Many area residents own guns, and those guns have a story, whether they helped bag the biggest buck or were used by a grandfather in World War II.
St. Marys resident Anthony Wickett just scored a coup by acquiring a firearm that was used by a member of one of the most infamous gangs of the West.
The gun, purchased from an online auction site for $15,725, is a Smith & Wesson Double Action First Model .44 Russian, and accompanying documentation has its previous owner listed as Emmett Dalton, the youngest member of the Dalton Gang, a group of brothers and their accomplices who made their mark robbing banks and trains in the late 1800s.
Wickett, who is very interested in Western history and the various players, said he has been collecting for a long time. He was looking into Emmett Dalton for some time, and the revolver came under his ownership with the help of his wife, Iris, who was keeping a sharp eye on when the piece would be put up for auction.
“We collect guns,” Wickett said, adding that he had been looking around and saw there was a piece owned by Emmett Dalton up for sale. A journeyman who works on power lines for IBEW Local #70, Wickett was actually on the road when the piece went up for auction on www.gunbroker.com .
“And the unique thing about it was, my wife, I was out in Doubletree, out in Michigan, on that night that it went up for sale. It was real warm out that night, [so we were all outside, standing around]," Wickett said. "And then she called me up and she said the gun's going on the auction block-- it started. And she said, one minute the price was $4,000 or $5,000, it jumped to, and then it jumped up to $7,000 or $8,000, $9,000, and just kept jumping. And she said, ‘Well I’ll bid on it.’ I kept telling her, I said, ‘Well it doesn’t matter what it costs, just let’s go with it.’
“So when it got up there to right around $12,000 or $13,000 I told her to just throw a bid in for $20,000-- we’ll just stop at $20,000-- if we get it, we get it, if we don’t, we don’t," Wickett said.
Iris bid on the piece while Wickett continued to wait with some of his coworkers in Doubletree.
“I told them, 'I think I’m going to get this gun,'” Wickett said.