Legendary Lawman Dallas Stoudenmire

After being a Ranger for three years, he would disappear for several years and finally resurface in Socorro, New Mexico as the town marshal.


Accounts of Stoudenmire's term in office were not without bad press. He would occasionally use the bell of St. Clement's Church for target practice while out on patrol and was accused of using city funds without authorization. Stoudenmire also had a drinking problem. When he caught wind the City Aldermen were meeting to discuss discharging him from his position he walked into the meeting and shouted, "I can straddle every damned alderman here." Upon sobering up the Marshal resigned on his own on May 29, 1882. The city council would eventually become afraid of him.

Stoudenmire would finally lose a gunfight on Septmber 18, 1882. Having signed a "peace treaty" with the Manning family, Stoudenmire would begin to argue with Doc Manning and both would pull their pistols. Stoudenmire's body was shipping back to Columbus, Texas for burial. The Masonic lodge No. 130 would pay for all expenses to include $4.50 for lumber and $11.55 for his burial suit.

While not as famous as many of his contemporaries, Dallas Stoudenmire was one of the most legendary lawmen of his day. So prolific are his exploits that he is the subject of a biography, Dallas Stoudenmire: El Paso Marshal, by Leon Metz (University of Oklahoma Press, 1993). Eugene Cunningham also devoted a chapter to Stoudenmire in Triggernometry: A Gallery of Gunfighters, his now classic 1934 book on Western gunmen. The space here doesn't allow the detail that Dallas Stoudenmire deserves. While clearly not without fault, he was truly a legend of the west.



  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to Officer.com. To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.