What became known as the Wild West began in 1865 and lasted until 1900. This time became notorious for gunslingers, Indian wars, gritty lawmen, dangerous outlaws, business tycoons, and American pioneers pushing to the edge of the continent.
While the Wild West was not as wild as pop culture makes it look, it was certainly different from the culture on the east coast.
Prior to the 1860s, there had been many movements such as the California Gold Rush, Oregon Trail, and other migrations west. This led to conflict with many Native American tribes and even some massacres such as the Whitman Massacre.
Also Read: 30 Famous Outlaws of the Wild West
The West had been expanding since the Louisiana Purchase, but the era known as the Wild West did not begin until after the Civil War. The Civil War changed everything in America. The South could no longer enslave human beings and soldiers that returned from war returned to a much different way of life.
Native Americans became the next target of conquest for the expanding Americans and many of the earlier outlaws were Civil War veterans.
Feb. 17, 1865: Fort Buchanan is overrun and destroyed by Chiricahua warriors in the Arizona Territory
May 12 - 13, 1865: The final armed engagement of the Civil War takes place near Brownsville, Texas. It became known as the Battle of Palmito Ranch and resulted in a Confederate victory that meant nothing.
July 21, 1865: "Wild Bill" Hickok kills gambler Davis Tutt in a shootout in Springfield, Missouri. The incident went viral and made "Wild Bill" a household name.
Spring of 1866: The period of the great cattle drives begins when Texas ranchers drive more than 260,000 head of cattle to assorted markets. Some travel east to Louisiana, where the animals are shipped to Cairo, Illinois, and St. Louis; others travel west to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and Denver, inaugurating the Goodnight-Loving Trail. But the vast majority follow the Shawnee Trail north to Kansas City or Sedalia, Missouri.
December 21: Eighty soldiers led by Captain William J. Fetterman are ambushed and annihilated by Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors near Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming.
March 1: Nebraska was admitted to the Union as the 37th state.
March 30: The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for 7.2 million dollars. It became known as "Seward's Folly."
June 25: Lucien B. Smith of Kent, Ohio patents barbed wire fencing. This invention would revolutionize the cattle industry out West.
August 2: A small party of U.S. Army soldiers and civilians are encircled by hundreds of Lakota warriors. The soldiers were armed with a new rapid-fire breech-loading rifle and managed to hold off the warriors led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse.
October 18: Alaska is officially transferred to America from the Russian Empire.
October 21 - 28: The Medicine Lodge Treaty is signed between the U.S. government and several southern Plains Indian tribes, requiring that the tribes relocate to the Indian Territory.
April 29: The United States and many Lakota, Dakota, and Arapaho Indians meet and sign the Treaty of Fort Laramie. It results in the United States military abandoning outposts along the Bozeman Trail, the closure of the Powder River Country and western South Dakota to white settlement, and the end of Red Cloud's War.
July 25: Wyoming is organized into a U.S. Territory.
August: Bret Harte's The Luck of the Roaring Camp is published.
November 27: Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer defeats the Southern Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of Washita River. Chief Black Kettle, leader of the Cheyenne, is killed.
July - December: Members of the Reno Gang were captured by vigilantes and lynched. The last lynchings occurred in December when vigilantes rushed in and took the last members of the gang from federal prison and lynched them.
May 10: The Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad connect in Promontory Summit, Utah Territory, and completes the First Transcontinental Railroad. Leland Stanford drives the Golden Spike that joins the railroads together.
May 24: John Wesley Powell and nine others become the first recorded white men to travel the length of the Grand Canyon. They reach the mouth of the Virgin River on August 30.
July 4: The world's first documented competitive rodeo is held in the town of Deer Trail in the Colorado Territory
December 10: Wyoming is the first territory to grant women the right to vote.
The 1870s saw the rise of the outlaw and some of the bloodiest fighting in Native American history.
Names such as Billy The Kid, Jesse James, Cole Younger, "Wild Bill" Hickok, George Armstrong Custer, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull begin to appear on the pages of history. The first train robberies occur and cattle towns such as Abilene, Kansas begin to spring up.
The transcontinental railroad also connects the East to the West and begins to change America's landscape.
There are several events that occurred during the 1870s that do not have a specific date tied to them:
- William Martin begins rustling cattle in Abilene before he and his gang are driven off by a posse from Marion.
- Gunfighter Robert Clay Allison settles in Colfax County where he purchases a ranch. It is said that he killed 15 men during this time.
- With the growing railroad industry and cattle boom, buffalo hunters begin moving onto the Great Plains. In less than ten years, the buffalo population is dramatically reduced, and the animal remains an endangered species for much of the next century.
- The Utah Territorial Assembly, supported by Brigham Young, grants women the right to vote. Over the next several decades, this provided Mormons with an added margin of political power.
- John K. "King" Fisher is hired by settlers of the Pendencia River country in Dimmit County, Texas to protect their livestock and other property. It is during this time that Fisher becomes known as a skilled gunfighter
- William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, a scout for the U.S. 5th Cavalry Regiment, is awarded the Medal of Honor. Later that year, he and fellow scout John "Texas Jack" Omohundro appear on stage for the first time, portraying themselves in "Scouts of the Prairie".
- Ellsworth, Kansas succeeds Abilene as the northern stopping point on the Old Texas cattle trail.
- Following the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad across the border of the Colorado Territory, the use of the Santa Fe Trail begins to decline, although Dodge City remains a major cattle town for the next decade. The Santa Fe Railroad also completes a rail line at Wichita, Kansas, causing a major population boom in the town over the next several years
- The Colt Single Action Army revolver is manufactured. It would become the gun of choice for many outlaws and lawmen. It is now labeled as the "gun that won the West".
January: "Wild Bill" Hickok travels to Missouri where he resumes his duties as a U.S. Marshal.
January 23: The U.S. Army mistakenly believes that a friendly band of Piegan Blackfeet are hostile and attack them. Over 200 men, women, and children are massacred.
Spring: Abilene, Kansas begins to grow quickly due to it becoming a major stopover for cattle ranchers. The town trustees ban guns in an attempt to curb the violence. It proved to be impossible to enforce until the city appoints Tom "Bear River" Smith as city marshal on June 4.
July 17 - 18: "Wild Bill" Hickok is involved in a shootout with several members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment in Hays City after killing one trooper and wounding another
November 2: Tom "Bear River" Smith is shot and killed while serving a warrant in Abilene, Kansas.
January 1: After a long illness, U.S. Army Captain John Barry is forced into retirement. While stationed at Fort Ord, Barry attempts to improve relations between the United States and the Apaches, as well as encourages the enlistment of scouts to combat renegade Apaches.
February 16: John Younger kills Captain S.W. Nichols in a gunfight in Dallas, Texas.
February 23: While heading an Apache-hunting force near present-day Clifton, Arizona, John M. Bullard is shot and killed when he approaches a wounded Apache warrior.
February 28: "Handsome Jack" John Ledford, an outlaw-turned-hotel-owner involved in counterfeiting and horse theft in Kansas and the Indian Territory, is killed in a shootout with a group of U.S. Army soldiers led by scout Lee Stewart and U.S. Marshal Jack Bridges, who claimed to have a warrant for his arrest.
March 16: Death of Navajo chieftain Barboncito (Hastin Daagii).
April 15: "Wild Bill" Hickok succeeds Tom "Bear River" Smith as city marshal of Abilene, Kansas, and remains in the position until December 13.
April 28: In what becomes known as the Camp Grant Massacre, over 100 Apache women and children are killed by a mob of Mexicans and Papago Indians led by several Tucson businessmen, including D.A. Bennett and Sam Hughes. Bennett and several others are indicted in December, though all are acquitted.
June 14: Thomas Carson, reportedly a nephew of Kit Carson, is appointed to the Abilene police force under City Marshal "Wild Bill" Hickok. After an incident with gunfighter John Wesley Hardin over Hardin's insistence on wearing his gun in public, Carson is hired briefly as a deputy in Newton, Kansas before returning to Abilene in November. Carson and Deputy John W. "Brocky Jack" Norton are fired from the police force on November 27 after assaulting a bartender.
June 30: Shortly after robbing a nearby bank, Jesse James addresses a crowd at a political rally in Corydon, Iowa.
October 5: Gambler Phil Coe is involved in a shootout with Abilene City Marshal "Wild Bill" Hickok after Hickok attempts to censor a painting of a bull with abnormally large genitals in Coe's saloon. Deputy Mike Williams is killed when Hickok accidentally shoots him, and Coe dies from his wounds four days later.
January 31: Future Wild West Author Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, Ohio. His adventure novels would idealize the West.
March 1: President Ulysses S. Grant designates Yellowstone as the first national park in the United States.
November 29: The Battle of Lost River results when the U.S. 1st Cavalry Regiment tries to force a band of Modoc Indians under Captain Jack to return to the Klamath Reservation in southern Oregon. In the subsequent Modoc War, a party of 53 Modoc warriors entrenched in the Lava Beds of northern California manages to hold off hundreds of U.S. soldiers for more than five months
December 28: U.S. Army cavalry under George Crook begin a campaign into Arizona's Tonto Basin by defeating the occupants of a Yavapai stronghold at the Battle of Salt River Canyon, part of the Yavapai War.
March 27: U.S. Army soldiers and Apache scouts win a major victory over Yavapai and Tonto Apache warriors at the Battle of Turret Peak in Arizona.
June 5: The citizens of Ford County, Kansas, elected Charlie Bassett as their first sheriff. Dodge City becomes his headquarters.
July 21: The James-Younger Gang make their first appearance in history when they committed the first train robbery in the history of the West. They stole $3,000 from the safe on the train and the passengers on board.
December: "My Western Home" is published in an issue of the Smith County Pioneer. The poem was written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley and would be set to music by Daniel E. Kelley. It would eventually become known as the Western folk song, "Home on the Range", which is later adopted as the state song of Kansas.
December 26: The town of Kingston in Fresno County, California is looted by the outlaw Tiburcio Vásquez.
March 17: John Younger is killed by Pinkerton Agents in St. Clair County, Missouri.
June 27: The U.S. Army wins the Second Battle of Adobe Walls when 28 bison hunters hold off 700 Comanche Warriors.
July - August: An expedition led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer embarks from Fort Abraham Lincoln to explore the previously uncharted Black Hills of present-day South Dakota. The expedition discovers placer gold, prompting a gold rush that draws thousands of settlers to the region over the next few years and thereby antagonizes the native Sioux inhabitants.
September 28: The 4th U.S. Cavalry under Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie routs a large camp of Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians taking refuge in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle.
November 24: Joseph Glidden patents a type of barbed wire he calls "The Winner". It becomes the most popular used in the West. Barbed wire was critical for cattle ranching.
December 8: The James–Younger Gang robs a train on the Kansas Pacific Railroad near Muncie, Kansas, stealing $30,000.
January 25: Pinkerton agents throw an incendiary device into Jesse James' family home in Kearney, Missouri, killing James' 9-year-old half-brother and badly wounding his mother.
November 19 - 21: The Las Cuevas War is fought when Texas Rangers commanded by Leander McNelly engage Mexican militia in Tamaulipas in an attempt to return stolen cattle to U.S. territory.
Jan - Dec: After being wounded in the hip during a gunfight in Sweetwater, Texas, Bat Masterson agrees to become assistant city marshal of Dodge City, Kansas.
March 17: General George Crook attacks a Cheyenne encampment at the Battle of Powder River. This begins the Great Sioux War.
June 17: General George Crook's forces are defeated by Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Rosebud. The defeat convinces Crook to withdraw from his planned offensive and await reinforcements.
June 25: Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer is ambushed and massacred at the Battle of the Little Big Horn by Lakota and Cheyenne warriors led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
August 1: Colorado becomes the 38th state of the Union.
August 2: "Wild Bill" Hickok is shot and killed by Jack McCall during a poker game in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.
September 7: After a failed robbery in Northfield, Minnesota, many members of the James-Younger Gang are captured. This includes Cole Younger.
September 9 - 10: In the first U.S. Army victory since the disaster at the Little Bighorn, a punitive expedition led by George Crook destroys an Oglala Lakota village led by Chief American Horse at the Battle of Slim Buttes in present-day South Dakota.
May 5: Crazy Horse surrenders to the U.S. Army at the Red Cloud Agency near Fort Robinson, Nebraska.
June 17: Anticipating retaliation for recent crimes against white settlers and reluctance to move to a reservation, about 600 Nez Perce Indians led by Chief Joseph, Ollokot, and White Bird begin a long retreat from western Idaho with the U.S. Army in pursuit. They defeat their pursuers at the Battle of White Bird Canyon, and the Nez Perce War begins.
August 9 - 10: The Battle of the Big Hole is fought in the Montana Territory between the Nez Perce and U.S. soldiers under Col. John Gibbon.
August 17: At 17 years old, Henry McCarty, later known as "Billy the Kid", shoots his first man, Frank "Windy" Cahill, after Cahill wrestles him to the ground at a saloon in Fort Grant, Arizona. Cahill dies the following day.
September 5: Crazy Horse is stabbed with a bayonet by a U.S. Army soldier. The soldier claimed Crazy Horse was resisting imprisonment at Fort Robinson.
September 21: Prospector Ed Schieffelin files a mining claim after discovering silver ore. He names his stake "Tombstone".
October 5: Chief Joseph finally surrenders to General Oliver O. Howard and Nelson A. Miles of the U.S. Army at the Battle of Bear Paw. This ends the Nez Perce War.
June 18: Nick Worthington, a well-known outlaw throughout New Mexico and Colorado, is killed by residents of Cimarron, New Mexico after killing several men and stealing horses.
July 15 - 19: The Battle of Lincoln rages for 5 days. Alexander McSween, John Tunstall's close friend, is killed while the regulators escape.
January: Captain Marcus Reno, the highest-ranking officer to have survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn, is brought before a general court-martial but is acquitted of cowardice.
April 5: Gambler Frank Loving kills Levi Richardson in a gunfight at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas.
September 29: In the White River War, Nathan Meeker and ten employees of the White River Indian Agency in western Colorado are massacred by Ute Indians when Meeker wires for military assistance in suppressing a perceived uprising. The Utes besiege a U.S. Army detachment in the Battle of Milk Creek until it is relieved by troops under Col. Wesley Merritt on October 5.
The 1880s would see the west begin to become a bit more domestic and by the end of the decade, Native Americans had mostly been relegated to reservations and no longer roamed freely as they had for generations.
Outlaws still roamed, but lawmen such as Wyatt Earp and Pat Garrett had hunted down many of the notorious outlaws and killed them. Billy The Kid, Jesse James, Johnny Ringo, and the Cowboys would all cease to exist by the end of the decade.
Settlers flocked to land rushes where the government gave away millions of acres of land once owned by Native Americans.
March 2: James Allen kills James Moorehead in a tavern in Las Vegas, New Mexico. After escaping from prison for Moorehead's murder he is killed by a posse.
May 1: The Tombstone Epitaph prints its first issue in Tombstone, Arizona. It remains the oldest continuously published newspaper in the state.
May 11: The Mussel Slough Tragedy occurs when seven people are killed over a dispute between land titles in the San Joaquin Valley.
December 19: Tom O'Folliard, best friend of Billy the Kid, is killed by Pat Garrett's posse in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
December 23: Four days later Pat Garrett's posse killed Charlie Bowdre at Stinking Springs, New Mexico, another member of Billy the Kid's gang.
December 24: Abran Baca kills A.M. Conklin in Socorro, New Mexico with several other outlaws, though he is acquitted the following year.
February 5: Phoenix, Arizona is incorporated
April 14: A gunfight involving El Paso, Texas Marshal Dallas Stoudenmire results in what witnesses recall as "four dead in five seconds"
July 14: Pat Garrett shoots Billy the Kid at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The Kid is buried between his two friends Tom O'Folliard and Charlie Bowdre.
August 5: A Lakota sub-chief, Crow Dog, shoots and kills Chief Spotted Tail on the Great Sioux Reservation. The matter was settled by tribal custom, however, Crow Dog is sentenced to death under the laws of the Dakota Territory. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned and freed Crow Dog after he appealed the decision of the Dakota Territory. This ruling played an important part in tribal sovereignty.
October 26: The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place. Two Cowboys were killed while the Earps and Doc Holliday were wounded.
December 13: San Jose, California lights up a 237-foot-tall moonlight tower with electricity. It becomes the first city west of the Rocky Mountains with civic electric lighting.
March 18: Morgan Earp is shot while playing pool in Tombstone, Arizona. It was a direct response from the Cowboys to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
March 24: Wyatt Earp kills William "Curly Bill" Brocius at Iron Springs, Arizona.
April 3: Jesse James is shot in the head by new gang member Robert Ford.
April 16: John Allen mortally wounds Frank Loving during a shootout in Trinidad, Colorado.
May 6: Chester A. Arthur signs the Chinese Exclusion Act which blocks Chinese immigration to the United States.
July 17: U.S. cavalry under Adna R. Chaffee and Andrew W. Evans pursue and defeat warriors of the White Mountain Apache tribe at the Battle of Big Dry Wash in the Arizona Territory.
November 14: "Buckskin" Frank Leslie shoots and kills outlaw Billy Claiborne while bartending at the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona.
September 8: The Northern Pacific Railroad is completed near Independence Creek in the western Montana Territory, connecting St. Paul, Minnesota with the Washington Territory.
December 8: In the Bisbee massacre, five outlaws rob a general store in Bisbee, Arizona, and kill four people in the process
March 11: Former lawmen Ben Thompson and John King Fisher are ambushed and killed by enemies of Thompson at the Jack Harris Vaudeville Saloon and Theater in San Antonio, Texas.
April 10: Dodge City, Kansas appoints Lawman William Bill Tilghman as city marshal.
May 17: The Department of Alaska is organized into the District of Alaska.
December 1: A 36-hour standoff begins in the town of Reserve, New Mexico when a posse of Texan cowboys confronts lawman Elfego Baca for having arrested an intoxicated cowboy.
September 2: The Rock Springs Massacre occurs and leaves 28 Chinese coal miners dead in the town of Rock Springs, Wyoming.
February 18: Dave Rudabaugh, a former member of Billy the Kid's Dodge City Gang, is reportedly captured and decapitated by townspeople after terrorizing the village of Parral, Mexico
March 21: Three of Pat Garrett's "Home Rangers" are killed by rival ranch hands and gunmen in what became known as the "Big Fight".
August 7: Fort Fred Steele, used to protect railroads from local Native American tribes in the Wyoming Territory, is closed.
August 20: Fort Duchesne is officially opened by Major Frederick William Benteen in the Utah Territory.
September 4: Apache warrior Geronimo surrenders to forces under General Grant Nelson at Fort Grant, Arizona. This is often considered the end of the Apache Wars.
Winter: The winter of 86-87 was one of the worst in the West's history at the time and devastates the cattle industry. The cattle industry would be reorganized and the age of open-range cattle drives were over.
December 1: Brothers Jim and Rube Burrow rob their first train in Bellevue, Texas.
February 8: President Grover Cleveland passes the Dawes Act. This was intended to modernize the reservation system and assimilate the Native Americans into American society.
February 8: Luke Short kills former Texas Marshal Jim Courtright. Since Courtright drew his gun first the killing was ruled self-defense.
January 12 - 13: A terrible snowstorm called the "Schoolhouse Blizzard kills 235 people across the Great Plains.
December 18: Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law discover the Cliff Palace of Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado.
January 12: A shootout erupts during the Gray County War in Cimarron, Kansas. A party led by Bill Tilghman raids Old Gray County Courthouse in an attempt to bring the county records to the neighboring town of Ingalls.
February 3: Belle Starr is murdered in Oklahoma.
April 22: Approximately 50,000 homesteaders rush to claim 2 million acres of unoccupied land ceded from Native American territory in what is now central Oklahoma. This would be the first of many land runs in the region.
May 11: In one of the larger heists of the decade the U.S. Army paymaster Joseph W. Wham and his escort of eleven Buffalo Soldiers are ambushed and robbed of more than $28,000 in gold and silver coins by a posse of bandits. The bandits were never caught.
June 6: 25 city blocks and nearly $20 million were destroyed in the Great Seattle Fire.
June 24: Butch Cassidy's name appears in the history books for the first time when he robs his first bank in Telluride, Colorado, and then fled to his remote hideout of Robbers Roost.
November 2: North and South Dakota are admitted as the 39th and 40th states in the union.
November 2: Eight imprisoned Apache renegades, including the Apache Kid, murder two sheriffs and escape into the desert during a prisoner transfer near Globe, Arizona.
November 8: Montana becomes the 41st state of the Union.
November 11: Washington is admitted as the 42nd state of the Union.
The Wild West era is usually cited as ending in 1895. It marked 30 years after the Civil War had been fought and much of the West had now been settled. America began to debate social issues such as voting rights for women and the Temperance movement.
Although not as wild as it once was the West still had its moments. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were still active and remained active into the 20th century. Some Native Americans still clung to their land even though the odds of retaining it were impossible.
The 1890s also saw the admission of many western states as territories now became states and created more structure within the Union.
May 2: The western half of the Indian Territory and a strip of country known as "No Man's Land" is organized as the Oklahoma Territory.
July 3: Idaho becomes the 43rd state of the union.
July 10: Wyoming is admitted as the 44th state of the Union.
December 29: Over 200 men, women, and children of the Lakota Sioux are killed at Wounded Knee Creek on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
April 8 - 13: In the most violent episode of the Johnson County War, wealthy cattle barons of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association hired mercenaries to invade the Powder River Country to persecute local ranchers on allegations of cattle rustling. A series of deadly stand-offs ensues before President Benjamin Harrison orders the 6th Cavalry Regiment to intervene. The conflict forces a reorganization of the cattle industry in Wyoming and becomes one of the most well-known range wars in the history of the West.
August 2: Tom Graham, the last male member of the Graham family, is killed by Edwin Tewksbury in Tempe, Arizona, concluding the Pleasant Valley War.
October 5: The Dalton Gang lose four members while trying to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kansas.
May 15: Coal miners establish the Western Federation of Miners in Butte, Montana.
June 11 - 12: Train robbers John Sontag and Chris Evans are wounded during a shootout with a posse of lawmen in Northern California. Both were captured. Sontag died of his wounds three weeks later.
June 30: Captain Frank Jones is killed when he and a party of Texas Rangers searching for a gang of Mexican cattle rustlers are ambushed near the border town of Tres Jacales.
September 1: Three deputy U.S. Marshals and two civilians are killed in a shootout with members of the Doolin–Dalton Gang in the town of Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory. All of the outlaws manage to escape.
November 7: Women are given the right to vote in Colorado.
August 19: Outlaw John Wesley Hardin is shot and killed by John Selman at the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Texas.
January 4: Utah is admitted as the 45th state.
January 15: Bill Tilghman single-handedly captures wanted gang leader Bill Doolin at a bathhouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and returns him to the Oklahoma Territory. Doolin escapes from prison on July 5.
August 12: An uprising of Yaqui Indians and Mexican revolutionaries, angered by the policies of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, storms the custom house in Nogales, Sonora on the U.S.–Mexico border. Detachments of both federal armies manage to disperse the rebels over the next several days.
August 13: Butch Cassidy, Elzy Lay, Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan, and Bob Meeks rob a bank in Montpelier, Idaho.
September 15: A staged train wreck designed as a publicity stunt for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad unexpectedly causes simultaneous boiler explosions that kill at least two spectators and result in numerous other injuries.
April 15: Crude oil is discovered for the first time in the Indian Territory, near present-day Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
July 8: The Shootout on Juneau Wharf occurs in Skagway, District of Alaska when crime boss Soapy Smith and Frank H. Reid are shot during an argument. Smith is killed immediately and Reid dies 12 days later.
August - October: At least 500 members of 35 different American Indian tribes attend the Indian Congress in Omaha, Nebraska, the largest gathering of its kind to date.
May 30: Pearl Hart and a companion rob a stagecoach traveling between Globe and Florence in the Arizona Territory. The pair is tracked down and arrested a few days later.
June 2: Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch rob an Overland Flyer passenger train near Wilcox, Wyoming, resulting in a massive but ultimately futile manhunt.
At the turn of the century, America looked much different than it had a century earlier. The Gilded Age had seen the rise of business tycoons such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan.
Labor unions were being formed to combat the mistreatment of workers and although relegated to reservation the Native Americans began to find some sovereignty in the United States legal system.
Pat Garrett and Butch Cassidy, two names synonymous with the Wild West were killed during this decade.
May 1: 200 coal miners die in the Winter Quarters Mine near Scofield, Utah in a dust explosion. It was the deadliest mining accident in American History.
January 10: An oil well on the Spindletop dome near Beaumont, Texas strikes crude oil, becoming the first major gusher in the state and triggering the Texas oil boom.
February 20: Butch Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh, and Etta Place depart the United States for Buenos Aires, Argentina aboard a British steamer.
May 23: Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker depart San Francisco in a two-cylinder Winton motor car. They arrive in New York City on July 26, becoming the first people to cross the continent in an automobile.
November 20: Legendary gunman Tom Horn is hung in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the disputed killing of 14-year-old sheepherder Willie Nickell in 1901. His trial and hanging mark the waning of the power of the cattle barons in Wyoming.
May 15: Las Vegas is founded.
December 30: Former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg is wounded by a bomb in his home in Caldwell, Idaho, and dies a short time later. An investigation suggests the assassination was motivated by prior labor unrest in Idaho's mining communities.
April 18: An earthquake and resulting fires devastate the city of San Francisco and neighboring communities, killing at least 3,000 people and leaving nearly three-fourths of the Bay Area's population homeless.
November 17: Oklahoma becomes the 46th state in the Union.
February 29: Pat Garrett is murdered.
November 7: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are reportedly found dead following a shootout with police in the town of San Vicente, Bolivia.
The era of the Wild West was over, but a few remnants remained. The last stagecoach robbery occurred, but with the modernization of law enforcement, the age of the outlaw was over.
By the end of the decade America had seen itself go from a nation prone to isolation to an up-and-coming global power. World War 1 was fought and America's involvement resulted in the League of Nations.
During this time, Prohibition began to see an increase in support. More cities became modernized and would usher in a time of national prosperity that became known as the Roaring 20s.
January 6: New Mexico becomes the 47th state of the United States.
February 14: Arizona is admitted as the 48th U.S. state. It is the last state to be admitted to the Union during the Old West era.
August 24: The District of Alaska is organized into the Territory of Alaska. Alaska is later admitted as the 49th U.S. state in 1959, marking the complete political incorporation of continental U.S. territorial acquisitions.
July 28: World War 1 begins in Europe
December 5: The last stagecoach robbery in American history occurs at Jarbidge Canyon, Nevada, when three robbers hold up a U.S. Post Office Department stagecoach, shoot the driver, and steal $4,000 in cash. The criminals are captured without incident soon after
April 6: American Enter World War 1
November 11: World War 1 ends