On Aug. 19, 1895, John Wesley Hardin stuck to his usual routine of prowling the El Paso barrooms. But death stalked the middle-aged gunfighter, and the hot summer evening would be his last night on the town.

A pistol-packing terror in 1870s Texas, Wes Hardin was a callous killer before he could shave. With seven notches on his gun by age 16, he added another nine on a cattle drive to Kansas. When the relentless Rangers finally caught up with him in Florida in 1877, the preacher’s son had more than 40 killings to his credit.

Bartee Haile writes This Week In Texas History which appears every Sunday. 

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