Screen Cowboy Draws Gun in Brawl


Screen Cowboy Convicted of Drawing Gun in Brawl

Jury Finds Blackjack Ward Guilty of Felonious Assault During Café Fight With Fellow Film Player

LOS ANGELES TIMES (April 11, 1942) — On the old-time Texas range a six-shooter was as much a part of a cowpuncher’s equipment as his horse and saddle –

But in Hollywood, where the only cowpunchers are the motion picture or drugstore variety, such a weapon can become a distinct liability, as Jerome (Blackjack) Ward, 52, [PICTURED] reflected yesterday when he was convicted on a felony assault charge.


Blackjack two years ago was exonerated of a murder charge after killing a fellow resident in Hollywood’s “Gower Gulch.” The new assault accusation is the outgrowth of a café scuffle last Dec. 2 wherein he allegedly pulled his stock-in-trade and leveled it on a fellow film cowboy.

Following brief testimony in Superior Judge A.A. Scott’s court, the jury retired to find Ward guilty of assault with a deadly weapon as the result of the fracas.


Henry Isabelle, 1027 Elm Ave., Glendale, who accused Ward of threatening him in the barroom brawl at 6327 Santa Monica Blvd., testified he had knocked Ward down in a fight before the scuffle.

When Ward arose from the floor, he pulled his six gun from inside his shirt, pulled the trigger and the hammer clicked on an empty chamber, according to witnesses.

When police arrived the gun was found to contain five loaded chambers. 

Two years ago, Ward was exonerated of the murder of Johnny Tyacke [sic.], whom he shot to death on Sunset Blvd. 

ADDITIONAL NOTE: “Gower Gulch” (part of Columbia Square) got its name from the number of cowboys who used to congregate near the corner of Sunset and Gower looking for work in the movies. Many of these cowpokes were former rodeo performers, clowns, and Wild West show veterans. Their social scene was very cliquish, and among the old timers were Jim Massey, Hugh Strickland, Country Hoffman, Bill Patten, Curly Fletcher, Rube Dalroy, Cactus Mack, Tex Cooper and Yakima Canutt.

Henry Isabelle, mentioned in the article, was one of these old-timers, who had started hanging around “Gower Gulch” in 1911 after leaving the rodeo scene in Arizona.

As for Johnny Tycke (shot dead on the corner of Sunset and Gower by Blackjack Ward) – I’ll have to cover his death in another post, but it appears as though he was buried in Tombstone’s Boot Hill Cemetery.

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