Friday 23 August 2013

Origin stories: Hashknife Hartley by W.C. Tuttle

[This is a slightly modified excerpt from an article in the The Pittsburgh Press of Jul 23, 1950.]


W.C. Tuttle, author of the “Hashknife Hartley” stories, admits that the idea for the “Hashknife Hartley” Western adventures was born of a blister but the character is the composite of two men Tuttle knew some forty years ago.

Tuttle wrote his first “Hashknife” story, titled A Whizzer on Willer Creek (Adventure, August 3, 1920), in Los Angeles —while mad at the blister on his: foot caused by pounding the streets seeking a hotel room. The plot for the story was in his mind, but he had no hero— until he remembered his two old friends.

So “Hashknife” was evolved from the personality of one, and the physique of the other. Prior to this story Tuttle had written humorous westerns, without the highlighted adventure themes!


  1. The Hashknife and Sleepy series is definitely Tuttle's best work and I've read many of them in ADVENTURE, SHORT STORIES and ARGOSY. They are westerns with a detective element since the two partners often work for a cattlemen's association investigating crimes. Bob Sampson has a long chapter about the series in his YESTERDAY FACES volumes.

  2. The first Hashknife story published (I think) was "'Hashknife' - Philanthropist" in the July 18, 1920 issue. Does Tuttle clearly indicate "A Whizzer" was written first?

    1. The only modification to the article I did was add the date of the Adventure issue the story appeared in. So, to answer your question, it looks like Whizzer was written first.