1994 29¢ Bill Tilghman
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
From the very start Bill Tilghman was surrounded by action and adventure. In 1854, while only a couple weeks old, a Sioux warrior sent an arrow through his mother’s sleeve as she cradled him. Later in life, he shot a buffalo from a mile away. And once he shot two Cheyenne Indians he caught prowling in his camp.
In 1875 Tilghman became famous as a fearless lawman for Ford County – home of the notorious cow town Dodge City. He continued to battle frontier lawlessness in Indian Territory. His greatest triumph was the defeat of the notorious gang-leader Bill Doolin after three years of pursuit; in the end Tilghman vanquished the criminal in hand-to-hand combat.
Tilghman was elected to the state senate, but resigned to serve as police chief of Oklahoma City. From there his career took an unexpected turn when he supervised the filming of “The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws,” a movie about his fight against the Doolin Gang. In 1924 the crime-ridden, oil-boom town of Cromwell, Oklahoma enticed Tilghman out of retirement. Although he succeeded in cleaning up the town, Tilghman was shot and killed by a drunkard in the street. The famous lawman Bat Masterson described Bill Tilghman as “the greatest of us all.”