The History of the Marshal
Part III

It must be noted here, that, although Indian Jim was not a primary gunfighter, he was an important spokesperson and celebrity of the park. Jim did, sometimes with a little needed encouragement, perform gunfights.

The Village always had one main Marshal, like Marshal Ron, Marshal Clyde or Marshal Westin (Chuck). Through most of the 60's, Clyde was the Marshal and Bill Kelsey was the preeminent outlaw. When Clyde became the Village Marshal in August, 1963, Bill Kelsey moved up to being the primary outlaw. In those years Clyde and Bill each received one day off a week, during the Summer season. A Deputy Marshal or relief outlaw was needed to cover the days off for these two men. For Clyde to get a day off, a Deputy was needed to fill in to bethe lawman. An hourly employee was trained to fill in their relief roles. Allen Weitzel and Curt Daniels spent many a day at covering the days off for Clyde and Bill. Early in his career with the Village, Chuck Lowe ran the Gold Coast Players (a melodrama group). Between his shows, he and his staff would assist with gunfights, as well, adding extra color and flavor to those street gunfight performances. We never referred to the lawman as Sheriff; he was either a Marshal or Deputy Marshal and the good guy always won. When Chuck left the park in the early to mid 70's, all the gunfighters then became seasonal Employees rather than salaried. Don Gwinn and Bill Perry moved into the gunfight ranks; Bill being an undertaker for a long time prior to his jump to being an outlaw. Though Chuck, Clyde and Ron were salaried (full time), all of the main outlaws were hourly. The outlaw who held the job for the longest time was Wild Bill Kelsey. Bill created (and was curator for) the School House. He also created some of the outlaw traditions that stayed with the Village until the gates finally closed. Bill added the element of stunts and live action to his outlaw performances. Bill finally coughed up the secret of his inspiration for these innovative gunfight creations. Borrowing tricks from watching the television show, "The Wild, Wild West" (starring Robert Conrad), Bill would get an idea and then wander the Village looking for ways to incorporate his new found concepts into the hourly shows. Wild Bill was also the creator of Boot Hill out in the badlands. Curt Daniels replaced Bill Kelsey as the outlaw, when Bill left the Village in 1968. Curt left in in 1969 to start "Guns of the Old West" with Paul Bell and Randy Mitchell became the lead outlaw. As with most entertainers, Curt and Randy started their entertainment careers as undertakers. In the Spring of 1970, Curt returned to Village as 2nd outlaw, Deputy Marshal and the foremost train robbery outlaw.

More stories from Curt and Randy

And more..



   Frontier Village - Marshal History Part IV