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Wild Bill Hickok-Davis Tutt shootout

Old West History Made EasyThe Wild Bill Hickok-Davis Tutt shootout was a gunfight that occurred on July 21, 1865 in the town square of Springfield, Missouri between Wild Bill Hickok, and a local cowboy named Davis Tutt. It was considered to be one of the few recorded shootings in the history of the Wild West that consisted of a one-on-one pistol quickdraw duel in a public place, in the manner later made iconic by countless dime novels, radio operas, and Western films such as Gary Cooper in High Noon and Clint Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy.

What do you know about the Wild Bill Hickok-Davis Tutt shootout? Draw for this Old West History Made Easy Trivia quiz.  Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. By July 20, 1865 the two men were sworn enemies. Wild Bill Hickok staunchly refused to play cards in any game that included David Tutt. Tutt retaliated by openly supporting other local card-players with advice and money in a dedicated attempt to bankrupt Hickok. Where was Davis Tutt from?

  • Marion County, Arkansas
  • Harrison County, West Virginia
  • Maple County, Tennessee

2. The simmering conflict eventually came to a head during a game of poker. Where was the poker game at?

  • Old Southern Hotel
  • Ripley Hotel
  • Earp's Card House

3. The game was being played for high-stakes, and Hickok did well, winning about $200 ( in 2007 dollars) of what was essentially Tutt's money. He was funding Hickok's opponents. What would it be in 2007 dollars?

  • $269
  • $2,679
  • $267,000

4. Tutt suddenly reminded Hickok of a $40 debt he owed him from a previous horse trade. Hickok shrugged and refused to pay the sum.

  • True or False?

5. He then claimed that Hickok owed him an additional debt from a past poker game, back when Hickok was still willing to play against Tutt. "I think you are wrong, Dave," said Hickok. "It's only twenty-five dollars. I have a memorandum in my pocket." What was the amount?

  • $35
  • $50
  • $100

6. Tutt, sensing a valuable chance, grabbed one of Hickok's most prized possessions off the table. What was it?

  • Tobacco pouch
  • Gold pocket watch
  • Stetson hat

7. Both men faced each other sideways in the dueling position, hesitated briefly then Tutt reached for his pistol. Hickok drew his gun and steadied it on his opposite fore arm. The two men fired a single shot each, both shooting at essentially the same time, the reports combining as one. Tutt missed. But Hickok's bullet struck Tutt in the left side between the 5th and 7th ribs. Tutt called out "Boys, I'm killed", ran onto the porch of the local courthouse and back to the street where he collapsed and died.

  • True or False?

8. Hickok's manslaughter trial began and lasted three days. What day did it begin?

  • August 3, 1865
  • August 13, 1865
  • August 23, 1865

9. The trial ended with a conviction of manslaughter. Hickok spent a year in the Springfield, Missouri jail.

  • True or False?

10. Several weeks after the gunfight, on September 13, 1865, , a writer for Harper's, sought out Hickok and began the interviews that would eventually turn the then-unknown gunfighter into one of the great legends of the Old West. Who was the writer?

  • Ned Buntline
  • Brett Harte
  • Colonel George Ward Nichols


Wild Bill Hickok-Davis Tutt shootout

  1. Marion County, Arkansas
  2. Old Southern Hotel
  3. $2,679
  4. False.  Hickok paid the $40.
  5. $35
  6. Gold pocket watch
  7. True
  8. August 3, 1865
  9. False. Hickok was acquitted.
  10. Colonel George Ward Nichols

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