Born in Illinois in 1855, William Barclay Masterson, nicknamed "Bat", drifted westward as a teenager and tried his hand at such professions as buffalo hunter, army scout and gunfighter. While visiting his brother Jim in Dodge City, Kansas, in 1876, he was offered a job as deputy city marshal by the assistant city marshal, Wyatt Earp. Since Jim Masterson was already a deputy marshal, Bat took the job. His instincts as a lawman and gunfighter were so good that the next year he was elected sheriff of Ford County, which included Dodge City, where his brother was still a marshal. However, two years later he ran for re-election as county sheriff and lost. He left Kansas and traveled to Arizona, where he spent much time as a professional gambler in the Tombstone vicinity, returning to Dodge City in 1882 to help his brother Jim in a business dispute. For the next ten years Masterson divided his time between being a professional gambler and short stints as a lawman in various small towns in Colorado. His reputation often preceded him, however; in Denver the local sheriff, after being advised that Masterson was in town and drinking heavily, demanded that he either surrender his guns or leave town. Not wanting to go unarmed in a town where he had a lot of enemies, Masterson was forced to leave. The incident apparently did no lasting damage to his reputation, however, as in 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Masterson as United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York State. Although he was also offered an appointment as marshal of the Oklahoma Territory, Masterson said that because of his reputation anyone wanting to make a reputation for himself would come after him, and since he saw no use in getting caught up in a kill-or-be-killed situation, he turned it down. He remained U.S. Marshal in New York State for two years, resigning in 1907 to take a job he had never done before: a sportswriter with a New York City newspaper, the Morning Telegraph. He kept that job for the rest of his life, and in fact was at his desk working on October 25, 1921, when he dropped dead.