Billy the Kid and Jesse James

Outlaws of the Legendary West



Rowman and Littlefield, OCT 2019

978-1-4930-3838-1 • Paperback  978-1-4930-3839-8 • eBook

Who was the biggest, baddest outlaw in the Old West? Billy the Kid or Jesse James? Which outlaw did the most to wreak havoc across the frontier? And which outlaw left behind the biggest legacy? Author Bill Markley takes on those questions and more in this thoughtful and entertaining examination of these legendary lives.


Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson

Lawmen of the Legendary West



Rowman and Littlefield, MAY 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4930-3567-0 • Paperback  978-1-4930-3568-7 • eBook


Which lawman did the most to tame the frontier, Bat Masterson or Wyatt Earp? Neither of them was a saint. At times their actions were not in compliance with the law, and they only served as peace officers for limited portions of their lives. What sets them apart from the thousands of sheriffs and marshals who served on America’s frontier? Did they make more arrests than others? Did they kill large numbers of men? Did they lead adventurous lives? Was it their character? Was there just the right ring to their names that led people to remember them? Did they get the right publicity at the right time? Did they just outlive all the others? Or was it a combination of these factors? This joint biography reveals the intersection of their legacies and attempts to answer the questions about their place in the story of the West. 



Two Authors Wrangle over the Truth about the Mythic Old West



Rowman and Littlefield, OCT 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4930-3216-7 • Hardback  978-1-4930-3217-4 • eBook 


Drawing on fact and folklore, dueling authors Bill Markley and Kellen Cutsforth present opposing viewpoints pertaining to controversies surrounding some of the most well-known characters and events in the history of the Old West. 

In an entertaining and conversational style, Markley and Cutsforth take conflicting sides to debunk and in some cases, proliferate the myths, legends, and realities of some of the West’s most famous figures, including: 
- Billy the Kid 
-Jesse James 
-Buffalo Bill Cody 
-Calamity Jane 
-the Earp brothers 
- and many more 

The real lives of the historic figures in Old West ShowdownTwo Author Wrangle over the Truth about the Mythic Old West are shrouded in controversy and myth. Was Jesse James a Southern Son fighting for the cause of the fallen Confederacy, or a blood-thirsty cutthroat justly pursued by the authorities? Did Pat Garrett kill Billy the Kid or did Billy get away? Did Buffalo Bill Cody truly ride for the Pony Express as a young man? Or, was he just a blowhard who trumped up his own past in an attempt to seem more heroic in the eyes of audiences attending his Wild West shows? These questions and many more will be explored in the exciting book, Old West Showdown.

Deadwood South Dakota History


ISBN: 978-1930584501


In August 1876, Jack Jones, a reporter for a Chicago newspaper, is assigned to write about the doings of Deadwood, Dakota Territory—an illegal gold camp that knows no law. The lure of gold in the Lakota’s Black Hills draws prospectors and many colorful characters, such as Al Swearengen, Calamity Jane, Colorado Charlie Utter, Seth Bullock, Madame Mustache, and Sol Star, and it also lures crime. After the shocking murder of an acquaintance, Jack Jones begins investigating an entire string of murders that begins with Wild Bill Hickok and leads Jack down a treacherous trail that has him wondering if he won’t be next.

Dances With Wolves Filming
DAKOTA EPIC: Experiences of a Reenactor During the Filming of Dances With Wolves

iUniverse, AUG 2001

ISBN: 978-0595195213


Kevin Costner's award-winning film, Dances With Wolves was first released in 1990. Dakota Epic is a first-hand account of the filming from an extra's viewpoint. Bill Markley, a reenactor on the set, kept a journal during the filming. "When I was selected to be in Dances With Wolves, I had no movie or reenacting experience, so everything was new to me." From a rookie's viewpoint, Bill takes us into the world of movie-making and reenacting. Experience the filming of the opening Civil War scenes. Visit the "frontier" at Ft. Hays. And be with the Lakota and cavalry at the concluding Search for Dunbar. This is a rousing, humorous look behind the scenes of movie-making. The illustrations were created byJim Hatzell, a reenactor and artist who drew a wide variety of sketches while on the set. Bill and Jim have worked together to develop a unique view of life on the Dances With Wolves film set. If you have ever wondered what the background people were doing and thinking during and between filming, then this is the book for you. You will never view the people in a film"s background quite the same after reading this book.


iUniverse, OCT 2005

ISBN: 978-0595372720


Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery expedition conjures up images of high adventure. Up the Missouri River with Lewis and Clark tells of the beginning stages of the United States' first overland expedition to the Pacific Ocean. The men had to contend with shifting sandbars, treacherous currents, submerged trees, mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, wicked weather, disease, and unpredictable new people. Meet the men of the expedition-deserters, drunks, sergeants, and hunters. See how the first four months of their journey transforms a loose group of individuals into Clark's Band of Brothers."Bill Markley has a wonderful talent for writing nonfiction with just a twist of humor. Though he takes his facts from the journals of Lewis, Clark, and other expedition members, his own commentary emerges."-Pat Decker Nipper, Author of Love on the Lewis and Clark Trail"You will enjoy reading Bill Markley's description of Lewis & Clark's expedition. He knows the stories, and shares with us a clear view of the expedition's journey. His book helps his readers better understand the Corps of Discovery's many and diverse encounters on the Missouri River."-Bill Stevens, President, Encounters On the Prairie, Central South Dakota Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

American Pilgrim: A Post-September 11th Bus Trip and Other Tales of the Road

iUniverse, AUG 2011

ISBN: 978-1462044344


God bless the United States and God bless New York City proclaimed a sign as the bus rolled through a small Indiana town. In October 2001, author Bill Markley was traveling by public bus from Pierre, South Dakota, to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, for a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity celebration. The day Markley left South Dakota began simply enough, but soon tragedy unfolded when a deranged man of Croatian descent slit the throat of a Greyhound bus driver causing an accident and throwing the nation's bus system into disarray. American Pilgrim is an honest account of life on the bus, the characters on the bus, bus culture, and the mood of the American people-reflective, patriotic, and upbeat. In those challenging days after the attacks on 9/11, everyone struggled to make sense of the world; as Markley worked on this story; it grew beyond the story of a simple 3,000-mile bus trip. He recalls many of his life's detours, recounting past events at locations the bus traveled through and people associated with those locations-a rambling personal history of people, places, and things. The trip took on new meaning and became a spiritual journey into the country's past and Markley's past.