Billy Bailey was a Texas cowhand who made his way up the trail to Newton, Kansas in 1871. He had a reputation for being handy with a gun and may have been involved in a couple of shooting deaths. That may have been why he was hired as a special policeman in August. His task: keep order during a tough election season.
On August 11, Bailey got into a political argument with Special Policeman Mike McCluskie. The latter man killed Bailey with two shots to the chest. The dead man’s friends sought revenge a week later.