Bat Masterson

Bartholomew Barclay Masterson (1853 - 1921)

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Bartholomew Barclay (Bat) "William Barclay" Masterson
Born in Henriville, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada Eastmap
Father of
Died in New York City, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Aug 2014
This page has been accessed 3,393 times.

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Bat Masterson was involved in the westward expansion of the USA.
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Bat Masterson was a American wild west buffalo hunter, U.S. Marshal and Sheriff, United States Army Scout, gambler, and a columnist and sports editor for the New York Morning Telegraph.

Bat Masterson

Bartholomew Masterson was born on November 26, 1853 at Henryville, Canada East,his parents were Thomas Masterson and Catherine McGurk ,he had five brothers and two sisters they were raised on farms in Quebec, New York, and Illinois, until they settled near Wichita, Kansas,later in life he used the name [1]William Barclay Masterson.

First battle of Adobe Walls, Hutchinsons County Texas
First battle of Adobe Walls, Hutchinsons County Texas

In 1871 Bat and his 2 brothers Ed and Jim left home to become buffalo hunters , then in 1874 Bat was in the [2] First Battle of Adobe Walls in Texas, and killed Comanche Indians. He spent time as a U.S. Army scout in a campaign against the Kiowa and Comanche Indians.

It was in 1876 that Bat Masterson had his first gun fight in the [3]town of Sweetwater, Texas the fight was over a girl Mollie Brennan ,Bat was attacked by a soldier Corporal Melvin King, King whose real name was Anthony Cook died of his wounds,Bat Masterson was shot in the pelvis but he recovered,the girl Mollie Brennan was killed.

Bat Masterson (standing) and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876
Bat Masterson (standing) and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876

Bat joined his brothers in Dodge City Kansas in 1877 , he was Wyatt Earp's deputy sherriff, he was then elected county sheriff of Ford County, Kansas.While he was sherriff Bat captured four members of the Mike Roark gang, who had held up a train at nearby Kinsley, Kansas. He led the posse that captured 23 year old cattleman Jim "Spike" Kenedy who had killed an entertainer named Dora Hand in Dodge City .

Bat Masterson was Ford County sheriff until he was voted out of office in 1879.Bats brother [4] Ed was Marshal of Dodge City and was shot on April 9, 1878 by a cowboy named Jack Wagner . As Ed stumbled away from the scene,Bat fired on both Wagner and Wagner's boss, Alf Walker. Wagner died the next day but Walker was taken back to Texas and recovered. Recently two court cases were found in which Bat testified under oath that he had shot both Wagner and Walker which sounds like Bat avenged his brother's death.

The Dodge City Peace Commission June 1883. From left to right, standing W.H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, W.F. Petillon. Seated Charlie Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Frank McLain and Neal Brown.

Bat made a living as a gambler for the next few years moving from town to town in the West.In February 188I Wyatt Earp invited Bat to Tombstone, Arizona Territory,where Wyatt owned a one quarter interest in the gambling tables at the Oriental Saloon, in exchange for his services as a manager and enforcer,Bat Masterson stayed until April 1881, when he received an unsigned telegram that caused him to return to Dodge City.


On April 16 1881 Bat left for Dodge on the next stagecoach he jumped off the train before it stopped, Bats brother Jim was a partner of A. J. Peacock in Dodge City's Lady Gay Saloon and Dance Hall. Peacock's brother-in-law Al Updegraff was the bartender. Jim thought Updegraff was dishonest and a drunk, and demanded that Peacock fire Updegraff ,Peacock would not fire his brother-inlaw ,their argument got worse until threats were made, which is why the telegram was sent. Bat Masterson saw Updegraff and Peacock as he left the train,he shouted , Hold up there a minute, you two. I want to talk to you. , Updegraff and Peacock hid behind the jail and exchanged gunfire with Masterson. Other individuals began firing in support of both sides until Al Updegraff was wounded,Bat was arrested Updegraff recovered because the shooter who hit Updegraff could not be identified, Masterson was fined $8.00 and released.

Bat Masterson was living in Denver, Colorado in 1888, he managed and then purchased the Palace Variety Theater. Bat met a singer called Emma Moulton, born as Emma Walter near Philadelphia in 1857. Bat and Emma lived together and it has been reported that they married in Denver on 21 November 1891. Although no record of the marriage has been found, Emma was not divorced from her first husband until 9 November 1893, they stayed together until Bat's death.

Bat continued to travel around the towns of the West, gambling and promoting prize fights. He began writing a weekly sports column for George's Weekly, a Denver newspaper, and opened the Olympic Athletic Club to promote the sport of boxing.President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Bat Masterson the position of deputy to U.S. Marshal for the southern district of New York. Bat Masterson had met Roosevelt on a number of occasions and the two become friendly.He received $2,000 per year from early 1908 until 1912 ,until President William Howard Taft removed Masterson from the position ,Taft's removed all the Roosevelt supporters from government positions.From 1883 Bat Masterson worked as a sports writer and editor, and a columnist until his death in New York City in 1921.

Bat Masterson died from a heart attack on the [5] October 25, 1921 he was 67 ,he was buried n Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York. His full name, William Barclay Masterson, appears above his epitaph on the large granite grave marker in Woodlawn his epitaph states that he was

Loved by Everyone

Bat Masterson's Colt Single Action Revolver, .45 Caliber LC,Longhorn Grips, Gold Plated, Manufactured 1899 and Bat Masterson about 1910-1915


  1. Family Search - Citing this Record Québec, recensement, 1861," index, FamilySearch B. Masterson, St-Georges-de-Henryville, Iberville, Quebec, Canada; citing line number 22, p. 249; Library and Archives Canada film number C-1284, Public Archives, Ottawa; FHL microfilm 517380.
  2. Texas - Adobe Walls, Texas - First Battle of Adobe Walls
  3. - Bat Masterson and the Sweetwater Shootout
  4. Officer Down Memorial page - City Marshal Edward J. Masterson Dodge City Police Department, Kansas End of Watch Tuesday, April 9, 1878
  5. Find a Grave - Bat Masterson Burial - Woodlawn Cemetery Bronx,Bronx County,New York, USA Plot - Primrose Section, Lot 185 Find A Grave Memorial# 683
  • Family Search - Citing this Record United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch Bartholomaeus Mastersoh in household of Thom Mastersoh, Illinois, United States; citing p. 41, family 279, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000545779.
  • Wikipedia - Bat Masterson
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica - Bat Masterson, byname of Bartholomew Masterson, pseudonym William Barclay Masterson
  • - Biography Bat Masterson
  • Mysteries of Canada - Bat and Jim Masterson - Bat Masterson, Sheriff and Gunfighter... and a proud Quebecer
  • Angel Fire - The Wild Wild West Bartholomew Bat Masterson

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Images: 5
Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson

Bat Masterson Headstone
Bat Masterson Headstone

Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson

Marshal Badge
Marshal Badge

Bat Masterson 1879
Bat Masterson 1879


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On 8 Sep 2015 at 14:15 GMT Moritz Ferner wrote:

Masterson-329 and Masterson-432 appear to represent the same person because:

Bat is 26 degrees from Virginia Fields, 29 degrees from William Mayo and 24 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

M  >  Masterson  >  Bartholomew Barclay Masterson

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