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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?Old West History Made Easy

  • 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.

  • True or False?

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.

  • True or False?

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 back.

  • True or False?

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.

  • True or False?

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

Gunfight at Hide Park
[Answers]

  1. August 11, 1871
  2. True
  3. Two men
  4. Hide Park
  5. Jim Martin
  6. True
  7. True
  8. Seven men
  9. True
  10. McCluskie's brother, Arthur

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