Kentucky “Whiskey” Rhodes (June 6, 1864 – 4 August 1928) was a lawman and gunfighter in the American Old West.
Kentucky Rhodes was born in Livingston, Texas on June 6, 1864. He was raised by a single-father after his mother died giving birth to him. He was a cowboy since birth and started working for his father at the age of 12 wrangling cattle and working on the family ranch. At the age of 16 he became a buffalo hunter and sold his game for profit to help keep the family ranch afloat. He claimed to have killed 2,300 bison over the 5 years he worked as a buffalo hunter. When he was 21 his good friend William Tuckett was killed by a group of outlaws looking for money during a hunting expedition. After William died Kentucky Rhodes committed his life to stopping outlaws of the Wild West and became the town sheriff in Livingston Texas. His first year as a sheriff he killed over 50 outlaws committing crimes of robbery, theft, rape, and murder. Kentucky was rewarded by the state of Texas for his captors and even the ones he killed. He quickly became a wealthy man and decided he would open a saloon at the age of 22.
Rhodes quickly became a well-known lawman and was offered a job with the U.S. Cavalry at the age of 28. This meant a lot of traveling and leaving his hometown in Texas. During his time with the cavalry he worked on a surge of raids on the Cheyenne settlements and many other Indian camps. He quickly realized this was not the life he had wanted and quit the U.S. Cavalry at the age of 30. His true passion was capturing outlaws in the Wild West. He moved back to Livingston Texas and continued to kill outlaws. He was known for having the best shot in the west, and being drunk half the time as well. He was known for being able to shoot a nickel out of a man’s hand at 100 yards. Rhodes continued to work as the Sheriff for Livingston until he was 50 years old. In his career as a lawman he was known for capturing over 1,000 criminals and killing at least 400 more.
RETIREMENT and DEATH
Rhodes had to retire from law enforcement when he was 50 because the alcohol had taken a toll on his health over the years. He was no longer able to keep a steady hand in a gunfight or mount his own horse. He retired out on his fathers ranch, but was almost always at the saloon after his retirement. He worked as a bartender at the saloon until he was 64 years old when he died from liver failure due to excessive drinking over the years on the 4th of August 1928. Kentucky Rhodes is known as an American Cowboy and a Western hero.