28 October 1868 – Steve Long

Steve Long

Steve Long

A fittingly unlawful end met the equally lawless Steve Long, who was a supposed upholder of all things legal in the American Wild West.

Yeah right! The gun-toting Wild Westerner would shy away from incarcerating would-be felons, not least because he preferred to flex his law-making muscles either in face-offs or out-and-out gun battles.

Long – arm of the law

Apparently an ex-Confederate soldier, after the Civil War, he was soon appointed to the position of deputy marshal, and this was his licence to bully his way around the Wyoming town of Laramie City.

He teamed up with his brothers and the gang started securing ranch land by coercing owners into just handing over their deeds. Anyone who refused was shot and Long passed off the growing death toll with stories of how he had shot them in self-defence.

But the townships weren’t born yesterday and Sheriff N Boswell from Albany County got together with a few others and decided to lure the unlawful man and his two brothers into a trap. But they had no need. The bully boys were doing quite well on their own.

Precious mettle

Long targeted a gold prospector but a fierce gun battle kicked off in which Long was injured and the victim was killed. He made his way home and came clean to his fiancée, but she was so appalled that Long’s loved one bravely shopped him to the sheriff.

Well, that was it. Boswell rounded up a few good men and they stormed the saloon owned by Long and his bruvs. They then marched the three men out to a cabin, where the three men were strung up without trial.

Long had just one request before he died. Apparently he asked to take his shoes off because his mum had always said he’d die with his boots on.

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