John Wesley Hardin (May 26, 1853—August 19, 1895) was an American outlaw, gunfighter, and controversial folk hero of the Old West. He was born in Bonham, Texas. Hardin found himself in trouble with the law at an early age, and spent the majority of his life being pursued by both local lawmen and federal troops of the reconstruction era. He often used the residences of family and friends to hide out from the law. Hardin is known to have had at least one encounter with the well-known lawman, "Wild Bill" Hickok. When he was finally captured and sent to prison in 1878, Hardin claimed to have already killed 42 men, but newspapers of the era had attributed only 27 killings to him up to that point. While in prison, Hardin wrote his autobiography and studied law, attempting to make a living as an attorney after his release. In August 1895, Hardin was shot to death by John Selman, Sr. in the Acme Saloon, in El Paso, Texas.
Hardin was named after John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist faith. Hardin was born in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas in 1853 to Methodist preacher and circuit rider, James "Gip" Hardin, and Mary Elizabeth Dixson.