William “Billy” Dixon

WilliamDixon

Billy scouted the Texas Panhandle for the Army, hunted buffalo for the train companies, defended the Adobe Walls settlement against Indian attack with his legendary buffalo rifle, and was one of eight civilians in the history of the U.S. to receive the Medal of Honor. Dixon led the founders of Adobe Walls to the Texas Plains, where he knew buffalo were in abundance. The group of 28 men and one woman occupied the outpost of five buildings 15 miles northeast of Stinnett. The outpost was attacked on June 27, 1874 by a band of 700 to 1200 Indians, and that is when Dixon went into the history books for firing “The Shot of the Century which effectively ended the siege.

Although, Billy Dixon states in his biography that it was a “scratch shot”, he is still honored to this day with competitions in England and the US which attempt to match his skill. The stand-off continued into a third day, when a group of Indians were noticed about a mile east of Adobe Walls. It is said that Dixon took aim with a quickly borrowed 50/90 Sharps (as, according to his biography, he only had a 45/90 and felt it could not reach) buffalo rifle and fired, knocking an Indian near Chief Quanah Parker off his horse almost a mile away on his third shot.