SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A disagreement over a gambling debt and a pocket watch led to what some call the first true Wild West showdown. It was on July 21,1865, when Wild Bill Hickok shot Davis Tutt dead in Springfield's town square.
The feud became the stuff of legend -- retold and embellished in magazines and dime store novels, and re-enacted throughout the years. Now the city is bringing this 147-year old tale back to life.
"We've taken voice actors and transcribed the witnesses' testimony from the inquest and put them into the first person, dramatized it just a little bit, but, by and large, it tells their testimony almost exactly as it was written down by the coroner on July 22, 1865," said Jonathon Gano, the assistant director of Springfield Public Works.
The recordings, which are voiced by Springfield employees, are linked to a series of YouTube videos.
The videos are linked to nine QR codes located around the square where it all happened nearly a century and a half ago. Using any Smartphone with a QR code scanner -- there is one on the KY3 app -- place it over the code, click on it, and learn about the dispute between Hickok and Tutt.
"In the actual duel, they were standing in shooting stance to present as small a target as possible. So, they were actually firing across their body rather than what we commonly think of as facing each other and drawing in the classic Wild West shootout," said Gano.
Gano said it was the duel's unique nature that brought worldwide fame to Hickok and to Springfield.
It's like the Wild West right here, Gano said, in a place that's not commonly regarded as the West, and that's something he hopes draws in history lovers.
"He's probably the most famous person that has ever hung their hat in Springfield. So we thought we would get some traction out of that and try to bring his story to life here in town as the most culturally significant thing that we have around here," said Gano.