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15 October 2007

Manic Monday ~ Bat

"New York is the biggest boobtown there is.
They will buy any damned thing here."
So said one of the American West’s most adventurous and diverse figures.

The metal of writers is hone from every possible segment of the human experience. In his later years writing as sports editor and columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph
William Barclay “Bat” Masterson
reflected on his life experience as a Buffalo Hunter, Scout for the US Army, avid Fisherman, Gambler, Frontier Lawman and US Marshal. (Then again reading this newspaper was part of what was known as the “whore's breakfast”, a cigarette and the Morning Telegraph)

The wellworn cliche of getting to a man's heart through his stomach never quite rung true for me. My contention has always been it was just a bit farther south...and have been known to quote Bat Masterson upon occasion:
"If you want to hit a man in the chest, aim for his groin."
Kinda ironic considering he needed a cane after he was shot in the pelvis (ouch) during a 1876 gunfight over a girl. (in case you were wondering, the other man died.)

Born on 27 November 1853 (by some accounts the 26th) this legend of the American West was born as an Irish Canadian, his father Thomas was from Canada and his mother, Catherine (McGurk) from Ireland. The farming family settled in Kansas via Quebec, New York and Illinois.

Most of you know Bat was Deputy to Sheriff Wyatt Earp in the late 1870’s in Kansas. He fought the Comanche in Texas, fought against the Rio Grande Railway in Colorado, and was documented participating in numerous gunfights in Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas. In the early 1900’s President Teddy Roosevelt (my alltime fave) appointed his friend Bat, as Deputy United States Marshal for the southern district of New York.

His life was amusingly depicted by Gene Barry in the television series “Bat Masterson” in the late 50’s and early 60’s. (I’ve never seen this show….might be one to look into)

At his desk at the Morning Telegraph, Bat Masterson died on October 25, 1921. His final words of his final column giving his final opinion were found in his typewriter.

"There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear I can't see it that way."

His adventurous spirit seems to have passed on to his Great Grandson Robert Ballard, the marine scientist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.

William Barclay “Bat” Masterson is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx. His tombstone reads:
"Loved by Everyone”

Not a bad way to be remembered.

You can read much more about Bat Masterson on Wikipedia and the Kansas State Library websites. Photos and info came from those two websites…and from

Morgen motivates his minions of Manic Monday at It's a Blog Eat Blog World...and the incomparable creativity of Janna provides a whole bevy of banners for Manic Monday...and anything your little heart may desire. Don't miss Mo's blog talk radio show this wednesday at 4pm pacific time...where you can share your ghostly encounters....special guest Linda...the supermom from Are We There Yet?


Sophia said...

Great history lesson and great post! Nice to see something different!!

Jamie said...

Great post. You were the only one to do Masterson. The TV show was for the most part historically inaccurate and great fun with lots of tongue in cheek dialogue similar to Maverick.
Well worth renting.

tegdirb92 said...

what an awesome post! I learned so much from that. I will be tuning in on Wednesday!

Bravo on the uniqueness--

Mert said...

I lobed this post! Very well written, happy MM!

Mel said...


I'm feeling edumacated after all that.

Sounds like a cheeky little fella.

Latharia said...

Interesting, unique, AND educational!!

lisa said...

great take on the theme and very interesting history lesson. thanks!

Linda said...

I had thought that maybe Jamie was going to do Bat Masterson but she surprised me with a post on Cricket and you did a fantastic job with this!

Thanks for the plug for Wednesday's show, too. I hope I don't scare all the listeners away!!

Jeff B said...

I had no idea. Very cool info!

ian said...

Man, I'd be happy with "Loved by ALMOST everyone" as my epitaph. Something to strive for...


Travis said...

Excellent choice!

Marilyn said...

Wow... a great history lesson and you still found time to link up everybody and everything that needed linking.

Very nice.

Matt-Man said...

HA...I wrote a paper about him in Junior High. What a blast from the past. Cheers Katherine.

Dixiechick said...

Excellent history lesson... a lot of the information I had no idea about.

Thank you!

Have a great week and I'll see ya next week.


Dixiechick said...

Excellent history lesson... a lot of the information I had no idea about.

Thank you!

Have a great week and I'll see ya next week.


Bond said...

The gene barry show was a hoot....not even close to historically accurate though

great take on the mm theme katherine....
very nicely done

.:mar said...

Very interesting and enjoyable post!!
well done, happy MM :)

Anonymous said...

I once knew a Blue Heeler named Bat Masterson. A very good dog, that Bat.

Desert Songbird said...

Another interesting and different view on the MM theme, Katherine. Great job.

Thorne said...

Very cool MM! I loved Bat Masterson (as much for his name as anything else, it just sounds great, rolling off the tongue, doesn't it?). Thanks for this excellent MM!

JAM said...

I enjoyed this. I grew up reading about Bat Masterson. My last name is Masters, and my father dad dark hair and a big mustache and his co workers nicknamed him "Bat."

No one in my experince ever called him that, but in his work element on off-shore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, that's what he was always called.

I'm absolutely no relation to the real Bat, but I feel a kinship to him anyway because of my Dad.