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Shoot 'em Up


Charlie Cosgrove was born in Australia in 1861. When he was 21, he and his brother, Bill, moved to Dickinson to try ranching, and Charlie later described some of those early days:

“The Hash-Knife out from Texas was in here... Their cattle, between three and four thousand head, had a hash-knife brand... In ‘86, the year the snow blew – I’ll never forget it, old ‘86 – the Hash-Knife outfit lost 500 head. There was just one damn blizzard after another.

“One day in '86, a feller named Taminlin... brought a load of hay to Dickinson on a wagon hitched to two old nags. That same day the Hash-Knife outfit was in here drinking and shooting up the town, and old Taminlin got right on a street corner when the Hash-Knifers took a few pops at him. Taminlin seemed to go right down in the hay, and one horse was killed. After the shooting let up, old Taminlin crawled out and said, ‘Well, why didn't they get old Ted, too?’ He got a good horse from the Hash-Knife outfit for the one they killed. That outfit would raise hell and tear things galley-west, then pay back for any damage they had done to anyone. They were pretty good that way.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm