The True West January 2016 issue published a photo of John Slaughter and several of his cowboys. Which one was his foreman at the San Bernardino Ranch?

John Slaughter

The True West January 2016 issue published a photo of John Slaughter and several of his cowboys. Which one was his foreman at the San Bernardino Ranch?

Frederick Olsen
Lancaster, Virginia

Old West photograph collector Robert G. McCubbin says: “Allen Erwin, in his biography of Slaughter, identifies ‘Jim Pursley’ as ‘Foreman,’ standing left.”

Not much is known about Pursley, although he apparently owned a ranch outfit in the mid-1880s.

Published in True West’s “Best Cowboy Photos” collectible issue this January, this photo shows John Slaughter’s cowboys with foreman Jim Pursley standing at left. – Courtesy Robert G. McCubbin collection –
Published in True West’s “Best Cowboy Photos” collectible issue this January, this photo shows John Slaughter’s cowboys with foreman Jim Pursley standing at left.
– Courtesy Robert G. McCubbin collection –

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015.

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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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 marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.