“[Outlaw] Bose Poe had his gun ready to kill [Marshal] Grimes who rode up alongside of him, but I was quicker than the outlaw and when the horse fell it laid on one of his legs and his gun fell out of his hand. I could have killed him as easy as killing the horse, but I have never killed a man when it could be avoided.”
U.S. Deputy Marshal Christian Madsen was born in Schleswig, a Danish Province and served in the Danish army as a young post office and telegraph messenger during the Danish-Prussian War of the 1860s. He graduated from a Danish military school in 1868 and served as a corporal before being stationed with the French Foreign Legion in Algeria. He was wounded with Napoleon and others and taken prisoner in the Battle of Sedan in 1870, but escaped to Denmark and went to southern France before returning to his unit in Algeria. He later took a job in Norway and saved enough money to pay his fare to the United States, where he came in 1876. He enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry, 5th Regiment, and was stationed in Kansas. He became a Deputy U.S. Marshal in 1891 and served in that role for the next 25 years, helping to end the reign of terror by such infamous outlaws as Poe and the Dalton and Doolin gangs, among others.
During his career as marshal, Christian Madsen was one of only a few who had been taught “the principle of rifle and revolver practice,” and was credited with being the best revolver shot in the state or Indian Territory.
Madsen became a Deputy U.S. Marshal for Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas in 1891.