Fred M. “Lone Star” Hans, Sr

Fred M. “Lone Star” Hans, Sr

Bremer County, Iowa, USA
Death 17 Apr 1923 (aged 61)
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
Burial Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
Plot Sec - 21
Memorial ID 32697136 · View Source
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THE death of Fred M. Hans, who as "Lone Star" was known as one of the foremost Indian scouts of the West, is a commentary upon changed conditions in a section of America which not so long ago gloried in being wild and woolly.
His passing on is another reminder that the type of warrior he exemplified, soon will live only in memory and in the pages of literature dealing with the trans-Mississippi lands in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
Hans had always expressed the desire to die "with his boots on," that is, to fall in battle. Such a spectacular fate was not in store for him, for tho he did literally die with his boots on, the end came in a commonplace manner. He was fatally crushed in an elevator which he was operating in the "Omaha World Herald Building" in the newspaper plant. A dispatch to the New York World, in recounting the deeds of this veteran scout, says that "in the early days, out in the lone stretches of the prairie and mountain country," he was "fearless and rugged. a two-gun man quicker on the draw than the flash of an eyelid." The story goes on:

Lone Star--"Chach-Pe-Wan-Ge-La" the Indians called him--was one of the fast-dying few of the famous "cross-arm" two-gun men who never used the triggers but "fanned" the hammers of their guns.
Hans started to roam the plains when he was sixteen years old. Perhaps no Indian scout who ever lived was more familiar with the habits and methods of the Indians than was Lone Star. He derived his sobriquet from the Indians, for the reason that for most part he preferred to work alone.
That an adversary had the drop on him mattered not to Lone Star. He always took a chance and got away with it.
In Cherry County, Nebraska, April 12, 1877, he shot and killed two stage-robbers who had the drop on him. Hans suddenly slumped, cross-drew and fired from his hips, fanning the hammer of his gun.
Not long before the old scout died-he was sixty-three years old- he demonstrated that neither of his hand nor eyes had lost their cunning. In a trial against a crack shot using a modern automatic, Hans, fanning the hammers of his old six-shouter, scoured six bull's-eyes before his opponent could sight for a second shot. Hans could empty a six-shooter in a second, with each shot a hit.
Lone Star scouted for General Phil Sheridan, who sent a letter to the War Department in Washington commending the old scout for gallantry. Hans fought with "Sheridan" from 1876-1881.
In 1876 in the "Hole in the Wall Country." Powder River, Wyoming, three stage-robbers were killed by Hans. The band was led by "Shacknasty Jim, one of the toughest outlaws the West ever knew. Hans was alone when he came upon the outlaw band. He ducked behind a tree as the bandits opened fired. Hans's first shot got Shacknasty. Two of his followers dropt dead beside him a second later. The others dropt their guns and surrendered to "Lone Star," who took them to the local lockup.
On another occasion a bandit leveled a gun at Hans's head. With his right arm Hans knocked the gun aside, and before the bandit could recover Hans killed him with a bullet between the eyes from a gun he drew and fanned with his left hand.
At Valentine, Nebraska, in 1883, two gunmen stuck him up. He knocked both unconscious with the butts of their own guns and turned them over to the count sheriff.
Shortly before the elevator accident which resulted in his death Hans came to the realization that his fighting days were over. A "scalp lock" which he had "worn for years," in accordance with frontier custom, as a challenge to any enemy, was missed one morning by a friend, and in reply to a query about its absence.the veteran scout laughingly said:
"I just let the barber have it. I reckon I have no more use for it these times, My Indian scouting days are over, and ever should I now get into a row, I doubt if any one living would fancy that lock of hair"

(O how I wish I had your lock you wore today great grandpa)

The Indians feared Hans, in the belief that he led a charmed life. Certainly the risks he ran and the narrow escapes he experienced furnished some grounds for that superstition. We read that-
On one occasion, however, Lone Star thought his time had come. The Cheyenne's were on a rustling expedition, heading north. Hans was surprised, while asleep, by four Indians who roped him. The redmen planned to bring him to the tribal quarters and there torture him to death. His upper body securely bound, he was compelled to jog behind the Indians' ponies, a lariat about his neck. To fall meant to be strangled.
At night he was bound to a tree. On the last night of the trail, with hope almost gone, it rained. Hans managed to work his sombrero to a position where it would catch the rain dripping from the tree. In this he managed to get his wrists, bound by rawhide. The water softened the hide enough for Hans to wriggle his hands free. The Indians were asleep. The redmen had taken Hans' guns. Stealing to the tepee Hans slipt a bowie knife from an Indian's belt and drove it through the redman's heart before he was able to utter a sound.
He got his guns and made his escape on one of the ponies. It was not until the following morning that the three living Indians realized their quarry had gone.
In the last real battle between the Army Regulars and Indians, at Wounded Knee in 1892. Hans killed eleven Indians, at hand-to-hand range, "with twelve shots from his two six-shooters, getting out of the melee without a scratch" After he quit the trail he wrote a book, "The Great Sioux Nations," describing his adventures. Buffalo Bill (the late Colonel William F. Cody) was "among his close friend"

My god bless you forever and ever more.
Credit to my Father for saving this valuable material, information and photos of Fred M. Hans "Lone Star"
Daddy's grandpa and my great grandpa.

In great respect please do not change any information of this story.
Thank you everyone, enjoy!

Transcribed by Charlene Sallee great grandaughter
Dec 1, 2014

Noted: Article from The Literary Digest for May 26, 1923.

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  • Created by: Dennis Bell
  • Added: 6 Jan 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32697136
  • Charlene Sallee
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Fred M. “Lone Star” Hans, Sr (12 Jul 1861–17 Apr 1923), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32697136, citing Westlawn-Hillcrest Memorial Park, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by Dennis Bell (contributor 46924338) .