Two Documents with John Wesley Hardin's Signature

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Chit or IOU from the Wigwam Saloon to John Wesley Hardin, with Hardin's Signature

IOU with WIGWAM stamp and charges for "Bottle Rye 1.10" and "Loss at Dice 6.00". Signed by "J. W. Hardin". Dated Aug. 16, 1895, three days before he was killed in the Acme Saloon down the street. Lined ledger paper trimmed to 2 7/8" x 3 7/8".

Lot 705, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $8,000-10,000.


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John Wesley Hardin’s Signed Bar Bill from the Wigwam Saloon

Wigwam Saloon Ledger Account for John W. Hardin, for the period April 12, 1895 until the day of Hardin's death. Signed in two places by Hardin, with the final entry dated August 19, 1895, the day he was shot and killed in the nearby Acme Saloon. On that day at the Wigwam, he spent $3.15 on his bar bill, and .30 cents on cigars. The document is an extremely interesting account of Hardin’s life in El Paso in the months before his death, and includes gambling debts, loans, etc.

On August 18th, the day before he was killed, there is an entry for “Losses at Cards” in the amount of $70. It is by far his single largest gambling loss recorded on this ledger. July 4th must have been an interesting day, as it includes entries for “Drinks for Johnny” (likely Selman), “Bottle for Milton” (likely lawman, Jeff Milton), “Bottle of Rye”, and $20 cash.

The Wigwam clearly had good record-keeping. Hardin’s signature appears in the two instances where he made a payment on his account, but left a balance due. Hardin died owing the Wigwam $198.25.

Lot 707, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $10,000-15,000.