Skip to Main Content

Bat Masterson: Topics in Chronicling America

Bat Masterson was a reputed western cowboy who ran bad men "the hell out of Dodge" before later becoming a journalist. This guide provides access to materials related to “Bat Masterson” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"'Bat' Masterson, conqueror of 'bad men' to enforcer of law in New York." February 19, 1905. The Washington Times (Washington, DC), Image 32. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

A courageous, dead-shot Western cowboy, Bat Masterson (1853-1921) famously ran the bad men “the hell out of Dodge”. In his wild, boisterous life, Masterson was a marshal, a sheriff, a criminal, a scout, a journalist and a sportsman. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1877 Masterson settles in Dodge City and is elected county sheriff.
1881 Reportedly meets Wyatt Earp, another Old West lawman.
1902 After various arrests, Masterson settles in New York.
1903-1921 Restarts his career as a journalist through his thrice weekly column "Masterson's View on Timely Topics."
1905-1909 Appointed by Theodore Roosevelt as U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York.
October 25, 1921 Dies from a heart attack after writing his final column for the New York Morning Telegraph.