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H.M "Muggins" Taylor | by gebodogs
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H.M "Muggins" Taylor

Photo taken from H.M. Muggins Taylor delivered the first news of Custer's massacre to the Bozeman telegraph. He later became a U.S. Marshall in Montana. He was killed in the line of duty in Coulson, MT. When coming to the aid of a domestic violence victim he was shot and killed. The suspect was arrested and served 8 years.


He is recognized as a fallen peace officer and his memorial can be found here:

“Muggins” Taylor, a real gentleman of the old school, who unfortunately had just been deputized by the United states marshal to protect the peace of the community. Taylor was a man of commanding appearance and of unusual capacity. His antecedents he kept strictly to himself. His death was especially painful to me as I had bunked with him during the winter and was at least partially instrumental in his appointment. Taylor once owned a large gambling house in Nevada, where he met a young lady with whom every evening he rode, horseback. It was his custom to pick for her a bouquet of wild flowers, which he personally delivered to her home, neatly wrapped in paper. On the last occasion of his visit the flowers, while in Taylor’s room, were tampered with by a person whose sense of humor was degradingly polluted. On the next evening after the flowers had been examined, Taylor was refused admission to the young lady’s home. He learned what happened, and though he sought the miscreant, gun in hand, was never able to overtake him. “Muggins” sold his business soon after that and later became a government scout. He was with the General’s (Terry) Command, when Custer was killed, and took the first news of the disaster to the telegraph office at Bozeman, where he also wrote his own version of the fight and sent it to the New York Herald by wire for which he received a check for $200. On one occasion, when closely pressed by Indians, he tore off his clothes, mounted a rock, and on all fours rigorously simulated the action of a mountain goat. The ruse was effective as Indians would not harm, or even approach an insane person because of superstitious awe and abject fear of a condition so unreal to them.


H. M. “Muggins” Taylor-sheriff in Billings; shot when serving a warrant for a domestic quarrel at a laundry in Coulson [Reported in Herald Paper on 5-10-1883]. He was born in 1830. [Grave 4.8. Died September 27, 1882 and buried October 1, 1882.] Muggins Taylor is most frequently remembered by old-timers as among those buried at Boothill. Taylor was deputy sheriff of Coulson. He was killed by Henry Lumpp, a no-account resident of that place, who according to report, spent his time loafing about saloons and pool halls, and depended upon his wife for support. The shooting took place on the street of Coulson while the officer was approaching Lumpp’s home to arrest him because of his attempt to kill P. Folger, a bartender in Skillen’s saloon. His shot at the bartender had been provoked when the later ejected him. Lumpp rested his rifle against the door jamb and shot Taylor through the body. Taylor’s body was accompanied to the cemetery by a large crowd of sorrowing friends.


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Uploaded on December 1, 2012