I'm sure there were plenty of cowards in the old west. But nothing like Hollywood prefers to portray in movies and television shows. We've all watched endless shows about towns full of cowards that have to be saved by the one, brave hero while the population cowers behind locked doors, leaving their very lives in the hands of one man.
For a look at the real old west and the kind of people that made up those tough, hardworking towns, read Tough Towns, by Robert Barr Smith. You'll be amazed and filled with admiration at the American spirit that these average, everyday heroes had to save their families, homes, and businesses.