By Robert K. DeArment
Of the various colourful characters who walked the dusty streets of fortress Worth's Hell's part Acre, few equivalent the enigmatic Jim Courtright. video clips may have us think that the nice men wore white hats and the undesirable men black. Courtright wore either. He was once by means of turns urban marshal, deputy sheriff, deputy U.S. Marshall, inner most detective, employed gun, and racketeer.
According to biographer DeArment there isn't a lot recognized approximately Courtright's formative years or adolescence. it is believed he was once a Union soldier throughout the Civil warfare, and legislation abiding. yet issues replaced after the nice conflict while he moved to the West.
During the railroad moves in 1886 he came upon himself in a shootout, and accusers in New Mexico stated he used to be a assassin. Deputies have been dispatched to fortress worthy to convey Courtright again to New Mexico to face trial. How he eluded them is the stuff of legend.
Death got here to Courtright in the course of a shootout with gambler Luke brief. a few say that Courtright provoked brief yet there is not any verifiable info touching on their struggle. what's identified is that Courtright used to be obviously esteemed via the townspeople simply because he had the longest funeral procession fortress worthy had obvious.
The lifetime of Courtright, either fantasy and fact, should be present in early biographies. Historian DeArment studied those in addition to modern newspapers and different money owed to be able to current his model of the lawman/outlaw's existence. largely he's taking the parable aside after which provides a really human Courtright - warts and all.
Those with an curiosity within the early West and gunfighters specifically will locate a lot to take pleasure in during this exhaustively researched portrait of a guy like few others.
- Gail Cooke
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Additional resources for Jim Courtright of Fort Worth: His Life and Legend
It is not certain that he saw service in the Union Army at all. 24 The Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion makes no mention of his membership in any Iowa unit, nor do the recorded recollections of Grand Army of the Republic veterans from Iowa. 25 A search of the Illinois Civil War records disclosed no mention of his name. 26 The National Archives have no record of Courtright’s service in either of the Iowa or Illinois military units cited by Father Stanley. The only contemporary evidence of the man’s military service is a brief mention in the Dallas Morning News of February 12, 1886: Jim Courtright, so George Holland says, will go over to Dallas Saturday and go through the necessary formula to entitle him to draw the sum of $3,000, the amount of his 14 J I M C O U RT R I G H T OF F O RT W O RT H : H I S L I F E AND LEGEND accrued pension as a Union veteran.
George and Mag Wood were there, as were another couple infamous in the frontier towns, “Rowdy Joe” and “Rowdy Kate” Lowe, whose nicknames give a strong hint as to their propensity for disorderly conduct. Others on hand that first year of Courtright’s tenure as marshal included John Leer, N. H. Wilson, John Stewart, and Jennie Thompson. Frontier ruffian Rowdy Joe Lowe was a prominent citizen of Fort Worth’s Hell’s Half Acre during Courtright’s tenure as city marshal. Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas.
The M. T. Johnson Company, the volunteer fire fighting organization that Courtright joined, gloried in its popular appellation, the Panther City Fire Department. In early 1876 T&P construction began again with completion of the road to Fort Worth expected by summer. No panthers dozed on the city’s streets as the town once again became a hive of activity, and the population swelled to three or four thousand. The regularly scheduled elections of April aroused a great deal of interest in a town again on the move.