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Player Handout: Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok, grew up on his father's farm in La Salle County, Illinois, until he became a lawman in 1851 in Monticello Township. He first distinguished himself by shooting down five desperadoes in Leavenworth in 1858. For a time, he drove a stagecoach on the Santa Fe trail, until he was mauled by a grizzly bear.

Wild Bill was known for dressing like a dandy, with a pancake hat, frills, groomed mustache and flowing hair. However, he was known for his no-nonsense reputation as a lawman. However, it was rumored that Wild Bill was going blind. At the famed Bill's Head Saloon, Wild Bill took issue with a pornographic sign hanging over the establishment, and ordered it down. A shoot-out broke out, in which he shot down the co-owner of the establishment ... then whirled about and accidentally shot his own deputy, Mike Williams, by mistake. According to a physician in Cheyenne, Bill was going "blind from glaucoma".

In 1876, Wild Bill joined Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, but he eventually moved on. In Deadwood, he met his end while playing cards in Carl Mann's saloon.

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