August 8, 2010

Grave of "Shoot-Your-Eye-Out Jack" Vermillion, aka "Texas Jack"

(Click image to enlarge)
Final Resting place of "Texas Jack" Vermillion?

"Texas Jack" Vermillion, member of the Wyatt Earp vendetta - Tombstone, Arizona fame had a stint as a member of Soapy Smith's "Soap Gang" as a booster and shill in 1889.

According to popular history he was born John Wilson Vermillion of Virginia and although newspapers in Denver mention his name as "John" this information may be incorrect. Very little is actually known about this interesting gun man of the 1880s and much of what is supposed about him has little provenance.

  • 1882 - Member of Wyatt Earp's murderous vendetta ride.
  • 1883 - Member of the Dodge Peace Commission.
  • 1889 - Involved with the Soap Gang in election fraud
  • 1889 - Arrested for steering to one of Soapy's famed auction houses.
  • 1889 - Participant with Soapy in the Pocatello Depot shootout.

Vermillion's life and death continues to be shrouded in mystery and rumor.

Source: The above photograph was found on

"Shoot-Your-Eye-Out Jack" Vermillion: pages 75, 88, 91-92, 162-63, 165, 170, 175.



  1. Roy Young, editor of the Wild West History Association Journal had this to say on a Tombstone board.

    "I'm sure you will hear from others, but John W. Vermillion is not J.O. Vermillion who was "Texas Jack." Watch for the August WWHA Journal for a definitive article on John W. from Peter Brand; it will clear-up the mystery of how John W. came to be erroneously labeled "Texas Jack" by some well-intentioned, but misled, historians."

    More interesting to me is if there will be any new information on John O. Vermillion and how it is known that he is indeed "Shoot-Your-Eye-Out Jack" Vermillion.

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