Chris Madsen

Chris Madsen

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Chris Madsen

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Chris Madsen (February 25, 1851 – January 9, 1944) was a lawman of the Old West who is best known as being one of The Three Guardsmen, the name given to Madsen and two other Deputy US Marshals who were responsible for the apprehension and/or killing of several outlaws of that era. The Three Guardsmen consisted of Madsen, Bill Tilghman, and Heck Thomas.


Chris Madsen was born Chris Madsen Rørmose in Denmark. Upon emigrating to the United States in 1876, he dropped the last name, Rørmose. He later claimed to have been a soldier in the Danish Army and the French Foreign Legion. Arriving in New York City, Madsen enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 21, 1876, and served fifteen years in the Fifth Cavalry. He was quartermaster sergeant of the Fifth Cavalry and fought in many major Indian campaigns. Later, in 1883, he became President Chester A. Arthur's guide to Yellowstone.

Law career

Discharged on January 10, 1891, Madsen became a deputy U.S. marshal under Marshal William Grimes in Oklahoma Territory. He had joined the US Marshals as a Deputy Marshal with the priority of policing the vast Oklahoma Territory. Over 300 outlaws were either apprehended or killed by Madsen, Thomas and Tilghman, thus leading to their nickname, The Three Guardsmen.The three lawmen were largely responsible for bringing down outlaw Bill Doolin and his Doolin Dalton gang. Madsen was personally responsible for the killings of Doolin gang...
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