Fort Griffin, Texas, is rarely used in the same sentence with Dodge City, Deadwood, or Tombstone, yet this frontier town was every bit as tough as the places that went down in the history of brutality.
Vigilantes, lynchings, ladies of easy virtue, buffalo hunting, gambling, posses, more lynchings, and lawmen as bad as the outlaws they jailed Fort Griffin had it all, bustling with a raw life not for the faint-of-heart. Commonly known as the Flat, Fort Griffin grew from a military post rife with Indian trouble to a spirited, rough-hewn frontier community, only to burn out in a matter of decades. Within that time it helped mold characters equal to any of legend.
John Larn, the Flat s second sheriff, was not only considered one of the best lawmen in the county but was also a cattle thief and killer, and died as violently as he had lived.
Colonel Ranald MacKenzie, commanding officer of the Fourth Cavalry, was the man whose savvy and knowledge would eventually put an end to the savage Indian attacks that had plagued Fort Griffin and surrounding territories.
Lottie Deno was the celebrity of Fort Griffin s floating world. With a mysterious past and uncommon elegance for women in her trade, her time in the Flat was to end with the tragic murder of her lover.
Fort Griffin had all the makings of the legendary western town, and was an archetype for the untamed frontier life. Its story is one of passion, anger, lawlessness, and occasional justice, and will further establish the Flat as a truly original pioneer town."
The Frontier World of Fort Griffin
University of Oklahoma Press
The Life and Death of a Western Town