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Vol. 4 - No.07 July, 2022 Nooseletter Home SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Chronicle of the Old West
Dakota Livesay | Old West Historian
This week's story is about gunfighter William Graham. You say you've never heard of William Graham? It could be because he created all his havoc under a different name.


Continued.... (see below)
Curly Bill Brocius
When William Graham was in a New Mexico cantina, supposedly the local female singer gave him a nickname that he used for the rest of his life. It was “Curly Bill Brocius.” Curly Bill was a mean drunk. And, since he was drunk much of the time, he was mean much of the time.

In 1880, he killed Tombstone’s Marshal Fred White. Fortunately, Marshal White’s final words indicated it was an accident. As a member of Tombstone’s Clanton gang, he enjoyed taking over saloons, and making everyone undress and dance a jig.

In 1881 Curly Bill was drinking heavily when he had an encounter with Deputy Sheriff Billy Breakenridge. The climax of this event Billy shot Curly Bill in the neck. Now, here is where the Curly Bill Brocius legend goes in many directions.

One says that Curly Bill left Arizona after being shot. But, according to Wyatt Earp, on March 21, 1882, after the O. K. Corral shootout, the shooting of Virgil Earp, and four days after Morgan Earp was killed, a posse led by Wyatt encountered Curly Bill and some of his co-harts. While Wyatt’s long coat was being shot full of holes, Wyatt killed Curly Bill with two blasts from his shotgun.

Again, legend says that Curly Bill went west, and years later learned of his death at the hands of Wyatt when he passed through Tombstone on the way to Texas. Another says Doc Holliday killed him. Yet another says he went to Mexico, got married, and became a rancher.

No matter what happened to Curly Bill Brocius, it is for sure that after March of 1882 no one in Arizona had to strip and dance at the point of his gun.When William Graham was in a New Mexico cantina, supposedly the local female singer gave him a nickname that he used for the rest of his life. It was “Curly Bill Brocius.” Curly Bill was a mean drunk. And, since he was drunk much of the time, he was mean much of the time.

In 1880, he killed Tombstone’s Marshal Fred White. Fortunately, Marshal White’s final words indicated it was an accident. As a member of Tombstone’s Clanton gang, he enjoyed taking over saloons, and making everyone undress and dance a jig.

In 1881 Curly Bill was drinking heavily when he had an encounter with Deputy Sheriff Billy Breakenridge. The climax of this event Billy shot Curly Bill in the neck. Now, here is where the Curly Bill Brocius legend goes in many directions.

One says that Curly Bill left Arizona after being shot. But, according to Wyatt Earp, on March 21, 1882, after the O. K. Corral shootout, the shooting of Virgil Earp, and four days after Morgan Earp was killed, a posse led by Wyatt encountered Curly Bill and some of his co-harts. While Wyatt’s long coat was being shot full of holes, Wyatt killed Curly Bill with two blasts from his shotgun.

Again, legend says that Curly Bill went west, and years later learned of his death at the hands of Wyatt when he passed through Tombstone on the way to Texas. Another says Doc Holliday killed him. Yet another says he went to Mexico, got married, and became a rancher.

No matter what happened to Curly Bill Brocius, it is for sure that after March of 1882 no one in Arizona had to strip and dance at the point of his gun.
This article was brought to you by
Dakota Livesay
Chronicle of the Old West
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