Episode 71

Deadwood history and Wild Bill Hickok's life and death

🎙

How could you not get excited to visit Deadwood and walk in the footsteps of one of the most well-known lawmen of the Wild West? Wild Bill Hickok was almost as famous for how he handled law-breakers as he was for the way he died.

If you like Western history, you will love this episode of Talk with History.

Full video from Deadwood

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Transcript
Scott:

Because it had the coffee infused in it.

Scott:

So it said it was like sweeter.

Scott:

So it already had kind of some, it's already.

Scott:

Mixed a little bit.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And it wasn't bad.

Scott:

I could definitely notice like kind of the, the coffee hint to it.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And that little bit of sweetness.

Scott:

If I was gonna try to, any, any of those other whiskeys a little

Scott:

bit straight, I'd have to be like in the, in the drinking mood.

Scott:

I guess this is appropriate if we're doing a podcast about cowboys and

Jenn:

stuff.

Jenn:

Welcome

Scott:

to Talk With History.

Scott:

I'm your host Scott, here with my wife and historian Jen.

Scott:

Hello.

Scott:

On this podcast, we give you insights to our history inspired world travels

Scott:

YouTube channel journey and examine history through deeper conversations

Scott:

with the curious, the explorers and the history lovers out there.

Scott:

Now, before we get into our main topic, as always, we've been getting

Scott:

our some more reviews recently.

Scott:

So I really do appreciate that if you have 20 seconds to drop us a

Scott:

review on Apple podcasts or even drop us a five stars on Spotify.

Scott:

We greatly appreciate it because the show We actually had the

Scott:

highest month of downloads this last July ever for the podcast.

Scott:

So pat on the back for us.

Scott:

We almost, we got close to a thousand downloads for the whole month.

Scott:

So I'm pretty happy about that.

Scott:

So thank you for those who are listening and who are sharing the podcast.

Scott:

And Wild Bill Hickok was a legendary figure of the American Wild West,

Scott:

renowned for his exceptional shooting skills and reputation as a gunslinger.

Scott:

He served as a lawman, marshal, and scout during the Civil War and

Scott:

afterward in various frontier towns.

Scott:

Despite his law enforcement roles, he did have some bad habits and made some enemies

Scott:

that brought him to his now famous demise.

Scott:

So Jen, let's talk about this famous figure of the Wild West

Scott:

and where we were this summer.

Scott:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So we went to Deadwood,

Scott:

South Dakota.

Scott:

We did.

Scott:

It was honestly, it was kind of one of the few places I got.

Scott:

A little more excited to, to go see just because of the reputation of Deadwood, the

Scott:

show and just the whole Wild West thing.

Scott:

Sure.

Scott:

And like

Jenn:

the recreation of the picture of the main street, Deadwood is

Jenn:

the exact historic main street you walk down in Deadwood today.

Jenn:

So if you watch the show or anything like that, like you're, you're

Jenn:

walking through history of what.

Jenn:

It made this town so quickly and even what it's known for

Scott:

today.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And even I've noticed in the video, right, it's been out for

Scott:

a few days now, I've noticed the watch time is a little bit longer.

Scott:

And so YouTube kind of gives us these good kind of feedback metrics

Scott:

because, you know, I found some cool music that was actually very.

Scott:

Fits very well with the story.

Scott:

Yeah, this is kind of dead man walking song But there's lots of pictures of

Scott:

Deadwood and you describe it very well Even in the video when we're walking

Scott:

down this paved modern day street, you know with some throwback kind of

Scott:

touristy stuff But then showing the old pictures of these muddy muddy.

Scott:

It's just dirt

Jenn:

dirty road, and it's not even a road I would just say a

Jenn:

clearing where they have built up these makeshift wooden Buildings?

Jenn:

I wouldn't even use buildings.

Jenn:

It's like these lean tos that they have made and called them

Jenn:

saloons and called them brothels.

Scott:

Well, and you can picture it, right?

Scott:

Because you talk about in the video why they named it

Jenn:

Deadwood.

Jenn:

Yeah, a gulch of dead trees were found there.

Jenn:

And it is a little valley because it is pretty hilly around there.

Jenn:

And you're in the Black Hills.

Jenn:

So, uh, here's a valley area and they found these gulch of dead trees.

Jenn:

So they called it Deadwood.

Scott:

Yeah, and so remind me the era that everything kind of

Scott:

started coming together out there.

Jenn:

So you have to remember, this does not, this is American Indian territory.

Jenn:

Yeah, that's right.

Jenn:

It's not a state.

Jenn:

It is not a state.

Jenn:

And this is going to become a problem for Hickok's murder.

Jenn:

But this land belongs to the Lakota.

Jenn:

and it's belonged to them since the treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868.

Jenn:

So you can think almost, um, 10 years it's been their land.

Jenn:

Oh, wow.

Jenn:

And what happens is George Armstrong Custer comes through there in 1874.

Jenn:

So about six years, he's out there enforcing these treaties, and this

Jenn:

is what we get into Bighorn, which we'll talk about on another episode.

Jenn:

He's enforcing these, uh, treaties where the American Indians have

Jenn:

adhered to staying on certain areas, hence reservations,

Jenn:

and he's riding through here.

Jenn:

When gold is discovered, 1874, 1875, and so it becomes this big boom where

Jenn:

people want to go make their fortunes.

Jenn:

Yeah, the word gets out.

Jenn:

The word gets out.

Jenn:

And so they can't stop this influx of people, even though they should be.

Jenn:

George Armstrong Custer should be stopping these people because it's not.

Jenn:

Uh, their land.

Jenn:

And they shouldn't be settling it.

Jenn:

It belongs to the Lakota.

Jenn:

But he doesn't because he's part of it.

Jenn:

He also wants the gold and of course, uh, and so he allows these people to

Jenn:

come in and he, the military kind of like turns a blind eye to it and they start

Jenn:

to have these little makeshift buildings that pop up to service all the Fortune

Jenn:

hunters, miners, they come into the area.

Jenn:

So this is about 1876, 5, 000 people, 1877, 12, 000

Jenn:

people, 1878, 25, 000 people.

Jenn:

That

Scott:

kind of surprised me, even when I went back and I was making the video, like

Scott:

that is, especially back then, that is a

Jenn:

drastic, drastic.

Jenn:

Right.

Jenn:

And so it's incomprehensible how they could even govern it to begin with.

Jenn:

So it becomes a very lawless area, as you can imagine, because you get all these

Jenn:

men coming in to make their fortune.

Jenn:

And so you get a lot of gambling, you get a lot of alcoholism.

Jenn:

You get Hickok who's called here you get the brothels I know of course you

Jenn:

get the brothels pop up and we'll talk a little bit about one of the most famous

Jenn:

madams Who's very close to Hickok?

Jenn:

from the most Profitable brothel there in Deadwood.

Jenn:

But yeah, so these are things that gonna pop up for all these men you're gonna get

Jenn:

You know, restaurants, saloons, pop up liveries, so liveries where you put your

Jenn:

horse, butcher shops, uh, and makeshift tents and things like that, and brothels.

Jenn:

So what happens is you get wagon trains who, it's their business

Jenn:

to, you know, bring people, lead people from one area to another.

Jenn:

They navigate you through, right?

Jenn:

And if you watched 1883, this is a business of the time.

Jenn:

Usually you're paid.

Jenn:

before to take people through and you, you will help with supplies, you know

Jenn:

the area, you, you're, you do the safety, and then you're paid once you get there.

Jenn:

And that's basically your pay.

Jenn:

So Hickok takes a wagon train from Fort Laramie, which is so interesting.

Jenn:

That's the treaty of Fort Laramie that is adhering to these Indian lands.

Jenn:

So, this is the big fort of Wyoming, and this is still Wyoming territory,

Jenn:

and this is Dakota territory.

Jenn:

So, they're not even states, which again, they're not governed in that way.

Jenn:

So, he, uh, Hickok takes a wagon train from Fort Laramie to, uh, Wyoming.

Jenn:

Dead word.

Scott:

Now at this point in his life and career, he'd already

Scott:

been, he already has a reputation.

Scott:

If I remember correctly, he's been a marshal for a little while.

Scott:

So he already kind of has all this kind of notoriety.

Jenn:

So yes, James Butler Hickok, he's born May 27th, 1837.

Jenn:

Um, he's a folk hero of the old west, but mostly because he comes

Jenn:

up beside Buffalo Bill Cody.

Jenn:

So he comes up beside him.

Jenn:

So his stories are told with him.

Jenn:

Now, Cody can capitalize on those a little better than Hickok, but it doesn't

Jenn:

mean Hickok stories don't get told.

Jenn:

So yes.

Jenn:

uh, Hickok is, uh, he leaves his home at 18 years old, Illinois.

Jenn:

He, uh, becomes a lawman in Kansas, Abilene, Kansas.

Jenn:

That'll be important later.

Jenn:

In Nebraska, he becomes a scout for the Union Army, just like Buffalo Cody.

Jenn:

And he, um, and he meets like these kind of people who do

Jenn:

shows and stuff like that.

Jenn:

So he has met a woman who's part of the circus and he marries her in

Jenn:

Cheyenne and they're married in March.

Jenn:

Her name is Agnes Thatcher Lake and you show a picture of her in the video and

Jenn:

she's a 50 year old widow of the circus.

Jenn:

So they're running in the same kind of circle.

Scott:

And she was actually like a very famous, very well traveled,

Scott:

very In that in the circus kind of, you know, world, she was like, I

Scott:

was reading about her a little bit.

Scott:

She's actually very well known.

Jenn:

She's very well known.

Jenn:

And so she stays in Cheyenne.

Jenn:

So you can imagine they're getting married March of 1876.

Jenn:

He's going to Fort Laramie.

Jenn:

So Fort Laramie is right outside of Cheyenne.

Jenn:

And he's getting there by June.

Jenn:

And then by he takes the wagon train from Uh, June to July to Deadwood.

Jenn:

And so she, she stays behind and he wants to make his fortune because

Jenn:

he's heard about all this gold.

Jenn:

Of course.

Jenn:

And so he's like, I'm going to make it rich quickly.

Jenn:

And he's a gambler.

Jenn:

And he's a gambler.

Jenn:

So he joins Charlie Utter's wagon train.

Jenn:

And Charlie Utter, if you.

Jenn:

Know anything about Wild Boat Hickok?

Jenn:

It's the name on the tombstone.

Jenn:

And we'll talk more about that because Charlie, Charlie Utter is a fan of Hickok.

Jenn:

It's his wagon train and they all meet up in Fort Laramie and another person joins

Jenn:

the wagon train then to Calamity Jane.

Jenn:

So they take the train, the wagon train together.

Jenn:

So Calamity Jane didn't know Hickok.

Jenn:

Well, they met this one time.

Jenn:

They, they

Scott:

must have, I, I, the more I thought about it, like, and, and we talk about it

Scott:

later in the video, like her dying wish.

Scott:

Mm-hmm.

Scott:

was to be buried next by, next to Wild Bill.

Scott:

Mm-hmm.

Scott:

. And they, it must have been one of those things, and maybe this is just

Scott:

kind of the romantic side of, you know, Outlook that I have on, on stories

Scott:

like this sometimes, but they must have just kind of like connected, right?

Scott:

Just like birds of a feather, same, same spirit.

Scott:

They hit it off, you know, because for some reason throughout history, those

Scott:

two names have always gone together.

Scott:

And, and to your point, historically, they didn't spend a ton of time together.

Scott:

They didn't,

Jenn:

but You can imagine there probably are not a lot of women acting

Jenn:

like Calamity Jane at this time.

Jenn:

She's very much adhering to men gender norms.

Jenn:

She's wearing men clothing and she's succumbed to alcoholism.

Jenn:

So she's drinking every day, which Hickok is also an alcoholic.

Jenn:

So he's drinking every day.

Jenn:

So there's some shared hardship.

Jenn:

Sure.

Jenn:

That they have together on this wagon train.

Jenn:

Drinking buddy.

Jenn:

drinking buddy.

Jenn:

She's a good shot.

Jenn:

He's a good shot.

Jenn:

They can tell stories together.

Jenn:

They can laugh together.

Jenn:

So they probably connected.

Scott:

Well, and even like the more that I learned about them and you

Scott:

again, you mentioned it in the video, uh, and, and I'll link the video

Scott:

in the show notes for this podcast.

Scott:

But you talk about her, she's got kind of a big heart, right?

Scott:

When she, when she isn't drinking and when she is sober enough to,

Scott:

to do things, she is out there.

Scott:

They're helping.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And he kind of does the same thing, right?

Scott:

He's a lawman.

Scott:

He's a marshal.

Scott:

He's out there trying to enforce the law.

Scott:

So they both have that spirit about them.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Charity heart.

Scott:

They have that charity heart.

Scott:

Now I did read for him, his kind of habit, especially as

Scott:

a lawman was incredibly rough.

Scott:

He kind of sought out.

Scott:

The trouble, you know, and would go, you know, from zero

Scott:

to fighting very, very quickly.

Scott:

And that's just kind of how he did his business.

Scott:

And even when I was looking up, there's been various movies made about Wild

Scott:

Bill Hickok and Deadwood and different versions that there's a TV show.

Scott:

Sure.

Scott:

The, the couple versions that I saw, I think it was, is a relatively

Scott:

well known actor that did one of the movies or something like that.

Scott:

But he just, he, like somebody, somebody says something to him like off one time

Scott:

or he's in Deadwood or he's in some town and someone's not supposed to have

Scott:

guns and he finds out he has a gun.

Scott:

He doesn't even like talk to the guy.

Scott:

He just goes up and punches him in the face and drags him away.

Scott:

Right.

Scott:

So that was kind of his

Jenn:

reputation.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

It's very lawless.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

And so it is very much this, uh, violent, physical.

Jenn:

Time and you get all these men in Deadwood and it becomes like

Jenn:

you're governed by yourself, right?

Jenn:

Right,

Scott:

and and that's kind of why I think that's kind of why he had this mystique

Scott:

about him because he was a lawman He had that reputation and actually again when

Scott:

I was making the video I read that he had earned this reputation early as a marshal

Scott:

because he was I guess supposedly One of the first ones to kind of have this

Scott:

quick, quick draw shootout, you know, like standing in the middle of the street,

Scott:

just like get it done, like a quick draw.

Scott:

Like he was one of the first supposedly, um, to, to do

Scott:

that and to kind of have that.

Scott:

You know, established a, you know, sure.

Scott:

Around, around him and his, his reputation.

Jenn:

One more.

Jenn:

I gotta look pretty when I'm down.

Jenn:

I'm a dead, I'm a dead, I'm a dead man.

Jenn:

So he's in Deadwood.

Jenn:

We've established, he gets married in March of 1876, and Cheyenne

Jenn:

makes it to Laramie about June.

Jenn:

It takes the wagon train up to Deadward from Laramie, Wyoming

Jenn:

to Deadward, South Dakota.

Jenn:

And he gets there about July.

Jenn:

So again, not very long time because August 1st is when all these things

Jenn:

will start to happen for Hickok.

Jenn:

So it's August 1st, 1876, where he's at saloon 10.

Jenn:

Now In the video.

Jenn:

And if you visit Deadwood, this, there's a little discrepancy.

Jenn:

So the location of saloon 10.

Jenn:

is still there, but it's not saloon 10 anymore, but the actual location where

Jenn:

Hickok was playing cards is there.

Jenn:

Now, saloon 10 had burned at one point and the owners had moved the location across

Jenn:

the street and further down, but still kept a lot of the furniture and the chair.

Jenn:

And the the decorum from the decorations and stuff from

Jenn:

what the saloon looked like.

Jenn:

So you can go to the saloon 10, which is not the location and see the chair

Jenn:

where Hickok was murdered and you can see what the what What would it look like?

Jenn:

What the saloon would it look like?

Jenn:

And then you can go further down the street to the actual location.

Scott:

And I think the name of that place was like Wild Bill

Scott:

Bar or something like that.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So that's the difference between the two.

Jenn:

But so what's happening is August 1st, he's playing poker in saloon 10.

Jenn:

Poker was his game.

Jenn:

And he's the seat opens up and a Jack McCall sits to play poker with him.

Jenn:

And during the session, McCall loses.

Jenn:

A lot, and Hickok encourages him to quit, quit now, try to go make some

Jenn:

money to pay us what you owe us.

Jenn:

And he gives him money for breakfast the next morning because he's

Jenn:

basically used all his money.

Jenn:

And people claim, or historians claim, that insulted McCall.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So he was insulted by him giving him basically, you know, um, Charity money.

Jenn:

Charity money.

Jenn:

And so the next day.

Jenn:

Same location.

Jenn:

So August 2nd, Hickok walks into the same saloon to play poker and the only

Jenn:

seat open has its back to the door.

Jenn:

And Hickok being, being a lawman doesn't want to sit with his back to

Jenn:

the door, but he wants to play poker.

Jenn:

It's his game.

Jenn:

So he sits there.

Jenn:

He actually asks a couple of guys he's playing poker with if

Jenn:

they would change seats with him.

Jenn:

But if you know anything about poker, it's bad luck to change your seat.

Jenn:

So they refuse.

Jenn:

So he's playing and, um, That's when McCall will walk into the bar and shout

Jenn:

something at him and just shoot him point blank range right against the head.

Jenn:

And he kills him instantly.

Jenn:

And the bullet actually goes through Hickok's head into the

Jenn:

gentleman he's playing poker with.

Jenn:

Yeah, that's right.

Jenn:

Into his arm.

Jenn:

And that gentleman will keep the bullet in his arm for the rest of his life.

Jenn:

Holy cow.

Jenn:

And he's a, um, he's like a captain of a steamboat, of the paddle boats.

Jenn:

And he would walk into bars saying.

Jenn:

Uh, here comes the bullet that killed, uh, Bill Hickok.

Jenn:

Of

Scott:

course, yeah, if you're a ship captain of like a

Scott:

riverboat or something like that.

Scott:

You're like, here's my

Jenn:

story.

Jenn:

Yeah, here comes the bullet.

Jenn:

So, McCall knows, knows he's done something bad, right?

Jenn:

And, uh, and of course, the dead man's hand.

Jenn:

So, Hickok in his hand is holding aces and eights.

Jenn:

Black aces and eights.

Jenn:

And they don't know what the whole card is.

Jenn:

That's what the fifth card is.

Jenn:

And there's speculation.

Jenn:

You'll see some places have the nine of diamonds.

Jenn:

But that's no one really sure what the fifth card is, but that's the hand he has

Jenn:

when he's killed So it's called the dead man's hand and we show it in the video and

Jenn:

sometimes when you go to his grave people have left So McCall runs out of the saloon

Jenn:

and tries to jump on a horse and we talked about this that most horses if you're

Jenn:

Tying up your horse to go in somewhere.

Jenn:

You're gonna loosen the saddle Because you're not going to cinch a saddle

Jenn:

on a horse and for it to rest so when he jumps on the horse saddle It just

Jenn:

falls right off and then he runs down the street to the butcher shop and we

Jenn:

we show that there's a and he Hides in the cooler basically there and they

Jenn:

find him They pull him out of there and they actually do the trial in the

Jenn:

same place where Hickok is Yeah, I

Scott:

was kind of surprised with such a lawless place, you know, I assume there

Scott:

must have been other lawmen, you know, in the, in the city or something like that.

Scott:

He probably wasn't, he probably wasn't the only one.

Scott:

You don't really

Jenn:

know.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Well, they don't really, I mean, it's an informal minors jury.

Jenn:

They get the minors, the guys who are there.

Jenn:

to stand a jury.

Jenn:

So, and it can't really be a trial because it's not really a territory.

Jenn:

Yes, it's lawless.

Jenn:

It's lawless.

Jenn:

It's, it's, um, it's Indian land.

Jenn:

It's a reservation.

Jenn:

It's not, it belongs to the American Indian.

Jenn:

So it's not, it can't be governed basically.

Jenn:

So you can't really hold a trial, but they do.

Jenn:

And McCall claims that When Hickok was a Marshall in Abilene, Kansas Again, I

Jenn:

told you that name would come up that Hickok killed his brother Now there is

Jenn:

a record of a McCall being killed in Abilene, Kansas by a lawman Oh, really?

Jenn:

They don't claim that it's Hickok.

Jenn:

It just says a lawman that the records aren't that clear But there is a McCall

Jenn:

that is killed earlier by a lawman.

Jenn:

And there's not even clear if that's his brother, but the name matches up.

Jenn:

Now, now they, they didn't know this.

Jenn:

The minors hear this story and the minors are very much, again, this

Jenn:

lawlessness of the West where you govern yourself and you're very much

Jenn:

eye for an eye type of mentality.

Jenn:

So they let him off, right?

Jenn:

You think about someone who killed your brother, they deserve to

Jenn:

to whatever they get from you.

Jenn:

And so the miners are like, Oh yeah, you're totally validated and what you did.

Jenn:

You're free to go.

Jenn:

But McCall gets out of town relatively quickly because people

Jenn:

are upset because people like Hickok, including Charlie, Charlie utter.

Jenn:

And Charlie utter is the gentleman who they'll bury Hickok the very next day.

Jenn:

He's not buried at Fort at Mount Moriah cemetery where we visited his grave today.

Jenn:

He's He's buried at a closer cemetery to the location of Main Street, but

Jenn:

as the city grows, they move them.

Jenn:

They move the cemetery about three years later in 1879 and on the day of his death.

Jenn:

But Charlie utter will cut that original tombstone and it'll say,

Jenn:

it says almost looks like clutter.

Jenn:

CH.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Shutter.

Jenn:

Um, but.

Jenn:

Um, he also invites everyone back to his camp for the funeral.

Jenn:

And it's almost like everybody from the town shows up.

Jenn:

Because again, Wagon Train, he has a camp that he's established.

Jenn:

And so everyone comes there and he considered him a friend.

Jenn:

And so he's the one who will pay for the funeral and then pay for the tombstone.

Jenn:

And McCall gets out of the area where he ends up back around Fort Laramie.

Jenn:

And he's running his mouth that he killed a U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

Marshal.

Jenn:

He killed Bill Hickok and An actual U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

Marshal is listening to him.

Jenn:

And again, you have this loyalty of even with the lawlessness, you have this

Jenn:

loyalty between marshals that we know how difficult this job is for us to do.

Jenn:

And here you are running around that you killed one of the most famous U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

Marshals.

Jenn:

So he takes them to Dakota territory, a place that's actually

Jenn:

run by the federal government.

Jenn:

It's Yankton, Dakota territory, and he puts them on trial.

Jenn:

So it doesn't really.

Jenn:

Hit that double jeopardy since the first trial wasn't an actual trial and

Jenn:

a Hickok's brother comes to town to hear the testimony and he's found guilty

Jenn:

and he's hanged the very next day after he's found guilty on March 1st, 1877.

Scott:

It's so funny to me that, you know, if you.

Scott:

You almost couldn't script a story like this, right?

Scott:

And for us, you know, in the American culture, you know, this, this story is

Scott:

part of kind of that wild west Story that we learned growing up and everything like

Scott:

that and you you almost again You couldn't script a more predictable bad guy, right?

Scott:

someone who just kind of gets away with murder literally and then is

Scott:

off running his mouth like they write that into movies all the time Right.

Scott:

And they do that because people actually do that.

Scott:

And then, you know, this guy wasn't the

Jenn:

most intelligent person.

Jenn:

Obviously, if he would have just kept his mouth shut, he probably could have lived

Jenn:

a very long life and gotten away with it.

Jenn:

But he obviously was not the smart guy, especially to be

Jenn:

losing at poker so, um, so badly.

Jenn:

We visit Hickock's grave.

Jenn:

Right beside him is Calamity Jane.

Jenn:

She'll die in 1903.

Jenn:

Her dying wish is to be buried next to Wild Bill, because I think they had this

Jenn:

close friendship and kinship, and, um, she really thinks fondly of Deadwood.

Jenn:

And then right about two graves over from her is a very famous,

Jenn:

uh, madam named Dora Dufresne.

Jenn:

And Dora Dufresne runs the most profitable brothel in Deadwood.

Scott:

It is, I think I saw, this was one thing that...

Scott:

I didn't notice the first couple times when I was editing the video

Scott:

and then finally I was looking at some of the signs right then and

Scott:

they have in Deadwood on that Main Street where you're kind of walking

Scott:

up and down doing most of the filming.

Scott:

They have signs and basically they're not quite historical markers, but

Scott:

they're like the classic kind of wooden hanging sign hanging from outside.

Scott:

historic locations.

Scott:

So one, one wooden sign says this is the actual location where Wild Bill Hickok

Scott:

was was killed on August 2nd, 1876.

Scott:

You know, here's the spot where Jack McCall was captured.

Scott:

And then they actually have another sign talking about one of the brothels.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

And but it said on there that it wasn't closed by.

Scott:

It wasn't closed until 1980 by the FBI.

Scott:

1980.

Scott:

That just I was so Caught off guard by that, that that

Scott:

was around doing their thing.

Jenn:

Well, I feel like, so again, we talk about all these men coming into town

Jenn:

and these women come to service the men.

Jenn:

And if the men are the ones who are.

Jenn:

the law, but they're also partaking of a brothel, then they're going to turn

Jenn:

a blind eye to it for a very long time.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

I,

Scott:

I just, there was just a funny aside that just really surprised me.

Scott:

And I don't think most people would notice it if they're watching the video.

Scott:

But if you look in the video, you can see that it was, it

Scott:

just says, closed 80, right?

Scott:

By the FBI.

Scott:

Um, which was, Just, I

Jenn:

thought it was hilarious.

Jenn:

Well, Dufresne is also credited with the term cat house.

Jenn:

Oh really?

Jenn:

So she had a bunch of cats brought in on a wagon train because the women who

Jenn:

worked in her brothel were getting scared of the rats and they were getting very

Jenn:

upset and so they wouldn't do their job.

Jenn:

And so she brought in cats to get the rats.

Jenn:

And so the men knew the cat house.

Jenn:

They wanted to go visit the cat house that had like 12, 15 cats there who

Jenn:

were taking care of all the rats.

Jenn:

And that's where you get the term cat house.

Jenn:

Yeah,

Scott:

I do.

Scott:

I don't think I knew that.

Scott:

I don't think I had that in the video either.

Scott:

So it's a little podcast special for our listeners.

Scott:

And it makes sense.

Scott:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So

Jenn:

if you're wondering more about Deadwood, in 1877, you know, the U.

Jenn:

S.

Jenn:

government tries to like, uh, what can we do to kind of capitalize on

Jenn:

this gold that's being found here?

Jenn:

And they kind of modify the treaty of Fort Laramie.

Jenn:

And that the Lakotas never adhere to it.

Jenn:

And even today, they brought a trial against the US government in 18, in 1980.

Jenn:

And they cited the original treaty saying that this is our land, and you took it.

Jenn:

And so the US government tried to pay them a billion dollars for it.

Jenn:

And the Lakotas won't take it because they want the land.

Jenn:

That money sits in a savings account today for the Lakota people, which they

Jenn:

refuse to touch it because that land belongs to them and they want the land.

Jenn:

Wow.

Jenn:

And now so many people live there, like we even visited there.

Jenn:

And it is part of, you know, it's adhered to by a

Scott:

state.

Scott:

Well, and if, and if you're listening, right, so the Black Hills area.

Scott:

Right.

Scott:

If you're, if you're not familiar with the South Dakota area, and I wasn't

Scott:

really until we spent some time, we spent a few days there with, you know, for a

Scott:

little, we had a little family reunion, but that's right near Mount Rushmore.

Scott:

That's crazy horse, which we'll talk about in future, in upcoming episodes.

Scott:

So there's a whole lot in that area and it's gorgeous.

Scott:

It's a beautiful area.

Scott:

It's,

Jenn:

it's absolutely beautiful.

Jenn:

And you can see why they want the land.

Jenn:

And I.

Jenn:

I.

Jenn:

Think there could be some compromise being that the land belongs

Jenn:

because you can still visit.

Jenn:

Bighorn is on a Indian reservation, Badlands is on an Indian reservation

Jenn:

and they still use it, you know, for people to visit and they can still

Jenn:

make a profit off of still keeping this, you know, this land, um,

Jenn:

protected for their use of their tribe.

Jenn:

So I think there could be something you could adhere to, but, um, what happens

Jenn:

in 1879, and this is the big fire in.

Jenn:

Deadwood.

Jenn:

And most people have not made huge fortunes.

Jenn:

They've been there for like four years by then.

Jenn:

And so most people leave.

Jenn:

And the people who stay are people who are established in the town.

Jenn:

And it has, even today, there's a couple thousand people who live there.

Jenn:

And, um, and it's still, I think it's the tourism is really what

Jenn:

drives the town, but it never is going to hit that big heyday.

Jenn:

that it had there in the 1870s.

Jenn:

But it was a very cool place to visit.

Jenn:

And, uh, Hickok is the story there, if you go there.

Jenn:

So you definitely want to go down Main Street.

Jenn:

It's the historic Main Street.

Jenn:

And you definitely want to go to Mount Moriah Cemetery.

Scott:

Yeah, and they have, they have tour buses that'll take you up to the cemetery

Scott:

because it's up a very steep hill.

Scott:

That is not one you're going to walk from Main Street up to the cemetery.

Jenn:

They'll try to tell you you can walk.

Jenn:

Don't

Scott:

do it.

Scott:

Don't do it.

Scott:

I mean, it's steep even sitting in a car.

Scott:

Um, so, but yeah, it was an absolute blast.

Scott:

It's a gorgeous area.

Scott:

It really did get, for me, kind of to that inner child, you know, just kind

Scott:

of little bit of excitement there.

Scott:

And we had our whole family with us.

Scott:

We had our family, they were kind of watching us film because, you

Scott:

know, that was kind of just a topic.

Scott:

So they were enjoying that.

Scott:

And as we look back at, you know, while Bill Hickok's life has been romanticized

Scott:

and immortalized in various books, Movies, legends, and even this podcast,

Scott:

he remains an enduring symbol of the American Wild West and is remembered

Scott:

for his remarkable marksmanship, daring adventures, and a tragic end

Scott:

that befell many legendary figures.

Scott:

of the era.

Scott:

So thank you so much for listening to the Talk With History podcast.

Scott:

Please reach out to us over at talkwithhistory.

Scott:

com.

Scott:

More importantly, if you know someone else that might enjoy

Scott:

this, share this with them.

Scott:

If they're a Wild West fan, if they're, they're a cowboy fan,

Scott:

they're going to love this podcast.

Scott:

We have another podcast similar to this, where we talk about Buffalo Bill Cody.

Scott:

We have more like this coming up.

Scott:

We're going to be talking about Little Bighorn.

Scott:

So if you're listening to this in the future.

Scott:

We'll look those episodes up, because I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

Scott:

We rely on you, our community, to grow, and we appreciate, we

Scott:

appreciate you all every day.

Scott:

We'll talk to you next time.

About the Podcast

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Talk With History
A Historian and Navy Veteran talk about traveling to historic locations

About your hosts

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Scott B

Host of the Talk With History podcast, Producer over at Walk with History on YouTube, Editor of HistoryNewsletter.com
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Jennifer B

Former Naval Aviator turned Historian and a loyal Penn Stater. (WE ARE!) I earned my Masters in American History and graduate certificate in Museum Studies, from the University of Memphis.

The Talk with History podcast gives Scott and me a chance to go deeper into the details of our Walk with History YouTube videos and gives you a behind-the-scenes look at our history-inspired adventures.

Join us as we talk about these real-world historic locations and learn about the events that continue to impact you today!

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Thank you to everyone who supports the show and keeps us up and running. Doing this with your support means that we can continue to share history and historic locations for years to come!
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Thank you for the great podcasts and for sharing your passion! Love hearing about the locations you visit.