No One Steals from Barton’s Joint

charleston true west

Jerry Barton was associated with the Cow-boy faction in southeast Arizona.  He ran a bar in the town of Charleston—a Cow-boy hangout.  And he wasn’t shy about using a gun.

In October 1880, four men came into Barton’s establishment, drunk and looking for some cash that they could use for gambling.  Barton turned them down, and one of the boys—E.C. Merrill—pulled a gun.  Barton was faster and killed him. Barton was arrested; his bail was posted by Frank Stilwell, among others.  Barton got off on a self-defense plea.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.