In other towns, the banks hired their own private security force. Wells Fargo & Company had a crew of detectives, men like James B. Hume, famous capturing bank robber “Black Bart.” Bart’s nickname was the “gentleman robber” thanks to his wonderful manners and the fact that he left a poem behind at every robbery.
Law-enforcement legends were born in showdowns on the frontier, like Sheriff Pat Garrett who chased gunman Billy the Kid for 6 whole months before nabbing him in New Mexico. Deputy Marshall Wyatt Earp earned his fame by stopping dozens of outlaws during crime-busting expeditions into the desert on horseback.
Eventually, sheriffs, deputies and federal marshals tamed many of the wild towns of the West, making it safe for average folk to live and work on the frontier.