“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Pensacola in Escambia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 29, 2015
1. John Wesley Hardin Marker
Inscription.  Texas fugitive, John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895) was captured here on August 23, 1877. Hardin was wanted and dangerous, and his capture became national news that brought notoriety to Pensacola. Hardin had reportedly killed 27 men. He bragged he had killed 40 men "all in self-defense," including one for snoring too loud. Texas Rangers Lt. John B. Armstrong and Jack R. Duncan along with the Sheriff of Escambia County, William H. Hutchinson, and nine deputies apprehended Hardin and his associates at the L&N Freight Depot as they boarded a train bound for Pollard, Alabama. When approached by Sheriff Hutchinson, Hardin tried to draw a revolver but was overpowered. Deputy Martin Sullivan shot and killed one of Hardin's accomplices as he tried to escape. Hardin was returned to Texas and found guilty of killing Comanche County Deputy Charles Webb. He was sentenced to 25 years in the Texas State Penitentiary, but was pardoned after serving 17 years by Governor James Stephen Hogg and thereafter practiced law in El Paso, Texas. On August 9, 1895 Hardin was shot and killed while playing dice in El Paso.

Those who participated
John Wesley Hardin Marker reverse image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 29, 2015
2. John Wesley Hardin Marker reverse
in the capture of
John Wesley Hardin
August 23, 1877

Texas Rangers
Lieutenant John Barclay Armstrong
John Riley Duncan

Escambia County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff William H. Hutchinson
Deputy Martin Sullivan • Deputy A.J. "Ace" Perdue
Deputy E.R. Payne • Deputy John Bard
Deputy William McKinney • Deputy M.L. Davis
Deputy Richard L. Campbell • Deputy Joseph Commyns
Deputy John E. Callaghan

The Superintendent of the Pensacola & Atlantic Railroad, William D. Chipley, provided special rail transport to the Rangers and valuable intelligence on the location of Hardin. Chipley later became a Pensacola mayor and state senator.

A Florida Heritage Site
Sponsored by Escambia County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff David Morgan, UWF Historic Trust, Mr. Joe Ulery

Erected 2014 by The Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-818.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Law Enforcement.
Location. 30° 24.531′ N, 87° 12.711′ W. Marker is in Pensacola, Florida, in Escambia County. Marker is on South Tarragona Street south of Church Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pensacola FL 32502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are
John Wesley Hardin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 29, 2015
3. John Wesley Hardin Marker
within walking distance of this marker. The Commanding Officer's Compound (within shouting distance of this marker); The End of the Colonial Era in Florida (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Escambia County Court of Record Building (1912-1978)/Pensacola Little Theater-Pensacola Cultural (about 400 feet away); The Life and Legacy of T. T. Wentworth, Jr. (about 500 feet away); Gateway to Florida’s History (about 500 feet away); Christ Church (about 500 feet away); Colonial Pensacola - Archaeology Brings History to Life (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Christ Church (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pensacola.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This is where he met his death in 1895.
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry. Excerpt:
Soon afterwards on August 6, 1871, Hardin, his cousin Gip Clements, and a rancher friend named Charles Couger put up for the night at the American House Hotel after an evening of gambling. Clements and Hardin shared one room, with Couger in the adjacent room. All three had been drinking heavily. Sometime during the evening, Hardin was awakened by loud snoring coming from Couger’s room. He first shouted several times for the man to "roll over" and then, irritated by the lack
View of the Marker looking South on Tarragona Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 6, 2019
4. View of the Marker looking South on Tarragona Street.
Located next to Discovery Square, an Early Learning Playground, part of the T. T. Wentworth Museum Plaza.
of response, drunkenly fired several bullets through the shared wall in an apparent effort to awaken him. Couger was hit in the head by the second bullet as he lay in bed, and was killed instantly. Although Hardin may not have intended to kill Couger, he had violated an ordinance prohibiting firing a gun within the city limits. Half-dressed and still drunk, he and Clements exited through a second-story window onto the roof of the hotel. He saw Hickok arrive with four policemen. “Now, I believed,” Hardin wrote, “that if Wild Bill found me in a defenseless condition he would take no explanation, but would kill me to add to his reputation.”
(Submitted on August 15, 2020.) 
Additional keywords. Outlaws
John Wesley Hardin image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
5. John Wesley Hardin
This photo of John Wesley Hardin by N. H. Rose was published c. 1940.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 30, 2015, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 598 times since then and 8 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week August 16, 2020. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 30, 2015, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.   4. submitted on March 6, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   5. submitted on March 8, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jan. 23, 2021