john wesley hardin true west magazine
John Wesley Hardin.

By the time he died in August 1895, John Wesley Hardin had finished about 200 pages of
his autobiography, up to the year 1889. Researchers Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne
Brown believe his paramour, Helen Beulah Mrose, probably wrote the work as Wes sank into alcoholism and inertia (outside of gambling).

When he died, Hardin’s three children went to court and won the rights to the manuscript, which they finished and published in 1896. It likely made very little money. Mrs. Mrose was left with nothing, not even the credit for her work on the book.

Mark Boardman is the features editor at True West and editor of The Tombstone Epitaph.

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