My family connections include John Wesley Hardin and Clay Allison, both of whom had Tennessee ancestors. Did the outlaws ever meet?


Don Magers
Saltillo, Tennessee

“Wes Hardin never went to Tennessee,” says author Dennis McCown. “Clay Allison’s ‘outlaw years’ and death all occurred when Hardin was serving time in Huntsville Prison, Texas. I think we can ‘bet the farm’ they never met.

“John Wesley Hardin’s relation to Tennessee is extremely remote. Hardin County was posthumously named after Hardin’s great-grandfather, Joseph Hardin, a Revolutionary War hero. John Wesley’s father, James Gibson Hardin, was born in Tennessee, but came to Texas with his family when he was a teenager.”

Chuck Parsons, who has authored books on both Hardin and Allison, adds, “They never met and probably didn’t even know about each other.”

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

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.