Schwend Gun Collection

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About the Gun Collection

The Schwend Gun Collection[1] was started by Henry Harrison Schwend, a Deputy Sheriff of Clay County, Texas and City Marshal in Henrietta, Texas. He was also the brother of the grandfather of the current owner of the collection (Selby Schwend).

He began his law enforcement career in the mid 1890's and started collecting firearms at the same time. Clay County lies just south of the Red River and, at that time, the Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) was a favorite hideout for all manner of outlaws. Harrison was acquainted with and worked along side other lawmen and Texas Rangers in the pursuit of some of the most notorious bad men that made the history books.

Many of the weapons he collected were given to him. His penchant for collecting these old tools of the trade was well known throughout the territory. When he died in 1924, he had amassed a collection of more than 125 weapons, many owned by famous outlaws and lawmen.

In 1924, his brother Burton P. Schwend, also of Henrietta, inherited the collection and added another 175 firearms to the already vast collection before he died in 1947.

Without the family's knowledge, the collection was sold by Burton's widow to R. J. Brown of Brown Jewelry and Loan in Wichita Falls, Texas for the paltry sum of about $3,000. In the 1950's, Mr. Brown sold the collection to A.D. Hodge and Irvine Fridge, owners of the Buckhorn Trading Post and Tavern in Dallas, Texas.

In 1957, Roy Rogers nearly purchased the collection for his museum in Hollywood but a group of businessmen from the Texas State Fair stepped in to save the day. They purchased the collection and moved it to the Varied Industries Building at State Fair Park and opened a wax museum which portrayed all the famous owners of the guns in various scenes.

In 1965, after outgrowing their space at Fair Park, the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum was built in Grand Prairie, Texas to house and promote the Schwend Gun Collection. It was a fabulous success.

Tragically, in 1986, one of the wax museum owners was murdered, a crime which has yet to be solved. Then in 1988, under very curious circumstances, the museum burned to the ground and the entire collection was lost. Fueled by the wax figures, the fire was devastating. The remains lay exposed to the elements for 6 weeks while the insurance company negotiated a settlement with the owners.

A number of pieces were stolen from the rubble while others were retrieved by adjustors. It is estimated that 100 weapons were simply bulldozed and hauled to the landfill. The remaining parts and pieces, which comprised around 200 weapons, were sold off piece by piece to individual collectors.


Since 1990, Selby Schwend's life quest has been the recovery of those lost pieces of history so closely connected to the Old West and to his family, and to reassemble the original Schwend Gun Collection to its former glory. Of the original 300 guns, he have reacquired over 100 in varying conditions. Some survived the fire intact with very little damage, while others are just rusted pieces of once beautiful works of the gun-makers' art. Some have been meticulously restored to their original pre-fire condition while others remain just as they were pulled from the rubble. The collection resides in a very secure bank vault near Lexington, Virginia, the final resting place of Robert E. Lee.

Mr. Schwend has exhibited the collection at numerous gun shows, museums, and historic functions in an effort to procure leads on additional missing guns from the original collection. All surviving documentation on the collection are in his possession along with related family papers, photographs, museum inventory lists with serial numbers and accompanying photos. Among the more famous pieces that were once a part of the original collection were guns carried by Billy the Kid, Bat Masterson, Geronimo, Pancho Villa, Sam Houston, Grat Dalton, Captain Bill McDonald, Bill Tilghman, Wild Bill Hickok, William "Bill" Cook, James B. Bonham, Bill Doolin, Sam Bass, Frank Jackson, Cole Younger, Buffalo Bill Cody, Tex Rickard, Belle & Sam Starr, and Frank James. There were also many weapons taken from petty criminals killed in poker games, surrendered at arrest or at gunpoint.

His book, Reach for the Sky[2], is about the two brothers who started the collection and includes a glimpse into the early history of Clay County, Texas where they lived. The Schwend Gun Collection site[3] was created to assist in the search for pieces still missing from the collection. Mr. Schwend has traveled all over Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi to find these old family treasures and purchase them back. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

In the collection today

Bat Masterson

Bat Masterson's Colt .45 Revolver
Colt Single Action Revolver, .45 Caliber LC, Longhorn Grips, Gold Plated, Manufactured 1899
This gun was a museum favorite and was featured in nearly all of its promotional materials. It was a gift to Harrison Schwend from Bat Masterson who had retired from his life as a lawman, gambler and gunslinger. Masterson had heard, through mutual friends, of Schwend's passion for collecting weapons and, since he was a fellow lawman, the gift was particularly appropriate.

Bat Masterson's Colt .45 Revolver
Oddly enough, the gun Schwend carried for his 35 years as a peace officer was remarkably similar right down to the longhorn head grips. The Masterson gun, however, was gold washed while Schwend's was nickel plated and engraved. Traces of the gold finish are still visible. Harrison Schwend's gun has never been found, but the Masterson gun is a beautiful, original example of Colt's manufacturing genius. The longhorn grips are original to the gun and were the favored style of Masterson.

Frank Jackson

Frank Jackson's Colt .45 Revolver
Colt Single Action Revolver, .45 Caliber Centerfire, Manufactured 1877, Pearl Grips Frank Jackson was a loyal member of the Sam Bass Gang that specialized in robbing stages and trains. In July of 1878, the gang decided to rob the bank in Round Rock, Texas. Jim Murphy, one of the gang members, had secretly made a deal with the Texas Rangers to trap Sam and the gang in return for immunity from prosecution for his crimes. The Rangers were waiting in Round Rock when they arrived. In the ensuing gun battle, Seaborne Barnes was killed and Sam was mortally wounded.

Jackson, who had not been hit, dismounted his horse amid a hail of bullets, and rescued Sam. When they reached safety, Sam was too faint to continue as he was near death. He told Frank to leave him and save himself. Frank Jackson rode away and was never seen or heard from again. This gun was dropped during that gun battle in Round Rock. The pearl grips are original to the gun.
Frank Jackson's Colt .45 Revolver

Frank James

Frank James' Colt .44 Revolver
Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver, .44 Caliber, Manufactured 1869.
Records indicate that this gun was dropped by Frank James in a brush with the law in Missouri in the early 1880's. The lawman who recovered it gave it to Harrison Schwend soon after as it was one of the first guns in the collection.

Frank James Colt .45 Revolver
Later in life Frank James would meet Deputy Schwend again during a brief stay in Henrietta while James was touring with Cole Younger in their own version of the Wild West Show. At that time Frank presented Schwend with brother Jesse's holster and coin purse. The holster was destroyed in the fire but the coin purse's metal parts survived and are part of the collection. The grips have been replaced due to fire damage.

Buffalo Bill Cody

Buffalo Bill Cody's Colt .44 Revolver
Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver, .44 Caliber, Manufactured 1863
This gun has an amazing history and was prominently featured in the Museum's brochures and promotional materials. Family records confirm that this is the gun that Buffalo Bill Cody, at the time a scout under Lt. George M. Taylor in the service of General Carr, used to kill Chief Yellow Hand (also called Yellow Hair) in a bizarre confrontation. It occurred on July 17, 1876 just after the Custer Massacre within 8 miles of the Little Big Horn. Cody and his unit were out on patrol when they came upon a Cheyenne war party who were headed toward a rendezvous with Sitting Bull.
Through field glasses, the detachment noticed that they were trailing and preparing to ambush a pair of army messengers who were delivering dispatches to the command. Cody and his group of 15 soldiers charged the Indians to intercept them before they attacked. When the two groups were within earshot, the chief yelled out to Cody, whom he recognized, to challenge him to a fight. Witnesses to the incident describe how Cody and Yellow Hand suddenly charged from each group. When they were 30 yards apart, Cody pulled his rifle and shot, killing the Chief's horse, while Cody's horse tripped in a prairie dog hole sending both men crashing to the ground.

They rose with pistols not more than 20 paces apart, Cody pulled this 1860 Army pistol and in his own words, "we fired at each other simultaneously. My usual luck did not desert me on this occasion for his bullet missed me, while mine struck him in the breast", killing him.

Unbelievably, Cody then pulled a knife from his sheath and scalped Yellow Hand raising it above his head and proclaiming it "the first scalp for Custer." Cody would later send the scalp home to his wife who was not at all thrilled to open it after the 4 weeks it took to get to her by overland stage.

Buffalo Bill Cody's Colt .44 Revolver

James/Younger Gang

James/Younger Gang .44 Revolver
Smith & Wesson, Single Action, Model 3 Revolver, .44 Caliber
The James/Younger Gang consisted of Frank and Jesse James, the Younger Brothers (Cole, Jim and Bob) and a host of other characters who participated in bank, train, and stage robberies in the decade following the Civil War.

James/Younger Gang .44 Revolver
Most of these men had been members of Quantrill's Guerillas who fought for the South during the Civil War and continued their own little war against the Yanks after it had ended. This revolver belonged to a member of the gang, possibly Jesse James as this was his preferred model. Deputy U.S. Marshal White found it after a fight with the gang in Indian Territory in the late 1870's. The gun sustained heavy damage in the fire and has replacement grips of mahogany that comes close to the color of the original grips which can be seen in pre-fire photos.

Cole Younger

Cole Younger's Colt .44 Conversions
Colt Revolver Model 1860 Army, Richards Conversion
.44 Caliber Centerfire, Converted in mid 1870's

Cole Younger was a member of the James Gang along with his brothers Jim and Bob. They robbed banks, stages, trains, anything that might contain valuables.

Finally on September 7, 1876, the gang attempted to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. The townspeople were prepared and opened fire on the gang as they emerged from the bank. In the ensuing chase that lasted more than 3 weeks, two of the gang were killed, Cole was shot 11 times and all the Younger boys were captured.

Frank and Jesse James were the only ones to escape. Cole spent the next 25 years in jail, reformed and finally died on March 21, 1916.

Cole Younger's Colt .44 Conversions - Serial Number 5093, Manufactured in 1861
Cole Younger's Colt .44 Conversions - Serial Number 5090, Manufactured in 1861
There are replacement grips on both guns as the originals were burned off in the wax museum fire. It is surmised that following Cole's release from prison, he gave the old Colts to collector Schwend during one of his many trips to Wichita Falls for the Quantrill Reunions which were held there.

The Colt on the right has had it's barrel cut while the one on the left is at the original length. With the serial numbers so close, these two guns were probably purchased at the same time from the same dealer.

Bill Doolin

Bill Doolin's Smith & Wesson .44 Revolver
Smith & Wesson Model #3, Single Action, Second Issue Revolver, .44 Caliber S&W, Nimschke Engraved, Ivory Grips, Manufactured in 1873
William "Bill" Doolin was the leader of a gang of outlaws known as the "Oklahombres". He was associated with the Dalton Gang and, only by a twist of fate, was not present when the gang attempted to rob two banks at once in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1892 leaving four gang members dead. Doolin's turn came later when he was ambushed and killed by a posse in 1896 headed by Texas Ranger Heck Thomas.

Bill Doolin's Smith & Wesson .44
Doolin carried this giant hogleg for maximum firepower. It was big and it was flashy, just like Doolin's ego. It appears in family photos and various newspaper articles and was a very popular museum piece. It is surmised that it came into the collection as a result of Harrison Schwend's connection to officers engaged in encounters with Doolin in Oklahoma. According to the Factory Letter, this gun was manufactured and shipped in 1873 to M.W. Robinson, Market Street in New York City. This was S&W's largest distributor in NYC.

Bill Doolin's Derringer
National Arms Company (Later Colt) Model #2 Single Shot Derringer, .41 Caliber RF with rare 2" Barrel

This was outlaw Bill Doolin's backup firepower. Doolin carried this little pistol in his boot, just in case he needed an extra shot. The grips are replacements.
Bill Doolin's Derringer

Captain Bill McDonald

Captain Bill McDonald's Colt .45
Colt Single Action .45 Caliber Revolver with 7.5" Barrel, Manufactured in 1882
William F. McDonald was Captain of Texas Rangers Company B, Frontier Battalion. Company B trailed outlaws and renegade Indians along the Texas frontier and into Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the 1880's and 90's.

Captain Bill McDonald's Colt .45
This was Captain Bill's Colt 45 that he used throughout his career as a peace officer. It assisted him in many of his arrests and was used in numerous shootouts, many of which have been written about and published over the past 100 years. It was manufactured in 1882. McDonald himself gave the gun as a personal gift to Harrison Schwend sometime after the turn of the century. The grips are replacements as the originals burned in the museum fire of 1988.

Texas Ranger J M Britton

Texas Ranger J. M. Britton's "Frontier Army" Colt Revolver
Colt Single Action Revolver, .45 Caliber LC, U.S. Cavalry Model, 7.5 " Barrel, Manufactured 1874
Texas Ranger Sgt. J. M. Britton was a member of Company B, Frontier Battalion and served under Ranger Captain Bill McDonald in the 1890's. Company B trailed outlaws and renegade Indians along the Texas frontier and into Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

This gun may have been captured and used by Sgt. Britton as a result of one of his many arrests as this Cavalry Model Colt was reportedly part of group of guns stolen from Fort Davis, Texas in the late 1870's. It is believed that this gun and the one below were given to Harrison Schwend by Captain McDonald who was Britton's superior in Company B.
Texas Ranger J. M. Britton's "Frontier Army" Colt Revolver

Texas Ranger J. M. Britton's Smith & Wesson Revolver
Smith & Wesson Second Model 1871 Single Action Revolver, .38 Caliber, Spur Trigger, 5 Shot, Total Production 108,255

Texas Ranger J. M. Britton's Smith & Wesson Revolver
This is another gun carried by Texas Ranger Sgt. J. M. Britton in the 1890's. Guns such as this were very popular among Rangers as "Back Up" weapons tucked away in a boot or in the trousers in that special instance where getting off another shot was critical. Very often, this hidden weapon was a life saver in difficult situations. Its small size made concealment easier and the single action, spur trigger action was safer to store in your clothing than a double action heavier model.

Sherriff G Cooper Wright

Sheriff G. Cooper Wright's .44 Revolver
Spanish Double Action, .44 Caliber Revolver

G. Cooper Wright, Sheriff of Clay County, Texas from 1889-1895, owned this gun for many years and used it to make countless arrests throughout north Texas. He gave it to Harrison Schwend for his collection in 1895 as he left office. Schwend would later serve as a Deputy, Town Marshal and Constable in Henrietta in a career in law enforcement that lasted more than 35 years. During Cooper Wright's six years as Sheriff, numerous accounts of heroic deeds performed by him have been recorded. Noted western figure Tex Rickard considered Wright "the gamest man I ever met".
Sheriff G. Cooper Wright's Spanish Double Action .44 Revolver

Cook Outlaw Gang

Cook Outlaw Gang Revolver
Merwin & Hulbert, Single Action, Pocket Army Revolver, .44-.40 Caliber Winchester, Manufactured mid 1880's, Total Production: Approximately 9,000
A whiskey runner and member of the notorious Cook Outlaw Gang used this weapon before he was killed by lawmen near Fort Sill Indian Territory (Oklahoma) sometime in the mid 1890's.

Cook Outlaw Gang Revolver
Bill and Jim Cook assembled a motley crew of outlaws who joined forces in the Creek Nation in 1893 and went on to terrorize the territory by robbing banks, trains, post offices, stores and individuals. They were cold blooded killers as well; the most notorious of which was Crawford Goldsby alias "Cherokee Bill" who would later be caught and hanged. This heavy, powerful and deadly gun was popular for its ability to use the same cartridge as the Winchester Rifle. It survived the fire intact with its original grips.

Tex Rickard

Tex Rickard's Colt .44/.40 Revolver
Colt Single Action Army Revolver, .44-.40 Caliber, Manufactured 1882, 7.5" Barrel
This old Colt was made in 1882 and shipped on September 14, 1882 to Hartley & Graham in New York City as part of a 50 gun order. It belonged to George ("Tex") Rickard who ultimately led boxing into the era of million-dollar gates, huge crowds, and fights at Madison Square Garden.
Rickard gained notoriety as the manager/promoter of Jack Dempsey. Born in Kansas in 1870, Rickard left school at age eleven and, while still a youngster, worked cattle drives from Texas to Montana. At 24 (1894), he became a peace officer in Henrietta, Texas which would have placed him in direct contact with Harrison Schwend who was a night watchman at that time.
Rickard won a plurality of votes in the election for city marshal in 1894, and he was said to have been a fair and popular official. That same year he and Leona Bittick, the daughter of a pioneer physician, were married. The deaths of Leona and their baby son the following spring (1895) were mourned by the entire community. Oddly enough, Harrison's bride of one year and young daughter also died a few years before in 1892.

The two men had much in common. By the end of 1895, Rickard resigned his job as marshal and headed for Alaska. Family papers state that the gun "was given Rickard by Jim Curtis of Cambridge, Henrietta's old rival for county seat honors. Later it was owned by Lon Burson, deputy under Clay County's noted Sheriff, G. Cooper Wright". Burson then gave the gun to Harrison Schwend for his collection.
Tex Rickard's Colt Single Action Army Revolver, .44-.40 Caliber, Manufactured 1882, 7.5" Barrel

Grat Dalton

Grat Dalton/Henry Starr Winchester 1876
Winchester Model 1876, 45-75 Caliber

Grat Dalton/Henry Starr Winchester Model 1876, 45-75 Caliber
Only recently it has come to light that this rifle had been mis-identified. It was displayed in the Wax Museum as belonging to Belle Starr . After review of the Winchester Factory letter on this gun as well as additional research in newspaper articles and family notes supported by the unique features of this rifle, it has come to light that it was originally owned by Grat Dalton, one of the notorious Dalton Gang and later by Henry Starr, the nephew of Sam Starr who was married to Belle Starr, "the Bandit Queen".

It is surmised that over time, the museum felt that the Belle Starr connection might prove to be more exciting to the public, so they just switched the ownership. Careful examination would show that this rifle was shipped from the factory in March 1889, one month following Belle's murder.
However, the family papers of Burton Schwend describe a rifle that is unique to the collection: "this gun can number a sheriff among its victims as can the rare Winchester rifle...which was owned by Grat Dalton and later by Henry Starr. It is a 45-75, four feet long, and in excellent condition". This model 76 is the only 45-75 that was ever in the collection and it measures exactly 4' long.
It is also pictured in a number of newspaper articles about the collection published prior to the creation of the Wax Museum. It is surmised that Grat Dalton was the original owner and the rifle was used by him prior to the abortive raid on Coffeyville, Kansas on October 5, 1892 that saw the demise of Grat, brother Bob Dalton and co-horts Dick Broadwell and Bill Power at the hands of the armed citizens of Coffeyville.
How it then came into the possession of Henry Starr can only be speculated. Starr evidently used it to kill US Deputy Marshal Floyd Wilson near Nowata, I.T. [Kansas] in early 1893. It is the only recorded murder that Henry Starr committed in his 32 year career as an outlaw. Eventually he was shot in the back during a bank robbery on February 18, 1921 and died 4 days later. The day before he died, he proclaimed to doctors that he "robbed more banks than any man in America".

William Armstrong (Buck) [Lewis] Engledow

Death Wielding Texas Cowboy Gun
Remington Model 1875, Single Action Army, .44 Caliber Revolver

Buck Engledow's Death Wielding Texas Cowboy Gun
This gun was very recently identified by the ancestors of the original owner, William Armstrong "Buck" Lewis Engledow. Buck Engledow was a cowboy on the Ikard Ranch in Clay County, Texas for 35 years. He came to the area in 1874 and operated a stage line from Gainesville to Henrietta before the railroads were completed. The display tag in the museum reads: "Buck Engledow, a cowboy, used this six-shooter that is thought to have killed 5 men". The original grips were burned off in the fire, however the pre-fire photos of this gun show grips with the initials "BE" carved crudely in the wood.

Correspondence leading to the identification of Buck Engledow's gun

Sunday August 7, 2005

Joe M Engledow wrote:
I have been looking into the life of William Armstrong Lewis-Engledow of the Henrietta area. He took the last name of his wife after being indicted for killing a man in Smith county in 1880. I've found references that his pistol was in the Schwend collection at the time of the fire and I noticed you have a Remington Model 1875 Single Action 44 in your recovered guns. I can't tell from the site when it was last updated and am wondering if the one shown could be W.A.'s The fast-draw modification might explain why he was appointed marshal of Guthrie, Indian Territory earlier in his life. You also mention a book; how's that coming along?

Joe Engledow
[address withheld]
[city withheld]
[email address withheld]
From: "Selby Schwend"
To: J M Engledow
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2005
Subject: schwendguns/Photo_page_2


Thanks for the email. The research is taking quite a bit longer than I ever thought possible as I try to recreate the lives of my two great uncles. They and just about everyone associated with them have passed on. As for the Model 1875 Remington, there were actually 2 in the collection and I have retreived them both. The one with the bone grips appears on the second photo pages and is referenced in your email. the other 44 is in a little rougher condition and had wood grips that were burned off in the fire. I have noticed in the pre-fire photography <sic> of that gun that there appeared to be initials cut into the old wood grips. I always thought that the initials read "RF" but they could just have easily been "BE" which would solve the mystery of this gun assuming that he went by "Bill" and used the "Engledow" last name. I've searched my family papers and find no reference to the name but much of the original paperwork did not survive. I have attached a pre-fire photo of the 2 Remingtons with the subject revolver on top. Interestingly, there is also a lanyard on the upper 44 which was typically a lawman addition. Let me know what you think.

SM Schwend

Monday, August 8, 2005

From: "Selby Schwend"
To: J M Engledow
Sent: Monday, August 8, 2005
Subject: WOW!

I composed this before I got your email about "Colt"

I'm blown away. If all this is true and Remington belonged to Buck Engledow, it will solve one of the big mysteries I had regarding this old collection. I have done a tremendous amount of research trying to find whose initials were on the gun and who it might have belong to. I'm so grateful for your taking the time to contact me.

There are a couple of things that I still question.

1. The paper tag: There were paper tags that accompanied the guns to the pawn shop in Whichita Falls in 1948 when Rubye Schwend sold the collection to Dufours following Uncle Burt's death in 1947, however they were typed. The paper tap copy you sent me identifies the gun as a "Model 1875 Colt 44". I think that rules out Uncle Burt or Uncle Harrison as its author as they would know that Colt never made a "44" (just a 44-40) and they never made a "Model 1875". If the paper tag said "Remington", then everything would fit. This misidentification point more to someone at the museum in other fabrications much more onerous than this. I believe that they even played a part in the fire of 1988, but that's for the book. The handwriting is not familiar. It is not Burt's nor Harrison's. It could be Rubye's but it looks more like Mrs. Brown's that wrote the letter from the museum.

2. I've never heard of this "notebook kept by Mr. B.P Schwend". While it wouldn't surprise me that he kept one, it has never come up in conversation with any subsequent over of the collection, i.e. Dufours in Wichita Falls, The Buckhorn Gun Shop in Dallas, or from the museum itself. Only typed paper tags have been mentioned or viewed in the surviving photographs.

Even with all these unknowns, it's easier to make a mistake about something being a "Colt" or a "Remington" than it is to make a mistake about the model number or the caliber. I believe that they got everything right but the make on the paper tag. I'll also do more research and be getting back to you.

Thanks a million for your help and lets keep in touch. I usually bring the collection to Henrietta every 3 years or so for Pioneer Days in September. 2006 will be my next visit. We should arrange a meeting with all interested parties.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Date: 08/09/2005
Subject Buck Engledow
From: Selby Schwend


I've been communicating with Joe Engledow now for a few days as we try to untangle some history on Buck and the possibility that his old gun may have been part of the origianl Schwend Gun Collection which was started by my great uncle Henry Harrison Schwend (1865-1924), a peace officerm who started collecting weapons in the late 1880's. I'm suprised we haven't met as I have made four trips to Henrietta over the past fifteen years to display the collection (what's left of it) at the Pioneer Reunion which is held in September of each year. I'm due to return in 2006.

The last of my Henrietta relatives died a few years back when Edna Nell Beaty passed away. Billy Womack, who died last year, was the husband of another of my relatives there, Louise Womack, who passed a few years back as well. Edna Nell and Louise were sisters who were daughters of one of the Schwend sisters. After Harrison died in 1924, his brother Burton Prather Schwend inherited the collection and doubled its size to 300 weapons before he died in 1948. Following his death, his wife of 5 years, Rubye, hauled the collection to a pwan shop in Wichita Falls and sold the whole lot for about $3000. A real tragedy!

The collection went from Dufours pawn shop to the Buckhorn gunshop in Dallas where Roy rogers almost bought the whole collection in the mid 50's. A grou from the Texas State Fair got together and bought the collection before Roy could make a deal and created a wax museuem featuring the famous old west figures whose weapons were part of the collection. It read like a who's who of desperadoes and lawmen. The wax museum was originally located at the State Fair Park in Dallas until the owners build a new facilty in Grand Prairie which opened in 1974. The Southwester Historical Wax Musuem was a great success until the late 80's when tourism dropped off and the facility was showing its age. Then under very curious circumstances (which I'm still investigating) in September of 1988, the museum caught fire and burned to the ground. It wasn't until 1990 that I found out that some of the guns survived the fire and had been sold off, basically as scrap, to supplement the insurance selltement which came to about 3 million dollars. I tracked down the man who was responsible for that acution sale and began the task of tracking down the purchasers in an attempt to buy them back. Of the original 300 pieces, I have re-acquired more than 70 parts and pieces. We estimate that more than halfe the collection was bulldozed and dumped in the landfill along with the rest of the charred building.

There are a number of weapons whose origianl ownership are still in question. The two Model 1875 Remington 44's are among that group. I'm always interested in chasing down leads for surviving guns and ownership provenance for the ones I have. Which brings back to your family.

Joe has sent me a couple of emails with some attachments including a Museum letter, a paper tag, an obituary and a brief bio of Buck. Unfortunately, the paper tag specifies a "Colt" not a Remington which has thrown a wrench in the identification of the exact piece. I would obviously be very interested in finding out whether there is additional paperwork or supporting research that you may have that might help us to tie this thing down. I would really appreciate any additional light you might shed on this subject. I'm especially interested in whether the gun came into the collection through Harrison (prior to 1924) or by Uncle Burt who followed.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Selby Schwend
Millboro, Virginia



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