None of his 67 films give us any clues to the origin of the Durango Kid.  For that we have to turn to the comic books.  And they provide a pretty lame answer.

In “Charles Starrett as The Durango Kid”, no 17, June-July 1952, we learn that Steve Brand‘s brother Pete was killed by a spy during the Civil War.  Steve swears over his brother’s corpse that he will find and kill this man.

We catch up with him 3 years into the hunt.

By the end of the comic, Steve has brought the owlhootin’ murderer to justice.  Is that it for thuh Durango Kid?

I told you it was lame.  As origin stories go, it’s probably not the worst, but definitely one of the laziest!  The sheer randomness of the name coming from a signpost!  Yuck!

I do like “Muley” though.  Somebody else hated Smiley as much as I do.

Look what I spotted on the big board of donors in the lobby of the Autry Museum.

Yes, it’s Charles wife, Mary, nestled neatly between veteran character actor Richard Fransworth who did stunts on the fourth Durango Kid film of 1946, Galloping Thunder,  and Regal Rents, the party rental company serving such events as the Academy Awards, the Fiesta Bowl and, presumably, the Autry.

Mary has also donated a number of items of Charles to the museum, as I have reported here and here.