A Shootout Between Friends One was an outlaw, the other a lawman—and both died.

Pembina Post Office, 1863 True West
Pembina Post Office, 1863.

Billy Collins was the younger brother of Sam Bass associate Joel Collins—but he didn’t learn from his sibling’s death at the hands of lawmen in 1877.  Billy robbed a train near Mesquite, TX in 1878 and then headed for points north.  Deputy U.S. Marshal William Anderson tracked the outlaw to Pembina, Dakota Territory.

The two met at the local post office (photo) on November 8, 1878 and opened fire.  Both died.  Ironically, the two were old friends—Collins had even served in Anderson’s wedding several years before.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.