Many people think the bravest men who rode for the Pony Express were the well-known heroes Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok.
But those who really know tell of a rider whose name was Billy Tate. He was 14 years old and an orphan when he joined the Pony Express as a rider. His territory ran west from Egan Canyon Station in Utah to Dry Creek, Nevada.
This country was filled with hostile Indians of the Paiute tribe. One day, Billy was carrying the mail when 12 Paiute warriors cut him off and surrounded him. There was a terrible fight, with young Billy trying to defend himself from behind a big rock.
Hours later Billy’s friends found him, his body riddled with arrows. But the Paiute victory had not been easy. Seven of the 12 warriors lay dead along with young Billy.
The remaining Indians so respected Billy Tate’s bravery that they did not take his scalp.