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Deadly Dance

By Dawn Graves


Sidney was known as a wild town in its early years, and for good reason. Murders, gunfights and lynchings were commonplace, and the many saloons and dance houses were always full of rowdy characters.

One story goes that a road house north of town commonly had raucous parties. In 1881, once such party was in full swing with women, whiskey, soldiers, cowboys and desperadoes in attendance. No one died until about 10:30 that night, when a soldier at the party accidentally shot himself dead.

His body was blocking the dance floor. To get him out of the way, the other patrons simply moved his body to a corner of the room and ordered the music to continue.

A little while later, a man named Jack Page got in an argument with another man, whom he killed. Shots were fired among the crowd and wounded several men and one woman. Despite this, the dead body was just placed in the corner with the dead soldier, and the dancing continued.

When, however, another fight started and a third man was killed, the dance was stopped – if only because the lights had been shot out.

The three unfortunate men were buried at Sidney's Boot Hill cemetery.