William Brooks

  • American West
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Brooks (whose fame as a Buffalo Hunter earned Him the name ''Buffalo Bill'' Brooks – in related honor to William ''Buffalo Bill'' Cody), was also one of ''those few'' American Westerners who lived ''life on the line''. In other words, Brooks worked equally well as both Lawman and Outlaw. Born in Ohio in 1832, Brooks came from ''hard scrabble'' beginnings. His Father was a Farmer and Brooks had several siblings. He would later serve in The American Civil War, but had a ''lackluster'' service record. After The War, like many Americans – Brooks headed West in search of fortune. Arriving in Kansas in the 1870s, Brooks worked as a Buffalo Hunter, augmenting the hundreds of tons of fresh meat needed by Settlers and The Military.


Brooks (with no experience as a Law Enforcement Officer) took the job of Town Marshal on the notorious Dodge City (Kansas). No doubt due to his ''crack shot'' as a Hunter – Brooks, within the first month of employment, was involved in no less than 15 gunfights. Many of these were Outlaws (with relatives gunning for revenge). Nonetheless, Brooks literally ''cleared'' The City of most criminal elements. He also fell afoul of a local Saloon (Bar) Girl.


It is not recorded IF the relationship was mutual or a case of a ''one sided'' love affair. Around 1873, The Saloon Girl's ''boyfriend'' surfaces and – in a bloody and well witnessed gunfight, Brooks shot Him dead. However, many felt that Brooks premeditated the entire event – and his Badge (and freedom) was put into serious question. Local ''friends'' convinced Brooks to ''run''. He did.


Making His way to Butte, Montana – Brooks again tried for a Law Enforcement position. He was ''passed over'' for Brother of famed Lawman Wyatt Earp – Morgan Earp (a good Lawman in His own right). This may have angered Brooks – who History says confronted Earp about His win (rumors of vote fixing). Earp shot Brooks, supposedly in the stomach with a shotgun. Earp too got a sample of ''the day'', being shot through the shoulder.


Brooks (dejected) took as job as ''Shotgun Messenger'' (Security) for a Stage Company. When a rival Company won Brooks Company in a Legal dispute (and wouldn't give Brooks a continued position), He had had enough. He turned to both Outlawry and revenge to satisfy. It is claimed Brooks (and others), began to rob the new Stage Company. Although no concrete proof was provided, all knew who was responsible. He would be eventually captured in 1874 by a Posse. While awaiting trial William Brooks was lynched (illegally hung), no doubt by many who had ''old business'' to settle. His grave is unknown.