Bad Blood: Jim Courtright and Luke Short

Jim Courtright

Jim ‘Longhaired’ Courtright
was Fort Worth City Marshall from 1876-1879. No one had ever outdrawn Courtright until that fateful afternoon when he and Luke Short met outside the “White Elephant”.

Luke Short

L. L. Short – a professional gambler and part owner of the famous “White Elephant Saloon” located on Main St. between Second and Third. He was known around Fort Worth as the King of the Gamblers.

Bad blood had been brewing for some time between Luke Short and ‘Longhaired’ Courtright when they met on the evening of Feb. 8th at about 8:00 p.m. A challenge was issued by Courtright. Luke was called out of the White Elephant. Both men moved up the block until they were in front of Ella Blackwell’s Shooting Gallery. They stood facing each other just a few feet apart. Short assured Courtright he had no gun and moved to show him by lifting his vest. It was dark, Courtright had been drinking and he took it as a go for his gun. Courtright yelled, “Don’t you pull a gun on me.” Courtright went for one of his two 45’s on his hips. Courtright outdrew Short. In the process his 45’s hammer caught on his watch chain. Luke drew his pistol and got off the first shot. Short then fired four more shots. Courtright fell to the floor on his back, dying.
The year was 1887. Luke Short never went to trial for killing Courtright. The shooting was a clear cut case of self defense.

“Hell’s Half Acre” by Richard F. Selcer and “Where the West Begins” by Janet L. Schmelzer. Both books are available from the “Best Little Bookstore in Texas”.

Route 66

Route 66 mapOn Friday, May 15, 1998, Neva and I climbed into our time machine for a trip back in time on Old Route 66. We adjusted our mind time frames and reset our time machine’s odometer. The time machine’s fuel tanks were topped off in anticipation. Old road maps were consulted but newer maps were more dependable. With the old maps you could get lost in a time warp, perhaps never to find your way back to the present.
A navigator tape was plugged into the time machine electrical system for mood imaging. As “Old Roads Are Just Side Roads That Time Passed By Too Fast” was surrounding the interior of our Time Machine, we blasted off.
I stabilized our cruise speed, the co-pilot guided us towards “The Lost Highway”, known as “The Mother Road”. The Quest Had Begun.
As I wrote this last sentence the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up. I have been on old Route 66 many times covering Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, and I still get so excited I just can’t stand it. I love Route 66 Road Trips!
66 Courts

U Drop InnThe U-Drop Inn is considered by many Route 66 connoisseurs to be an Art Deco Masterpiece Deluxe. The U-Drop Inn is in Shamrock. Shamrock is just off of I-40 and at one time a Route 66 Main Street of America Town. In 1936 construction was started on the building costing a grand total of $23,000. Several years ago on one of our Route 66 tours, we ate at the café. It was a plain, small town café; no frills, just good food. Sadly on this trip the café was closed down and for rent. I have heard that a man from up North has bought the U-Drop Inn and plans to restore it to its former glory. Great! Continue reading