Bass Reeves

    Bass Reeves, was one of two hundred U.S. marshals appointed to arrest and to keep peace and order in the Old West starting in 1870's. Bass Reeves was among a group of African Americans appointed as marshals and sheriffs in the early days of the old west by U.S. Government. Bass Reeves was born as a slave in Lamar County, Texas in July 1838. Reeves grew up as field hand of Col. George Reeves of Grayson County, Texas. As a young man Bass Reeves was strong and over six feet tall. Reeves learned to use and draw quickly a Colt revolver. He also learned to use the rifle and other firearms which later served him well as a U.S. Marshal.

    Bass Reeves started his career as a U.S. deputy marshal in 1875. It is said the Bass Reeves was never wounded in his 30 years as a lawman in the West. He later said he had several close calls - "with a button shot off his coat; his hat was shot off, and his horse bridle was cut off by flying bullets."

    Reeves said he had to kill 14 different men in his career - but they all always drew their weapons first. Bass Reeves was said to be an excellent detective who used disguises and smart ploys to capture his outlaws. Bass Reeves served under seven United States Marshals. After 32 years of service he retired in 1907 and worked another two years as a policeman on the Muskogee Police Force in Oklahoma. Bass Reeves died of natural causes on January 12, 1910 at age 71.

    Birth: Jul., 1838
    Lamar County
    Texas, USADeath: Jan. 12, 1910
    Muskogee County
    Oklahoma, USABuried: Agency Cemetery
    Muskogee County
    Oklahoma, USA

    Francis T. Bruce

      of Denver, Colorado:

      Birth:   1843 Death:   1917  
      Inscription: "Kind hearts are more than coronets"

      Note: Buried with Ellen Bruce   Burial:
      Fairmount Cemetery
      Denver County
      Colorado, USA

      Ben Boyer

        of Coaldale, Colorado

        Robert L. Fortune

          of Wilburton, Oklahoma

          Grant Johnson

            of Eufaula, Oklahoma

            NED HUDDLESTON (also known as "ISOM DART")

              Ned Huddleston vacillated back and forth with the law. Huddleston was born a slave in the year of 1849 in the state of Arkansas. Ned Huddleston had many talents, and he experimented with them in many ways. He was sixteen when he escaped slavery and went on to Texas. He then migrated to Mexico and became a stunt rider and part time clown. Huddleston later discovered that money could be made by working with Mexican bandits who showed him how to steal horses and direct them across the Rio Grande into Texas for specific buyers who used them in their cattle businesses.

              Huddleston's group became known as The Tip Gault Gang. Their headquarters and hideout was called Brown's Park in the northwest corner of Colorado, which touches the borders of Wyoming and Utah. The story goes that the lawmen planned a surprise ambush, and, when the gang of thieves returned, they were all shot and killed while Ned Huddleston was away. Ned knew he would be hunted down and killed, therefore he went off to Oklahoma and took on the name of an alias - Isom Dart.

              After a cooling off period, "Isom Dart" went back to Brown's Park and started all over again as a rustler - this time with cattle. The sheriff caught Ned (Isom Dart) Huddleson, and he was arrested. On the way to jail with Huddleson, the sheriff's buckboard overturned, and the sheriff was hurt. Ned's good side came forth, and he helped the sheriff, who later helped him win his trial case, and he was granted his freedom.

              The life of Ned Huddleson did not end happily ever after. Just when Ned was all settled in his new life, it was cut short by a hired gunman named Tom Horn. Horn's job was to hunt down ex-horse rustlers. Horn shot Ned Huddleson as he exited his cabin. Tom Horn was later hanged for another killing. Ned Huddleson's fate ended as one of the paradoxes of living a good and bad life in the Old West.

              The Tip Gault Gang.

                Their headquarters and hideout was called Brown's Park in the northwest corner of Colorado, which touches the borders of Wyoming and Utah. The story goes that the lawmen planned a surprise ambush, and, when the gang of thieves returned, they were all shot and killed while Ned Huddleston was away. Ned knew he would be hunted down and killed, therefore he went off to Oklahoma and took on the name of an alias - Isom Dart.

                Henry Starr

                  ** The Cherokee Badman**

                  Henry Starr is no doubt one of the most interesting characters who ever came out of the Old West. During his 32 years in crime, he claimed he had robbed more banks than both the James-Younger Gang and the Doolin-Dalton Gang put together. However, in all of his life as a criminal he only killed one man, a U.S. Deputy Marshall who was about to arrest him. He started robbing banks on horseback in 1893 and ended up robbing his last in a car in 1921. He was the first bank robber to use an automobile in a bank robbery. A total of 21 bank is what he is alleged to have robbed. If he did pull all of those robberies, he would have made off with nearly $60000.00.

                  Henry Starr was born near Fort Gibson, I. T. on Dec. 2, 1873 to Tom Starr and Mary (Scott) Starr. His uncle was the notorious Sam Starr who was married to Belle Starr, the "outlaw queen". He was 1/4 Cherokee. His father died at an early age and his mother remarried a man named C. N. Walker. Henry hated his new stepfather and this caused a lot of hard feeling and was the driving force of Henry leaving home at an early age.

                  Henry was working on ranches near Nowata, I. T. when he had his first run-in with the law. He was driving a wagon to town one day when two deputy marshals caught him with whiskey and arrested him for "introducing spirits into territory." He went to court and plead guilty to the offense, although he always maintained that he was innocent because he had borrowed the wagon and didn't know the whiskey was in it. He was only 16 years old.

                  Henry found himself back at Nowata, working as a cowboy, when his next brush with the law came. He was arrested for horse theft, another charge he denied, and was thrown in jail at Fort Smith, Ark. His cousin paid his bail, and Henry was out. The problem was he wasn't going back. He jumped bail.

                  The path was clear to Henry now, and there was no turning back. He joined up with Ed Newcome and Jesse Jackson and went on a tear robbing stores and railroad depots. However, the law was after him now.

                  U.S. Deputy Marshals Henry C. Dickey and Floyd Wilson were hot on the trail of Henry near Nowata, when the event that would nearly cost Henry his life, twice, happened. In a shoot out with the marshal, Henry killed him. He was now wanted for murder.

                  With the law on his trail, Henry's Gang became more bolder, as they started robbing banks. On March 28, 1893 they robbed their first bank in Caney, Ks. Then they robbed the bank in Bentonville, Ark. But it was heating up for them in the territory, so Henry and Kid Wilson made tracks for California. They were captured in Colorado Spring, Co., and returned to Fort Smith to stand trail.

                  Henry stood trail for the murder of Floyd Wilson in the court of Judge Isaac Parker. Although he maintained it was self defense, because he didn't know that Floyd Wilson was a marshal with a warrant for his arrest, he was found guilty and sentence to hang. His attorney appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court which overturn Parker's decision and granted Henry a new trail. The second trail ended with the same results, Henry was guilty and he was sentence to hang. His attorney once again appealed and won him a new trail. At the third trial Henry plead guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced to 25 years in the penitentiary.

                  It was during his stay in jail at Fort Smith, awaiting trial, that one of his most amazing deeds was accomplished. Fellow prisoner, Cherokee Bill attempted a prison break with a gun smuggled him by a trustee. There was a gun battle between Bill and the prison guards, in which one of the guards had been killed. However, the guards were unable to disarm Bill and it was stand-off. Henry was a friend of Bill's and offered to disarm him if the guards would in turn promise not to kill Bill. The promise was made and Henry entered the cell where Bill was at, and retrieved the weapon.

                  It was this incident that would secure Henry his freedom. When Henry, with help from his family and the Cherokee Tribal Government, applied for a pardon in 1903, President T. Roosevelt admired the man for his courage in the Cherokee Bill incident so much, that he reduced his sentence and Henry was released from prison in 1905.

                  After his release from prison, Henry returned to Tulsa, I. T. and worked in his mother's restaurant. It was here he met and married his first wife, Miss Ollie Griffin, shortly after his son, whom he named Theodore Roosevelt Starr, was born. Henry manage to behave himself until 1908, when Oklahoma became a state. Under the fear of being extradited to Arkansas, he took to the brush of the Osage hills, and fell in with his old partners.

                  On March 13, 1908, Henry and his gang crossed the Kansas border and robbed the bank at Tyro, Ks. With the law hot on his tracks again, they fled Oklahoma heading west. Their next job was the bank in Amity, Co. From there Henry fled to Arizona, where he was captured by the law and returned to Colorado to stand trial.

                  In November of 1909, Henry plead guilty to robbing the Amity, Co. bank and was sentenced to 7 - 25 years in the Canon City Prison. It was during his stay at Canon City that Henry not only work as a trustee, he study law in the prison library, and wrote his autobiography, Thrilling Events, Life of Henry Starr. On September 24, 1913 he was paroled by the governor and free again.

                  In the autumn of 1914, the first in the worst series of bank robberies in the Southwest occurred in Oklahoma. Between Sept. 14, 1914 and Jan. 13, 1915 a total of 14 banks were robbed. At first officials were at a lost to figure out who was committing the crimes. Then one of the victims was able to identify a picture of the bandits. Henry Starr was back to his old tricks. A $1000 reward was offered the governor of the state, for Henry. The reward was payable "Dead or Alive".

                  It was during this time Henry pulled one of his slickest moves, while the law was searching all over the brush of the Osage hills and other known hideouts for him, Henry was living in the heart of Tulsa, at 1534 East Second Street, just two blocks from the Tulsa county sheriff and four blocks from the mayor of Tulsa.

                  Then on March 27, 1915 Henry and six other men rode into the town of Stroud, OK. and proceeded to rob both banks in the community. Word of the holdup spread throughout the town and the citizens quickly took up arms against the bandits. Henry and another bandit named Lewis Estes were wounded and captured in the gun battle. The rest of the gang had escaped with $5815, thus pulling off a double daylight bank robbery.

                  Once again Henry found himself in jail, on August 2, 1915 Henry entered a plea of guilty in the Stroud robbery, and was sentenced to 25 years in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester, Ok. On March 15, 1919 he was paroled and released from prison.

                  Upon his release from prison, Henry returned to Tulsa, and with the urging of friends entered the motion picture industry. Henry produced and starred in the silent movie A Debtor to the Law, which was a movie about the double bank robbery in Stroud, Ok. The movie was an immediate success. For his part Henry was alleged to have netted $15,000. He went on to star in a couple of other movies, and was offer from Hollywood to do a movie out there. He turned it down from fear that if he went to Hollywood the authorities in Arkansas would try to extradite him for his part in the Bentonville robbery. It was during his time in the movies that Henry met and married his second wife, Hulda Starr from Salisaw, OK. They were married on February 22, 1920 and moved to Claremore, OK.

                  On Friday morning, February 18, 1921, Henry and three companions in a high powered touring car drove into Harrison, Ark. They entered the People's State Bank and robbed it of $6000. During the robbery, Henry was shot in the back by the former president of the bank, and his partners fled leaving him to face the music alone. He was carried to the jail where doctors removed the bullet. However, on Tuesday morning, February 22, 1921, Henry died from the wound. His wife Hulda, his mother, and his 17 year old son were at his side.

                  Henry had died as he had lived in a violent manner, but true to the code of the outlaws, he never revealed a single partner in any crime. He never shot anyone in the commission of a crime, and served his time in jail like a man. He had succeeded where others had failed by robbing two banks at once, and by robbing more banks than any others.

                  A little proud of his record, he boasted to doctors at Harrison the day before he died: " I've robbed more banks than any man in America."

                  Photo 1~Photo of Henry Starr taken in Tulsa, OK in 1919.

                  Photo 2~Photo taken in Fort Smith, following Starr's capture in Colorado Springs, CO july 3, 1893.

                  Photo 3~Starr in a doctor's office at Stroud, OK, recovering from wounds he received in attempted daylight robbery of two banks.

                  Cherokee Bill

                    "This is as good a day to die as any."

                    _Cherokee Bill, March 17, 1896, as he stepped into the courtyard at Fort Smith and saw the gallows.**

                    At age twelve, Goldsby shot and killed his first man. It was his brother-inlaw, who told him to feeds some hogs. Because of his age he was not prosecuted. As a teenager Goldsby took to petty thievery. He got into fights regular, and when he could not settle them with his fists he would go for his guns. By the age of fifteen he had became an expert shot.

                    In 1894 he shot and wounded Jake Lewis while attending a dance at Fort Gibson. The two men had got into a fight over a woman, and as Goldsby was getting the worst of the fight, he drew his six-gun and shot Luis. Goldsby didn't hang to answer to the law, he took to the brush. He was charge with assault with intent to kill.

                    At the age of eighteen, a wanted man on the run, Goldsby fell in with some of the worst outlaws in the Indian Nations, William and James Cook. Goldsby was given the nickname "Cherokee Bill" by Bill Cook. He was with the Cook brothers when a posse cornered the three desperadoes near Tahlequah, I. T., in June of 1894. Lawmen had a warrant for the arrest of Jim Cook on a charge of larceny, but when they moved forward to arrest Cook, all three youths went for their guns. The outlaws were able to drive the lawmen back and they quickly mounted their horses and made a run for it, but the posse was hot on their heels. As they were being chased Cherokee Bill turned in his saddle and fired a shot that killed Deputy Sequoyah Houston.

                    After the fight with marshals at Tallequah, Cherokee Bill used his sister's home, Maud Brown, to hide out from the law. Her husband, George Brown, a vicious drunkard, took a whip to Maud one day for not responding fast enough to his orders. While he was beating the woman, Cherokee Bill walked up behind him and shot him to death. He then rejoined the Cook brothers.

                    In the summer of 1894, Cherokee Bill robbed the railroad depot at Nowata, I. T. At the depot he shot and killed station agent Richard Richards as he went for his gun. Then he waited on the platform for the next train to arrive. When it did, he ordered the express car to open up. When conductor Sam Collins opened the door, he order Bill to leave, at which point Bill shot him in the face and killed him. Then the brake man came running down the platform, and Bill shot and wounded him. He then mounted his horse and rode away.

                    In July of 1894, Cherokee Bill and the Cook gang performed their only bank robbery by robbing the  Lincoln County Bank in Chandler, OT. During the robbery Bill shot and killed the town's barber who was trying to raise the alarm that the bank was being robbed.

                    That same year, Cherokee Bill and some of his confederates robbed every store in town of Talala, I. T. It is said they simply started at one end of town and robbed their way to the other end of town. They are reported to have repeated this same crime on another occasion.

                    Later that year of 1894, Cherokee Bill and the Cook Gang robbed the Shufeldt & Son store at Lenapal, I. T. During the robbery Cherokee Bill shot and killed Ernest Melton, an innocent by-stander. It was for this murder that Judge Isaac Parker placed a $1,300 reward on Cherokee Bill, payable dead or alive.

                    Deputy Marshal W. C. Smith learned that Bill was infatuated with Maggie Glass, a cousin of Isaac "Ike" Rogers, who had been a deputy for Smith on several occasions when posses were needed. Smith arranged for Roger's to lure Bill to Roger's home to meet the girl. Bill showed up at the Roger's the evening of Jan. 29, 1895, and after dinner as the night wore on he fell asleep. Rogers and a neighbor, Clifton Scales, jumped Bill as he laid asleep and tied him up and took him to Fort Smith.

                    On Feb. 26, 1895, Cherokee Bill was tried for the murder of Melton by jury before Judge Isaac Parker. He was found guilty. Judge Parker sentenced him to hang on June 25, 1895. Cherokee Bill seemed unconcerned about the sentence, and joked that no one would ever put a noose around his neck. His lawyer, J. Warren Reed, managed to file several appeals that delayed the execution date.

                    In the meantime, Bill was working on his "appeal". Sherman Vann, a trusty at the jail, had smuggled a six-gun into Bill, which he hid in a hole in the wall of his cell. On July 27, 1895, Bill attempted a jail break using the weapon. When the night guards came to lock the prisoners in their individual cells for the night, he jumped them. Guard Lawrence Keating reached for his gun and Bill shot him in the stomach. Keating wheeled and staggered down the corridor. Bill shot him again in the back. Other guards arrived and were able to keep Bill from escaping. In a spectacular gun battle that lasted several minutes, neither the guards were able to enter the jail nor was Bill able to leave his cell. Then another prisoner, Henry Starr, was able to convince the guard that he could enter the cell and bring out Bill if they promised not to shoot him. They reluctantly agreed, and Starr walked down the corridor and entered Bill's cell, then moments later reappeared with the disarmed killer.

                    Cherokee Bill was quickly tried for the murder of Keating. He was once again found guilty and sentenced to hang on Dec. 2, 1895. His lawyer once again filed several appeals, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the verdict in the Keating murder, and a execution date was set for March 17, 1896. On March 17, 1896, Cherokee Bill was led from his cell to the gallows. As he stood on the gallows with a noose around his neck, he was asked if he had any final words, he said, "No! I came here to die, not make a speech." A moment later he was dead. His mother took his body to Fort Gibson to bury it.

                    Buried: Cherokee National Cemetery (Fort Gibson)
                    Muskogee County
                    Oklahoma, USA_**

                    Marshall Frank Canton

                      Frank Canton real name was Joe Horner. He was born near Richmond, VA in 1849. As a child his family moved to Texas. he became a cowboy, and worked on the trail herds from Northern Texas to the Kansas railheads in the late 1860's.

                      Frank Canton didn't start out as a lawman, he was quiet the opposite. In 1871, he started robbing banks and rustling cattle. On Oct. 10, 1874, he got into a gunfight with some black cavalrymen at Jacksboro, Texas. He killed one soldier and wounded another. in 1877 he was jailed for robbing the bank at Comanche, Texas. He escaped from jail and return to herding cattle. He took a herd up to Ogallala, Neb.., where he officially changed his name to Frank Canton, and vowed to give up his outlaw ways.

                      He hired on as detective for the Wyoming Stock Grower's Association, a group of powerful cattlemen intent on driving out the small ranchers and farmers who settled in Johnson County. He ran his own ranch near Buffalo, Wyo., and was later elected sheriff of Johnson County. Canton married in 1885, and had two daughters, one of which died in early childhood. He resigned his office of sheriff and went back to his old job with the Wyoming Stock Grower's Association. At the same time he was made a US deputy marshal. However, he clearly worked for the big cattlemen, and enforced the law as they wished. Canton joined Frank Wolcott's regulators, a group of more than fifty gunmen hired by the cattlemen to clean the settlers out in Johnson County. On April 9, 1892, Wolcott and Canton led the army of gunmen toward Buffalo, were they heard that Nate Champion and a fellow gunman, Nick Ray, were holed up at the nearby K. C. ranch. Once at the ranch the Regulator's took a wagon and set afire then sent it crashing into the log cabin in which the men were holed up in. As the building was burning, Champion dove out the front door, his clothes a smoking and his guns a blazing. However, fifty guns were zeroed in on him and he was cut down in a instance. The killing of Champion was to much for Canton, in the months that followed his nerves would come apart. He would have violent nightmares, awake screaming from the a deep sleep . He started seeing the ghost of the dead. So he quit the cattlemen and left Wyoming for Oklahoma.

                      In Oklahoma, Canton served as a deputy marshal for Judge Isaac Parker, and quickly made a name for himself as a lawman that would stand up to any outlaw. In 1895, canton joined a posse that tracked down the outlaws Bill and John Shelley, who had escaped from the Pawnee, O.T. jail and barricaded themselves in a cabin on the Arkansas River. The posse fired more than 800 shots into the cabin in a five hour gun battle, but was unable to dislodge the outlaws. Then Canton found a wagon and set it on fire and sent it crashing into the cabin. The outlaws quickly came out of the burning structure and were promptly arrested and taken to Fort Smith. On Nov. 6, 1896, Bill Dunn, an outlaw wanted by Canton, confronted Canton in Pawnee, O.T. and yelled "Damn you Canton, I've got it in for you." As Dunn went for his gun, the lighting fast canton pulled his six-gun from his holster and fired one shot that struck Dunn dead center in the middle of the forehead. The outlaw fell backwards, drawing his six-gun as he fell but died before he could get a shot off. Canton left his family in 1897 and accepted an appointment as U.S deputy marshal in Alaska where he underwent many harrowing adventures. Canton reportedly tamed the entire lawless town of Dawson and befriended the writer Rex Beach and was used by beach as the role model for many of the frontier heroes he portrayed in his novels. Canton barely survived the harsh Alaskan winter of 1898, he returned to Oklahoma and once more became a lawman. In 1907, Canton became the adjutant general of the Oklahoma National Guard and held that position until his death in 1927.

                      Birth:   1849, USA Death:   Sep. 27, 1927
                      Oklahoma, USA

                      Buried: Fairlawn Cemetery
                      Oklahoma City
                      Oklahoma County
                      Oklahoma, USA

                      THE DALTON GANG

                        They were raised on the border of Indian Territory, near Coffeyville, KS.

                        For a short time they served on the side of the law, working as Deputy Marshals. Their older brother, Frank Dalton, was commissioned a Deputy Marshal for the federal court in Fort Smith. On Nov. 27, 1887 in a gun battle with the with the Smith-Dixon Gang, Frank Dalton was shot and killed.

                        Grat Dalton, who had moved to California along with their brother Bill, returned to Indian Territory, and took up were his brother left off. Working as a deputy he received a bullet wound in the arm while attempting to arrest one suspect, and in 1889 he was commissioned a deputy marshal for the Muskogee court.

                        Bob Dalton was a deputy marshal for the federal court in Kansas in Wichita, working out in the Osage Nation. He also served on several of his brother Frank's posses.

                        Emmett Dalton also worked as member of some of his brothers posses, but for the most part he earned a living as a cowboy working on the Bar X Bar Ranch near the Pawnee Agency. It was on the ranch that Emmett would meet two of the Gang's members, Bill Doolin and William St. Power, alias Bill Powers, alias Tom Evans.

                        Not much is known about Bill Power other than he drifted in to the Territories from Texas with a trail herd from the Pecos.

                        While working at the Bar X Bar, Emmett became acquainted with the cowboys and future Gang members working on the ranches nearby. They were Charlie Pierce, George Newcomb, Charlie Bryant, and Richard (Dick) Broadwell, alias Texas Jack alias John Moore.

                        Dick Broadwell came from a prominent family near Hutchinson, Ks. At the opening of Oklahoma Territory he staked a claim to a homestead in the Cowboy Flats area. He met and fell in love with the young lady who owned the homestead next to his and asked her to marry him. She agreed and persuaded him to sell both claims and move with her to Fort Worth, TX, where she disappeared with the money. He returned to the territories and started work on the ranches.

                        Charlie Pierce hailed from the Blue River country in Missouri. He fled to the Indian Nation to avoid trouble in Missouri, and settled in the Pawnee country. He spent time in the Fort Smith jail for whiskey peddling.

                        George Newcomb, known as Bitter Creek Newcomb, came from Fort Scott, KS. At the age of twelve Newcomb started his career as a cowboy working for C. C. Slaughter on the Long S Ranch in Texas. He later drifted into the territories.

                        Charlie Bryant came from Wise County, Texas. He had a black mark on his cheek from a powder burn that earned him his nickname Black-Faced Charlie.

                        While serving as head of the Osage police, Bob Dalton was accused of selling whiskey. Grat Dalton also got into trouble about the same time and was dismissed as deputy marshal for conduct unbecoming an officer. Although they were not deputy marshals they still worked as posse men for other deputy marshals. However pay was slow in coming.

                        Then in July of 1890 Bob, Grat, and Emmett were accused of stealing horses near Claremore I. T. and selling them in Kansas. With a posse hot on their trail, Bob and Emmett left the territories for California. Brother Grat was arrested and placed in jail. He was later released for lack of evidence. He too would leave the territories and go to California to join his brothers.

                        In California the boys would join their brother Bill and events would soon have them fleeing the law again. On the night of February 6th, 1891 the Southern Pacific RR train was robbed at Alila, CA. The Dalton boys were accused. Once again Bob and Emmett were fleeing the state with a posse after them. Grat and Bill was arrested.

                        Bob and Emmett made their way back to the territories, but the law was after them and making things hot for the boys. While hiding out in the Indian Nations the boys hooked up with Emmett's old ranching buddies Charlie Bryant, Bitter Creek Newcomb, to rob the train at Wharton, O.T. in May of 1891. The gang made off with $1745 of the railroads money.

                        Shortly after the Wharton robbery, Charlie Bryant became ill and was taken to the doctor in Hennessey, O.T.. Deputy Marshal Ed Short saw Bryant when he was brought into town and arrested him in the hotel as he was recovering from his illness. There was no jail in Hennessey so the marshal was taking his prisoner by train to the federal jail in Wichita. During the trip Bryant made a desperate attempt to escape. He secured a pistol and in a blazing shoot-out with the marshal, both men died from shots received from the other.

                        The Gang's next robbery was the Katy train at Leliaetta, near Wagoner I. T.. With Bob and Emmett, were Bitter Creek Newcomb, Bill Powers, Dick Broadwell, Charlie Pierce, and Bill Doolin. On the night of September 15, 1891 they stop and boarded the train, and robbed the express car of $2500.

                        Meanwhile in California, on July 3, 1891, a jury found Grat Dalton guilty of the Alila train robbery. While awaiting sentence, Grat escaped from jail on Sept. 18 and made his way back to Oklahoma. He promptly joined up with his brothers.

                        At the end of May in 1892 the three Dalton boys teemed up with Pierce, Newcomb, Powers, Broadwell, and Doolin for another train holdup. On June 1, 1892 at the train station at Red Rock, they position themselves and awaited the approaching train. When the train entered the station the train coaches were dark, the gang sensing something was wrong allowed to leave the station unmolested. Suddenly a second train appeared and as it stopped at the station the gang boarded it and proceeded to rob it. As it turned out the gang was correct in their suspicion, the first train was full of armed guards protecting $70,000 of the Sac and Fox annuity. Unfortunately the second train had little of value on it and the gang only made off with $50.

                        On July 14, 1892 the gang made its last train robbery at Adair I. T.. Once again the train was loaded with deputies, but the gang was so quick and quite with their work that the marshals didn't realized the train was being rob until the job was almost completed. Unloading from the train the marshals engaged in a fierce but brief gun battle with the bandits. During the battle an innocent bystander was killed and another one wounded. the bandits would escape unharmed with an undisclosed amount of cash.

                        After the Adair robbery the Gang split up and went their own ways. With the law on their trail, the Dalton boys figured to make one last robbery and get enough money to leave the country. A plan was devised to rob two banks in the same town at the same time, thus getting enough money to leave the country, and also go down in history by accomplishing something that no other outlaw gang had ever attempted. The perfect town for the robbery was Coffeyville, KS, the Dalton boys old home town.

                        Early in the morning on Oct. 5 1892 five members of the gang, Bob, Grat, Emmett, Bill Power, and Dick Broadwell rode into Coffeyville. They tied their horses in the alley across from the banks, then strolled across the street and divided into two groups and enter the Condon National Bank and First National Bank. However they were recognized by citizens and the alarm was given. Townsmen quick armed themselves with weapons from the local hardware stores and took up positions to defend the town. As the bandits tried to make good their escape a fierce gun battle took place in which four citizens and four bandits loss their life. Emmett, the sole surviving member of the gang, was seriously wounded. He would recover from his wounds and stood trial for the crime. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was later pardon by the governor, and spent the rest of his days in California.

                        But Coffeyville didn't put an end to the Dalton Gang. There was still three members of the old gang still at large, Bill Doolin, Bitter Creek Newcomb, and Charlie Pierce. Also there was a fourth Dalton boy, Bill Dalton, who would travel the outlaw path. He would soon join his brothers old partners and together they would terrorize the territories for years to come as the infamous Doolin-Gang

                        Heck Thomas

                          "He was one of the most accurate shots I ever saw . . . shot his rifle mostly from his side or hip, very seldom bringing the gun to his shoulder." Heck Thomas talking about Bob Dalton's ability with a gun.

                          Heck Thomas was one of the most respected deputy marshals that had ever ridden for the Fort Smith Court in the territories. While riding for the court, Heck Thomas had been sent after his share of "hard cases". It's been said of Heck that he had brought to justice more criminals than any other marshal working in the territories. But in October of 1892 he found himself closing in on the most feared gang of outlaws in the southwest, the Dalton Gang.

                          Heck Thomas found himself in an odd position when chasing the Dalton Boys. He'd worked with Bob and Grat Dalton when they were riding as deputy marshals. He even put in a good word for Grat when Grat was commissioned as a deputy marshal under the Fort Smith Court. He knew their late brother Frank Dalton, and had severed with him on many of hard cases. But when the boys turn bad he was on their trail.

                          Emmett Dalton would state years later in his autobiography that Heck Thomas was their "nemesis". After each holdup Heck was in the field chasing the gang. However, the boys prove to be difficult quarry to catch. They had an edge, they knew the country, had plenty of friends to hide them out and warn them about the posses, and they knew how the marshals worked. Thus they were able to avoid most of the traps laid for them by the law.

                          At Red Rock, O.T. the boys would narrowly miss an ambush by an army of deputy marshal, when they decided not to rob the train when it pulled in the station as plan. Something about the train was wrong, the lights in the passenger cars were dim. The boys didn't spring into action as usual, instead they argued among themselves as the train rolled out of sight. Moments later a second train appeared. This time everything seemed normal so the gang struck and robbed it. Lucky for the gang they followed their instincts, because waiting in the dark in those passenger cars of the first train was Heck Thomas and a company of armed deputies just itching to blast the boys out of their boots.

                          Still Heck stayed on their trail in a persistent chase, never letting the boys stay or rest in any one place to long.

                          After the Adair robbery in July, the gang had pull its usual trick of splitting up. Heck went after Bob and Emmett figuring that sooner or later the gang would reunite with them for another robbery. He trailed them into the Osage Nation and located their hide-out on Oct. 3. It was to late, 5 members of the gang had already pulled out heading north. He trailed the gang to their campsite on California Creek (about 20 south of Coffeyville, KS) but the gang had left the site the night before (Oct. 4) for a new campsite on Onion Creek near Coffeyville, KS. As he started trailing the gang toward Onion Creek the news came that the boys had been killed in Coffeyville, KS.

                          Heck would proceed to Coffeyville and identify the bodies for the Wells Fargo Company. Afterwards he was presented a check for $1,500 by the express company in his efforts to bring the gang to justice. But Heck's job was just beginning. With the deaths of the Dalton Boys a new gang was to emerge and apply its talent to the outlaw trade. Heck Thomas would soon find himself tracking down the Wild Bunch, and their leader Bill Dollin "King of the Oklahoma Bandits".

                          Doolin-Dalton Gang

                            Bill Doolin & His Wild Bunch

                            William (Bill) Doolin was born in 1858 in Johnson County, Arkansas. In 1881, at the age of 23, he drifted west working at odd jobs and eventually ended up in Caldwell, KS were he met Oscar D. Halsall of Texas. Halsall hired Doolin to work for him on his ranch on the Cimarron River in Oklahoma. Doolin soon became a top hand for Halsall.

                            It was during this time of working as a cowboy that he would meet most of the members of his future Wild Bunch. Working on the ranches in Oklahoma, Bill Doolin would meet George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb, Charlie Pierce, Bill Power, Dick Broadwell, Bill "Tulsa Jack" Blake, and Emmett Dalton.

                            Doolin's first brush with the law came in the summer of 1891, while working on the Bar X Bar Ranch. Several of the cowboys decided to celebrate the 4th of July holiday by riding over to Coffeyville, KS and throwing a party. There was a keg of beer there and the law showed up. Kansas was a dry state. When they tried to confiscate the beer there was a shoot-out, and two officers were wounded. From that day on Bill Doolin was on the dodge.

                            By September of 1891, Bill Doolin was riding with the Dalton Brothers. He participated in the train robberies at Leliaetta, I. T., Red Rock, OT, and Adair, I. T.. Several reasons have been given as to why Bill Doolin did not join the Dalton Gang on their fatal raid on two banks in Coffeyville, KS on Oct. 5, 1892. It has even been rumored that he was the mysterious 6th rider that day. But whether he was the 6th man, or Bob Dalton was jealous of his growing popularity in the gang, or that Bob considered him too much of a "wildcat" and too uncontrollable, one thing is for sure he was a lucky man that day.

                            With the death of the Daltons in Coffeyville, there were still three members of the Dalton gang at large and they didn't waste time resuming their work. On Oct. 12, 1892, 7 days after the raid, John J. Kloehr of Coffeyville, the citizen who shot 3 of the Daltons, received a letter stating that there was 3 members of the gang left alive and that they were coming to Coffeyville to exact their revenge. Needless to say this put the citizens of Coffeyville in a near state of panic. In the meantime, that same night the train at Caney, KS, eighteen miles west of Coffeyville was robbed by 4 masked men. While never proved, Bill Doolin is credited with both events.

                            Now on their own, Doolin, Newcomb, and Pierce would have no problem in finding new recruits for their gang. The first to join was Oliver "Ol" Yantis. On Nov. 1, 1892 he would join Doolin and Newcomb and rob the Ford County Bank at Spearville, KS. After the robbery the trio would split up to throw off any pursuing posse. However, marshals were able to track Yantis to his sister's farm near Orlando, OT and on Nov. 30 they surprised him at daybreak and killed him in a brief gun battle.

                            By the end of 1892, 4 more members had joined the gang, Bill Blake, alias Tulsa Jack, Dan Clifton, alias Dynamite Dick, George "Red Buck" Waightman, and William "Bill" Dalton, brother of the infamous Dalton Boys.

                            By the spring of 1893 the gang was riding high. Their reputation was growing and their deeds were becoming more bolder. And on March 14, 1893 Bill Doolin and Edith Ellsworth of Ingalls, OT are married in Kingfisher OT Whether Edith knew Bill was an outlaw at the time is not known, but throughout his career as an outlaw she stuck by him, all the time keeping the marriage a secret and meeting him secret

                            For a "wedding present" the gang robbed the train near Cimarron, KS on June 11, 1893. While being pursued by a posse, Bill Doolin was shot and wounded in the left foot. He would recover from his wound, but it would leave him with a limp and plague him the rest of his life, and would be the contributing factor in his capture years later.

                            By now, Roy Daugherty (a.k.a. Arkansas Tom Jones) had joined the gang. Unfortunately for him, he had joined the gang just in time for a surprise the marshals had been cooking up for the Wild Bunch. US Deputy Marshals had learned that the Doolin-Dalton gang had been using the town of Ingalls, OT as a hideout the summer of 1893 between raids. On Sept. 1, 1893, two wagons loaded with 13 marshals entered the town of Ingalls. In the fierce battle that ensued, 3 deputy marshals were killed, 2 innocent bystanders were killed and 1 was wounded, 2 of the bandits were wounded, and Arkansas Tom was captured. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

                            In early 1894 the gang was hard at work. Two more members, William F. Raidler (a.k.a. Little Bill) and Richard West (a.k.a. Little Dick) had joined the Wild Bunch. They robbed the Farmers and Citizens Bank in Pawnee, OT on Jan. 23, 1894. On March 13,1894, two men rob the railroad station at Woodwind, OT it was believed to be Bill Doolin and Bill Dalton. The on May 10, 1894, 7 members of Wild Bunch rob the bank in Southwest City, MO. In shoot-out with townsfolk 1 of the bandit was wounded, 1 citizen was killed, and 3 were wounded.

                            Bill Dalton was not present at the Southwest City robbery, he had left the Wild Bunch and formed his own gang that spring. On May 23, 1894 Jim Wallace, Big Asa Knight, Jim Knight, and George Bennett joined up with Bill Dalton to rob the First National Bank in Longview, TX. Bennett is killed and 1 citizen was killed and 3 were wounded in the attempted getaway. The law trailed Bill Dalton to his hideout near Ardmore, I. T. and surprise and kill him on the morning of June 8, 1894.

                            Early in 1895 the deputy marshals suspected the gang was hiding out in the Ingalls area. March 3, 1895, Deputies surrounded the cave at the Dunn farm and ordered the bandits to come out. When none appeared, they used dynamite to coax them out. Although the raid did net the law several men wanted for various crimes, none of them were of the Wild Bunch. They had left the day before.

                            On April 3, 1895 the Wild Bunch would pull it's last job as a gang. They boarded the train at Dover, OT and proceeded to rob it and the passengers. After the robbery the gang would make it way west at a leisure pace unaware that a posse had formed and fast moving in on them. At 2:00 p.m. the posse would catch up with the gang as they were camped near Ames, OT In the gun battle with the deputies Tulsa Jack was killed. The rest of the gang was able to getaway, but they would split up and never re-unite as a gang.

                            With high rewards on their heads, the gang would scatter. The marshals were now using a new tactic in its efforts to rid the territory of the gang. They had used the reward money and outstanding warrants for cattle rustling to induce the Dunns to give them information as to the movements of the gang. The Dunns had a farm near Ingalls, and were never part of the gang. However, they did give the gang a place to hide out and information about the deputies, as well as fence some of the stolen goods the gang had. On May 1, 1895, while hiding out at the Dunn farm, Bitter Creek Newcomb and Charlie Pierce were shot while they laid asleep in their beds, by Bill, John, and Dal Dunn. They took the bodies to Guthrie and turned them over to the marshal for the $5,000 reward money.

                            With his buddies dying off one by one, Bill Doolin saw the handwriting on the wall. He had his lawyers get in touch with US Deputy Marshall Nix 3 time that summer and offered to turn himself in if Marshal Nix would promise him a light sentence on robbery. Marshal Nix refuse. The only thing left for Doolin was to leave the territory. He made his way to New Mexico and joined up with Little Dick West. Together they hid out there the rest of the summer of 1895.

                            On Sept. 6,1895, the law was able to bring another member of the gang to justice. Bill Raidler is seriously wounded and captured by Marshal Bill Tilghman near Pawhuska, OT He stood trail for his part in the Dover robbery and was found guilty, sentenced to 10 years, he was paroled in 1903 and returned to OK

                            Tiring of New Mexico, Bill would return to Oklahoma to gather his family. By this time Bill and Edith had a son. Together with his family he set out to make a new life for himself. They lived the last part of 1895 near Burden, KS. But the law wasn't finished with Bill Doolin. Deputy Marshal Tilghman learned of Edith Doolin's disappearance from the Ingalls area, and was able to trail her to Burden. However, he was to late, Edith had returned to Oklahoma and a man named "Tom Wilson" had gone to Eureka Springs, AK to seek the healing treatment of the hot spas there to ease the pain of his rheumatism.

                            Tilghman suspected it was Doolin and proceeded to Eureka Springs were he did indeed find Doolin and was able to get the drop on him and capture him. He returned him to Guthrie and for the first time in his life Bill Doolin was behind bars.

                            With Bill Doolin behind bars the rest of the gang was being rounded up quick. Red Buck Waightman was killed in gun battle with deputy marshals near Arapaho, OT on March 4, 1896. Dynamite Dick Clifton is arrested on a whiskey charge in Texas. Deputy Marshal Frank Canton brought him back to Oklahoma to face a murder charge, delivering him to the Guthrie jail on June 22. Thanks to the law Bill Doolin and Dynamite Dick were back together.

                            Then on July 5, 1896, Bill Doolin, Dynamite Dick, and 12 other prisoners escaped from the Guthrie jail. Outside the jail Bill was able to make it back to Lawson, OT were Edith was staying with her folks. Once again they made plans to leave the territory and make a new start somewhere else for their family. Once again the law was chasing him. On Aug. 24, 1896 Bill Doolin was ambushed and killed by Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas's posse.

                            What happen to the rest of the gang? Dynamite Dick Clifton and Little Dick West were all that was left of the Wild Bunch. They would go on and join up with the Jennings Gang but later leave that gang and eventually be track down and killed by the law. Dynamite Dick Clifton was killed by deputies on Nov. 7 near Chectoah. Little Dick West was killed on April 8, 1898 by Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas's posse

                            Members of the Wild Bunch

                              Bill Doolin

                              George (Bitter Creek)

                              Newcomb Charlie

                              Pierce Oliver (Ol)

                              Yantis William (Bill)

                              Dalton Bill (Tulsa Jack)

                              Blake Charles (Dynamite Dick)

                              Clifton George (Red Buck)

                              Waightman Roy Daugherty (aka Arkansas Tom Jones)

                              William F. Raidler (aka Little Bill)

                              Richard West (aka Little Dick)

                              Isaac Parker~The Hanging Judge

                                <div>By Steve Goldman</div>

                                In the year 1875 there existed in the United States a wild and largely untamed land where outlaws ruled. (NO, this was not Detroit or the South Bronx!) This vast region was known as the Indian Territory and was located in the area which is now the state of Oklahoma. This territory was populated by a mixture of cattle thieves, horse thieves, prostitutes, desperados, whiskey peddlers and numerous unsavory characters who sought refuge in a region free of "White Man's Court" and without laws which could be used to extradite them for trial.

                                Birth: Oct. 15, 1838Death: Nov. 17, 1896

                                Buried: Fort Smith National Cemetery
                                Fort Smith
                                Sebastian County
                                Arkansas, USA
                                Plot: Section 9, Grave 4000

                                The Civil War wrecked the relative peace of the five civilized tribes of Indians that lived in the territory. It created a storm of racial hatred and unbridled vice. This was the American frontier at its very worst. Folks, this was a baaa-aaad place!

                                The only court with jurisdiction over the Indian Territory was the U. S. Court for the Western District of Arkansas located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fort Smith was situated on the border of Western Arkansas and Indian Territory. To this court came Judge Issac Parker who was named to replace a corrupt judge at Fort Smith in May of 1875. A severe and able Federal Judge, Issac Parker was nicknamed "The Hanging Judge" because of the many men he sent to the gallows.

                                During his 21 years on the bench at Fort Smith, Judge Parker sentenced 160 men to die and hanged 79 of them. It didn't take Parker long to get going. On May 10, 1875 -- only 8 days after he arrived at Fort Smith -- he opened his first term of court. Eighteen persons came before him charged with murder and 15 were convicted. Eight of them were sentenced to die on the gallows on September 3, 1875. One was killed trying to escape and a second had his sentence commuted to life in prison because of his youth.

                                The hanging of the remaining 6 became an extraordinary media event for its times. Newspapermen came from Little Rock, St. Louis and Kansas City. Many of the large Eastern and Northern daily newspapers sent reporters to cover the event. Even strangers from abroad filtered into the city a week before the execution. More than 5,000 persons saw the condemned men marched from jail to the gallows. There were 3 Whites, 2 Indians, and one Negro. The 6 felons were seated on a bench along the back of the gallows and their death warrants were read to them. Each was asked if he had any last words. The preliminaries over, the 6 were lined up on the scaffold while executioner George Maledon adjusted the nooses around their necks. The trap was sprung and the 6 died all at once at the end of the ropes.

                                The Fort Smith Independent was the first newspaper to report the event. Its extra of September 3, 1875 was a 12 inch by 12 inch broadside with the large column headings reading: "Execution Day!!" In smaller type the paper explained: "Large Crowd -- 6 Murderers Hanged -- Details of the Execution -- Brief Sketches of the Convicts and the Crimes for Which They Suffered."

                                Other newspapers around the country reported the event a day later. These press reports shocked people throughout the nation. "Cool Destruction of Six Human Lives by Legal Process" screamed the headlines.

                                From these first 6 in 1875 through 73 more up until 1896, Judge Issac Parker became famous for his stern brand of justice in a wild and untamed land. For the first 14 years of his 21 at Fort Smith, Parker's judgments were final and irrevocable. He was hard on killers and rapists but was not a cruel man. He reserved most of his sympathy for the victim and his family. Most of Parker's critics lived in civilized communities and did not appreciate the raw frontier conditions of the Indian Territory. Most local citizens approved of the hanging judge.

                                So it was that the Fort Smith Independent scooped the world for Parker's hanging "debut". It would be his first but certainly not his last.

                                Bill Doolin

                                  Birth: 1858Death: Aug. 24, 1896 
                                  Outlaw. Member of the infamous Dalton Gang. He was shot and killed by Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas. Buried: Summit View Cemetery
                                  Logan County
                                  Oklahoma, USA

                                  Bill Dalton

                                  • Kansas

                                  Birth: 1863, USA

                                  Death: Jun. 8, 1894, USA


                                  Burial: Coffeeville

                                  Coffeyville Montgomery County Kansas, USA