Monday, March 16, 2015

Army Scout - Tom Threepersons

Unarguably, Tom Threepersons would be considered a Lawman well before his service as an Army Scout would be mentioned. However, it is beyond any doubt that Tom Threepersons and his accomplishments should be considered as legendary. Threepersons, born into the Cherokee Nation on or about 1893 and moved with his father and a friend (sometimes reported as his brother) to Alberta Province, Canada around 1908 to start a ranch.  My Grandfather lost his ranch in Montana in the early 1900's and also moved to Alberta to ranch taking my father and his two brothers. So I've always felt a kinship with Tom Threeperson's story.

Threeperson's father was soon killed by raiders. After the killers were released by the courts, Tom Threepersons killed both raiders in a gunfight.

Tom then joined the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and as a Mountie tracked criminals and raiders across the very rough and remote territory of the Canada-U.S. border. It was during his service with the RCMP where Threepersons was in gunfights resulting in more than 10 criminals killed or wounded, and Threepersons himself was wounded at least once.

Threepersons cemented his legend as a Canadian lawman by also working the Canadian- Alaska border where he tracked and killed kidnappers as well as tracking robbers for over 200 miles back on the U.S. Canadian border before capturing these men. Another manhunt led to the death of his partner, which Threepersons avenged days later, killing both remaining suspects.

Knowing his way around a horse and riding in local rodeo circuits in his teens, gave Threepersons a reputation as a capable Cowboy, which he proved in 1912 Threepersons won the Saddle Bronco event at a rodeo in Calgary that would be known worldwide as the Calgary Stampede.

A few years later, at about 21 years old, Threepersons moved to Arizona where he cowboyed and raised horses. He volunteered to serve as a scout for General Black Jack Pershing’s Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa and later served at Fort Bliss, Texas before being discharged in 1920.

Threepersons then served as an El Paso Police Officer and a Federal Probation Officer before leaving to run a ranch in Mexico. In Mexico he reported killed a couple of rustlers then returned to the U.S. where he became a Mounted Customs Inspector.

Later on he served as El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy and here he designed a holster, built by the S.D. Myres Saddle Co., which became known as the Tom Threeperson's Style. This holster is still in manufacture by El Paso Saddlery which bought out S.D. Myres in 1969. The Threeperson's holsters are shown at right.

Leaving law enforcement, Threepersons moved to Gila - Silver City area of New Mexico, ranching and guiding the rest of his life. Tom Threepersons died on April 2nd, 1969 and is buried in Silver City, New Mexico.

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