W. C. Tuttle

W. C. Tuttle (November 11, 1883 June 6, 1969) was an American writer who sold more than 1000 magazine stories and dozens of novels, almost all of which were westerns.

W. C. Tuttle
Born(1883-11-11)November 11, 1883
DiedJune 6, 1969(1969-06-06) (aged 85)
Years active1915-1945


Tuttle wrote mainly for pulp magazines; his main market was Adventure magazine. In a 1930 poll of its readers, Tuttle was voted the most popular writer in the magazine.[2] Tuttle also wrote for other publications such as Argosy, Short Stories, Street & Smith’s Western Story Magazine, Field & Stream, West, New Western Magazine and Exciting Western.[3] His best known character was Hashknife Hartley, who along with his friend Sleepy Stevens, served as unofficial detectives solving crimes on the ranches where they worked as cowboys. The Hashknife stories combined the western story with the detective story. [4] Fellow western author and editor Jeff Sadler stated Tuttle's writing is "at its best" in the Hashknife stories.[5] Sadler also claims Tuttle's novel Vanishing Brands is his finest novel:"...terse and dramatic, flecked with dry touches of wit, the novel is an excellent example of the Western form and a credit to its author".[5] Other characters Tuttle created included Cultus Collins, Sad Sontag, and Henry Harrison Conroy, a former vaudeville actor turned sheriff.[6]

In 1950-1951, Tuttle was narrator of the old-time radio series Hashknife Hartley, which featured adaptations of his stories.[7]

He was also a screenwriter hailing back to the silent era. He wrote the screenplays for 52 films between 1915 and 1945.

A semi-pro baseball player in his youth, Tuttle served as President of the Pacific Coast Baseball League 1935-1943.[1] Tuttle recommended to the Los Angeles Angels that the team should ask Gene Lillard to join them. [8]

He was born in Montana, and died in Los Angeles County, California.[5]


"Hashknife" Novels

  • Hashknife of the Double Bar 8 (1920)
  • Thicker Than Water (1927)
  • The Morgan Trail (1928)
  • Hidden Blood (1929)
  • The Valley of Twisted Trails (1931)
  • The Silver Bar Mystery (1933)
  • Rifled Gold (1934)
  • The Medicine-man (1939)
  • The Valley of Vanishing Herds (1942)
  • The Tin God of Twisted River (1945)
  • Wolf Creek Valley (1946)
  • The Trouble Trailer (1946)
  • Shotgun Gold (1950)
  • The Shadow Shooter (1955)
  • Passengers for Painted Rock (1962)
  • Double-crossers of Ghost Tree (1965)
  • The Payroll of Fate (1966)
  • Medicine Maker (1967)
  • Vanishing Brands (1977)
  • Red trail of a forty-one (1978)

Other Novels

  • Sontag of Sundown (1929)
  • The Keeper of Red Horse Pass (1930)
  • Mystery At the JHC Ranch (1932)
  • Singing River (1934)
  • The Flood of Fate (1935)
  • Wild Horse Valley (1938)
  • Salt for the Tiger (1952)
  • Renegade Sheriff (1953)
  • Mission River Justice (1955)
  • Thunderbird Range (1955)
  • The Shame of Arizona (1957)
  • The King of Dancing Valley (1958)
  • Danger Trail (1958)
  • The Trail to Kingdom Come (1960)
  • Gold at K-BAR-T (1961)
  • Galloping Gold (1961)
  • Double Trouble (1964)
  • Arizona Drifters (1964)
  • Road to the Moon (1965)
  • Stockade (1965)
  • Buckshot Range (1966)
  • The Lone Wolf (1967)
  • West of Aztec Pass (1972)
  • Greenhorn Trail (1976)
  • King of Blue Grass Valley (1977))
  • The Trail of Deceit (1985)

Selected filmography


  1. W. C. Tuttle, Montana Man, (Avalon 1966)
  2. The top five writers in the Adventure poll were (in order) Tuttle, Arthur O. Friel, Harold Lamb, Talbot Mundy, and H. Bedford-Jones. "Adventure's Most Popular Writers", in Blood N' Thunder Magazine Summer 2010, ISBN 0-9795955-7-6 (p.57).
  3. "Tuttle, W. C." in Lee Server, Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers. ISBN 0-8160-4577-1, (p. 259).
  4. Robert Sampson, "Pulps", in William L. DeAndrea, Encyclopedia Mysteriosa: a comprehensive guide to the art of detection in print, film, radio, and television. New York : Prentice Hall General Reference, 1994. ISBN 0-02-861678-2 (p. 288)
  5. Jeff Sadler, "Tuttle, W(ilbur) C(oleman)" in Twentieth Century Western Writers, edited by Geoff Sadler. Chicago and London, St. James Press, 1991, ISBN 0-912289-98-8, (pp. 689-694)
  6. Charles Leland Sonnichsen, From Hopalong to Hud : Thoughts on Western Fiction. College Station, Tex. : Texas A & M University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-58-523503-1 (p.110)
  7. Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  8. Dennis Snelling, Greatest Minor League: A History of the Pacific Coast League 1903-1957. Jefferson, N.C. McFarland & Co. 2019 ISBN 9781476678276 (p. 148)
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