Famous Cowboys and Cowboy Names

(To be more precise, Famous Cowboys and Cowgirls, i.e., Cowpeople)

Legends of the Old West

(Also see Western Movie Stars and Western Characters of Film and TV)


This list has 73 actual personalities of the Old West.  Not included are lesser lawmen, outlaws, gunfighters, cowboys, and eastern pioneers, such as Daniel Boone, because they belong to, shall we say, the Old East.  Sources for much information here is from Legends of America and various Wikipedia entries.


(Visit my page Academy Awards for Best Actor and Academy Awards for Best Picture.)


Sorted by Popular First Namer

Image

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Popular Name

(sort by last name)

Claim to Fame

Birth Name

(sort by birth surname)

Born - Died

(sort by 'born' or 'died' year)

Cause of Death

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley

Sharpshooter and exhibition shooter; starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show

Phoebe Ann Oakley Moses

August 13, 1860

November 3, 1926

pernicious anemia

Arkansas Tom Jones

Arkansas Tom Jones

Outlaw and a member of the Wild Bunch gang

Roy Daugherty

January 1, 1870

August 16, 1924

killed during a gunfight

"Bat" Masterson

"Bat" Masterson

Gunfighter, gambler, sheriff's deputy alongside Wyatt Earp, newspaper columnist

William Barclay Masterson

November 27, 1853

October 25, 1921

heart attack

Belle Starr

Belle Starr


(The Bandit Queen)

Rustling, horse stealing, bootlegging whiskey

Myra Belle Shirley Reed Starr

February 5, 1848

February 3, 1889

shot from ambush

"Big Jim" Courtright

"Big Jim" Courtright


(Tim Isaiah)

Lawman, outlaw and gunfighter

Timothy Isaiah Courtright

1848

February 8, 1887

shot in a gunfight

Bill Doolin

Bill Doolin

Bandit, founder of the Wild Bunch gang

William Doolin

1858

August 24, 1896

shot by US Marshall Heck Thomas

Bill Pickett

Bill Pickett


(The Bull-Dogger)

Rodeo cowboy; introduced bulldogging

William Pickett

December 5, 1870

April 2, 1932

kicked in the head by a horse

Bill Tilghman

Bill Tilghman

Deputy sheriff, gunfighter, saloon owner

William Matthew Pickett

July 4, 1854

November 1, 1924

shot by a corrupt prohibition agent

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

Outlaw, gunfighter, member of the Regulators gang

William Henry McCarty (Aka: Henry Antrim, William H. Bonney)

said to be 1859

July 14, 1881

shot by Pat Garrett

Black Bart

Black Bart

Good-mannered stage coach robber

Charles E. Boles (Also Bolles)

1829

February 28, 1888

unknown, last seen February 28, 1888

“Black Jack” Christian

“Black Jack” Christian

Robber, killer, member of the "High Fives Gang"

William Christian

1856?

April 28, 1897

killed in gun fight with a posse

“Black Jack” Ketchum

“Black Jack” Ketchum

Cowboy turned robber, member of Hole in the Wall gang

Thomas Edward Ketchum

October 31, 1863

April 26, 1901

hanged

Blue Duck

Blue Duck

Outlaw and boyfriend of Belle Starr

Sha-con-gah (Cherokee)

1858

1895

tuberculosis

Bob Dalton

Bob Dalton

Train and bank robber  (1)

Robert Rennick Dalton

1869

October 5, 1892

shot during a bank robbery

Bob Ford

Bob Ford

Outlaw; the man who shot Jesse James

Robert Newton "Bob" Ford

January 31, 1862

June 8, 1892

shotgun blast to the chest

Bob Younger

Bob Younger

Train and bank robber  (2)

Robert Ewing Younger

October 29, 1853

September 16, 1889

tuberculosis in prison

Bose Ikard

Bose Ikard

Cowboy, helped in opening up the Goodnight Loving Trail

Bose Ikard

July, 1847

January 4, 1929

?

Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill

Organized Buffalo Bill's Wild West, an outdoor extravaganza

William Frederick Cody

February 26, 1846

January 10, 1917

kidney failure

Butch Cassidy

Butch Cassidy

Robber; member of the Wild Bunch gang

Robert LeRoy Parker

April 13, 1866

November 6, 1909

suicide while surrounded and trapped

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane

Sharpshooter, prospector, rowdy prostitute, gambler, heavy drinker

Martha Jane Cannary

May 1, 1852

August 1, 1903

alcoholism

Captain Bill McDonald

Captain Bill McDonald

A Texas Ranger who served briefly as a bodyguard for both U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson

Charles Goodnight

September 28, 1852

January 15, 1918

pneumonia

Charles Goodnight

Charles Goodnight

Cattle-driver; founded the Goodnight-Loving Trail; invented the chuck wagon

Charles Goodnight

March 5, 1836

December 12, 1929

old age

Charlie Siringo

Charlie Siringo

Lawman, detective, and agent for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency

Charles Angelo Siringo

February 7, 1855

October 18, 1928

bronchitis

Chris Madsen

Chris Madsen

Danish born gunfighter; U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma; member of the Three Guardsmen crimefighers

Christian "Chris" Madsen

December 25, 1851

January 9, 1944

old age

Clark Floss

Clark Foss


"Old Floss"

"Old Chieftain"

Renowned stage driver and stage station owner

Clark Floss

1825

August, 1885

old age

Clay Allison

Clay Allison

Ruthless killer, gunfighter

Robert Clay Allison

September 2, 1840

July 3, 1887

broken neck from accident

Cole Younger

Cole Younger

Train and bank robber; lectured and toured with Frank James in a wild west show  (2)

Thomas Coleman Younger

January 15, 1844

March 21, 1916

old age

Connie Douglas Reeves

Connie Douglas Reeves

Cowgirl who taught thousands of girls how to ride horses at Texas's Camp Waldemar

Connie Douglas

Septenber 26, 1901

August 17, 2003

thrown from a horse at age 101

"Curly Bill" Brocius

"Curly Bill" Brocius

Gunman, rustler and outlaw cowboy

William "Curly Bill" Brocius

1845

March 24, 1882

killed by Wyatt Earp

Deadwood Dick

Deadwood Dick

Cowboy; won every competition and $200 prize at July 4, 1876 Deadwood cowboy contest

Nat Love

June 14, 1854

1921

?

Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday

Dentist, gambler, and gunfighter; at the O.K. Corral gunfight

John Henry Holliday

August 14, 1851

November 8, 1887

consumption (tuberculosis)

Dutch Henry

Dutch Henry

Horse thief

Henry Borne

July 2, 1849

January 10, 1921

pneumonia

Elfego Baca

Elfego Baca

Lawman, lawyer, and politician; "Frisco Shootout" incident where Elfego faced 80 men firing 4,000 shots at the home where hewas cornered

Elfego Baca

February 10, 1865

August 27, 1945

old age

Ella Watson

Ella Watson


"Cattle Kate"

Pioneer of Wyoming, accused of cattle rustling by powerful cattlemen

Ellen Liddy Watson

July 2, 1861

July 20, 1889

hanged

Emmett Dalton

Emmett Dalton

Train and bank robber, real estate agent, author and actor  (1)

Emmett Dalton

1871

July 13, 1937

fatal illness

Frank Canton

Frank Canton

Lawman, gunslinger, cowboy and at one point in his life, an outlaw

Josiah Horner

September 15, 1849

September 27, 1927

old age

Frank Eaton

Frank Eaton

Author, cowboy, scout, Indian fighter, and Deputy U. S. Marshal

Frank Boardman "Pistol Pete" Eaton

October 26, 1860

April 8, 1958

old age

Frank James

Frank James

Bank robber; rode with William Quantrill's raiders; later shoe salesman

Alexander Frank James

January 10, 1843

February 18, 1915

heart Failure

George McJunkin

George McJunkin

Cowboy, amateur archaeologist and historian

George McJunkin

1851

January 21, 1922

old age

Grat Dalton

Grat Dalton

Train, bank robber  (1)

Gratton Hanley Dalton

1861

October 5, 1892

shot during a bank robbery

Heck Thomas

Heck Thomas

Peace officer, tracked down and killed outlaw Bill Doolin

Henry A. Thomas

January 3, 1850

August 15, 1912

Bright's disease

Ike Clanton

Ike Clanton

Cattle rustler; involved in the Gunfight at the OK Corral

Joseph Isaac Clanton

1847

June 1, 1887

shot dead resisting arrest

Jedediah Smith

Jedediah Smith

Hunter, trapper, fur trader and explorer of the American West Coast

Jedediah Strong Smith

January 6, 1799

May 27, 1831

killed by Comanche Indians

Jeff Milton

Jeff Milton

Texas Ranger, Deputy US Marshal, Chief of Police in El Paso, Texas

Jeff Milton

November 7, 1861

May 7, 1947

Natural cause

Jesse Chisholm

Jesse Chisholm

Indian trader, guide, and interpreter; namesake to the ChisholmTrail

Jesse Chisholm

1806

March 4, 1868

died of food poisoning

Jesse James

Jesse James

Bank and train robber, killer; member of outlaw Clement gang

Jesse Woodson James

September 5, 1847

April 3, 1882

shot from the back by Robert Ford

Jim Younger

Jim Younger

Rancher, train and bank robber  (2)

James Hardin Younger

January 15, 1848

October 19, 1902

committed suicide

John Simpson Chisum

John Chisum

Cattle baron

John Simpson Chisum

August 15, 1824

December 23, 1884

throat cancer

John Ware

John Ware

Remembered for his ability to ride and train horses

John Ware

1845 ?

September 12, 1905

killed in the fall when his horse tripped

John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin

Gunfighter, killer; claimed to have killed 44 men

John Wesley Hardin

May 26, 1853

August 19, 1895

shot in the back by lawman John Selman

John Younger

John Younger

Train and bank robber, killer  (2)

John Harrison Younger

1851

March 17, 1874

shot in the neck

Johnny Ringo

Johnny Ringo

Robber, killer; member of Clanton gang

John Peters Ringo

May 3, 1850

July 13, 1882

gun shot suicide

Kid Curry

Kid Curry

Outlaw, gunman, "wildest of the Wild Bunch"

Harvey Logan

in 1867

June 17, 1904

suicide during gun battle

John Bozeman

John Bozeman

Pathfinder of the Bozeman Trail and founder of Bozeman, MT

John Merin Bozeman

January 1835

April 20, 1867

murdered while traveling along the Yellowstone River

King Fisher

King Fisher

Gunfighter, gang leader, rancher

John King Fisher

1854

March 11, 1884

shot as he leapt from a theater balcony

Kit Carson

Kit Carson

Scout, trapper; much involved with Indian affairs

Christopher Houston Carson

December 24, 1809

May 23, 1868

aortic aneurysm

Luke Short

Luke Short

Noted gunfighter, who had worked as a farmer, cowboy, whiskey peddler, army scout, dispatch rider, gambler and saloon keeper

Luke L. Short

1854

September 8, 1893

congestive heart failure

Nate Champion

Nate Champion

Small rancher, falsely accused rustler.

Nate D. Champion

September 29, 1857

April 9, 1892

killed while being fighting off vigilantes

Oliver Loving

Oliver Loving

First cattledriver; founded the Goodnight-Loving Trail; "The Dean of Texas Trail Drivers"

Oliver Loving

December 4, 1812

September 25, 1867

gangrene from a battle wound

Pat Garrett

Pat Garrett

Sheriff in New Mexico, bartender, and customs agent; killed Billy the Kid

Patrick Floyd Garrett

June 5, 1850

February 28, 1908

shot during an argument

Pawnee Bill

Pawnee Bill

Showman, created the Wild West show: "Pawnee Bill's Historic Wild West"; later joined with "Buffalo Bill" Cody

Gordon William Lillie

February 14, 1860

February 3, 1942

died in his sleep

 Perry Owens

Perry Owens

Arizona lawman and gunfighter

Commodore Perry Owens

July 29, 1852

May 10, 1919

Bright's disease

Richard King

Richard King

Riverboat captain, entrepreneur and founder of the King Ranch

Richard King

July 10, 1824

April 14, 1885

stomach cancer

Sam Bass

Sam Bass

Train robber

Sam Bass

July 21, 1851

July 21, 1878

gun shot wounds

Mary Fields

Stagecoach Mary

Mail carrier, driving a mail route by stagecoach in Montana

Mary Fields

circa 1832

1914

liver failure

Sundance Kid, the

Sundance Kid, the

Robber; member of the Wild Bunch gang

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh

Spring, 1867

November 6, 1909

suicide while surrounded and trapped

Texas Jack

Texas Jack

Frontier scout, actor, and cowboy; first performer to do roping acts on stage

John Baker Omohundro

July 26, 1846

June 28, 1880

pneumonia

"Texas Jack" Vermillion

"Texas Jack" Vermillion

Gunfighter, soldier, lawman, outlaw, Methodist preacher; participated in the Earp vendetta ride

John Wilson Vermillion

1842

1911

died peacefully in his sleep

"Texas John" Slaughter

"Texas John" Slaughter

Civil War veteran, trail-driver, cattleman, Texas Ranger, sheriff, gambler, and state representative

John Slaughter

October 2, 1841

February 16, 1922

stroke

Tom Horn

Tom Horn

Lawman, scout, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw and assassin

Tom Horn (Aka: James Hicks)

November 21, 1860

November 20, 1903

hanged

Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok

Marksman, professional gambler, gunfighter, scout, lawman

James Butler Hickok

May 27, 1837

August 2, 1876

shot in the back of the head

Will Rogers

Will Rogers

Humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, actor, newspaper columnist

William Penn Adair Rogers

November 7, 1879

August 5, 1935

plane crash over Alaska

William Longley

William Longley

Outlaw, ruthless and ill-tempered gunfighter; killed at least 32 people

William Preston Longley

October 6, 1851

October 11, 1878

hanged

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

Lawman, gambler; in gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Tombstone, Arizona

Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp

March 19, 1848

January 13, 1929

natural causes

  Note 1:  Dalton brothers gang included George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb, "Blackfaced" CharlieBryant, Bill Doolin, Dick Broadwell, and Bill Powers.

  Note 2:  The Younger gang included Clell Miller, Arthur McCoy, Charlie Pitts, John Jarrette,and Bill Chadwell.

 


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Annie Oakley
Arkansas Tom Jones
Bat Masterson
Belle Starr
Big Jim Courtright
Bill Doolin
Bil Pickett
Bill Tilghman
Billy the Kid
Black Bart
Black Jack Christian
Black Jack Ketchum
Blue Duck
Bob Dalton
bob Ford
Bob Younger
Bose Ikard
Buffalo Bill
Butch Cassidy
Calamity Jane
Captain Bill McDonald
Charles Goodnight
Charlie Siringo
Chris Madsen
Clark Floss
Clay Allison
Cole Younger
Connie Douglas Reeves
Curly Bill Brocius
Deadwood Dick
Doc Holliday
Dutch Henry
Elfego Baca
Ella Watson
Emmett Dalton
Frank Canton
Frank Eaton
Frank James
George McJunkin
Grat Dalton
Heck Thomas
Ike Clanton
Jedediah Smith
Jeff Milton
Jesse Chisholm
Jesse James
Jim Younger
John Chisum
John Bozeman
John Ware
John Wesley Hardin
John Younger
Johnny Ringo
Kid Curry
King Fisher
Kit Carson
Nate Champion
Luke Short
Oliver Loving
Pat Garrett
Pawnee Bill
Perry Owens
Richard King
Sam Bass
Stagecoach Mary
The Sundance Kid
Texas Jack
Texas Jack Vermillion
Texas John Slaughter
Tom Horn
Wild Bill Hickok
Will Rogers
William Longley
Wyatt Earp