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Wild Bill Hickok

Hickok, Wild Bill, 1837–76, American frontier marshal, b. Troy Grove, near Ottawa, Ill. His real name was James Butler Hickok. He took part in the Kansas struggle preceeding the Civil War, was a driver of the Butterfield stage line, and gained fame as a gunfighter. He served as a Union scout in the Civil War. After the war he became deputy U.S. marshal at Fort Riley (1866), marshal of Hays, Kans. (1869), and marshal of Abilene (1871). His reputation as a marksman in desperate encounters with outlaws made him a figure of frontier legend. After a tour of the East with Buffalo Bill (1872–73), Hickok went to Deadwood (now in S.Dak.) where he was murdered by Jack McCall.

See biographies by R. O'Connor (1959) and J. G. Rosa (1964).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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