National Police Week Honors Lawman Jack L. Bridges From Maine
According to the Dodge City Times, Maine native Jack L. Bridges became a City Marshall on July 8, 1882, but what he went through to get there is an incredible story.
Jack L. Bridges was born in the state of Maine in 1833. At a time before the Transcontinental Railroad and before the Civil War. He knew he wanted to be a lawman and eventually moved west to Kansas City, Kansas where he served as a lawman for 15-years.
In 1869, he became a U.S. Deputy Marshall with his first assignment being in Hays City, Kansas.
Marshall Bridges worked on the western side of the state so it was no surprise that he would be asked to work with the U.S. Cavalry out of Fort Supply, Oklahoma. Part of his job was to arrest Indians who broke the law and would try to fend them off from attacking the white man.
However, while in Wichita, Kansas, he was involved with one of the most serious gunfights he had ever encountered.
On February 28, 1871, Marshall Bridges helped to arrest an infamous horse thief, train robber, and murderer by the name of J.E. Ledford.
Ledford owned the Harris House Hotel but was told that he was not there at the time Marshall Bridger and the other men, including about 25 soldiers of the 6th U.S. Cavalry showed up.
However, someone spotted a man running from the back of the hotel into the outhouse. As two Cavalry Scouts approached the outhouse, Ledford shot out of it and was firing his pistol, non-stop.
Marshall Bridges, the Maine native, took one for the team. The other men emptied their guns toward Ledford, with four bullets lodging themselves into the outlaw. Ledford died about four hours later.
Marshall Bridges returned to his home state of Maine as he was severely wounded. Once he healed, he headed out west again.
The Dodge City Times described Bridges as cool, brave, and determined.
So, as you think about National Police Week, don't forget about the son of Maine, who rose to the rank of U.S. Marshall and made America a safer place to live in.