Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gatling Gun versus a Bear!

W. H. Dool Meat Market Advertisment
Boulder Blast, October 19, 1895
1899:  In December 1899, butcher William (Billy) H. Dool of Boulder Creek sent a 300 pound black bear to the Popular Meat Market in Santa Cruz. The bear had been shot by Henry L. Middleton in the Big Basin.

Henry Middleton had acquired a Gatling gun and wanting to “experiment” with it took it to a place near his lumber mill in the Big Basin. The gun, a machine gun that consists of multiple barrels revolving around a central axis and is capable of being fired at a rapid rate, had been “captured” from the Filipinos.

The Gatling Gun,
for Service Ashore & Afloat,
William B. Franklin, 1874
(The Philippine-American War ran from Feb 1899 to Jul 1902. Middleton had just been awarded a contract by the US government to supply troops at Manila with 3000 tons of hay.)

He fired the gun and then saw a large bear approaching. Middleton had long wanted to kill a bear and saw this as his opportunity.

The bear came running toward the gun, Middleton fired.

"Bruin saw he had no business with the Mayor of Boulder Creek, and decided that the Big Basin was too small to hold both. As the bear turned to run another shot was fired with fatal effect."

Middleton, with the assistance of several men, brought the bear to Dool's Meat Market in Boulder Creek.

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