The Wild West Extravaganza

The Wild West Extravaganza

True tales from the wild and woolly west covering the real life people and events that shaped the American frontier. Gunfighters, Lawmen, Outlaws, Native Americans, Mountain Men, Explorers - the lands they discovered and the battles they fought! Dad jokes and mispronunciations abound on this deep dive into Old West history!


December 7, 2022 41 min

This is part 4 in the series on Frank Canton. Link to previous episodes below.

When we left off, Frank was laying low in Nebraska following the aftermath of the Johnson County War. On this episode we’ll take a look at Canton’s next job – that of Undersheriff in a newly formed county down in Indian Territory. We’ll discuss his relationship with the famed Three Guardsmen – Heck Thomas, Bill Tilghman, & Chris Madsen, as well as Fr...

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This is Part 3 in the Frank Canton series. See links below for Parts 1  2.


Things in Johnson County, Wyoming had finally come to a head. After the Wyoming Stock Growers Association allegedly lynched James Averell and Ella Watson, there was a series of repercussion killings. When respected cowboys Orly Jones and John A. ...

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November 23, 2022 37 min

This is Part 2 in the Frank Canton series. See link below for Part 1.

During Canton’s time as Johnson County Sheriff, he sent over a dozen men to prison – mostly for horse theft – and even executed a murderer. He wasn’t very trigger happy, though. Frank was a tough, intimidating lawman who was happy to let his reputations speak for him. But why did he soon lose th...

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November 16, 2022 46 min

Frank Canton was not born; he was created. The mental fabrication of a notorious outlaw and escaped convict by the name of Joe Horner.

After possibly killing his first man at the tender age of 15, Horner would spend the next several years as a cowboy and ranch hand before forming the infamous Horner gang, that would terrorize north Texas during the mid-1870’s. After a full-on gun battle with the United States military in broad dayl...

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October 29, 2022 11 min

It’s safe to say that a career as an outlaw doesn’t lend itself to a long life. Billy the Kid was only twenty-one years old when he was killed. Cherokee Bill a year younger. The notorious Bloody Bill Anderson not yet twenty-five. Jesse James, Joaquin Murrieta, Rube Burrow, Bill Longley, the list goes on. Not a one of them over the age of forty. But of course, there are exceptions. Not ALL of the west’s most dangerous men died young...

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October 26, 2022 13 min

Happy Halloween! Clemente Apolinar was the last person publicly hanged in Texas. Not only did his execution go horribly wrong but you won’t BELIEVE what the location is currently being used as.


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October 12, 2022 51 min

Fifty Modoc warriors defied the U.S. Army for nearly a year; outwitting and outfighting them on more than one occasion, & killing a General in the process.

This is Part 3 of the series on Captain Jack and the Modoc War.


Captain Jack & the Modoc War Pt 1 –


Captain Jack & the Modoc War Pt 2 -


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September 28, 2022 36 min

This is part 2 in the series on the Modoc war. If you haven’t already listened to part 1, you may want to do so. Captain Jack & the Modoc War | Part 1 -

We’ve already discussed the Modoc people, a bit of their history, and the unfortunate events leading up to the war. About how Captain Jack and his band weren’t content with the living conditions on the Klamath reservatio...

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September 14, 2022 28 min

In 1874 Kintpuash – better known as Captain Jack - led his small band of the Modoc people off of a reservation in southern Oregon and back to their homeland in Northern California. What occurred after would be one of the most expensive wars ever fought on U.S. soil; one which pitted just 50 to 60 Modoc warriors against nearly a thousand U.S. troops and volunteers. 


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August 31, 2022 22 min

What happens when a young Kit Carson faces off against a mountain of a man at the annual trapper’s rendezvous? What IS a rendezvous? And who gets the girl???


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August 17, 2022 35 min

This is part 3 and the final installment of this series on Wild Bill Hickok. If you have not already listened to the first two episodes, please do so. Links below. We’ve already pretty much covered Bill’s entire life; his childhood, his adventures during the war, his time as a lawman, and - finally - his decline. If you’ll recall we left off with Hickok in St. Louis, attempting to organize an expedition bound for the black hills. A...

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August 10, 2022 54 min

Wild Bill leaves Independence after killing Davis Tutt and pursues employment as a scout and U.S Deputy Marshal. As Hickok’s notoriety increases, he goes on to serve as Marshal in the rough Kansas towns of Hays and Abilene before joining Buffalo Bill Cody and Texas Jack Omohundro in New York City. This is part 2 of Wild Bill series. In part one we covered Hickok’s childhood, his time in Bleeding Kansas, his first known gunfight wit...

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August 1, 2022 57 min

Few names associated with the old west are as recognizable as Wild Bill Hickok. And for good reason. In many ways, Wild Bill was the quintessential westerner of the later 19th century. Wagon master, scout, soldier, spy, lawman, gambler, actor, and yeah…gunfighter. A man capable of extraordinary feats of daring and bravery, yet courteous and soft spoken when left alone, and kind to children. One of the few frontiersmen who was willi...

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Unfortunately due to technical difficulties there will be no new episode of The Wild West Extravaganza today. But don't you worry none, I'll be leaving you in the very capable hands of Lindsay Graham, the host of History Daily.

You may know Lindsay from the excellent audio drama 1865. Or maybe American History Tellers. American Scandal, American Elections: Wicked Game, Dirty John, Doctor Death, Business wars. And on and on....

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Said to have killed hundreds of people – although the true number is likely far less than that – Cullen Baker was one of the more deadly men of the old west; a guy who didn’t blink when it came to dropping that hammer, a man to whom killing seemed to come naturally. Who was Cullen Baker? A proud rebel who continued to defy federal authority long after the Civil War was officially over? A true hero of the cause or just a homicidal m...

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June 22, 2022 61 min

Imagine for a second that you’re a young immigrant, lured to a foreign land with hopes of creating a better life for yourself and your family. Upon arrival, however, things don’t turn out quite like you dreamed and those in power decided to take everything from you that you hold dear. Your land is stolen, your brother murdered by so called vigilantes without benefit of a trial and you yourself tied up, horse whipped, and forced to ...

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This is a tale of two survivors. One, affectionately known as Comanche, was an 8-year veteran of the U.S. military. He was first wounded in battle against hostiles on the southern plains in 1868. And, when Custer led the charge at the Battle of Little Big Horn, our veteran was right there with him. Wounded an astonishing seven times, he somehow survived and spent the next year recuperating. And, as you can imagine, he was showered ...

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May 25, 2022 21 min

The Gambler lived his life as did many of his kind, quietly and in the shadows. Never making a mark nor desiring to do so. His long life spanned from the wild and rough days of Tombstone and Silver City to a modern era of airplanes, automobiles, and jazz, yet our Gambler would never make the history books. His brother, however…


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Rube Burrow got his start as an honest man. A simple cowboy and farmer with a wife and children. But when his wife died and the farm went belly up, Rube took to earning a living any way he could. And that way led him to become one of the most notorious and most wanted train robbers of the old west.

Who was Rube Burrow? A good man pushed too far? The Robin Hood of Alabama who only stole from the rich? Or just another good ole boy lu...

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April 22, 2022 92 min

The outlaw Billy the Kid was allegedly killed at the age of 21 by Sheriff Pat Garrett in the year 1881. Skip ahead another 70 years and you have an elderly man known as Brushy Bill Roberts coming forward shattering the common historical narrative. He claimed to be the kid, said that he had escaped Pat Garrett all of them years before and had been living under the radar ever since. Brushy - with the help of an attorney named William...

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