Gunfight at Hide Park
The Gunfight at Hide Park, or Newton Massacre, was the name given to
an Old West gunfight that occurred on August 19, 1871, in Newton,
Kansas. It was well publicized at the time, but since has received
little historical attention, despite its producing a higher body count
than the Gunfight at the OK Corral and the Four Dead in Five Seconds
Gunfight of 1881.
What do you know about the Gunfight at Hide Park?
Try this Alan's Old West Trivia quiz. You'll find the answers at the
bottom of the page.
1) The incident began with an argument between two local lawmen,
Billy Bailey and Mike McCluskie. The two men began arguing over local
politics on election day in the "Red Front Saloon", located in
downtown Newton. When did the argument start?
- June 11, 1871
- July 11, 1871
- August 11, 1871
2) The argument developed into a fist fight, with Bailey being
knocked outside the saloon and into the street. McCluskie followed,
drawing his pistol. He fired two shots at Bailey, hitting him with the
second shot in the chest. Bailey died the next day, on August 12, 1871.
3) McCluskie fled town to avoid arrest, but was only away for a few
days before returning, after receiving information that the shooting
would most likely be deemed self defense, despite the fact that Bailey
never produced a weapon. McCluskie had claimed he feared for his life,
having known that in three previous gunfights. How many men was Bailey
reported to have killed?
- Two men
- Three men
- Five men
4) Bailey, a native of Texas, had several cowboy friends who were in
town. Upon hearing of his death, they vowed revenge against McCluskie.
On August 19, 1871, McCluskie entered Newton and went to gamble at
"Tuttles Dance Hall", located in an area of town. What section
of town was Tuttles located called?
- Hide Park
- Long Branch
- Boot Hill
5) Who accompanied McCluskie into the gambling hall?
- Jim Martin
- Mark Reynolds
- Michael Wallis
6) As McCluskie settled into gambling, three cowboys entered the
saloon. They were Billy Garrett, Henry Kearnes, and Jim Wilkerson, all
friends to Bailey. Billy Garrett had been in at least two prior
gunfights, killing two men.
7) Hugh Anderson, the son of a wealthy Bell County, Texas cattle
rancher, also entered, and approached McCluskie, calling him a coward
and threatening his life. Jim Martin jumped up and attempted to stop a
fight from occurring. Anderson shot McCluskie in the neck, knocking him
to the floor. McCluskie attempted to shoot Anderson, but his pistol
misfired. Anderson then stood over him and shot him several times in the
8) James Riley, age 18, was dying from tuberculosis, and had been
taken in by McCluskie shortly after arriving in Newton. Riley had never
been involved in a gunfight before, but only Anderson still had a loaded
pistol to return fire. Some accounts say Riley locked the saloon doors
before shooting, but this seems unlikely. The room was filled with smoke
from all the prior gunfire, and visibility was bad. How many men did
Riley end up hitting?
- Two men
- Five men
- Seven men
9) Jim Martin, the would-be peacemaker, was shot in the neck and
later died of his wound. Garrett, Kearns, and a bystander named Patrick
Lee were also mortally wounded. Anderson, Wilkerson, and another
bystander were wounded but survived.
10) A warrant was issued for Anderson for killing McCluskie. He left
Kansas by train and settled in Texas to recover from his wounds. On July
4, 1873, they located Anderson. A brutal fight ensued with both men
shooting each other several times, then going after each other with
knives. Neither survived. Who located Anderson?
- McCluskie's cousin, Martin
- McCluskie's brother, Arthur
- Martin's brother, Arthur