Gonzales Inquirer, Thursday,
August 22, 1895.
San Antonio Express.
El Paso, Tex., Aug. 19. - (Special)
Wesley Hardin, the noted Texas desperado, is no more. He was shot and instantly
killed to-night about 11:30 o'clock in the Acme saloon by Constable John Sellman.
Hardin threatened Sellman's life several times during the evening but on meeting,
Sellman was too quick for him.
who is very cool and deliberate, but at the same time very quick, has killed a
number of bad men and Hardin reckoned without his host when he ran up against
him. Hardin fell dead with his boots on before he could get a shot at Sellman.
Hardin, as he was familiarly known over Southwest Texas, was especially the most
noted of the living Texas desperadoes. Hardin's early career was spent in DeWitt
county, and he was a terror in that section in the '70s, or until he was sent
to the penitentiary.
was sentenced to fifteen years, but got a time allowance for good conduct, which
enabled him to secure his discharge eighteen months earlier than would have been
the case had he been compelled to serve out his full time.
during his incarceration concluded that upon his release he would take to the
practice of law, and so spent the latter part of the period of his confinement
in studying the intricacies of jurisprudence. He gave his attention principally
to the criminal law, in which he expected to figure with distinction.
spending some time in Cuero
and afterwards at Gonzales,
where he nearly got into trouble in the excitement of the county election last
year, he came to El
Paso about three months ago.
was the son of a Methodist preacher, and was born in Trinity county being 45 years
of age at the time of his death. He was sent to the penitentiary from Lampasas
county in 1876 for the killing of the sheriff of Comanche county, who was attempting
to arrest him.
He was released in 1894, and stood his last trial for murder in Cuero
in the same year. [According to The El Paso Times, the Cuero case was dismissed.]
appearance Hardin was as typical a Texas desperado of the earliest type as was
ever portrayed in a dime novel. He was of medium weight, nearly six feet tall,
straight as an arrow and dark complexioned, with an eye as keen as a hawk.
an expert shot he was the peer of either King Fisher or Ben Thompson in their
palmiest days. He could shoot as quickly and aim as straight as either of them.
It was almost sure death for anyone who was in front of his gun when Hardin drew
scalps are said to have dangled from his belt and it is likely that the number
of human lives that he has taken will exceed that number.
The trouble which resulted in his death last night was brought on by his telling
Constable Sellman, in the Acme saloon, he did not like his (Sellman's) son, who
was one of the party of officers who had arrested him, a few nights before. One
word brought on another and it ended by his telling Sellman to get out in the
middle of the street and he would come soon and he would come "smoking."
waited for him several hours but he did not come out. Then Sellman went into the
saloon with a friend and, stepping up to the bar near Hardin they both watched
one another through the mirror in front. After Sellman had taken his drink he
says Hardin reached for his gun and he pulled his own and turned loose. The first
shot crashed through Hardin's brain and killed him instantly. He received two
more shots while falling to the floor. He had a gun in each hip pocket, but he
did not get a chance to pull either. Thus ended the career of the man who has
for several months been feared by the public in general.
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