Seth Bullock (1874-1919)

Seth Bullock



  • Seth Bullock was a Canadian-American lawman who embodied the positive side of the Western pioneer spirit.
  • Bullock ran away from an abusive childhood home on several occasions, finally leaving for good at the age of eighteen.
  • He settled in Helena (Montana) and helped  create the Yellowstone National Park.
  • After he became sheriff, he personally hanged his first man – a horse thief called Clell Watson.
  • From all accounts, Bullock was a brave, fair-minded lawman, with good business sense.
  • He partnered up with  Sol Star and opened a hardware store in Helena.
  • They later relocated to the gold-rush town of Deadwood (South Dakota), arriving the day before Wild Bill Hickok was murdered by Jack McCall.
  • Because of his previous experience, Bullock was immediately appointed as the first sheriff of Deadwood.
  • Wyatt Earp – the Deputy Marshall of Dodge City – challenged him for this position, but quickly backed down.
  • Bullock married Martha Eccles Bullock.  They had two daughters and a son.
  • With Sol Star, he continued investing in the Deadwood area and helped bring in the railroad.  Their interests eventually included a ranch, flour mill, and mining business.
  • When the hardware store burnt down in 1894, they replaced it with the Bullock Hotel.  It is still in operation today.
  • Bullock was appointed the U.S. Marshall for South Dakota, and served in that position for nine years.
  • He died of colon cancer in 1919, and is buried in Deadwood, alongside Hickok and Calamity Jane.
  • In 1889, Bullock met Theodore Roosevelt and they became friends.  Roosevelt said of him: “Seth Bullock is a true Westerner, the finest type of frontiersman.”


Legends of America, “Seth Bullock,” at

Wikipedia, “Seth Bullock” at

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