John J. Hayes Historical Collectibles

 
Lawman J.W Bell's Bowie Knife-'Killed by Billy the Kid'
Lawman J.W Bell's Bowie Knife-'Killed by Billy the Kid'

A wonderful piece of western history! The knife was carried by and identified to Deputy Marshal  James W. Bell  of Lincoln New Mexico Terr. He lead a very colorful life before he met his final end at the hands of Billy the Kid .  He first surfaced in the mid 1870's as a Texas Ranger  in Capt. Dan Robert's Frontier Battalion Co.D from which he retired in the Spring of 1879 in order to try his luck in the gold fields of Colorada. Next he showed up in White Oaks ,New Mexico and begin working as a Deputy Sheriff and then a Deputy U.S. Marshall. During this time he was part of a posse that eventually tracked down Billy the Kid  and captured him in Stinking Springs,New Mexico , after which Billy was sentenced , in Mesilla ,to die for the murder of Sheriff William Brady in Lincoln. On April 28th,1881 , the Kid , chained and guarded by deputies  Bell and Bob Olinger, somehow managed to acquire Bell's  pistol, and murdered him on an interior staircase in the courthouse. He then killed Olinger with his own shotgun.  James W. Bell   was buried in the White Oak cemetery.

The knife  is 10" overall with a 6" blade signed B4* ANY -F.WARD & Co.'s Cutlery Sheffield.  Fred Ward  & Co. used the B4 * ANY  trademark from 1856 to 1883.  The bone handle is 4" and period engraved J. W. Bell  on one slab and Lincoln NMT on the obverse. It comes with it's original scabbard.

Price: Price on Request