|Conkling Studio,Dodge City, June 1883
The Famous Dodge City Peace Commission.
Front Row: Charlie E. Bassett, Wyatt Earp, M. F. McLain, Neal Brown.
Back Row: William H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, W. F. Petillon.
I found that Jay Robert Nash, in his book,
Encyclopedia of Western Lawman & Outlaws shows the Peace Commission photo on page 434 and indicates that the man seated
front row, third from left is M. C. Clark. A check of the 1880 Federal census reveals an M. C. Clark, age 23, living Blue
Rapids, Marshall, Kansas with parents and sibling. So is it Frank McLain or M. C. Clark ?
At the time, many lawmen were also active gamblers, like Wyatt Earp,
who used to play poker and even worked as a Faro and Poker Dealer. This wasn't uncommon back in the old west, and is interesting to note that gambling was one of the common practices
shared both by lawmen and by outlaws.
If only they could have seen the future with Online Casino gambling and Online Slots. Speaking of Slots, the forerunner to the Slot Machine existed back then in the form of a Trade Stimulator. These machines
are highly collectiable today.
Well, I have found a second source
that reports that the man seated between Wyatt Earp and Neal Brown, in the famous Dodge City Peace Commission photo, is M.
James D. Horan and Paul Sann, in their book, " Pictorial History of the Wild West", pg. 105 presents the
photo and caption. On page 247, Picture Credits, they indicate the photo came from the Kansas State Historical Society. That
is not to say that the Historical Society provided the names, just the photo.
|Compliments of Phil Gessert
Other members of the Peace Commission who chose not to be photographed include: Milsap (Johnny Millsap), Shotgun
(John) Collins, Shoot-your-eye-out Jack (Jack Vermillion ), Crooked-mouth(Johnny) Green, Rowdy Joe Lowe, W. J. Mason and some
say Doc Holliday. It has also been written that Petillion was not a member of the Peace Commission but just wanted to be photographed
with this group of men.
The Dodge City Times reported that there was an influx of noted men in town including: Black
Jack Bill, Cold Chuck Johnny, Dynamite Sam, Dark Alley Jim, Dirty Sock Jim, Six-Toed Pete and Three Finger Dave. Lawman Bill
Tilghman also appears in one of the photos. Lastly, it should also be noted that Constable, Prairie Dog Dave ( Dave Morrow
), had sworn in all members of the Commission making it possible for them to carry guns.
An article from Wild West
Magazine reported that four men were with Wyatt when he stepped off the train. They were:
Dan Tipton, Johnny Green,
Texas Jack Vermillion and Johnny Millsap.
The Daily Kansas City Journal,May 13, 1883 reported the presents of :
precedes by twenty-four hours a few other pleasant gentlemen who are on their way to the tea party at Dodge. One of them is
Wyatt Earp, the famous marshal of Dodge, another is Joe Lowe, otherwise known as "Rowdy Joe;" and still another is "Shotgun"
Collins; but worse than all is another ex-citizen and officer of Dodge, the famous Doc Halliday.