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French Joe and California Jack


On this date in 1879, a The Bismarck Tribune story read: “A. L. Ophir writes. . .from Fort Buford a lively sketch of a pistol interview between French Joe and California Jack, Yellowstone characters. Unfortunately, no on [was] hurt.

“During Joe’s absence at Buford, an exciting scene occurred at his ranche (sic), twenty-five miles up the river. His hired man, Slim Jim McDonald, was awakened in the night by a knock on the front door. He tumbled out of his bunk and admitted four guns backed by four masked men. They wanted his money. Jim was suddenly attacked with chills and fever. . .” the story read.

“The robbers gently laid him over a bench and gave him a dozen with a harness thug. Jim squealed and handed over twelve dollars. The visitors then loaded themselves with two guns, a revolver, a sack of flour, forty pounds of sugar, several blankets, two hundred rounds of ammunition and a gallon of whiskey, unmixed with alkali. They escaped without difficulty.”

By Merry Helm

Source: The Bismarck Tribune. 7 June 1879. P:1