By Jody Mabry on January 19, 2018
WANTED: Dead or Alive: An Expert on Cowboys and Outlaws!
Let’s take a trip back to the Wild West and the American Frontier. This popular period of time certainly had its fair share of characters, both in history and on the silver screen. There were, of course, the “good guys” — the legends of the law, the sheriffs, lawmen, scouts and sharpshooters. But, as everyone knows, you can’t have the good without the bad. Perhaps the most famous and notorious of all were the gunslingers, outlaws, those villains of the Old West. These men were known for merciless killing, raids, train robberies, gunfighting, and just plain doing whatever the heck they wanted.
The history of the cowboy, both in myth and in reality, begins in Texas, where cattle freely grew without having to worry about attackers. There were over five million of them by the end of the Civil War. So, the Golden Age of the cowboy began, which ranged from 1866-1886. As beef prices increased up North, the Texan cowboys expanded to the West. Here the image of the brave, free-spirited, broncobuster living in constant risk was born and immortalized forever as an American folk hero. Wearing wide-brimmed hats, a bandana handkerchief, and of course boots with ornate spurs, the cowboy has been deeply embedded in folklore as a true American hero — so much so, in fact, that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between myth and fact.
Are you starting to get feel a bit of that nostalgia for the wild and wooly American West yet? Then saddle up and read on. Who are your favorite cowboys and outlaws? If you rooted for the good guys, you probably wished you were fighting outlaws with the Lone Ranger or gunning down villians at O.K. Corral with Wyatt Earp. Good guys too boring for you? Do you dream of partnering with the Butch Cassidy, robbing a train with the James Gang or cattle rustling with Billy the Kid instead? Or, how about both? Either way, let out a “YEE-HAW,” because you’re about to ace this quiz.
Many of the bad guys traveled in gangs, such as the Wild Bunch Gang, led by the notorious Butch Cassidy. Named after the original Wild Bunch, aka the Doolin-Dalton Gang, these guys operated out of the famous Hole-in-the-Wall pass in Wyoming. They’re most famous for robbing banks, trains, and stores, as well as for killing sheriffs and lawmen. You’ve probably heard of the Regulators too, which included the famous gunslinger Billy The Kid, who’s notorious for killing eight men. There’s also tales of the deranged outlaw Clay Allison, who killed a suspected murderer, cut off his head, and took it to a bar to share a drink! His gravestone allegedly reads, “Clay Allison. Gentleman. Gun Fighter. He never killed a man that did not need killing.”
So, you’ve heard the stories, but can you recognize these iconic cowboys and outlaws from an image? Get ready to earn your spurs as a Wild West pro. Pull the trigger and start the quiz!