About Frederick Tecumseh Waite
Fred Waite (occasionally Fred Wayte) (September 28, 1853 – September 24, 1895) was a Native American who was hired as a cowboy and joined Billy the Kid's gang. A member of the Chickasaw tribe, Waite left the gang to return to his people. He served as a leading politician before his death at about age 42, shortly before he was to become Governor of the Chickasaw.
Fred Waite was born in the Chickasaw nation at Fort Arbuckle, in what is now Garvin County, Oklahoma.
Waite found work in New Mexico with John Tunstall, who was later to be one of the leaders of the Tunstall-McSween vs. Dolan war, better known as the Lincoln County War. Waite worked as a farmer for Tunstall.
On February 18, 1878, after Tunstall was killed, the Regulators were formed. The Regulators were originally a posse led by Dick Brewer to serve arrest warrants on Tunstall's killers. Waite was a member of the posse. Through the posse, he met Billy, American Indian Jose Chavez y Chavez, Henry Brown, Jim French, and Charlie Bowdre. They formed what became Billy the Kid's gang.
Fred Waite was allegedly behind a wall with the gang when they killed William J. Brady, sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico. He was also present when the gang killed Buckshot Roberts, a suspect in the murder of Tunstall.
Serving the Chickasaw
Split between his Chickasaw culture and his new life, Waite decided to return to life as an Indian, leaving the gang behind. Back in Oklahoma, Waite became a successful politician. He served in several offices in the Chickasaw nation, including senator, speaker of the house of representatives, and others.
It is not known how Waite died four days from his forty-second birthday. He was being prepared to become Governor of the Chickasaw Nation.