James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok Born

Frontiersman, lawman, army scout, gambler, and legendary marksman James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was born on May 27, 1837, in Troy Grove, Illinois.

As a youth, Hickok became acquainted with the risks incurred by those willing to take a stand against slavery. His father frequently assisted escaped slaves as they made their way north through Illinois and young Hickok joined in the adventure. Hickok left home in 1856, moved to Kansas to farm, and became involved in the Free State movement.

James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876), better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a figure in the American Old West. His skills as a gunfighter and scout, along with his reputation as a lawman, provided the basis for his fame, although some of his exploits are fictionalized. His nickname of Wild Bill has inspired similar nicknames for men named William (even though that was not Hickok's name) who were known for their daring in various fields. Hickok's horse was called Black Nell, and he owned two Colt 1851 Navy Revolvers.

McCanles threatened to kill him and take the stock. That afternoon McCanles returned with three other men and started to enter the house. Wild Bill shot him. Two of the other men were killed, one got away. At Wild Bill's trial, which was held in Beatrice, no one appeared against him. His plea was self-defence [sic] and he was cleared.”

— F. J. Elliott