Emergency of the Lawman as a Peace Keeper Kali Greene & Matthew Tharp

The Story of John R. Abernathy aka Wolf Catcher


Catch 'Em Alive Jack (1876–1941)

Born to Scottish ancestors in Texas, Abernathy was raised in the burgeoning railroad town of Sweetwater. During his lifetime he worked as a U.S. Secret Service agent, a wildcat oil driller, and was the last U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma Territory, serving from 1906 to 1910. But he was best known for capturing hundreds of wolves single handedly without ever having to kill one. By forcing his hand deep enough into a wolf's mouth, he could stun the creature long enough to capture it, a service for which he was paid fifty dollars by eager ranchers. Earning him his nicknames and a small amount of fame for this "skill," he even drew the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt. The president even wanted Abernathy to teach him this technique but the Secret Service talked the president out of it. (probably a good idea)

The wild and lawless period in the West lasted for about 70 years. Living in the American West was not easy at that time. There were no laws, no courts, and little or no government, and because of this, it easily lured numerous criminals. Some of whom were escaping punishment for other crimes, and some who wanted to take advantage of its having no laws. The lawmen, who were looked to by some of the people of the region to bring order, as there were outlaws and criminals using the area as sanctuary from their crimes and to commit more crimes as well.


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