Did Bat Masterson carry a cane?

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Bob Nellis
Rochester, Minnesota

No known photos of Bat Masterson show him with a cane, although he did receive a gold-headed cane in 1885 when he was named the most popular man in Dodge City, Kansas.

Biographer Robert K. DeArment adds, “I have never seen an authenticated cane belonging to Bat Masterson. I doubt if a cane exists that can be proven to have been carried by Bat. I think the cane bit became important when [Stuart] Lake and others inferred he got his name ‘Bat’ from the use of a cane to bat miscreants over the head. Pure hokum as I point out in the books.”

I believe the cane was elevated to a higher status when Gene Barry carried one in his role as the frontiersman in the NBC series that premiered in 1958.

If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu

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