35+ People Shared the Food That Reminds Them of Their Childhood

This article appeared in Cleverclassic and has been published here with permission.

Everyone has different foods that trigger certain memories — and below are some examples that people shared on social media. Maybe some of these foods on this list will remind you of your childhood!

4th of July Popsicles

When you were a kid, there were very few things as exciting as hearing that ice cream truck jingle from a distance. You’d run back inside to grab some change and head out in hopes to catch the truck in time. That’s why people are often transported back to their youth when they take a bite from a 4th of July popsicle.

4th of July Popsicles


Spending days or summers with the grandparents is a wonderful memory that many people hold dear. There were some things that you would get at grandma and grandpa’s house that you just didn’t have access to when you were at home.


Many people equate this to certain candies, like butterscotch candies or gumdrops. There’s something about those sugar-coated sweets that just send you back to those sweet days.

Beef Stew

On cool fall days, it was always great to come home to a warm soup or stew. There’s something about those flavors and textures that can bring you back to happy memories sitting around the table with the family.

Beef Stew

Of these, beef stew may be the most memorable. And though every family would have their own recipe, the feelings that were inspired by eating it were the same — love and family.

Chipped Beef

Many families occasionally make breakfast for dinner. For some kids growing up, this is an exciting time because not only is the food delicious, but you get to eat things that you normally wouldn’t be able to during the evening hours.

Chipped Beef

For some families, that meant chipped beef — a form of beef that’s pressed, salted, dried, and sliced into thin pieces. When those kids grow up and find this dish again, it will definitely elicit some wonderful memories.

Spaghetti and Homemade Sauce

For those families who have a strong connection to their Italian heritage, there are many different meals that may trigger sweet memories. Of those, the one that’s possibly the most common is spaghetti with a homemade sauce.

Spaghetti and Homemade Sauce

The love and care that went into that sauce can bring back memories of mom or grandma in the kitchen, toiling away for hours to find just the right balance of herbs to perfect their special sauce.

Fresh Figs

Sometimes, memories aren’t produced by elaborate meals or pre-made things but rather experiences that you had with your loved ones. For instance, your grandmother or mother may have been a gardener and kept a beautiful fig tree in the backyard.

Fresh Figs

That might lead you to be taken back to a simpler time just by simply eating a nice, juicy, fresh fig. That seems to be what’s happening for this gentleman.

Hot Chocolate

A nice cup of hot cocoa is a fine memory for almost any child. Every family may have their own little twist on the delicious wintertime beverage — and that’s what makes it a tradition.

Hot Chocolate

For this person, this cup of hot chocolate takes them back to cold winter days; they’d curl up with their mom and watch the snowfall. We don’t know about you, but a nice hot cup of cocoa could really hit the spot right about now.


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But because of hectic lives, many families have to figure out quick and easy ways to get the meal in.


That’s why many adults nowadays feel a sense of nostalgia whenever they spot Eggo waffles in the freezer section at the grocery store. Biting into one of these bad boys after you’ve toasted it can definitely have you yearning for the good old days.

Hot Dogs

Kids are typically a little pickier than adults when it comes to what they will and won’t eat. There are just some meals that scream kid-friendly, and one of those happens to be hot dogs. We don’t mean just any hot dog, though — a boiled hot dog.

Hot Dogs

Biting into a boiled hot dog that’s been mixed in with macaroni and cheese or even just slapped on a bun with some ketchup and mustard can definitely bring you back to childhood.

Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Mac ‘n’ cheese is another one of those meals that almost every kid across the globe likes. Sure, there may be variations of this dish, and some might like the boxed version versus a homemade version.

Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese

But, mac ‘n’ cheese is always present in most people’s memories. For many, the homemade version definitely brings back more nostalgia because these recipes tend to be family-specific.

Barbecue Chicken

During the summer, many families like to go outdoors and cook up meals. That’s why a lot of childhood favorites can be found at barbecues. For instance, when some people bite into that saucy barbecue chicken, they’re automatically transported back to their youth.

Barbecue Chicken

There’s something about the charred pieces and homemade sauce that simply can’t be beaten and always leads people into a trip to the past.

Grape Soda

When you’re a kid, you want to be just like the adults, and that means drinking things that they drink. For many people who come from a family that’s very active, that might mean trying to drink something like Gatorade.

Grape Soda

Gatorade isn’t necessarily great for a kid, though, so this family found a nice alternative by watering down some grape soda. Now, every time this person tastes grape soda, they’re transported back in time.

Sunny-Side Up Eggs and Sausage

Some nostalgic meals happen at night when everybody can sit down around the dinner table. For others, the food that brings them back to their past the most is breakfast, and that typically means some sort of egg dish.

Sunny-Side Up Eggs and Sausage

For this person, anytime they get an egg sunny-side up with some sausage, it’s one of those comfort meals that make them think about time spent at the breakfast table with their family.

Tuna Fish Sandwich

Many kids were sent to school with homemade lunches that typically consisted of some sort of sandwich, chips, and a drink. That may lead them to be particularly reminiscent of the past when it comes to certain types of sandwiches.

Tuna Fish Sandwich

This person just happens to feel that way anytime they bite into a tuna fish sandwich on white bread with a pickle on the side. We’re sure this only happens if that tuna fish sandwich is made just the way his mom used to make it, though.

Belgian Chocolate

Sometimes, nostalgic foods are found through travel. For kids who were lucky enough to either live in a foreign country or grow up with parents who loved to travel, they may have a diverse palate.

Belgian Chocolate

This person spent some time in Belgium, so anytime they bite into a sweet chocolate morsel like that, they’re instantly back on the road with their parents enjoying another adventure.


In many cultures, bread is a wonderful food that can trigger a variety of memories. For those who grew up in a Mexican household, mollete may be one of those foods that instantly takes them back to their childhood kitchen.


This bread with beans and cheese, often topped with some sort of salsa, can be the perfect comfort food for those who grew up with it. We’ve never tried it, but it definitely looks amazing!

Egg Tarts

There are multiple varieties of this delicious treat. But, for those who grew up with this delicacy, it can definitely be the perfect way to bring back the sweetest of memories. Biting into the crispy crust and soft egg-filled center and tasting just a hint of sweetness is enough to transport you back to simpler times.

Egg Tarts

We can definitely understand how a small treat like this could be something that brings up fond memories and makes you feel warm inside.

Apple Pie

Holidays can be the biggest trigger when it comes to memories that are attached to foods. For instance, many families have get-togethers where there are several different types of desserts available.

Apple Pie

In the United States, one of the pies that are almost always present is apple pie. When they bite into that warm dessert with either ice cream or cool whip, many people instantly begin to think about family get-togethers from the past.

Chorizo Con Huevos

Eggs and sausage are a staple in many different cultures when it comes to breakfast.

Chorizo Con Huevos

Those households that have a strong root in Mexican culture will definitely have had chorizo con huevos on the menu quite often. When they bite into this egg and sausage mixture, people immediately begin to think of memories from years gone by.

Biscuits and Gravy

If you grew up in the South, you will definitely have had biscuits and gravy for breakfast. That homemade gravy that your mom slaved over for what felt like hours and those fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuits are definitely a household staple for many.

Biscuits and Gravy

Having a big old plate of these with some sausage completes the whole meal, and can definitely be a way to pull at those heartstrings.


There’s something about making Jell-O and playing with it a bit before you eat it that just screams childhood for many of us. That is probably why people nowadays are instantly filled with a sense of nostalgia when they bite into that sweet gelatin snack.


There’s not much to it and it’s definitely not the healthiest, but we can understand why it’s a popular treat. Plus, there’s a sense of joy that overtakes you when you peel back that aluminum cover and dip your spoon in.

Peach Cobbler

Many kids rush through their meals just to get their dessert. If you came from a place that was well-known for their peaches — or had access to juicy peaches — one of these desserts was probably peach cobbler.

Peach Cobbler

If that was you, then biting into the sweet treat fills you with all sorts of warm feelings — especially if it’s topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This sounds so good!

Egg Soldiers

Toast and eggs go hand-in-hand when it comes to breakfast. There are many different variations, but perhaps one of the most beloved is egg soldiers.

Egg Soldiers

Taking a piece of toasted bread and dipping it in a soft-boiled egg might just be the most beloved childhood memory for some. This breakfast may have originated in United Kingdom. But, it definitely branched out and has become a popular kids’ breakfast.

Shirley Temple

It’s always fun when you can have a drink with your parents and feel like you’re one of the adults. Though there’s an adult beverage called Shirley Temple, many kids have fond memories of the virgin kind.

Shirley Temple

A sparkling soda with a bit of grenadine and some maraschino cherries definitely makes for a refreshing and sweet treat that could bring back a wave of fun memories.

Otter Pops

Many kids have fond memories of summers, not only because it was the time when families took a vacation, but also because they didn’t have school and got to play all day — every day. One of the treats many kids got ahold of during this time was Otter Pops.

Otter Pops

That’s why no matter how old they are, if people get their hands on one of them now, they grab their favorite color and begin to tell stories of times gone by.

Chili Mac

Sometimes, for kids who grew up in a busy household, pasta was always something that was readily available. To make things more exciting, many moms added their own special touches.

Chili Mac

Some of them actually made it into a Tex-Mex meal to give a little bit of variety. That’s why a lot of adults take a bite of chili mac and wind up feeling giddy.

Shortbread Cookies

For many people, when they head over to grandma and grandpa’s house, they know that they’re going to find a delicious treat ready for them. For some, this often means delicious shortbread cookies.

Shortbread Cookies

Taking these delicious treats and dipping them in cocoa or even tea can definitely bring back some nostalgic feelings for many. Whether they were just plain or sugared, these little cookies are definitely very memorable.


Pierogies are delicious little dumplings from Eastern Europe that are filled with a variety of different things. They’re often served with caramelized onions and sour cream for dipping.


For kids who grew up in a household with an Eastern European background, it’s inevitable that pierogies would be one of those foods you just crave when you want a piece of home.


It may seem simple — some ground beef, onions, and a little bit of tomato sauce — but meatloaf is one of those meals that many people consider nostalgic.


Paired with some mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, and a salad, it makes for quite a memory-inducing meal. Whether people order it at a restaurant or have it right at home, meatloaf can bring back memories.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

A one-pan meal can be a lifesaver for a family that has two working parents. Because this has become more and more prominent over the past few decades, meals like tuna noodle casserole have found a place amongst the plethora of nostalgic foods.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Every family may has a slight variation, but they’re all basically the same — and when you bite into it, it may have you feeling some type of way.


Any type of soup can potentially produce different types of memories. For those who grew up in an Italian household, we’re sure that Pastina is definitely on that list. Though Pastina refers to the pasta part of the dish, when most people talk about it, they’re talking about the soup itself.


This soup is simply made using vegetable stock, Pastina pasta, and a broken-up egg. A spoonful of this yummy soup is definitely the way to some people’s hearts.

Hamburger Helper

Sometimes, when everybody is very busy, quick and easy is the key to making sure everybody has a filling meal.

Hamburger Helper

For many households, that means prepackaged meals such as Hamburger Helper. Easily made from scratch, there’s something about biting into the pasta that can transport you back in time.

Cabbage Rolls

There are just some meals that you ate regularly through your childhood that found their way into your heart. One of these could very well be cabbage rolls, especially if you’re from an Eastern European heritage.

Cabbage Rolls

These delicious, stuffed cabbage leaves are usually topped with some sort of tomato sauce and served with sour cream. One bite of that mixture often makes you remember fond memories.

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

Traditions and foods don’t only vary around the world, but also from region to region in the U.S. Pinto beans and cornbread is a southern staple. This is a meal that’s often served during special occasions and is usually paired with collard greens.

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

That’s why many kids who grew up in the South bite into this simple dish and wind up reminiscing.

White Rice and Soy Sauce

Many kids grow up in households with a tighter budget. Because of this, there are many dishes that come from simple ingredients that bring back memories of their youth.

White Rice and Soy Sauce

Rice and soy sauce are both cheap! That’s why a lot of people have a nostalgic fondness for a bowl of simple white rice with soy sauce on it. We honestly think that sounds good right about now!

Rare Photos of the Old West That Will Leave You Breathless

Frontier Gambling

Gambling was a very popular profession among outlaws in the Old West. Historically, gamblers came from lots of different backgrounds and for a while, gambling was considered a reputable career. As the west became increasingly more populated, gambling became more dangerous and society began to view it as an illicit activity. State and territorial legislatures began passing anti-gambling laws. Because most gamblers by then were already breaking the law in other ways, new laws didn’t exactly prevent them from gambling.

old west frontier gambling

Pearl Hart – Canadian Convict

Pearl Hart was a Canadian-born outlaw known for attempting one of the last stagecoach robberies of the Old West in 1899. When her husband left to fight in the Spanish-American War, she teamed up with a gambler named Joe Boot and planned a robbery. Her plans of returning to Canada following the robbery to see her dying mother were cut short after she was captured and imprisoned. Hart served just 2 years of a 5-year sentence, after being pardoned by the governor due to her pregnancy.

old west pearl hart

Seth Bullock – Sheriff Of Deadwood

With this powerful mustache, it’s no surprise that Seth Bullock was famous for his toughness. As the Sheriff of the infamous illegal settlement of Deadwood in South Dakota, Bullock enforced the law with an iron fist, and would later go on to serve in Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Bullock died of cancer in 1919 and was buried on Sheep Mountain, now called Mount Roosevelt. His legacy still lives on today, as his law-enforcing character is portrayed in the HBO series Deadwood.

Old West- Seth Bullock

Annie Oakley – Skilled Sharpshooter

Winning a shooting competition at Frank Butler’s traveling marksman show at just 15 years old, Annie Oakley made a name for herself as rugged gunslinging sharpshooter who was not afraid to give the boys a run for their money. She would go on to marry Frank Butler a year after the competition. Together they joined the famous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, where she rose to international fame for her incredible talent. Oakley died in 1926 at the age of 66.

old west annie oakley

Butch Cassidy – Wild Bunch Leader

Robert Leroy Parker, AKA Butch Cassidy, became famous as leader of the Wild Bunch. The gang was notorious for train and bank robberies at the end of the 19th century. In 1901, after the gang had split up and Cassidy been on the run for years, he fled to South America with fellow gang member Harry Alonzo Longabaugh and female companion Etta Place. Cassidy is believed to have been killed by police and military forces in southern Bolivia in 1908. There were, however, rumors of his survival.

old west butch cassidy

Jesse James – Notorious Outlaw

Jesse James was no stranger to violence and the outlaw lifestyle. Initially a guerrilla fighter for the Confederates during the Civil War, James would move on to become a notorious gangster in the Wild West. James, together with his brother Frank, became leaders of the famous James-Younger gang, where they carried out bank, train, and stage coach robberies. In 1882, James was murdered in an act of betrayal by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang who received a reward for the killing.

old west jesse james

Geronimo – Fearless Apache Leader

Geronimo was born in 1829 and died in 1909. As the Native American leader of the fierce Apache tribe, Geronimo became famous for leading raids against the more-advanced American and Mexican militaries. Some of Geronimo’s loyal followers believed that the mighty leader possessed supernatural powers including the ability to heal the sick, slow time, avoid bullets, bring on rainstorms, and witness events over great distances. Perhaps these powers were the reason it took nearly a quarter of US forces to hunt him down and capture him in 1886.

old west geronimo

Masterson And Earp – Wild West Enforcers

Bat Masterson, a Canadian-born American hero, earned a living as a gambler, U.S. Army scout, hunter, Sheriff, U.S. Marshal, Journalist, and Gunfighter. Masterson met Wyatt Earp in Dodge City and the two formed an alliance as lawmen. Earp became famous for a gunfight at the OK Corral, which started a back-and-forth war against a gang of outlaws who would later take revenge on Earp, killing one of his brothers and maiming another. This photo was taken in 1876, at the peak of the duo’s careers as lawmen.

old west bat masterson wyatt earp

The Short Reign Of The Rufus Buck Gang

The Rufus Buck Gang was a multiracial group of African American and Native American outlaws, notorious for a series of murders, robberies, and assaults. Operating in the Indian Territory of he Arkansas-Oklahoma area from 1895 to 1896, the gang was made up of founder Rufus Buck, Lucky Davis, Maoma July, Lewis Davis, and Sam Sampson. Their first known crime was the murder of US Deputy Marshal John Garrett in July 1895. By 1896 the gang had been captured, sentenced and hanged for their crimes.

old west rufus buck gang

Rose Dunn – Conflict Of Interest

Rose Dunn, AKA Rose of Cimarron, was born in 1878 in Ingalls, Oklahoma. Having two brothers who left the outlaw life to become bounty hunters, and an infamous relationship with well-known outlaw George “Bittercreek” Newcomb, Dunn was caught in the middle of some serious real-life drama. Newcomb, a Wild Bunch gang-member, was killed by Dunn’s brothers in 1895. Following their death, speculations arose that Rose was involved in the killing of Newcomb. She denied the accusations and her brothers defended her, stating she had no involvement.

old west rose dunn

Curly – Survivor Of Custer’s Last Stand

During The Battle of Little Bighorn, also known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” American forces were annihilated under the command of George Custer. Custer was a great military leader and his death was a surprise to many. Curly was the lone survivor of the battle and became famous after the fact. While his level of involvement has been interpreted in different ways, he denied ever having actually fought in the battle. He watched from a distance and was the first to report of the American defeat.

old west curly

The Death Valley ’49ers

It all started when James W. Marshall and his crew found gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California in 1848. After that, the race was on as tens of thousands of hopeful Americans and foreigners, knows as the “Death Valley ’49ers,” travelled across the desert, using wagons and oxen to transport themselves and their possessions. These pioneers set out on a challenging journey, hoping to find gold in California. Death Valley was a particularly difficult stretch where many did not survive.

old west death valley 49ers

Chief Joseph – Nes Perce Tribe Leader

Chief Joseph was the leader of Native American tribe Nez Perce and was famous for leading a 1,170 mile fighting retreat known as the Nez Perce War. As extreme underdogs, the 700 men women and children that joined Chief Joseph in the journey to the Canadian border earned wide-spread praise and admiration from their military opponents and the American public for their efforts in the face of adversity. Unfortunately, they were stopped just 40 miles shy of their destination in 1877.

old west chief joseph

“Bloody” Bill Anderson – Confederate Fighter

Bill Anderson was one of the deadliest Confederate leaders of the Civil War. Born in 1840 and only living to his early 20’s, the young Anderson was an integral member of Quantrill’s Raiders. After the Union imprisoned his sisters and one was killed in custody, Anderson swore revenge. He would later be given the nickname “Bloody Bill” when he massacred 23 off-duty union soldiers. When Union forces came after him, “Bloody Bill” staged a successful ambush and killed another 125 soldiers.

old west bill anderson

Olive Oatman – Kidnapped By The Mohave Tribe

Olive Oatman was born in 1837 and grew up in Illinois. At the age of fourteen, most members of her family were murdered by Native Americans. The only survivors were Oatman and her sister Mary Ann, who were taken to be slaves, and her brother Lorenzo, who was clubbed and left for dead. After five years living as a Mohave slave, the sisters were released. This photo shows Oatman with a tattoo, given to her by the Mohave tribe to wish her luck in the afterlife.

old west olive oatman

Kit Carson – Famous Frontiersman

Born in December 1809, Christopher Houston Carson, AKA Kit Carson, was considered by many to be the ultimate frontiersman. Carson mastered the art of fending for himself on the fringes of society in wild and unsettled territories. As a mountain man, explorer, trader, guide, U.S. Army Officer, and Indian Agent, Carson sealed his legacy as an iconic figure of the Old West. This photo was believed to be taken around 1850. Carson lived to the age of 58 and died in Colorado.

old west kit carson

Tiburcio Vasquez – Hispanic Outlaw

Tiburcio Vasquez was a hispanic outlaw, active in California from 1854 to 1874. His career as a criminal began in 1854, when he was simply present during a fight that killed Monterey Constable William Hardmount. Vasquez then denied involvement and fled. Two years later he was caught and imprisoned for five years, where lead four separate prison breaks that left 20 convicts dead. After his release, Vasquez carried on as an outlaw, robbing and stealing, ultimately becoming one of the most notorious hispanic outlaws of all time.

old west tiburcio vasquez

Ned Christie – Indian On The Run

Ned Christie was not your typical outlaw. As a member of the executive council in the Cherokee Nation senate, Christie served as an advisor to Chief Dennis Bushyhead. After being falsely accused of murder, Christie became famous for his resistance efforts against the men trying to capture him. In 1892, a group of lawmen attacked Christie’s fort and killed Christie. Eventually in 1918, Dick Humphreys came forward with an eye-witness account of the murder Christie was accused of, clearing Christie of any murder charges.

old west ned christie

Captured Wolf

For cowboys in the Old West, protecting farmland and cattle could mean the difference between life and death. This photo shows the capture of a wolf in 1887. By 1900, frontiersmen wiped out almost every single wolf from Texas to North Dakota.

old west wolf captured

Jow Lefors – Lawman Of The West

Joe Lefors was a Lawman during the heydays of the American Wild West. While he was known for tracking the Wild Bunch, his most notable accomplishment was the 1903 arrest of Tom Horn, a man accused of killing a 14-year-old sheepherder. The famous arrest has been under contention, as many people believe that Lefors falsified evidence in an attempt to convict the wrong man. Lefors ended up writing a book about his life and was even referenced in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. 

old west joe lefors

W.H. Simms – Elite Gambler

Some of the wealthiest members of society in the Old West were elite gamblers. While gambling may have been profitable, it wasn’t exactly the safest profession. Most gamblers were also well-known gunfighters and outlaws. This is an autographed photo of W.H. Simms and was given to a performer named Eddie Fox at the Jack Harris Saloon. Gunfighter Ben Thompson also gave Fox an autographed photo in 1879. In 1882, Thompson killed Jack Harris and in 1884, Simms in turn killed Thompson is the very same theatre.

old west h.w. simms

Belle Starr – Bandit Queen

Belle Starr, born Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr in February 1848, was a notorious outlaw of the Old West. Referred to by some as “The Bandit Queen,” Starr had well-known relationships and marriages with many outlaws like Cole Younger, Jim Reed, and Sam Starr. Having been associated with the James-Younger gang, Starr was convicted of horse theft in 1883 and fatally shot in 1889. The circumstances of her murder are still unclear and the case remains unsolved to this day.

old west belle starr

Elk And Black Elk – Native American Warriors

This photo displays two famous Native Americans – Black Elk on the left and Elk on the right. Black Elk took part in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 as well as the Battle of Wounded Knee fourteen years later. Between the fighting, Black Elk toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, performing in London for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. In his later years, Black Elk converted to Christianity and worked with writer John Neihardt to publish his story, “Black Elk Speaks.”

old west elk black elk

Slaughter’s Cowboys

John Horton Slaughter, AKA Texas John Slaughter was a famous lawman, cowboy, poker player, and rancher. After serving the Confederate Army in the Civil War, Slaughter became a cattle driver and with his brother, formed the San Antonio Ranch Company. He would later purchase the San Bernardino Ranch. In 1886, Slaughter became a lawman, helping in efforts to catch Geronimo as well as the Jack Taylor Gang. This photo was taken around 1885 and shows Slaughter’s men, referred to as Slaughter’s Cowboys.

old west slaughters cowboys

Johnny Ringo – Running From The Law

Johnny Ringo, born John Peters Ringo, was an American outlaw born in 1850. In Ringo’s youth, his father accidentally killed himself stepping out of a wagon while holding a shotgun. During the Mason County War, Ringo committed his first murder and was arrested but escaped from jail. Later in life, Ringo was accused of involvement in the murder of Morgan Earp and attempted murder of Virgil Earp. He was found dead in 1882 with a bullet in his head. His mysterious death was ruled a suicide.

old west johnny ringo

The Apache Kid – Fierce Apache Warrior

With his Indian name translating to ‘the tall man destined to come to a mysterious end,’ The Apache Kid was known by many to be one of the fiercest Apache, second only to Geronimo. He began as a While Mountain Apache scout, where he fought off raiding bands of Apaches that bothered and harassed the early settlers. He later went off on his own became a notorious renegade in Arizona and New Mexico during the late 19th and possibly early 20th centuries.

old west the apache kid

Zip Wyatt – Outlaw ‘Til Death

Zip Wyatt was born Nathaniel Ellsworth Wyatt, and also went by the aliases Wild Charlie and Dick Yeager. His father, known as ‘Old Six-Shooter Bill,’ had a well-known reputation for misbehavior and was frequently arrested for disorderly conduct in his hometown of Guthrie, Oklahoma. His brother, known as ‘Six-Shooter Jack,’ was a professional gambler. Wyatt’s career as an outlaw began in 1891, when he shot and wounded two citizens in Mulhall. Wyatt went on the run, living the outlaw lifestyle until his capture and death in 1895.

old west zip wyatt

Cole Younger – Confederate Guerrilla Fighter

Thomas Coleman “Cole” Younger became an American Confederate guerrilla fighter after his father, a Union supporter, was shot dead by another Union soldier from Kansas. Younger sought revenge and became a bushwhacker during the Civil War. After the war, younger became an outlaw, joining the James-Younger game with his brothers. They robbed banks, trains, and stage coaches until being caught on September 7, 1876. Younger and his brothers pleaded guilty in an attempt to avoid the death penalty and were later let out on parole.

old west cole younger

The Long Walk Of The Navajo

In 1864, Navajo people were forced to walk 300 miles over 2 months from their land in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico. The decision was made by the United States’ government in response to fighting between the Navajos and Americans of Europeans descent wanting to settle Navajo lands. More than 8500 men women and children made the journey in the dead of winter to the Bosque Redondo Reservation. About 200 Navajos died from starvation and exposure to the elements.

old west long walk of the navajo

Charley Nebo – Righteous Cowboy

Charley Nebo, seen here on the left, lived in Canada until 1861, when he moved to Saginaw, Michigan. He fought with Union forces during the Civil War and later became a cowboy in New Mexico, where he befriended Billy the Kid. He would later write in a letter about Kid, “He wasn’t the ruthless bad fellow that Western history has made him out to be.” As a well-respected cowboy, Nebo once shot a man after witnessing him kill a Mexican boy’s dog.

old west charley nebo

Doc Holliday – Dentist And Deputy Marshall

Doc Holliday was born in 1851 with the name John Henry and received a dental degree at the age of 21. He was unfortunately diagnosed with Tuberculosis that same year. Before the illness got the best of him in, Holliday was a renowned dentist, gambler, and gunfighter. As a close friend of Wyatt Earp, Holliday was famous for taking part in Earp’s ‘Vendetta Ride’ following the events surrounding the gunfight at the OK Corral and murder and maiming of Earp’s brothers.

old west doc holliday

Quanah Parker – Last Chief Of The Comanche

Quanah Parker was a famous Comanche war leader. Parker’s father was a Comanche chief and his mother was an Anglo-American, kidnapped as a child who assimilated into the tribe. Parker clashed with Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie during the Red River War, before eventually surrendering and leading the tribe to the Fort Sill reservation in Oklahoma. While he was never elected chief by his tribe, the federal government appointed him principal chief of the Comanche nation and he is described as the “Last Chief of the Comanche.”

quanah parker

Billy The Kid – Live Fast, Die Young

Billy the Kid was born on September 17, 1859 and lived to be 22 years old. Throughout his short life, he had a few names. Born as Henry McCarthy, the infamous outlaw also went by William Bonney. While he may have claimed to have killed 21 men in his life, others estimate that he only gunned down around 8. This was believed to be the only authentic photo of Kid until recently, when a photo of Kid in his youth emerged.

old west billy the kid

Buffalo Soldier

Buffalo Soldiers were African American cavalry soldiers that fought with U.S. forces in the Indian Wars. They were originally members of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. From 1866 until the early 1890’s, Buffalo Soldiers battled Indians and protected settlers throughout the Great Plains and southwestern United States. Buffalo Soldiers earned a strong reputation for themselves, but also faced systematic prejudice from other members of the U.S. Army. This photo was taken in 1890 and shows a Buffalo Soldier in Colorado.

old west buffalo soldier

Dodge City Peace Commission – Fighters In A Bloodless War

When Dodge City mayor, Lawrence E. Deger, called on Luke Short to shut down his Long Branch Saloon and leave town, Short reached out to Wyatt Earp and other friends to support him in the confrontation which became known as the Dodge City War. Deger wanted to get rid of saloon gambling and other illicit activities. The Dodge City War was eventually resolved without bloodshed because the town couldn’t afford to take the economic loss which came with closing the saloon during cattle season.

old west dodge city peace commission

John Wesley Hardin – An Unpredictable Outlaw

While John Wesley Hardin may not have been the most famous wild west outlaw, he was certainly one of the most deadly, claiming to have murdered 42 men. Hardin became notorious for one particular killing in 1871. Hardin and some friends were staying at the American House Hotel following a night of drinking and gambling. Hardin became upset when Charles Couger wouldn’t stop snoring from the room next door. Hardin fired several bullets through the shared wall, killed Couger, and fled through the hotel window.

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Calamity Jane – Frontier Daredevil

As a famous American frontierswoman and professional military scout, Martha “Calamity” Jane claimed to have received her nickname following an ambush during a campaign in 1972-1973 in Goose Creek, Wyoming. According to her story, her captain was wounded by a gunshot and she was able to lift him onto her horse and bring him to safety. Her story was met with skepticism. A more common belief was that the nickname came from her warning to men that to offend her was to “court calamity.”

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Dallas Stoudenmire – Lawman Of El Paso

Dallas Stoudenmire was a lawman and a very skilled gunfighter. As town marshal of El Paso, Stoudenmire gained infamy following his involvement in the “Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight” on April 14, 1881. While he was eating dinner across the street from a saloon, Stoudenmire heard a volley of gun shots and immediately rushed outside, running and firing his gun at the same time. Within seconds, the lawman had killed the men responsible for the shooting along with an innocent bystander.

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John Salmon Ford – Showing Mercy In War

John Salmon Ford, also known as Rip Ford, served the Confederate fighter during the Civil War and a member of the Texas Rangers. He then became a congressman for the Republic of Texas, a Texas state senator, and the mayor of Brownsville, Texas. During the Civil War, Ford became known for speaking up on behalf of African American POWs. While other confederate fighters wanted to either kill or send the African Americans back to slavery, Ford demanded that they be paroled with the white POWs.

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Cowboy – Symbol Of The Frontier

Originating in Mexico, Cowboys of the American Frontier established their own unique style and reputation. They were some of the most important figures of the American Frontier, and their iconic lifestyle has been portrayed in books, movies, and tv shows. In reality, Cowboys lived a lonely and grueling lifestyle, working on ranches, and herding cows while riding on horseback. Many Cowboys were veterans of the Civil war but there were also a handful of African American freed slaves looking to escape the Deep South discrimination.

Old west cowboy

John Coffee Hays – Captain Of The Texas Rangers

John Coffee Hays was a captain of the Texas Rangers and military officer of the Republic of Texas. He most notably served in numerous armed conflicts during the Mexican-American War. Following the war, Hays lead a group of 49ers from New York in a journey from Texas to California. His group established a well-known shortcut which became known as the Tucson Cutoff. When they reached California, Hays became sheriff of San Fransisco County and remained active in politics until his death in 1883.

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European Homesteaders – A Future At The Indians’ Expense

In 1862, the Homestead Act allowed settlers the right to own 65 hectares of land in the American old west in exchange for a minimum of 5 years of farming work. For the most part, these settlers, who became known as ‘homesteaders’, were of European descent, but freed slaves were also offered the opportunity. The Homestead Act is now seen by many as an ethical travesty because the land which was claimed by the homesteaders had originally belonged to the Native Americans.

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Wild Bill Hickok – Old West Icon

The legendary Wild Bill Hickok was born in 1837 and lived to the age of 39. A jack-of-all-trades, Hickok was a soldier, spy, scout, drover, wagon master, gambler, showman, lawman, and gunfighter. A gunfight between Hickok and David Tutt was likely the original source of the iconic one-on-one quickdraw concept. In 1876, Wild Bill was shot in the back during a game of poker. At the moment of his murder, he was holding two pairs of aces and eights, which later became known as the Dead Man’s Hand.

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