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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Store

Welcome to the Illinois State Historical Sociey's online store. Over the years the Society has accumulated many books and since it is neither a research center nor a lending library, we have created this Store to make these books available for purchase. Most are single title items in like new condition. In addition to books, we are also offering for sale back issues of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society and Illinois Heritage, art work, and stationery. All proceeds from these sales will be used to support the Illinois State Historical Society.

*Most of the books for sale are new or very gently used and in extremely good condition.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to call the office at 217-525-2781, Ext. 1.

Illinois State Historical Society   |   Strawbridge-Shepherd House   |   PO Box 1800   |   Springfield, IL 62705-1800

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True Life Wild West: Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy
True Life Wild West: Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

A sixteen-year-old runaway from Illinois, Charley Hester (1853–1940) lit out from home in 1869, bound to make a life for himself on the great American frontier. In the winter of his life seven decades later, he dictated an account of his experiences in the Wild West of his youth. Charley Hester’s memoir recounts the journeys that took him to Missouri, Texas, Indian Territory, Kansas, and Nebraska and brought him face-to-face with badman John Wesley Hardin as well as Joel Collins before Collins formed his band of stagecoach and train robbers. The young cow waddy also tells of meeting Wild Bill Hickok, observing Doc Holliday’s deft card play, and witnessing the waylaying of a drunken buffalo hunter by Wyatt Earp. In his own colorful language, Hester relates stories ranging from high jinks on the trail to a heart-stopping surprise encounter with Indians, as well as conflicts with nature in the form of blizzards, cyclones, quicksand, swollen rivers, bad water, prairie fires, and electrical storms. So engaging that they figured in Warner Brothers’ research for the classic movie Dodge City, Hester’s adventures are the stuff of true Americana: history rendered in bolder strokes and brighter colors than the most outlandish fiction, as outrageous and outrageously entertaining as it is true.

 

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press, 2004

 

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