This article originally ran in "Tales from the Morgue" April 9, 2008.
You don’t mess around with a man’s gun. And as a lawman in Red Rock discovered, you don’t fool with the Girl from Wyoming’s gun either!
It all started in October 1911, when Alberta Claire passed through Arizona on her way to the Atlantic seaboard. The Girl from Wyoming, as she was known, left Wyoming to ride across the United States on a wager to advertise her native state. She set off from her hometown of Buffalo on her sturdy buckskin pony, Bud, and with her shaggy dog, Micky.
As part of the bet, she had to travel thirty miles a day, never over the same road and she needed to get there by April of 1912. When she rode into Red Rock, she had already been through Idaho, Oregon and California. But, it was in that small town north of Tucson, that she had a run in with the law.
After taking care of her horse, she entered the hotel. “An officer of the law walked up to her and took off the revolver she was wearing.” She explained that she was used to leaving her gun in the hotel office and asked for permission to do so. She was denied and her gun was confiscated.
Several hurried phone calls were made to those familiar with her story and eventually, her gun was returned. But not before the indignant lady “is said to have told the officer some things which made both ears burn.”
The next day, Claire proceeded on to Tucson. Here she appeared, with Bud and Micky, in “A COWGIRLS’ SURPRISE.” Tickets were 15 to 25 cents, children got in for a dime.
To see photos of Alberta Claire and read her own account of her Arizona adventure check out “An Incident.”