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Today is July 3rd
Today in Texas History


On this day in 1931, Texas and Oklahoma locked horns over a newly completed free bridge, built jointly by the two states, across the Red River between Denison, Texas, and Durant, Oklahoma. A firm operating a nearby toll bridge had obtained an injunction preventing the Texas Highway Commission from opening the new bridge because the commission had failed to fulfill its contractual obligation to buy the toll bridge. Texas Governor Ross S. Sterling ordered barricades erected across the Texas approaches to the new bridge. On July 16, however, Oklahoma Governor William (Alfalfa Bill) Murray opened the bridge by executive order. The following days brought a bewildering array of moves and countermoves involving the Texas Rangers, Oklahoma guardsmen, and Murray’s declaration of martial law on both sides of the river and personal appearance in the “war zone” armed with an antique revolver. Finally, on August 6, 1931, the Texas injunction was permanently dissolved, the Oklahoma guardsmen were withdrawn to enforce martial law in the Oklahoma oilfields, and the bridge controversy was laid to rest. The bridge was dynamited in 1995 to make room for a new one.



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Today in Old Western History

July 3

1862-Locust Grove, Indian Territory- Union forces are the victors in a battle with Confederate troops.

1865 – General Connor arrives at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory with orders to protect the Overland Mail Company’s stagecoaches from Arapaho Indians.

1867 – The 3rd Infantry from Fort Wallace, Kansas, reports one soldier wounded near Goose Creek.

1869 – Four Indians are killed in a fight with the 8th Cavalry in Hell Canyon, Arizona Territory.

1871 – The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company introduced the first narrow-gauge locomotive. It was called the Montezuma.

1873 – Vigilantes lynch a rustler who stole a widow’s cow in Phoenix, Arizona Territory.

1876 – The steamship The Far West begins her journey down the Yellowstone River carrying the bodies of George Custer and his men, Reno’s wounded, and the horse Comanche.

1876 – The first newspaper account of Custer’s battle appeared in the Bozeman Times.

1878 – A posse under J.J. Dolan terrorizes San Patricio, New Mexico Territory as they search for Regulators.

1884 – E.C. Abbott, AKA Teddy Blue, records that DHS Ranch, Montana Territory, under the leadership of Granville Stuart, hung a rustler between the DHS spread and Fort Maginnis.

1888 – Wyatt Earp’s second wife, Celia “Mattie” Blaylock, committed suicide in Pinal, Arizona Territory. Mattie had accompanied Wyatt to Tombstone and separated from the lawman after his Tombstone days and tragically wound up living in the seedy gold and silver towns as a prostitute.

1890 – Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.

1897 – G. A. Lancaster files claim on Eldorado Creek, Yukon, later known as Gold Hill.

1901 – Butch Cassidy and Sundance with the help of Kid Curry and the Wild Bunch rob a Great Northern train in Wagner, Montana. It was their last American robbery. More than $40,000 was taken from the safe but most of it was in unsigned bank notes. This never bothered the Wild Bunch. Bill Carver or someone else with good penmanship merely signed the notes and these were quickly cashed or passed.

1901 – W.F. (Billy) Cochrane introduced the automobile to Calgary, Alberta. The car was a steam-powered Locomobile, steered by a tiller rather than a wheel.

1965 – Trigger, beloved horse of Roy Rogers, died.

Source: Lonesome Dove

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