W.A. Gallagher and Blind Bill

W.A. Gallagher and Blind Bill (HM1PN4)

Location: Cody, WY 82414 Park County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 30.91', W 109° 6.319'

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Murdered 1894

William Gallagher and his friend, Blind Bill, were killed on Meeteese Creek below the old town of Arland in mid-March of 1894. Both men, about thirty, were born during the Civil War period.

Gallagher, who was somewhat of an outlaw, was tall, lean and wore a drooping dark mustache. He wore a gun most of the time, had a severe temper, and was a hard case in general.

Blind Bill was short, muscular, and wore a patch over his left eye, which was blind. Blind Bill was a good friend of Gallagher's. Both men were working as cowboys in the Greybull River Country, and had probably found their way into the region on one of the early trail drives.

Gallagher was once described by A.A. Anderson, for whom he had once worked, as being one of the best horsemen and ropers he had ever known. However, his reputation was not as good as his figure. Gallagher told Anderson, one time after getting out of jail in Thermopolis, that; "I captured the town and was about to trade it off to the Indians when they threw me in jail." On another occasion, Gallagher was accused of horse stealing and tried at the district court in Lander, Wyoming in 1891. Later that year he was tried for forgery. He escaped being jailed each time, due to technicalities.

In 1893, Gallagher had become involved with 27 year old Belle Drewery, one of the single women that hung out around the town of Arland. Early in 1894 Belle began seeing Bill Wheaton. When Gallagher became aware of the friendship, he went into a jealous rage. On March 15th Gallagher took Belle over to the ranch house where Wheaton was. An argument developed and Gallagher pulled his six-shooter and held Wheaton and Belle at gunpoint for two hours, while he threatened them and kept cocking his six-shooter. Finally, Gallagher passed the incident off as kind of a joke and holstered his gun.

Belle informed Wheaton as to were a gun was hidden in the house. A little later she went out of the house and started walking toward Meeteese.

When she didn't return, Gallagher went out to see where she went. Wheaton the got the gun that was in the house. Gallagher was walking across the yard when Wheaton rested the gun against the ride of the door frame and shot him from behind. Wheaton then got on his horse and left.

When Blind Bill learned of Gallagher's death, he was very upset and swore he would kill Wheaton in revenge for the death of his friend.

Wheaton was soon informed that Blind Bill intended to kill him. Gallagher's loyal friend never fulfilled his vow, for he was found a few days later, shot in the back by an unknown assassin. Although it was believed that Wheaton killed Blind Bill, it was never proven.

Both Gallagher and his friend, Blind Bill, were buried on a sage brush hill near Meeteese Creek.

Wheaton was tried in the death of W.A. Gallagher and sentenced to eight years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary. He was released in 1898 after serving four years. Belle Drewery had been killed the year before in a gunfight at a saloon in Arland.
HM NumberHM1PN4
Placed ByOld Trail Town
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, November 29th, 2015 at 1:03pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12G E 650584 N 5069160
Decimal Degrees44.51516667, -109.10531667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 30.91', W 109° 6.319'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 30' 54.6" N, 109° 6' 19.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Demaris St, Cody WY 82414, US
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