Doc Middleton has a unique life story which crosses both the 19th and 20th centuries. In many ways, his story represents the death of the Old West and the dawn of a new, modern era. Technology changed life dramatically, as it continues to do so today.
Doc Middleton, the notorious brand doctor, was a man of many names: James M. Riley, David C.
Middleton, ‘Texas’ Jack Lyons, ‘Gold-Tooth’ Charley and John D. Shepherd among others. None however, gained the notoriety of the outlaw Doc Middleton. His early life is mostly speculation. While working as a cowhand for outfits on the Chisholm Trail, Doc was involved in an altercation in a saloon that ended in bloodshed. Officially an outlaw, Doc soon landed in the Niobrara River Valley and found it impossible to find honest work. He formed a gang called the Ponyboys and reportedly stole over 2,000 head of horses from ranchers and Sioux over a two-year period. His success along with his notoriety soon christened the Nebraska Territory “Doc Middleton Country.” Most people who knew him spoke kindly, saying that he had Robin Hood-like discretion when “hoss-thieving.” He died December 27th, 1913.
It is our aim to bring his story to life both in a DOCUMENTARY FILM & a NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM.