Steve Gatto
Curly Bill - The Moral To The Story . . .
Thu Aug 11, 11:35

is that simply finding an article or document that refers to a man as "Curly Bill," or someone whose name is William Brocius (or some variation), William Bresnaham (or some variation), or William Graham does not mean the person was Curly Bill of Tombstone fame (circa 1880 – 1882). Still, if you find an article in a Tombstone newspaper during 1880 to 1882 that references Curly Bill, there is a good chance that they are referring to him. While people are free to make proclamations that someone was Curly Bill without some independent evidence that ties that person to Curly Bill of Tombstone, it is still just speculation without supporting evidence. Around 1992, when I discovered Curly Bill had been arrested with Bob Martin in Mexico and turned over to authorities in El Paso during May 1878, I had to make the call as to whether this was Curly Bill of Tombstone fame. Fortunately, I believe there is enough contemporary evidence available to prove he was Curly Bill of Tombstone fame.

Regarding the name Curly Bill – there are many articles referring to someone with that name throughout the country. There was even a L.N. Barnes known in Tombstone as Curly Bill who had several shooting scrapes around 1890 and even reportedly killed a Mexican man at Clifton in November 1891. Nonetheless, the articles that discuss this individual do not refer to him as “the” Curly Bill of Tombstone, but simply as Curly Bill. There also was a Curly Bill Rogers in Colorado during the 1880s but I have found evidence that he was not Curly Bill of Tombstone. Likewise, we all have heard about William A. Graham being Curly Bill ( which was disputed by Hancock when it became public) but there is now evidence that he was not “Curly Bill” – the man who shot Fred White. Still, there is, of course, William A. Brosius of Paris, Texas. While there still is no evidence supporting this man being Curly Bill of Tombstone, I have not found any evidence that definitely proves he was not the man either (unless you believe Wyatt Earp's claim that he killed Curly Bill).

    • Curly BillButch Badon, Sun Sep 25 15:34
      I know you have been working on Curly Bill and what happened to him for a long time. And your book on Curly is outstanding. What feeling do you have about Farmer's book on Curly in which Farmer identifies... more
    • Very popular nichnamePeter Love, Thu Aug 11 18:51
      ..for curly-haired Williams. I reckon about 150 in the age group. There would have been even more Curly Johns but they don’t seem to feature!
    • Speaking of the devilRobert Buckley, Thu Aug 11 12:43
      Hi Steve..... I have an article on Curly Bill coming out this week in the Hidalgo County Herald . His name was William Hanks Graham, not William A. Graham as you wrote in your post.
      • Re: Speaking of the devilPeter Love, Mon Aug 15 4:22
        Robert Any chance of you linking to this when published? I did think that photo of Curly/Cactus Bill with the apparent scar in the neck, and the jut-jaw as described by the British mining man; were... more
        • Re: Re: Speaking of the devilRobert Buckley, Mon Aug 15 5:56
          Peter, the article was published on August, 12 . You can download a copy from this link.....
          • Thanks RobertPeter Love, Tue Aug 16 18:37
            We need a book on the Grahams.
            • Peter, the link I posted aboveRobert Buckley, Wed Aug 17 17:07
              The link I posted above now has the August, 19th paper on it. The article I wrote is in the August, 12th edition of the paper. If you didn’t get the article downloaded before today, just email me and I... more