Rowdy Joe vs. William Red Beard

Rowdy Joe

Old West gunfights occasionally inflicted collateral damage. That was the case in October 1873 when rival saloon owners “Rowdy Joe” Lowe (pictured) and William “Red” Beard opened up on each other.

The shootout started in Lowe’s place, in the Delano section of Wichita, Kansas. In the heat of battle (which Lowe eventually won by mortally wounding Beard), bar patron William Anderson was hit in the eye by a stray bullet. Anderson—who had a reputation as a shootist—was blinded and reportedly spent the rest of his life begging for money.

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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.