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Old West Quiz and Facts


Q:  What famous Western shootist operated a saloon in Nome, Alaska, at the beginning of the twentieth century?

A:  Wyatt Earp operated a Nome barroom during middle-age wanderings that took him to Texas, California, Idaho, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and Alaska, before he retired in Los Angeles in 1906.

Q: When was Jesse James murdered, what was he doing at the time of his death and who killed him?

A:  On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was killed from behind by a single shot to the head fired by gang member Bob Ford. The notorious outlaw leader was brushing the dust off a wall picture in his home at St. Joseph, Missouri, when he was killed.

Q:  In 1871 Deputy Sheriff Charles H. Nichols of Dallas, Texas, was shot to death trying to arrest John Younger, a member of the Jesse James-Cole Younger gang. Why was the sheriff trying to arrest Younger?

A:  Younger, who escaped after gunning down the sheriff, was wanted by Dallas authorities for taking off a cowboy’s nose while trying to shoot a pipe out of his mouth.   Image Younger Brothers

Q: What was the weight and speed of the bullet fired from the famous Cold .45 of the Old West?

A:  The metallic cartridge originally designed for the .45-caliber Colt handgun, loaded with 40 grains of black powder, normally held a lead bullet weighing 233 to 265 grains, which was fired at a speed of 700 to 900 feet per second.

Q:  Who killed the notorious gunfighter John Wesley Hardin?

A:  On August 19, 1895, Hardin was shot and killed from behind by John Henry Selman, an outlaw-turned-constable who had a grudge against Hardin and surprised him in El Paso’s Acme Saloon.

FACT:  Billy the Kid was not left-handed. Contrary to Hollywood portrayals, like the 1958 Left-Handed Gun, Billy the Kid was right-handed. Popularizers of the Billy the Kid legend were sometimes misled by old photographs that were carelessly transposed when printed and made the young gunman appear to be wearing his weapon on his left side.

Taken from The Old West Quiz & Fact Book by Rod Gragg


  1. I never knew Wyatt Earp lived in Alaska. Thanks for some fun facts.

  2. I love reading these little known facts. It’s like getting a little insight to who these icons really were.

    Thanks, Caroline.

  3. Great facts, Paisley! That’s interesting about Billy the Kid. I’d heard that about the photography of the times transposing things.

  4. Thanks, Susan. I enjoy learning all the information about people we’ve learned about through movies and such since we were kids.

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