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James Butler HICKOK Family History

Wild Bill Hickok photo || Chronology on Life of James Butler Hickok (by John Richard)

*** Please take note that the information included in this file is very likely to not be completely accurate. It is not the intention of the author to produce an article based soley on historical fact. ***

James Butler Hickok Family History

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank James Leogue for contributing to this information regarding James Butler Hickok. Martha Fuller submitted this information on JBH 02 Apr 1999.

 3 Jun 2001                   Family Group Sheet

        Husband: William Alonzo HICKOK  died at age: 50 
           Born:  5-Dec-1801          in North Hero, Grand IsleCo, VT  
           Died:  5-May-1852          in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
         Buried: 1852                 in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
         Father: Oliver Otis HICKOK 
         Mother: Chloe DEWEY 

           Wife: Polly BUTLER  died at age: 73 
        Married: 23 Jun 1829          in Grand IsleCo, VT    his age: 27  
her age: 24 
           Born:  4-Aug-1804          in Bennington, VT  
           Died: 1878                 in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
         Father: James BUTLER 
         Mother: Unis KINSLEY 
Polly Butler and her parents came to Potsdam in New York State about 1827. 

      M Child 1: Oliver Otis HICKOK  died at age: 68 
           Born:  1 May 1830          in Union, NY  
           Died: 29 Jun 1898          in ca  
      M Child 2: Lorenzo Butler HICKOK  died at age: 80 
           Born: 23 Nov 1832          in Union, NY  
           Died: 1913                 in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
      M Child 3: Horace Dewey HICKOK  died at age: 81 
           Born:  5 Oct 1834          in Bailey Point (now Tonica), IL  
           Died: 1916                 in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
      M Child 4: Lorenzo B. HICKOK  
Probably died as an infant as family had another Lorenzo B. Hickok.
      M Child 5: James Butler HICKOK  also known as: Wild Bill Hickok   
died at age: 39 
           Born: 27-May-1837          in Homer (Troy Grove), La SalleCo, IL  
           Died:  2-Aug-1876          in Deadwood, Dakota Territory  
         Buried:  4 Aug 1876          in Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, SD  
         Spouse: Agnes LAKE  b. 24 Aug 1832  d. 21 Aug 1907  
        Married:  5 Mar 1876          in Abilene, TX  
      F Child 6: Celinda Sallie HICKOK  died at age: 77 
           Born:  3 Sep 1839          in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
           Died:  8 Nov 1916          in Valley City, ND  
         Spouse: C. H.  SMITH  
        Married: 1853-1885            in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
         Spouse: Erastus DEWEY  
        Married:  3 Jan 1867          in   
      F Child 7: Lydia HICKOK  died at age: 73 
           Born: 29 Oct 1842          in Troy Grove, La SalleCo, IL  
           Died: 30 Jan 1916          in   
         Spouse: Harvey STEVENSON  
        Married: 23 Jul 1863          in   
         Spouse: James Hugh BARNES  
        Married: 12 Dec 1874          in   

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Brent Olgers (email address unknown) for contributing this information about James Butler Hickok.

Where did the nickname, "Wild Bill" come from? His name doesn't have a William or Bill in it. It is said that when he was working for a government wagon and ran those 5 desperadoes off, that a lady in the crowd yelled, "way to go Wild Bill!" He like it and from that day on he took it up as his nickname.

The story goes that Calamity Jane and Wild Bill were going along on a trail and met a lone man on horseback who turned out to be a preacher. At Wild Bill's request, she would say, the preacher spoke the words that legally married them. He (the preacher) even signed his name to a certificate he found in his knapsack. When this document eventually turned up, suspicious individuals discovered no trace of the preacher whose name was written on it. Furthermore, there was plenty of evidence that in 1876 Wild Bill already had a wife--the part owner of a circus back East. I don't really believe it, but I may be wrong. Wild Bill never said he was married to Jane, only she claims that. So this leads me to believe that they were never really married. This story I have just told you comes from a book entitled, "Calamity Jane: Her Life and Her Legend."

Wild Bill had Glaucoma, a disease that was slowly taking away his eyesight. He was quite an extraordinary fellow. Wild Bill traveled in the wild west shows of Buffalo Bill. When he was on stage, he would walk up to an indian playing dead from the act, and put his gun down close to their legs and shoot the blanks that let out a little powder and burned them. All these dead indians on stage were jumping up and down while they were playing dead. I bet that was funny.

Before one show, Wild Bill bribed the boy operating the spotlight to shine it on him instead of Buffalo Bill. When the boy did, the light was hurting his eyes and he kept yelling turn it off, but the boy couldn't hear him. He then proceeded to draw his gun and started firing at the spotlight. He really was wild and crazy in every sense of the word.

Wild Bill was so paranoid about being killed that it is said that he slept with crumbled newspapers on the floor to hear if someone tried to sneak in on him? Also, he would sometimes get up in the night periodically to check things out, and if he was suspicious he would sit up all night sometimes.

He never walked on the sidewalk but rather walked in the middle of the street, because he was afraid that someone might jump out of an alley and shoot him. I guess if their was anyone to blame for all this, it was Bill himself.

He always sat with his back to the wall, but on the day he was shot by McCall, he asked for a seat by the wall at a poker table, but the person refused, and he reluctantly took the other seat. I guess Bill was starting to mellow out a little because in his wilder days I couldn't imagine him taking "no" from that guy.

The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Lori for contributing this information regarding Hickok's nickname.

In the bio of Hickok a question is raised as to how James Butler Hickok became known as "Wild Bill" Hickok. The answer in the web site was a "guess" that while staging for the government, in a successful shooting, a bystander yelled out "Way to go, Wild Bill."

Although, the origin of his nickname is fairly speculative, it is almost undoubtedly accepted that he received his nickname while he endured a brief stint as a somewhat unsuccessful member of one of William ("Buffalo Bill") Cody's famous Wild West Shows. Because he rode horses, performed stunts, etc., and because he was part of the "Buffalo Bill" show, he was aptly named "Wild Bill" Hickok as his performing name. The name stuck with him, even though the job didn't.

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