This is an expert from local Medora author, Rolff Sletten’s book, Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection. It goes into detail on the shooting of Cowboy, Riley Luffsey.
The sheriff responded by sending a posse which has been variously described as including from three to twenty men.
“The actual number matters little in light of the posse’s feeble response. Unfortunately the sheriff put his much weaker brother, Henry Harmon, in charge of the posse. Harmon and his posse boarded the westbound train in Mandan. When they arrived in Little Missouri (the depot had not yet been built in Medora), they confronted the three hunters and told O’Donald he was under arrest. O’Donald, Wannigan, and Luffsey simply laughed at the timid deputy and rode away.
The three hunters rode west from the Little Missouri depot until they reached a spot about three-fourths of a mile straight west of today’s Little Missouri River bridge. there they encountered the Marquis de Mores and four of his employees.
Who fired first will never be known with certainty, as both sides adamantly blamed the other. But when the smoke drifted away, William Riley Luffsey, the twenty-four-year-old buffalo hunter from Missouri, was forever dead.”
Learn more about Medora’s spooky history during the 2nd Annual Wild West Fright Fest on October 27 and 28. Get more details here.
The man who was known in the Badlands as “Hell Roaring Bill Jones” was actually named “Patrick McCue”.
He had come from Ireland where, apparently, he had become embroiled in an argument with an uncle. The argument quickly deteriorated into an altercation and in very short order the unfortunate uncle had been battered senseless. Whether or not he ever woke from his slumbers is unclear but “Bill” quickly adopted his new name and packed for the New World.
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Schafer Stories: as told by John Hild – Former TRMF Maintenance Director and current owner and rancher of the land that was once the Maltese Cross Ranch.
Interviewed June 26, 2017
“I was 14 years old when Harold first came into Medora; that would have been back in the early ‘70s. My mom actually worked for Harold, she was the Head Housekeeping at the Badlands Motel and we grew up as ranch kids out in the ranching industry.
At that time Harold was getting Medora built up and rebuilt to what it is, you know, before today- regenerating it.
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The 1st Annual Bull Moose Mud Run Went Off with a Bang–
–quite literally, as Lady Medora shot the gun that started what seems to have become a new favorite event in Medora.
It was the perfect day for a race… or was it an obstacle course? …Maybe a mud bath?
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“The Most Wonderful Little Woman in the Badlands”
Margaret Barr Roberts was an Irish immigrant who moved to the United States when she was around 11 years old. Her life was one of travel and tragedy.
However, through the struggle and hardship, she remained optimistic; always looking forward, as TR would say, “Doing what she could, with what she had, where she was.”
And of course, she wasn’t alone. In fact, TR himself was there to help her along. READ MORE »
He seems to be everywhere. You can find him walking down the streets of Medora, and it’s no rare sight to see him greeting guests at the Medora Musical, but who is Cowboy Lyle really?
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The Marquis De Mores returned to France, where he became heavily embroiled in the intrigues of French politics. He ran for the Paris City Council, became a rabid anti-Semite, became involved in a plot to overthrow the French government, tried to organize a railroad in Indo-China, and concocted a grandiose scheme to unite all of Islam against England and the Jews.
In 1896, he went to Libya with a plan to stir up the Arabs against the English advances into Africa. On the morning of June 9, 1896, he was ambushed, shot, and killed in the Sahara Desert by a group of Touareg tribesman. The Marquise insisted the Touaregs were hired by his political enemies, but it is possible that they simply killed him for the gold he was carrying. Had he lived five more days, he would have been thirty-eight years old. READ MORE »
In early 1884, crime was an appalling problem in Medora. Theodore Roosevelt had not yet become sufficiently entrenched to exert any political muscle in the Badlands, and the Marquis seemed to accept most of the wild goings-ons as a fact of life in the west. It was left to A.T Packard, owner of The Badlands Cow Boy, to champion the cause of law and order. When an effort to organize Billings County went down in defeat, leaving the outlaw majority free to ride roughshod over whomever they pleased, Packard called for a “mass meeting” to try to curb the lawlessness. At this meeting Packard was declared the first chief of police of the city of Medora, a position he took very seriously. READ MORE »
The town of Medora has lived a vibrant life. Our new series of blogs entitled, “Tales of Medora”, will take you back to a time when Medora was populated with cowboys and outlaws. We’ll highlight excerpts from Rolf Sletten’s book, “Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection”, to give you a clearer picture of what Medora was like before Harold Schafer resurrected it.
The characters are real, the stories true, and the history, incredible! Let’s begin. Enter, Joe Ferris… READ MORE »