Like Father, Like Son

Ben Thompson True West Magazine
Ben Thompson.

Gunfighter Ben Thompson (photo) made his living as a sporting man, a fellow who played games of chance for fun and profit.  But he was determined that his son, Ben Jr., would not go that way. “I have a son, and I had rather follow him to the grave than see him contact the habit of gambling.”  It wasn’t to be.

Young Ben started hitting the tables before he was 20—in the company of his uncle Billy.  They hit many dives across Texas and New Mexico before Junior died of consumption at age 24 in 1893.

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