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William "Curly Bill" Brocius

William "Curly Bill" Brocius or Brocious was an American Old West outlaw, gunman and member of the Cow-boys outlaw gang of the Tombstone area in the Arizona Territory during the early 1880s.

Born: c. 1845
Died: March 24, 1882

What do you know about William "Curly Bill" Brocius?
Try this Old West History Made Easy Quiz. 
"Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

William "Curly Bill" Brocius1) Brocius is sometimes confused with "Curly Bill" Graham, who is a different outlaw of the same general place and period.  Curly Bill Graham is killed in a gunfight by Deputy Sheriff James D. Houck October 17, 1887.  
is "Curly Bill" Graham buried?

  1. Palm Springs, California

  2. Taos, New Mexico

  3. Young, Arizona

2) The only known picture of Brocius can be found in the in Tombstone.  He was known to have been a big man, well-built, with curly black hair, and of freckled complexion.
is the picture?

  1. Bird Cage Theater Museum

  2. Tombstone Courthouse State Park

  3. Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper

3) When drunk, Brocius is also known for a mean sense of humor, and for such "practical jokes" as using gunfire to make a preacher "dance" during a sermon, or making Mexicans at a community dance take off their clothes and dance naked. (Both incidents were reported by Wells Fargo agent Fred Dodge in his memoirs, and both incidents are alluded to in the newspapers of the time).

  • True or False?

4)  Wyatt Earp, from conversations with Brocius while transporting him to Tucson for trial (for shooting town Marshal Fred White) in 1880, thought Brocius is an escaped outlaw from El Paso, Texas. Brocius is on trial for the shooting of a town marshal.  
was the marshal?

  1. Bill Owens

  2. Fred White

  3. Morgan Earp

5) Brocius is known as a rustler, but for a time, he also works as a tax collection agent for Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan, making other rustlers pay taxes on their stolen cattle (the money goes into the sheriff's coffers and added to his salary).

  • True or False?

6) Brocius is shot by a companion after an argument in Galeyville.  The bullet passes though his neck and out the opposite cheek, and he survives.
is the date?

  1. May 6, 1881

  2. May 16, 1881

  3. May 26, 1881

7) Following the death of Old Man Clanton in the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre on August 13, 1881, Brocius becomes a primary leader in the gang.
What is the gang called?

  1. Cowboys

  2. Ranger Riders

  3. Wagon Masters

8. After the killing by the Earp party in Tucson on March 20, 1882, during the Earp vendetta ride, Brocius is deputized, given a warrant issued for Wyatt Earp by Sheriff Johnny Behan, and sent to bring back Earp, who is in the Whetstone Mountains outside town.  
is killed by the Earps?

  1. Ben Wright

  2. P. Allen Smith

  3. Frank Stilwell

9. Wyatt Earp, who is also looking for Brocius in revenge for the death of his brother Morgan, encounters Curly Bill on March 24, 1882, at Iron Springs (present day Mescal Springs). In the gunfight, Wyatt kills Brocius with a double shotgun blast to the chest from a range of about 50 feet.

  • True or False?

10. Brocius or Brocious is believed to be an alias. 
do some historians believe that his real last name is?

  1. Bresnaham

  2. Brennaman

  3. Morgan

11. Where is "Curly Bill" Brocius buried?

  1. Boothill Graveyard, Tombstone, Arizona

  2. Frank Patterson ranch on the Babocomari River site unknown

  3. Old Fort Sumner Cemetery, Fort Sumner, New Mexico

More "B" Trivia

William "Curly Bill" Brocius

1) C.  2) A.  3) True  4) B.  5) True 6) C. 7) A.  8) C.  9) True  10)  A.  11) B.


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