It’s been called “The Gunfight at Hyde Park” or the “Newton Massacre”. The Emporia News (Kansas) headlined it as “Wholesale Murder at Newton”, the White Cloud Kansas Chief called it an “affray” and the Lawrence Daily Journal called it a “riot”. Whatever, it was bloody, and one of the biggest gunfights in the history of the Wild West – more were killed than the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
In 1871, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad had extended its line past Abilene, Kansas and established a terminal at Newton. In a pattern repeated numerous times during that era throughout the West – discover gold or silver or put in a railroad line, and towns would quickly go from bucolic to rambunctious.
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