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01. Maverick, The Long Hunt (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails

Maxwell, Ben


Outlaw and rancher in the Arizona Territory in the 1870s.[1] (September 9, 1835December 10, 1877)[2]


On May 8, 1872, Maxwell robbed the bank in Dry Springs, Arizona Territory with Lefty Dolan, Rex Clark and Whitey Brandon. They each wore bandanas to cover their faces. Dolan's mask slipped off, and he shot and killed a bank teller as they made their getaway. The men escaped, but due to Dolan's being left-handed, four witnesses believed he was Jedd Ferris, a local rancher and newcomer to Dry Springs.[1]


Ferris was taken into custody and tried for the robbery and murder. Maxwell, knowing he couldn't be identified, attended the trial out of curiosity. There, he met Ferris' wife, Martha, and fell in love. Ferris was convicted of the crime and sentence to life imprisonment. Maxwell bought the Rocking Star Ranch just north of the Ferris Ranch in the hopes of building a relationship with Martha.[1]


In Ferris' absence, Maxwell helped Martha run her ranch as well as his own, and her fondness for Maxwell grew. With Ferris in prison and Martha's father's health declining with age, Maxwell spent more and more time at the Ferris Ranch, trying to keep the property in repair. As the years went by, he became convinced that Martha would never give up hope that Ferris' innocence would be proven and he would return to her. he realized that, as long as Ferris was alive and in prison, she would never give up on him, and Maxwell would never win her hand.[1]


In October of 1877, Bret Maverick visited the Ferris Ranch with a message for Martha from Ferris. Maxwell offered to help Bret in any way he could to get Ferris out of prison. He believed if Ferris was free, he would have a chance against him for Martha's love.[1]


In December of that year, Bret tracked Brandon to Dry Springs, and asked Maxwell for help in capturing him to force Brandon to confess to the bank robbery and clear Ferris' name of murder. But Bret realized Maxwell was one of the bank robbers himself. As Bret was forcing Brandon to sign a confession letter, Maxwell intervened and shot and killed Brandon. He threatened to kill Bret, but Martha appeared at that moment with the sheriff of Dry Springs, who shot and mortally wounded Maxwell. As he lay dying, Maxwell asked for the confession letter and signed it himself, giving the proof of Ferris' innocence.[1]


See: The Long Hunt

Ben Maxwell

Portrayed by Richard Webb









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