Bass Reeves, was one of two hundred U.S. marshals appointed to arrest and to keep peace and order in the Old West starting in 1870's. Bass Reeves was among a group of African Americans appointed as marshals and sheriffs in the early days of the old west by U.S. Government. Bass Reeves was born as a slave in Lamar County, Texas in July 1838. Reeves grew up as field hand of Col. George Reeves of Grayson County, Texas. As a young man Bass Reeves was strong and over six feet tall. Reeves learned to use and draw quickly a Colt revolver. He also learned to use the rifle and other firearms which later served him well as a U.S. Marshal.
Bass Reeves started his career as a U.S. deputy marshal in 1875. It is said the Bass Reeves was never wounded in his 30 years as a lawman in the West. He later said he had several close calls - "with a button shot off his coat; his hat was shot off, and his horse bridle was cut off by flying bullets."
Reeves said he had to kill 14 different men in his career - but they all always drew their weapons first. Bass Reeves was said to be an excellent detective who used disguises and smart ploys to capture his outlaws. Bass Reeves served under seven United States Marshals. After 32 years of service he retired in 1907 and worked another two years as a policeman on the Muskogee Police Force in Oklahoma. Bass Reeves died of natural causes on January 12, 1910 at age 71.
Birth: Jul., 1838
Texas, USADeath: Jan. 12, 1910
Oklahoma, USABuried: Agency Cemetery