1994 29¢ Wild Bill Hickok
Legends of the West
Issue Date: October 18, 1994
City: Laramie, WY, Tucson, AZ and Lawton, OK
Quantity: 19,282,800 panes
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 10.1 x 10
Because a quick draw was useful on both sides of the law, many former gunfighters found work as law officers on the rowdy western frontier. Towns often overlooked a potential lawman’s checkered past, often counting on it, since a fearsome reputation could be a marshal’s best weapon.
The victor in an authentic western shootout, Wild Bill Hickok established the ideal for the fast drawing lawman. Born James Butler Hickok, “Wild Bill” received his nickname while serving as a Union scout and spy during the Civil War. In 1869 the harassed citizens of Ellis County, Kansas, elected him sheriff. Spending much of his time in Hays City, he tamed the wild frontier town. In 1871 he moved on to Abilene, Kansas, where he served as the town’s marshal.
Gaining a reputation as an expert marksman and a greatly feared fighter, “Wild Bill” became a legend in his own time. But his fame made him a target for anyone looking to kill him for a reputation. In 1876 he moved to the gold mining town of Deadwood hoping to strike it rich. It was there he was shot and killed by Jack McCall while playing cards in a saloon. Hickok fell to the floor, still clutching a pair of aces and eights, known ever since as the “deadman’s hand.”