MIDDLETON, DAVID "DOC" - Converse County, Wyoming | DAVID "DOC" MIDDLETON - Wyoming Gravestone Photos


Douglas Park Cemetery
Converse County,

February 9, 1851
December 27, 1913

Number 14 on the St Joseph Cemetery walking tour.
James M. Riley, alias David "Doc" Middleton--one alias amonst a dozen more, but the one that has stuck--was born in Mississippi, spent much of his life in Texas and Nebraska, and did not come to Douglas, Wyoming until 1913, at the age of 62. Regarded as one of the last of the "men of the Old West," he had already appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and was one of the annual attractions at the city of Cheyenne's Frontier Show. In 1893, he was the favorite in a 1,000 mile horse race, which began in far western Nebraska and ended at the Chicago World's Fair. Horse troubles, however, forced him out somewhere in the middle of Iowa, and he had to settle for a $75 consolation prize.
Middleton has been called "the luckiest outlaw," since, despite being implicated in numerous murders, thefts, and cattle rustlings, he served time for only a single murder conviction--until his Douglas debut. Upon his arrival, Middleton opened a saloon in Orin, a nearby village, but was soon convicted of selling alcohol illegally. While imprisoned in the county jail, he contracted erysipelas (a usually benign skin disease) and was quarantined in the city's "pest house," a three-room bungalow located next to the new Douglas Park Cemetery. He died of pneumonia while an inmate of the house, and was buried at county expense.
Middleton's grave remained unmarked for more than 50 years. Not until 1976 did one of his descendants place the stone tablet that marks the site today.


Contributed on 2/13/14 by tomtodd
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Record #: 33

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Submitted: 2/13/14 • Approved: 4/15/14 • Last Updated: 4/15/14 • R33-G0

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