From: Mary Fraser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 5:47 PM
To: Michael Runge
Cc: 'Colleen Fitzpatrick'
Subject: Main Street, Deadwood SD
Good morning, Mr. Runge.
I am one of the quizmasters at the Forensic Genealogy website
www.forensicgenealogy.info. This week's contest
(http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/contest.html) features a picture of Main Street,
Deadwood, SD, and I would like to try to get a bit of additional information, if it is
From the research I have done so far on the web, I have been able to narrow the
timeframe of the picture to sometime between 1907, (when the streets were paved,
according to Deadwood: 1876-1976 by Bev Pechan, Bill Groethe), and 1916 (when the
Topic Dance Hall is not listed in the 1916 directory, posted at the SD Genweb site).
Any additional information you might be able to supply on the photo would be greatly
If you so desire, you may confirm my bona fides, with Colleen Fitzpatrick (cc'd here),
who maintains the Forensic Genealogy website.
Thank you in advance for your prompt response.
From: "Michael Runge" <email@example.com>
To: "Mary Fraser" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "Kevin Kuchenbecker" <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Main Street, Deadwood SD
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 15:19:44 +0000
|In 1874 Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into the Hills and
announced the discovery of gold on French Creek near present-day Custer, South
Dakota. Custer's announcement triggered the Black Hills Gold Rush and gave rise to the
lawless town of Deadwood, which quickly reached a population of around 5,000. In
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|Results of Quiz #100
March 11, 2007
|Thanks to all the Quizmasters who surfed in
to wish us a Happy 100th Photo Quiz Birthday!
We are grateful to all our loyal fans
for their interest and support!
|1. What is the name of this town and where is it located?
2. What famous person was shot here and what was he doing at the time?
|Thanks to Gwen Upton for submitting this photo.
|1. Deadwood, SD
2. Wild Bill Hickock. He was playing poker.
Special note: Our Top Quizmaster Mary Fraser has dated the picture to
Aug-Sep 1915. See below for how she did it!
|Quiz Tip: Search on Google for the Signs on the Buildings
You will find many links to Deadwood, SD.
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
|Gary Sterne Judy Sweets
Beth Tafel Lynn Landers
Richard Bissell Mike Runge
Evan Hindman Bill Hurley
Sandy Thompson Maureen O'Connor
Judy Bethea Tom Pinince
Judy Pfaff Paula M. Harris
John Chulick Stan Read
Don Haase Kelly Fetherlin
Joel Amos Gordon Mary South
William Hughes Jon Fox
Raymond Cathcart Anna Farris
Emily Aulicino Karen Petrus
Mary Fraser Dawn Carlile
Grace Hertz Dale Niesen
Vicki Hilb Norm Hellmers
Ruth Govorchin Tom Tullis
Rick Norman Rick Mackinney
Margaret English Jim Berry
Fred Stuart Kristi Murdock
Wild Jim Kiser Nancy Gamelin
Dorothy Oksner Bob Witherspoon
Mark "Dead Man's Hand" Brzys
This is, indeed, a great 100th birthday photo quiz. I can see why you saved it for the
special occasion. There were a few red herrings in the photo, but the clue that finally
got me to Deadwood was the Zipp Shoe Co sign. Then, when I went to the
Deadwood, SD homepage to see if there were any main street photos, lo and behold, I
found the (attached) photo of what Main St looks like today, so I knew I was on the
right track. From there, it got easier. Beth Tafel
My hometown Rushville Nebraska is just over the South Dakota/Nebraska border.
Deadwood is towards the north end of the Black Hills (along the western edge of South
Dakota). I visited Deadwood when I was younger (25+ years ago). I was able to solve
this week's quiz by zeroing in on the George Ayers name. It is a great photo this week!
And... congrats on the 100th quiz. I visit every week (I don't always solve it, but I try).
Don't know but probably Deadwood, SD and Wild Bill Hitchcock while playing cards.
Just a guess as we were on vacation & just wanted to pass along our congratulations.
I stumbled across the site while trying to find an excerpt from your Forensic
genealogy, which I've added to my wish list. After the first few episodes I gave up on
HBO's "Deadwood," so it wasn't even on my mind. I noticed the mining references, the
Geo. V. Ayres store and hotel, and of course the Butte County Fair sign. I thought the
automobiles suggested a time between 1910 and 1920. There were the two bars and the
shoe store, but the names didn't mean anything to me. California also has a Butte
County, so I got sidetracked for a while. I had fun entering your contest and will
recommend it to the members of my genealogical society (I do the newsletter and
website). Jan Every Williams
Loved the picture. Love the HBO series, too. Judy Bethea
This one was a little tougher. I found it by chasing down Butte County . Of course,
that led me to Oroville , California but I couldn’t find anyone famous who died there. I
thought for a moment that you might have been referring to the fact that they ‘shot’
films of Ishi (last member of his tribe) there but decided you were not that sneaky. So,
I checked to see if there was a Butte County in another state where there was a mining
district (based on the sign on the hardware store). I found that there was a Butte
County near the Black Hills . This led to finding Deadwood and Wild Bill. I couldn’t be
sure until I located a modern photo of the hotel/hardware store. John Chulick
I always watch my back. Never know who's out there trying to gun you down. ha ha
But I do always sit with my back to the wall. That's a given and everyone knows it
when we go out to eat, etc. Marty Guidry
Did it! Thanks for a fun one. Naturally, being from California, I thought of _our_ Butte
Co, which also had a gold rush and would have looked very like Deadwood ca 1915
(my guess as to the date of the photo). Only thing is, Oroville, its largest city, is flatter.
And I don't think anybody famous got shot there :-) Marjorie Wilser
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A GREAT WEBSITE!!!! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!
I visited there last spring and recognized the street immediately. Actually went in the
saloon where he was shot. Jim Kiser
|Comments from Our Readers
|George Ayres & Co Hardware Store
|1877 and taken to Yankton, South Dakota for his second trial. There, he was convicted
in Federal Court for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok. It was reported that McCall held a
rosary on the gallows, and that he was buried, in Yankton, with the hangman's noose
still tied around his neck. http://www.lawrence.sd.us/history.htm
|Zipp Shoe Store
Men's Clothing &
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot while playing poker at Nuttal
& Mann's No. 10 Saloon. The hand he had is now called the "Dead
Man's Hand" and consists of two pairs, Aces and Eights. Interestingly
enough, Hickok always tried to sit with his back to corner so no one
could shoot him in the back. That day he couldn't find a seat there and
sat with his back to the door. He was shot in the back of the head by
James Butler Hickok was born on May 27, 1837, in Troy Grove, Illinois. He began his
career as a peace officer in Monticello, Kansas at the age of 21. When the American
Civil War broke out, Hickok joined the Union Army in 1861, serving first as a wagon
master and then as an agent with the Provost Marshal’s office in Springfield, Missouri.
As a detective he caught soldiers not reporting for duty and horse thieves, investigated
liquor license fraud, and tracked down counterfeiters. In
1864, Hickok was appointed by General John Sanborn as his
personal scout and spy, working in Missouri and Arkansas
where guerilla tactics by Union and Confederate forces were
often savage. He emerged from war duty as a man both
feared and admired. From then on Hickok was known as
With a readership looking for romantic adventure stories
from the frontier, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine
published a much-inflated account of Wild Bill’s exploits in
1867. Hickok’s fictionalized fame from this and other
publications preceded him in his frequent moves around the
West. In quick succession he was a government agent
again, a guide for General William Sherman, General George Custer’s scout, a federal
deputy in Hays City, Kansas, and the marshal of Abilene, Kansas. By 1872, he had killed
seven men, the last an accidental shooting of a friend. It was at this point that Hickok
left law enforcement.
Hickok’s fame continued to bring him income. He was a
guide for tourists and hunters and, in 1873, the master of
ceremonies in Sidney Barnett’s Grand Buffalo Hunt. That
show quickly failed, but Buffalo Bill Cody convinced Wild
Bill to perform in his Combination Theatrical Troupe. His
acting career was short-lived, and Hickok moved on, first to
Cheyenne, then to St. Louis, and back to Cheyenne again
where he decided to marry Agnes Lake Thatcher in March
Intending to make some quick money in the boomtown of
Deadwood, Hickok came to the Black Hills around July 12,
1876. He was little interested in placer mining and spent the
majority of his time gambling. Three weeks after arriving in
Deadwood, Hickok was shot from behind at Nuttall &
Mann’s Saloon No. 10 while playing cards. He was buried
in the Ingleside Cemetery and three years later was moved to Mount Moriah Cemetery.
Hickok was shot from behind by a man he didn't
know -- Crooked Nose Jack McCall. It's doubly ironic
that the townspeople of Deadwood acquitted Wild
Bill's murderer the next day, some say on the grounds
that Hickok had killed McCall's brother But perhaps
the most interesting turn of fate, concerning the
events of Wild Bill's demise, was that Jack McCall
went to trial twice for the crime and eventually hanged
for his misdeed. Since Deadwood Gulch and the
Dakota Territory were officially Indian Country at the
time of the original trial, the proceedings in
Deadwood's Bella Union Theater had no legal
grounding. Although McCall was released and
returned to Wyoming, where he bragged of killing the
fastest gunman in the West, his cowardly triumph
was short-lived. He was arrested at Fort Laramie in
|George Ayres Hardware
and Bullock Hotel,
Sol Star and Seth Bullock built
this hardware store at the site of
the present day Bullock Hotel.
The fire of 1879 destroyed the
wood structure so Bullock
turned to stone and brick to
build the Hotel.
They constructed a new brick
warehouse on the back of the
lot in 1880, with a two-story,
wood-frame store facing Main
Street. The fire of 1894 swept
down the other side of Main
Street, but flames crossed to
the hardware store and
destroyed it as well, leaving the
brick warehouse. Bullock,
recognizing the city's need for a
legitimate hotel, built the present structure. The pink
and white sandstone was quarried in nearby Boulder
Canyon. It was transported first to Sturgis, where it
was tooled, and then loaded back on the train for the
trip to Deadwood. The grand opening was held in
Bullock is best known as Lawrence County's first
sheriff, and for his close friendship with Theodore
Roosevelt. Bullock sold the hotel to George Ayres in
1904. Ayres operated his hardware store on the main
floor while the hotel upstairs stayed in operation
from 1904 to 1919 as the Hoizner, and later as the
The original brick warehouse can still be seen along
Wall Street, with its iron fire shutters. The hotel was
competely restored in the 1990’s, including the
massive staircase and skylights. The rooms and
suites upstairs are furnished with period furniture.
Seth Bullock died of cancer on September 23, 1919
at his ranch near Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He
was buried on the high trail to White Rocks above
Mount Moriah Cemetery. The gravesite, facing
toward Mount Roosevelt across the gulch, was
selected for its view of Friendship Tower, a view
since obscured by a half-century growth of
However, according to dozens of reports, Seth
Bullock continues to play host at his beloved hotel.
All manner of strange occurrences have happened at
the historic hotel according to both staff and guests.
Reports include feelings of a strong paranormal
presence inside several of the rooms and in the
hallways of the second and third floors, as well as in Bully’s restaurant, and in
Others have reported
actually seeing the tall
ghostly figure of Bullock in
various areas of the hotel,
including the restaurant and
the basement. Apparently
Seth’s ghost wants to
ensure that the staff is
working hard, as paranormal
events tend to increase when
staff members stand idle, whistle or hum a tune.
Plates and glasses have been known to shake and
take flight in the restaurant, lights and appliances
turn on and off by themselves, items are
inexplicably moved by unseen hands, and showers
turn on, seemingly, of their own accord
early 1876, frontiersman Charlie Utter
and his brother Steve led a wagon
train to Deadwood containing what
were deemed to be needed
commodities to bolster business, that
included gamblers and prostitutes,
which proved to be a profitable
It was to be the site of the Homestake
Mine, operated by Fred and Moses
Manuel. It attained notoriety for the
murder of Wild Bill Hickok, and
remains the final resting place of
Hickok and Calamity Jane, as well as
slightly less famous figures such as
Seth Bullock. It became known for its
wild and almost lawless reputation,
during which time murder was
common, and punishment for
murders not always fair and impartial.
As the economy changed from gold
rush to steady mining, Deadwood lost
its rough and rowdy character and
settled down into a prosperous town.
In 1876 a smallpox epidemic swept
through the camp, with so many
falling sick that tents had to be set up
to quarantine them. Also in that year,
General George Crook pursued the
Sioux Indians from the Battle of Little
Big Horn on an expedition that ended
in Deadwood, and that came to be
known as the Horsemeat March.
A fire on September 26, 1879,
devastated the town, destroying over
300 buildings and consuming
everything belonging to many inhabitants. Without the opportunities of rich untapped
veins of ore that characterized the town's early days, many of the newly impoverished
left town to try their luck elsewhere.
A narrow gauge railroad, the Deadwood Central Railroad, was founded by Deadwood
resident J.K.P. Miller and his associates in 1888, in order to serve their mining interests
in the Black Hills. The railroad was purchased by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy
Railroad in 1893. A portion of the road between Deadville and Lead was electrified in
1902 for operation as an interurban passenger system, which operated until 1924. Apart
from a portion from Kirk to Fantail Junction, which was converted to standard gauge,
the railroad was abandoned in 1930. The remaining section was abandoned by the
successor Burlington Northern Railroad in 1984.
Some of the other early town residents and frequent visitors included Al Swearengen
and his employees Dan Doherty and Johnny Burns, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Sol
Star, Martha Bullock, A. W. Merrick, Samuel Fields, Harris Franklin, Dr. Valentine
McGillycuddy, and the Reverend Henry Weston Smith.
|Mary Fraser Dates the Photo to Aug-Sept 1915
Thank you for your request. I have attached several items which will help in
your research. The following pages are from Mark Wolfe's Boots on
Bricks-A Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Deadwood. There is some
information on each of the prominent buildings in your photograph. This
includes the Combination Theatre (627 Main Street), the Adams Brothers
Block (629 Main Street), and the Bullock Hotel, later to be known as the
Ayres Hotel (631-635 Main Street). If you look along the left side of Main
Street you will see a sign which reads Zoellner. This was a clothing store
which started in 1909. Next you will notice the five-globe
street lights. These were installed by the city in 1912 to
replace the strings of lights which crossed Deadwood's
Main Street. On a side note, if you look at the top of the
Bullock Hotel/Ayres Hotel, you will notice several large
letters which spell out the word "AYRES". This is the first photograph I have seen
which confirms the location of these letters. Very Interesting. Would it be possible to
get a high resolution scan of this image?
Finally, I have included some information on Wild Bill and Deadwood in general.
Thanks again and please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
City of Deadwood-Archives
108 Sherman Street
Deadwood, SD 57732
Death Record 1939
|Some Good Stuff
Found by Mary Fraser
Sep 2, 3, 4 falls on the following dates
1912 - Mon Tues Wed
1913 - Tues Wed Thurs
1914= Wed Thurs Fri
1915- Thurs Fri Sat
1916- Sat Sun Mon
So I'm thinking that IF the poster is current,
it's most likely 1915
|(FYI- the 2007 State Fair in Butte is Scheduled for Aug 16-18- Thurs, Fri, Sat.)