This Wild Bill Hickok Gunfight Made Wild West History in Missouri
When most people think about wild west history, they imagine the streets of South Dakota, Arizona or maybe Colorado. Perhaps they should include Missouri in those thoughts as wild west history was made on the streets of Springfield by Wild Bill Hickok.
I saw a conversation on the Missouri sub-Reddit that claimed something I was not aware of. It said this:
Wild Bill Hickok, shoots Davis Tutt at Springfield, Missouri in 1865, in what is considered as the first ever one to one gun duel in the Wild West. It happened due to a fight over a card game.
Since I enjoy Reddit, but don't take everything I see there immediately as fact, I did some research and learned they're correct. The confirmation I found comes from the city of Springfield, Missouri itself. They shared the full backstory of Wild Bill Hickok's shootout on the square in Springfield.
The date was July 21, 1865. Wild Bill Hickok had a disagreement with Davis K. Tutt over gambling debts. Tutt had taken possession of Wild Bill's watch. That didn't sit well with Hickok. What resulted was what the city of Springfield, Missouri says was the "nation’s first one-on-one quick draw duel" in wild west history. Wild Bill shot Davis K. Tutt through the chest and was later acquitted of manslaughter.
Davis K. Tutt is buried at Maple Park Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri as his gravestone notes how and where he met his end.
Yes, Dodge City, Kansas and Tombstone, Arizona are well-known for their wild west history, but don't forget about Missouri. Springfield is the place where one-on-one showdowns was born thanks to Wild Bill Hickok and his prized watch.