Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: a Buffalo Hunter named McGill

Boot Hill, Dodge City, Kansas

McGill's first name is unknown. He was a buffalo hunter and desperado who amused himself by shooting into every house he passed by. Members of the Vigilante Committee including James Hanrahan of the Occident Saloon and John (Scotty) Scott of the Peacock's Billard Saloon ran him out of town.
McGill opened fire on them and they responded.

The report from the Marion County, Kansas Record read:
On Tuesday night, an unmitigated scoundrel and desperado named McGill was shot and killed at Dodge City.  This is the same scoundrel who shot and killed a sixteen year-old boy on New's Years Day last, without the slightest provocation.
-March 29th, 1873

I used to play in this graveyard.  My family had summer passes so Boot hill became a place they could drop us off for the day and we would let our imaginations lead us into great stories of Cowboys and Indians.
As a teenager, I worked up on Boot Hill...and it freaked me out to be there at night, closing up the museum which had the bones of a Native American Indian inside under glass and a Buffalo Head on the wall whose eyes seemed to follow you where ever you walked. The place is definitely haunted, maybe even by the Buffalo Hunter named McGill!


  1. I love the wooden grave marker. I thought these only existed on movie sets in Westerns! However, Now I know that they were common once here in New England, it's just that they have all rotted away to oblivion. Now even some of the older stone markers have lost their inscriptions to oblivion.

  2. It's so true and that's why we should all take photographs of them! :)