Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.JPG (17232 bytes)Bat Masterson


Bartholomew "Bat" Masterson: One of Wyatt's best friends, fellow lawman, and one of the famous Masterson brothers that tamed Dodge City. "Bat", as he was known, was born on November 24, 1853. In his youth he would change his name to William Barclay Masterson. His exact place of birth is not known, but some believe he could have been born in Canada, or possibly Illinois.

Bat and Wyatt are said to have met when both were buffalo hunters in their early twenties. They would later meet up again when both worked on the Dodge City Police Force in the 1870's. Masterson would become Sheriff of Ford County, Kansas in 1877. His brother Ed would become Marshal of Dodge City and would be killed in the line of duty. Brother James also worked on the Dodge Police Force.

Arguably, Bat's popularity and reputation often rivaled that of Wyatt's. He had a much longer law enforcement career than Wyatt, although he learned the art of gambling from Earp. Bat was one of the first writers to help launch Wyatt into legendary status. In 1907 Bat wrote several articles for Human Life magazine about "Famous Gunfighters of the West". He talked Wyatt up as one of the most feared gunfighters/lawmen in the West and said Earp was the only man he ever knew being absolutely fearless. Bat would be a lifelong friend of Wyatt's, and helped save Earp and Holliday from being extradited back to Arizona on murder charges.

Bat would eventually become a professional sports writer in New York and became a Deputy US Marshal for his precinct. Bat died at his desk on October 25, 1921. Bat Masterson's life story is just as interesting, if not more, than Wyatt's. Read Paula Mitchell Marks' book "And Die in the West" which contains many notes on Masterson's law career and how his life intersected with Wyatt's.

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Map of Arizona


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Map of the reservations and Four Corners 


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