George Scarborough

George Scarborough

George Scarborough was born in Louisiana on 2nd October, 1859. His family moved to Texas and for a while worked as a cowboy. In 1885 he was appointed sheriff for Jones County. Later he worked as deputy marshal at El Paso, Texas. On 21st June, 1895, he killed Martin Morose, a Texas rustler.

In 1895 John Wesley Hardin claimed that he paid Scarborough and Jeff Milton to kill Martin McRose. Milton and Scarborough were arrested but Hardin later withdrew his comments and the men were released.

On 18th August, 1895, John Selman shot John Wesley Hardin in the back of the head while he was standing at the Acme Saloon Bar. Selman was murdered by Scarborough on 6th April, 1896.

Scarborough now moved to Deming, New Mexico, where he worked as a gunman for the Grant County Cattlemen's Association. He was also associated with the arrest of Pearl Hart.

On 5th April, 1900 Scarborough was involved in a shoot-out with George Stevenson and James Brooks. He was shot in the leg and he had to be taken back to Deming where he had his leg amputated. He died the following day.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) El Paso Herald (5th April, 1896)

John Selman, the victor of not less than twenty shooting affrays in Texas, the exterminator of "bad men" and the slayer of John Wesley Hardin, is dying tonight with a bullet hole through his body. About three months ago Selman and United States Deputy Marshal George Scarborough had a quarrel over a game of cards, since which occurrence the relations between them have not been cordial. This morning at 4 o'clock they met in the Wigwam saloon and both were drinking. Scarborough says that Selman said, "Come, I want to see you," and that the two men walked into an alley beside the saloon, and Selman, whose son is in Juarez, Mexico, in jail on a charge of abducting a young lady from there to this side, said to Scarborough: "I want you to come over the river with me this morning. We must get that boy out of jail."

Scarborough expressed his willingness to go with Selman, but stated that no bad breaks must be made in Juarez. Scarborough says that Selman then reached for his pistol, with the remark, "I believe I will kill you." Scarborough pulled his gun and began shooting. At the second shot Selman fell, and Scarborough fired two more shots as Selman attempted to rise. When Selman was searched no pistol could be found on him or anywhere around him. He says he had a pistol, but that it was taken from him after he fell and before the police reached him. Scarborough's first shot hit Selman in the neck. The next two shots also took effect, one through the left leg just above the knee and the other entering the right side just under the lower rib. A fourth wound in the right hip is supposed to have been caused by Selman's pistol going off prematurely, as the ball ranged downward. Scarborough is about 38 years old. He was born in Louisiana and was raised in Texas, and for several years was sheriff of Jones County. Selman was raised on the Colorado River in Texas. He was about 58 years old and has lived a stormy life. When not drinking he was as gentle as a child, but he did not know what fear was, and has killed not less than twenty outlaws. He was a dead shot and quick with his gun. He was an old officer in the service. Some years ago he fought a band of cattle thieves in Donna Anna County, New Mexico, killing two and capturing the others, four in all. He killed Bass Outlaw, a deputy United States Marshal, in El Paso a few years ago.