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"Wolf of the Washita" born in Tennessee


On this day in 1840, gunfighter Clay Allison was born on a Tennessee farm. After serving in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Allison moved to the Brazos River country in Texas. He soon signed on as a cowhand with Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight and was probably among the eighteen herders on the 1866 drive that blazed the Goodnight-Loving Trail. In 1870 he left Texas and was involved in a number of violent incidents, including lynchings, brawls and gunfights, in Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico during the 1870s. In January 1876 a drunken Allison wrecked the office of the Cimarron News and Press because of a scathing editorial. He allegedly later returned to the newspaper office and paid $200 for damages. By 1880 Allison had settled as a rancher in Hemphill County, Texas. Though he married and served as a juror, his reputation as the "Wolf of the Washita" was kept alive by reports of his unusual antics. Once he was said to have ridden nude through the streets of Mobeetie. In the summer of 1886 a dentist from Cheyenne, Wyoming, drilled the wrong one of Allison's teeth, and Allison got even by pulling out one of the dentist's teeth. In December 1886 he bought a ranch near Pecos and became involved in area politics. Allison died in a wagon accident the following year.

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