A 4G Company
Copyright © 2008-2012 4G Company dba www.gunsofold.com
Although the "full time" sheriff was the norm in most frontier towns, smaller towns lacking the funds for a full-time peace officer often relied on farmers or small ranchers who supplemented their meager incomes by serving as part-time or "on-demand" law officers who only donned the badge when a crime was committed or trouble arose. Lawmen of this kind were the principal characters in several classic western movies, including "3:10 To Yuma".
The town or county sheriff or marshal was often the first vestige of law in a previously lawless town, and faced daunting odds against curtailing the violence from a town's rowdier factions. The first step toward taming a lawless town was typically to enact an ordinance against carrying firearms within city limits. It was the lawman's unhappy task to persuade the rowdies to give up their guns when they came into town, without getting shot, himself, in the process. An attempt to enforce such an ordinance in Tombstone turned violent when Ike Clanton refused to surrender his pistol to Marshal Virgil Earp. The incident further inflamed the hostility between the town's feuding factions, and was at least partly responsible for the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
Sometimes a sheriff simply found himself in the middle between warring factions, as Sheriff William Brady found himself in the middle of the infamous Lincoln County range war in 1878. After John Tunstall, a wealthy English cattleman, was killed by one of Brady's deputies during an ill-advised attempt to confiscate livestock on Tunstall's land, Brady was ambushed and killed by Billy the Kid. Billy had been employed by Tunstall at the time and swore vengence on everybody connected with the Englishman's death. He had already killed two of Brady's deputies for their involvement in Tunstall's death before ambushing the sheriff.
Lesser known than some of these more famous exploits, but just as important historically, were the exploits of the frontier Indian Police of the Indian Territory. As early as 1808--long before Federal Judge Isaac Parker sent his deputy U.S. Marshals into the Indian Territory to capture desperados--the Cherokee Nation appointed Regulators charged with apprehending horse thieves and robbers and protecting Indian residents in the Territory. Criminals arrested were turned over to the government of the Cherokee Nation for punishment. After Judge Parker began sending deputy marshalls into the Indian Territory, Indian police would hold non-Indian offenders until one of Judge Parker's deputy marshalls happened by to take the lawbreaker off their hands.
In 1887, following the brutal murder of prominent Cherokee lawman, Sam Sixkiller by two notorious outlaws, the Federal government passed a law making any assault upon a Federal Indian policeman a Federal crime. Charles LeFlore, a well-known Choctaw lawman, was appointed captain of the Indian Police in the Territory following the death of Sixkiller. He worked for many years as a Federal officer of Judge Parker's court. He was also employed as a detective for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, where he pursued and fought with several notorious train robbers, including the Dalton gang.
Whether they wore the badge of a sheriff, a marshall, a Ranger or the Indian Police, there were many, many frontier lawmen who served with honor and distinction. They did so for little pay, and at great risk to their own safety, enforcing the law where no other law existed. Many were killed in the line of duty. It is our privilege to pay tribute with these replica badges to those lonely sentinels who brought law and order to the western frontier.
This badge is typical of many worn by countless lawmen in towns across the western frontier. Sometimes hired or appointed by a local or territorial government and sometimes elected, a local sheriff was often the only vestige of law enforcement in a remote area, and they sometimes paid with their lives when the badge made them a target for the lawless. #14-214.
Authentic, Old West Badge Replicas