Today in Texas History – April 5

From the Annals of the Gunslingers –  In 1896, U.S. deputy marshal George A. Scarborough shot John Selman in El Paso.  Selman was a notorious gunman and gambler. Selman was perhaps best known as the man who killed John Wesley Hardin in 1895.  Selman, as Constable of El Paso, had also shot and killed former Texas Ranger Bass Outlaw on April 5, 1894 after Outlaw killed Texas Ranger Joe McKirdict.  Outlaw had been a close friend to Scarborough.  Selman was tried for the shooting and found not guilty.  On the second anniversary of Outlaw’s death, Scarborough called out Selman into the alley behind the Wigwam Saloon.   An argument ensued followed by a fight.  Scarborough claimed both drew their guns, and that he then fatally shot Selman. Selman died the next day. No gun was found on Selman’s body.  Scarborough was indicted for murder.  Conveniently before the trial, a thief was arrested who claimed to have stolen Selman’s gun immediately after the supposed gun fight. Scarborough was acquitted but was forced to resign his position as deputy marshal.    April 5 was an auspicious day for Scarborough. As with many of his ilk, he died at the end of a muzzle.  He died at his home in Deming, New Mexico on April 5, 1900 following a gun fight with cattle rustlers in Arizona.

Photo of U.S. Marshall George Scarborough from


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