequently reigned supreme. However, as more and more families, women, and working pioneers headed westward, they demanded law and order. Marshals and sheriffs were in high demand in some of the most lawless settlements, such as Dodge City, Kansas and Las Vegas, New Mexico, as well as the numerous mining camps that dotted the west, such as Deadwood , South Dakota; Coloma, California; and Leadville, Colorado.


Many of wild and rowdy places were initially populated by men and often attracted seedier elements of society to their many saloons, dance halls, gambling parlors and brothels. But, in any burgeoning community, there were also lawful businessmen and hard-working pioneers who craved a sense of stability, and demanding law and order, made efforts to hire peacekeepers. Where this was not possible or the lawmen were ineffective, invariably vigilante groups would form.


Though the vast majority of these Old West lawmen were honorable and heroic figures, ironically, many of them rode both sides of the fence and can be found on both our Lawmen List as well as our Outlaw List.


"The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them."


-- Thomas Jefferson


 Sheriff's Badge






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  • Agapito Abeyta - A lawman in Mora County, New Mexico, Abeyta was implicated in the murder of John Doherty.

  • John R. Abernathy, aka: Wolf Catcher, Catch 'Em Alive Jack (1876–1941) - Abernathy was the last U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma Territory, serving from 1906 to 1910. He also served as a U.S. Secret Service agent and worked as a wildcat oil driller. He earned his nicknames by capturing hundreds of wolves single handedly without ever having to kill one. He would prevent the wolves from attacking him by jamming his hands down their throats.

  • David Adams - U.S. Deputy Marshal Muskogee, Indian Territory.

  • John Adams - Deputy Sheriff of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

  • John Hicks "J.H." Adams (18??-1878) - Santa Clara County, California Sheriff and U.S. Deputy Marshal. He was killed in the line of duty with Marshal Cornelius Finley in 1878.

  • Tom Adams - Special Officer in Carter County, Oklahoma .

  • W.E. Agee - Deputy Sheriff of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma .

  • Eugenio Alarid - A lawman and outlaw, Alarid was an officer in Las Vegas,New Mexico in the 1890's, while at the same time belonging to Silva's White Caps gang.

  • Alfred Y. Allee (1855-1896) - A Texas Ranger , Allee was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Karnes County, Texas , in 1882 and was later made Deputy Sheriff of Frio County, Texas . He shot and killed robber Brack Cornett in 1888. He was stabbed to death in a barroom brawl in Laredo, Texas, in 1896.

  • Abe Allen - A U.S. Deputy Marshal for the Indian Nations working out of Judge Isaac Parker's court in the 1880s and 1890s.

  • John Allen - U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas .

  • John Oliver Allen (1850-1928) - A cowboy and Texas Ranger, Allen was wounded four times in Indian skirmishes.

  • Andrew C. Alexander - U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on July 1, 1896.

  • Oscar William Alexander - A lawman in Oklahoma, he was killed near Hoxbar by the Love Brothers in Carter County.

  • Charles Allison - A lawman turned outlaw, Allison was  appointed deputy sheriff of Conjos County, Colorado , but soon organized a band of outlaws. Robbing stages between Colorado and New Mexico , he was captured in 1881 by Sheriff Matt Kyle and sent to prison. He was released in 1890.

  • William David "Dave" Allison (1861-1923) - A career lawman , Allison served as a six-time elected sheriff in Midland, Texas; an Arizona Ranger; a Texas Ranger; and various other positions in Texas and New Mexico. He was killed by two cattle rustlers in 1923.

  • Fielding Alston - Texas lawman Alston served as a lieutenant in the Texas Rangers in 1847.

  • Burton "Burt" Alvord (1866-1910) - A lawman and outlaw, he was deputy sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona, under Sheriff John Slaughter in 1886. Alvord later led a band of train robbers.

  • Thomas Amos - While serving as sheriff in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1887, he tracked down and killed an Indian man named Pero, who he had a "dead or alive" warrant for in April, 1887. In November, Amos and his brother-in-law, Washington Hudson, were ambushed and killed two Indians avenging Pero's death.

  • Bernard Anderson - Deputy marshal in the New Mexico Territory.

  • David L Anderson, aka: William "Billy” Wilson, Buffalo Bill (1862-1918) - More commonly known as Billy Wilson, Anderson rode with Billy the Kid before being convicted and sent to prison. After his release, he was made the Sheriff of Terrell County, Texas in 1905. He was killed in the line of duty in 1918.

  • Frank Anderson - U.S. Deputy Marshal in Indian Territory.

  • John E. Anderson - U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on August 17, 1878.

  • John P. Anderson - Policeman in Perry, Oklahoma Territory.

  • Pete Anderson (1850?-1890) - A full-blooded Pottawatomie Indian, Anderson was deputized for a posse in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma to assist officers in apprehending a cattle rustler. He was killed in the line of duty.

  • William H. Anderson (18??-1878) - A U.S. Deputy Marshal in Dallas after the Civil War, Anderson tracked Bill Collins, a wanted train robber, to Pembina in Dakota Territory (North Dakota) where they shot and killed each other in a gunfight.

  • Robert Andrew - Serving as a deputy sheriff in Oklahoma, he arrested Ragged Bill and discovered the Doolin Gang hideout.

  • Elias Andrews - U.S. Deputy Marshal in the Creek and Cherokee Nations of Indian Territory.

  • Captain Micah Andrews - Commanded the Texas Rangers in 1837.

  • William "Red" Angus (1849-1922) - Johnson County, Wyoming Sheriff. Involved in the Johnson County War that arose between the owners of large and small ranches in the area.

  • Orr William Annis (1859-19??) - U.S. Marshal in Indian Territory and Sheriff of Payne County, Oklahoma from 1897-1901.

  • Arizona Rangers (1901-1909) - Organized in 1901 to protect Arizona Territory from outlaws and rustlers. After accomplishing their goals, they were disbanded in 1909.

  • William Edward Armorer - U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, assigned to the Indian Territory.

  • Charles Armstrong - A Texas lawman, Armstrong served as a Texas Ranger and fought Mexicans on the border during WWI.

  • Henry Clay Armstrong, Jr. - U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

  • John Barclay Armstrong (1850-1913) - He enlisted with the Travis Rifles in 1871 and joined the Texas Rangers in 1875, where he helped in the capture John King Fisher in 1874 and tracked and captured John Wesley Hardin in 1877. He retired as a captain in 1882 and died May 1, 1913.

  • William "Bill" Arnold (18??-1898) - Deputized as a posse man by U.S. Deputy Marshal Hess Bussey, Arnold was killed after arresting a man named Bill Johnson on March 17, 1898 in Claremore, Indian Territory.

  • George Washington Arrington, aka: John C. Orrick (1844-1923) - Texas Ranger and Wheeler County, Texas Sheriff.

  • Guadalupe Ascarate - A sheriff in New Mexico Territory, he was eventually replaced by Pat Garrett.

  • Albert S. Ashby - U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on February 23, 1881 .

  • Edwin Aten - Joined the Texas Rangers after his brother Ira Aten and was assigned to Company D.

  • Ira Aten (1862–1953) - Aten joined the Texas Rangers in 1883, and became captain of Company D and later tracked and shot down outlaw Judd Roberts, an associate of Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall gang. he served as a sheriff in Fort Bend County, Texas during the Jaybird-Woodpecker War and later the sheriff of Castro County, Texas.

  • Lee Atkins (18??-1894) - A newly appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal and Creek Indian , Atkins hadn't even seen service when he was killed by Amos McIntosh, another Creek Indian.

  • Christopher Columbus Ayers - U.S. Deputy Marshal and jailer working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

  • Jacob T. Ayers - U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

  • Willard Ayers (18??-1880) - A U.S. Deputy Marshal in Indian Territory, Ayers was killed in the line of duty on August 11, 1880.


Continued Next Page

 Lawman Summaries

  Lawman Full Articles


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