I’ve been reading The Authentic Wild West/The Gunfighters, by James D. Horan. Horan writes that Bat Masterson has written about gunfighters such as Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman, Charlie Bassett, Luke Short, Clay Allison and Jim Curry. I know them all except Jim Curry. Do you know who he is?
Jim Curry, an Irishman, arrived in Hays City, Kansas in the late 1860s, when the town was brand new. It was claimed by Army scouts that he was a scout for Major James Forsyth at the Battle of Beechers Island in September, 1868. They claimed his name was left off the monument, but that he should have been listed. He might also have scouted for Custer during those years. In 1869, he killed a man in Hays City named Ed Estes, who may have been a soldier at the fort.
Curry was wounded in Hays City in a battle between Black soldiers and local citizens. He got into a feud with Wild Bill over a prostitute named Ida May. One night in Hays City, Curry walked up behind Hickok while he was playing cards in Uncle Tommy Drum’s saloon. He put a pistol to the back of Hickok’s head and threatened to kill him. Wild Bill stayed cool and Uncle Tommy intervened and prevented bloodshed. The two wound up shaking hands. Curry seems to have faded into history after that, but it’s a good bet he came to a bad ending. For Hickok it was a prelude to 1876 in Deadwood.