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Bat Masterson, Sheriff and Gunfighter... and a proud Quebecer?

Bruce Ricketts

Bartholomew William Barclay Masterson was born on November 24, 1853 in Henryville, Quebec.  He died on October 25, 1921 in New York after a long and notorious career as a peace officer and a feared gunfighter.

"Bat" Masterson was raised on farms in Quebec and Illinois until 1870 when he and one of his brothers, Ed, left for the wild American West to find adventure.  Over the next few years, Bat worked for the Sante Fe Railroad, became a buffalo hunter and enlisted in the army as a scout.

Visiting another brother, Jim, in Dodge City in 1876, Bat was offered a job as deputy marshal by Wyatt Earp. Masterson was quick on the trigger, and outlaws feared him. He was a better gunfighter than almost anyone.

By 1877, Bat Masterson at age 24 was sheriff of Ford County where his brother Ed Masterson was marshal of Dodge City. Seems that the Masterson boys were fond of upholding the law.  He also spent a spell as Deputy Marshall in Wrangell Alaska, taking over that post from his former employer, Wyatt Earp.

In 1905, US President Teddy Roosevelt appointed Masterson the US Marshal of the southern district of New York State.  In 1907, Bat Masterson resigned from being marshal and took a job with the New York Morning Telegraph as sports editor -- something he had no experience in. Mind you, he had experience as a gunfighter when he began that adventure!  But, he made a career for himself, becoming a respected columnist. Bat Masterson died at his desk in 1921, diligently at work writing his sports column at the Morning Telegraph.

Bat Masterson, Sheriff and Gunfighter... and a proud Quebecer!

 

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