Marshall Ashmun Upson—“Ash”—was an itinerant journalist (and heavy drinker) in the years after the Civil War. By 1877, he was a small rancher and postmaster in New Mexico.
After Pat Garrett gunned down Billy the Kid in July 1881, he asked Upson to ghostwrite his version of the story. The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid came out in early 1882—and failed to sell until years later, maybe because of the bad writing. Upson and Garrett formed a real estate company in 1889; it also failed