Monday, July 13, 2015

Perhaps I may yet die with my boots on

And he did. James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was one of the legends of the west. His colorful life lasted only Thirty nine years yet what an impression he made on the history books!  Army Scout, Lawman, Professional Gambler,and of course Gunfighter. Books have been written about the man. Movies have regaled audiences with tales of wild adventures. There's even been a tv show or two about the life and times of the man. He died like he lived, wild, and in a dramatic fashion in a Deadwood saloon.

But did you know he was born and raised here in Illinois? In fact he was born in what is now Troy Grove to William and Polly ( Butler ) Hickok. There's a small memorial in the city park that we saw the day Nick and I cruised thru town. It's a bronze bust, not terribly old as it still looks to be in good shape. But there's a boulder with a much older plaque that was placed there in 1939.

It's a quiet place, not much traffic, indeed, I doubt hardly anyone even visits the place except during holidays and special events. But it's just one more example of how a major historical figure can originate in a quiet, sleepy Illinois farm town.  So if you're ever up that way, take a moment to stop and pay your respects to Wild Bill.

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