Who is Patrick Sylvester McGeeney?

Rene R. Longoria

Mission, Texas

This Irish native was the youngest man ever appointed deputy U.S. marshal—just 19 when he got the star in 1893. He served with the “Three Guardsmen,” Bill Tilghman, Heck Thomas and Chris Madsen. He also witnessed the killing of gunfighter John Wesley Hardin.

Even before he became a lawman, he thwarted a train robbery by Henry Starr. The notorious outlaw later starred as himself in 1919’s A Debtor to the Law, ironically produced by McGeeney’s silent film company, Lone Star (later Shamrock Photoplay); McGeeney made movies from 1915-23. He died in 1943.

Glenn Shirley’s book, Purple Sage: The Exploits, Adventures and Writings of Patrick Sylvester McGeeney, is a great bio of the man.

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