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Leadville, Texas was a small town established during the days of the American Frontier. It was the home of the western hero known as the Black Rider who was secretly the town doctor Matthew Masters. The Black Rider defended the town from outlaws and lawbreakers that were common during those days. The most influential residents of Leadville was the Lathrop family which included big rancher Jim, his daughter Marie, and youngest son Bobby, who was the only person aware of Matthew Master's double identity.

Shortly after Masters took up residence as the local doctor, the Eastern Syndicate led by Blast Burrows began pressuring local ranchers to sell out to them. After Masters was called a coward for witnessing local rancher Jim Lathrop get shot, Masters decided to develop the costumed identity of the Black Rider and eliminated the Eastern Syndicate before they could force ranchers out of their land. The Black Rider became the defender of Leadville for a period of time.[1]

The Black Rider protected Leadville from such threats as outlaw Killer Kane,[2] crooked developer Ben Jonas,[3] gold thieves Snake Bostwick and Cole Cameron.[4] A range war almost exploded thanks to the machinations of Sash Grail, who also attempted to turn the people against the Black Rider by having outlaw Red John pose as the hero. The Black Rider exposed this plot and prevented the war from happening.[5] A land owner named Waller later attempted to be elected as sheriff so he could force a new tax on ranch owners in an attempt to force them to default on their mortgages so he could take over their lands. He used heavy handed tactics to try and force the locals to vote for him, but he was ultimately stopped by the Black Rider.[6] The mortgages were then transferred to Buck Barstow who attempted a similar scheme to force ranchers off their land, but the Black Rider also stopped this attempt with the assistance of another masked defender named the Phantom, who died assisting the people of Leadville.[7] An attempt to rustle the herds at the Lathrop ranch by Brush Benson was also stopped by the Black Rider.[8]

The Black Rider was one more branded an outlaw when outlaw Tod Sultan posed as the hero and gunned down the Leadville sheriff. However, the real Black Rider slew Sultan and cleared his name.[9] Leadville was also the starting point of the Hypnotist's attempt to conquer the United States, but like other threats to the town, he was stopped by the Black Rider.[10] Mad scientist Professor Chalis moved to a ranch outside of Leadville where he conducted his human growth experiments, kidnapping cattle and ranch hands to expand their sizes. The Black Rider uncovered these inhuman experiments and destroyed Chalis' lab.[11] Later, railroad politico Mr. Cantrell attempted to force ranchers to sell their land so he could put his rail line through town. To this end, he attempted to provoke a war between the citizens of Leadville and a nearby Native American tribe. This plan was thwarted by the Black Rider as well.[12]

The Black Rider also stopped two different outlaws calling themselves the Fox, one female[12] and the other male,[13] as well as Smoke and his Border Riders,[14] Marie Lathrop's cousin and bank robber Oscar Tippitt. Later, the crooked sheriff of Leadville and Flick Willis attempted to frame the Black Rider for murdering Matthew Masters. This was easily disputed by the Black Rider who exposed their rustling scheme.[15] Another war against local Natives and the people of Leadville, this time instigated by Native warrior Wolf Claw was also prevented by the Black Rider.[16]

Eventually, Matthew Masters left Leadville and became a travelling doctor for a time but eventually returned to Leadville and resumed being it's doctor and defender. He helped defend the town from such outlaws as Hatchet Haines, stagecoach robber Lola Montace,[17] murderer Salias Slade,[18] Kellem,[19] Gibbs,[20] Whip Wade,[21] Trigger Tracy, Shag Enoch, and Jess Cantrell among others.[22] The Black Rider also helped the people of Leadville rid themselves of crooked gambler Deuce Dixon,[23] exposed rival doctor Dr. Stevens as a fraud,[24] and exposed the hoax of the so-called Specter of Doom. The town's water supply was also threatened by Shark Adams who had stolen a powerful poison. He was thwarted by the Black Rider.[25] When the town of Leadville suffered an outbreak of rabies both the medical skills of Matthew Masters and his alter-ego the Black Rider saved the town.[26]

Other outlaws who clashed with the Black Rider in Leadville included Travers, a crooked gambler; Curly Adams and his gang;[27] saboteur Jack Grimes who failed to blow up the Golden Express rail bridge leading out of town;[28] and Stinger Ray.[29] The outlaw known as the Spider once amassed an army of desperados who almost destroyed Leadville, had the Black Rider not gathered together the townspeople to defend their home. The town soon under siege by a pack of trained wolves unleashed by the Lobo gang, but the Black Rider destroyed all the wolves and defeated the gang.[30]

While Leadville had many sheriffs during the days of the Old West, one of the longest running proved to be Sheriff Ben Yarby who regularly worked next to the Black Rider, first helping him clear out the gambler named Ace Darcy. The Spider briefly returned to terrorize the town at this time, but the Black Rider fought him to the death.[31] The Black Rider and Sheriff Yarby also helped clear out law breakers such as Mr. Conde, Trigger Tate, Blast Baxter,[32] Nate Oland, Crusher Cable,[33] Luke Hasely,[34] Slasher Slade, Spur Cameron, and Paso Jack.[35]

It is unknown if Leadville still exists as an established town in the modern era.

Points of Interest

Matthew Master's doctors office, sheriffs office, saloon



  • Leadville, Texas is fictional and is not to be confused with the real-life town Leadville, Colorado.

See Also

Links and References


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