James Masterson (James Masterson)

James Masterson

Lawman. Born in Henryville, Iberville County, Quebec, Canada the third of Thomas Masterson and Catherine McGurk’s seven children. About 1861 the family moved from Canada to the United States. The family spent time in New York state, and Illinois before settling near Wichita, Kansas in 1871. Jim Masterson’s career began as a buffalo hunter, a occupation he pursued off and on until 1878. In April 1877, he and a partner opened a dance hall/saloon in Dodge City where his brother Ed was Sheriff. A year later Ed Masterson was killed in the line of duty to be replaced by brother Bat. Jim served as one of Dodge’s police force under Bat, working with such notables as Wyatt Earp. In November 1879, Jim was made town marshal. That same day, brother Bat lost his bid for re-election and Jim his position as deputy. He lost the job of marshal with a change in the city government in April, 1881. Ten days later he shot a man and was allowed to leave Dodge City on the understanding he would not return. He moved to Trinidad, Colorado where he served as a deputy and later as a township constable. In late 1884, he moved Raton, New Mexico Territory, where in early 1885 he was appointed under sheriff of Colfax County. He did not fare well in New Mexico and eventually found himself in Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory where he became a deputy sheriff of Logan County as well as a dealer in a saloon. In 1893, Jim became a U.S. Marshal and was involved in the notorious Ingalls, Oklahoma shootout with the Doolin gang. Less than one year later Jim Masterson died of hasty consumption. Jim’s body was brought to home to Kansas, and now lies in Wichita’s Highland Cemetery. A Dodge City contemporary, George Bolds, wrote; “Jim Masterson could outdraw his brother Bat and Wyatt Earp and could match them in courage.” While his obituary stated; “Jim Masterson was a man who never went back on a friend, and never forgot an obligation.” (bio by: Iola)  Family links:  Parents:  Thomas M. Masterson (1827 – 1921)  Katherine Udora McGurk Masterson (1832 – 1908)  Spouse:  Minnie Roberts Bryson (1866 – 1940)  Siblings:  Edward J. Masterson (1852 – 1878)*  Bat Masterson (1853 – 1921)*  James Masterson (1855 – 1895)  Nellie E. Masterson Cairns (1857 – 1925)*  Thomas Masterson (1858 – 1941)*  George Henry Masterson (1860 – 1892)*  Minnie Emma Masterson (1862 – 1884)* *Calculated relationship


  • September, 16, 1855
  • Canada


  • March, 03, 1895
  • USA


  • Highland Cemetery
  • Kansas
  • USA

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