When Frank W. Crail, grandson of the original homesteader, presented the Colt Navy Revolver to the Historic Crail Ranch, he told us that the revolver had been evidence in a murder/suicide and that his grandfather, Augustus Franklin Crail, as clerk of the court, held an auction and bought the gun himself. However, our research indicates there was no murder/suicide 1896-1900, when Mr. Crail was clerk of the court.
Just a myth? Not necessarily. Maybe the gun was from an earlier murder/suicide. Our research continues.
“This is the West, sir. When legend becomes fact, print the legend.” — The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
NOTE: For safety and security, when not on display, these guns are not kept at the Ranch.
The centerpiece of the exhibit — A Colt Model 1851, .36 Cal., single action, black powder, percussion cap, “Navy Revolver” owned by the Crail Family. Also on display — A Winchester Model 1890 .22 Caliber (Long) Pump action rifle with wooden stock and pump grip. Adjustable, pivoting rear sight and fixed front sight. Notch on top of mid-barrel for adjustable sight. This gun is thought to have belonged to Eugene Crail.
PHOTOS COURTESY SCOTT CARPENTER