Were Freemasons prevalent in the Old West?
Freemasons were common in the United States in the 19th century, so a fair number of Old West figures were members. Among them: Buffalo Bill Cody, Kit Carson, Lewis and Clark, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Pat Garrett and Sam Houston. Texas Ranger legends Jim Gillett, John B. Jones and Jack Hays were masons. Some say Billy the Kid was a mason, but that’s not proven. The Montana Vigilantes, along with one of their victims, Sheriff Henry Plummer, were reportedly members of the same lodge. Even Western stars Tom Mix and John Wayne were masons.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.