The Story of the Dalton Gang
The story of the famous, or infamous Dalton Gang of the 1890's is not only history, but since their last name is Dalton, I have searched the internet, libraries and books to find all I could about these Dalton's and put it together in one place. There have been thousands of books wrote about the Dalton Gang and we all have read their story.
When all Dalton boys were little, they played outlaws and natchlity they all were one of the Dalton Gang. We grew up thinking we were related this Dalton Gang, but the smart ones searched out the truth, and found out we weren't.
There are a lot of different versions of the lives of the Dalton Gang in this article, and this is what make's it so fascinating to read. There are a few photos also. Of note there are lots of repeated stories here.
Researched, complied, formatted, indexed, wrote, copied, copy-written,
and filed in the mind of Rodney G. Dalton in the comfort of his easy chair in
Farr West, Utah in the United States of America in the
Twenty First-Century A.D.
Rodney G. Dalton
Generations earlier, James Lewis Dalton's (D'Alton) forbears had left France for Ireland. Their descendants ultimately came to Kentucky from Virginia.
James Lewis Dalton served an even 365 days under General Zachary Taylor as a fifer for Company I, Second Regiment of Kentucky Foot Volunteers during the Mexican War. Lewis Dalton came west from Kentucky to Missouri during the late 1840s. By 1850 Lewis Dalton was trading horses and running a small saloon at Westport (now Kansas City). Lewis and Adeline Younger Dalton had 15 children. The Daltons moved to Coffeyville, Kansas in 1886 and lived there for a short time. Coffeyville, Kansas became the hometown of "the Dalton boys." They went on train robberies and gun battles throughout the West.
The Dalton brothers, there were ten of them, will always be remembered for the misdeeds of the four bad ones, Grat, Bob, Emmett, and Bill. They rode across the Cherokee Strip a
Century ago and pro vided a never-ending source of stories for the news papers of the day, while most of the Dalton family led honest and sedentary lives in the King fisher area. The three brothers were credited with shootings and robberies from one end of the country to the
The rumor that the Daltons might be headed for a particular town struck terror in the hearts of its business men. Those who claimed to know said one good reason why the Daltons were the way they were was be cause of their bad blood.
Adeline Younger Dalton, mother of the clan, was the aunt of another family of out laws, the Younger’s. Her nephews, Cole, Bob, and Jim, rode the out law trail in the fashion of some more of their relatives, Frank and Jesse James.
The Dalton boys were the sons of James Lewis and Adeline Younger Dalton, who had brought them out of Missouri at the start of the Civil War and settled the family on a farm near Coffeyville, Kansas, just north of the Indian Territory. It was a wild and law less frontier town where the young boys grew up on the tales of their out law relatives.
When the new Oklahoma Territory was opened in 1889, the Dalton family joined the land rush and the father and older sons obtained claims near King fisher, Oklahoma.
The claim that James and Adeline Dalton chose was the SW ¼ of sec. 11, in town ship 17, north of Range 8, west of the Indian Meridan in Oklahoma. This claim contained 160 acres, all bottom land, 6 miles north east of the town of King fisher, Oklahoma. Times were hard in the new raw land. James Lewis Dalton, father of the clan, re turned to Kansas to work in Coffeyville while Mrs. Dalton remained on the claim with the children to prove it up.
James Lewis Dalton died in 1890, leaving the family on their own. He was buried at the
Robbins Cemetery in Dearing, Kansas, near Coffeyville.
Four of the sons served as deputy marshals from time to time while the fifth moved to Montana and eventually to California. Bill Dalton served with the State of California two terms. Charles, Ben and Littleton Dalton took claims near King fisher. Henry Coleman Dalton participated in the Cherokee Strip land rush and took a claim near Enid, Oklahoma.
One son, Frank Dalton, was a Deputy US Marshal who was killed in the line of duty in 1887. Frank had been the most stable of the brothers, well grounded and mature, and by all accounts Frank kept his brothers in line. They respected him, and had at times rode with him in posses. When killed, Frank had been tracking a horse thief in the Oklahoma Territory. When he located the suspect on November 27, 1887, he confronted him and a shootout erupted, resulting in Dalton being killed, two outlaws being killed, and his deputy being wounded. One week later, on December 3, 1887, the suspect was tracked by other lawmen, and another shootout erupted. In that second shootout, Deputy U.S. Marshal Ed Stokley shot and killed the suspect, but Stokley was also killed during the gunfight. Sam Wingo was a US Marshal who ran with the gang robbing after he shot the wrong man in Arkansas, and escaped custody in a subsequent shoot out with deputies. Perhaps hoping to avenge their brother's death, the three younger Dalton boys—Gratton "Grat" Dalton (b. 1861), Bob Dalton (b. 1869), and Emmett Dalton (b. 1871)—became lawmen. But in 1890, the boys moved to the other side of the law.
The children of James Lewis Dalton; b. 16 Feb. 1826, Kentucky, d. 16 July, 1890, married, 12 March 1851, Jackson, Co., MO. Died Kingfisher, O.T. and Adeline Lee Younger; b. 15 Sep. 1835, Jackson, Co., MO; d. 24 Jan. 1925, Kingfisher, OK.
1- Charles Benjamin "Ben" Dalton - 1853 - 1936
2- Henry Coleman "Cole" Dalton - 26 Nov. 1853 - 27 Feb. 1920
3- Louis Kossuth Dalton - 1855 - 1862
4- Bea Elizabeth "Lelia" Dalton - 14 March 1856 - 28 Dec. 1894; married Tom Phillips in Texas
5- Littleton Lee "Lit" Dalton - 2 Oct. 1857 - 2 Jan. 1942
6- Franklin "Frank" Dalton - 1859 - Nov. 27, 1887, Deputy U.S. Marshal killed in the line of duty.
7- Gratton Hanley "Grat" Dalton - 30 Mar 1861 - 5 Oct 1892
8- William Marion "Bill" Dalton - 1865 - 1894
9- Eva Dalton - 25 Jan 1867 - 28 Jan 1939, married John Whipple
10- Robert Rennick "Bob" Dalton - 13 May 1869 - 5 Oct 1892
11- Emmet Dalton - 3 May 1871
12- Leona Randolph Dalton - 17 July 1875 - 18 April 1964 , never married
13- Nancy "Nannie" Dalton Clute, March 1876 - 1902
14- Simon Noel "Sam" Dalton - 6 July 1879 - 13 Sept 1928 - twin
15- Hannah Adeline Dalton - 6 July 1879 - twin
The Dalton Gang's Last Raid, 1892
The bodies of the dead gunmen were first simply dumped in a heap in the town jail. The next morning, they were placed on a hay wagon and photographed. There are many different versions, with the bodies in different positions. The inset photo shows Emmett Dalton, who was seriously wounded, but survived to serve a 14-year jail sentence.
The most famous picture of the Gang
Around 9:30 the morning of October 5, 1892 five members of the Dalton Gang (Grat Dalton, Emmett Dalton, Bob Dalton, Bill Power and Dick Broadwell) rode into the small town of Coffeyville, Kansas. Their objective was to achieve financial security and make outlaw history by simultaneously of Bob & Grat Dalton robbing two banks. From the beginning, their audacious plan went astray. The hitching post where they intended to tie their horses had been torn down due to road repairs. This forced the gang to hitch their horses in a near-by alley - a fateful decision.
To disguise their identity, (Coffeyville was the Dalton's hometown) two of the Daltons wore false beards and wigs. Despite this, the gang was recognized as they crossed the town's wide plaza, split up and entered the two banks. Suspicious townspeople watched through the banks' wide front windows as the robbers pulled their guns. Someone on the street shouted, "The bank is being robbed!" and the citizens quickly armed themselves - taking up firing positions around the banks.
The ensuing firefight lasted less than fifteen minutes. A brief moment in time in which four townspeople lost their lives, four members of the Dalton Gang were gunned down and a small Kansas town became part of history.
David Elliott was editor of the local newspaper and published a detailed account soon after the gun battle. We pick up his story as the desperadoes dismount and head towards their targets:
"...After crossing the pavement the men quickened their pace, and the three in the front file went into C.M. Condon & Co.'s bank at the southwest door, while the two in the rear ran directly across the street to the First National Bank and entered the front door of that institution. The gentleman [the observer] was almost transfixed with horror. He had an uninterrupted view of the inside of Condon and Co.'s bank, and the first thing that greeted his vision was a Winchester in the hands of one of the men, pointed towards the cashier's counter in the bank. He quickly recovered his lost wits, and realizing the truth of the situation, he called out to the men in the store that 'The bank is being robbed!' Persons at different points on the Plaza heard the cry and it was taken up and quickly passed around the square.
At the same time several gentlemen saw the two men enter the First National Bank, suspecting their motive, followed close at their heels and witnessed them 'holding up' the men in this institution. They gave the alarm on the east side of the Plaza. A 'call to arms' came simultaneously with the alarm and in less time than it takes to relate the fact a dozen men with Winchesters and revolvers in their hands were ready to resist the escape of the unwelcome visitors."
As the townspeople arm themselves, the desperados enter the two banks - Bill Powers, Dick Broadwell and Grat Dalton the C.M. Condon bank, Bob and Emmett Dalton the First National. Inside the Condon Bank, three employees are forced at gunpoint to fill a sack with money. One brave teller declares to the robbers that the vault has a time lock and can't be opened for another 10 minutes (this was untrue.) The robbers decide to wait, however their plan is interrupted as the townspeople open fire:
The C.M. Condon Bank"...Just at this critical juncture the citizens opened fire from the outside [of the Condon Bank] and the shots from their Winchesters and shot-guns pierced the plate-glass windows and rattled around the bank. Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell replied from the inside, and each fired from four to six shots at citizens on the outside. The battle then began in earnest. Evidently recognizing that the fight was on, Grat Dalton asked whether there was a back door through which they could get to the street. He was told that there was none. He then ordered Mr. Ball and Mr. Carpenter [two bank employees] to carry the sack of money to the front door. Reaching the hall on the outside of the counter, the firing of the citizens through the windows became so terrific and the bullets whistled so close around their heads that the robbers and both bankers retreated to the back room again. Just then one at the southwest door was heard to exclaim: ' I am shot; I can't use my arm; it is no use, I can't shoot any more.' "
A similar scene played out at the First National where Bob and Emmett Dalton forced the bank's employees to fill their sack with money. Using the employees as shields, the robbers attempted to escape the bank, only to be driven back inside by heavy gunfire:
"...He [Bob Dalton] then ordered the three bankers to walk out from behind the counter in front of him, and they put the whole party out at the front door. Before they reached the door, Emmett called to Bob to 'Look out there at the left.' Just as the bankers and their customers had reached the pavement, and as Bob and Emmett appeared at the door, two shots were fired at them from the doorway of the drug store… Neither one of them was hit. They were driven back into the bank… Bob stepped to the door a second time, and raising his Winchester to his shoulder, took deliberate aim and fired in a southerly direction. Emmett held his Winchester under his arm while he tied a string around the mouth of the sack containing the money. They then ordered the young men to open the back door and let them out. Mr. Shepard complied and went with them to the rear of the building, when they passed out into the alley. It was then that the bloody work of the dread desperadoes began."
Many of the townspeople gathered in Isham's Hardware Store near the banks. Not only did the unarmed citizens get rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, but the store also provided an excellent view of the two banks and the alley where the gang had tied their horses:
"...The moment that Grat Dalton and his companions, Dick Broadwell and Bill Power, left the bank [the C.M. Condon Bank] that they had just looted, they came under the guns of the men in Isham's store. Grat Dalton and Bill Powers each received mortal wounds before they had retreated twenty steps. The dust was seen to fly from their clothes, and Powers in his desperation attempted to take refuge in the rear doorway of an adjoining store, but the door was locked and no one answered his request to be let in. He kept his feet and clung to his Winchester until he reached his horse, when another ball struck him in the back and he fell dead at the feet of the animal that had carried him on his errand of robbery.
Grat Dalton, getting under cover of the oil tank, managed to reach the side of a barn that stands on the south side of the alley... [At this point, Marshal Connelly ran across a vacant lot into "Death Alley" from the south to the spot where the bandits had tied their horses.] The marshal sprang into the alley with his face towards the point where the horses were hitched. This movement brought him with his back to the murderous Dalton, who was seen to raise his Winchester to his side and without taking aim fire a shot into the back of the brave officer. Marshal Connelly fell forward on his face within twenty feet of where his murderer stood.
The gang tied their horses at the middle, left Dick Broadwell in the meantime had reached cover in the Long-Bell Lumber Company's yards, where he laid down for a few moments. He was wounded in the back. A lull occurred in the firing after Grat Dalton and Bill Power had fallen. Broadwell took advantage of this and crawled out of his hiding-place and mounted his horse and rode away. A ball from Kloehr's [John Kloehr, a townsman] rifle and a load of shot from a gun in the hands of Carey Seaman overtook him before he had ridden twenty feet. Bleeding and dying he clung to his horse and passed out of the city… His dead body was subsequently found alongside of the road a half-mile west of the city.
As Marshal Connelly fell, Bob and Emmett Dalton - successfully escaping the First National Bank - ran down a side alley and into 'Death Alley' from the north.] When the two Daltons reached the junction of the alleys they discovered F.D. Benson in the act of climbing through a rear window with a gun in his hand. Divining his object, Bob fired at him point blank at a distance of not over thirty feet. The shot missed Mr. Benson, but struck a window and demolished the glass. Bob then stepped into the alley and glanced up towards the tops of the buildings as if he suspected that the shots that were being fired at the time were coming from that direction. As he did so, the men at Isham's took deliberate aim at him from their position in the store and fired. The notorious leader of the Dalton gang evidently received a severe if not fatal wound at this moment. He staggered across the alley and sat down on a pile of dressed curbstones near the city jail. True to his desperate nature he kept his rifle in action and fired several shots from where he was seated. His aim was unsteady and the bullets went wild… He arose to his feet and sought refuge alongside of an old barn west of the city jail, and leaning against the southwest corner, brought his rifle into action again and fired two shots in the direction of his pursuers. A ball from Mr. Kloehr's rifle struck the bandit full in the breast and he fell upon his back among the stones that covered the ground where he was standing.
After shooting Marshal Connelly, Grat Dalton made another attempt to reach his horse. He passed by his fallen victim and had advanced probably twenty feet from where he was standing when he fired the fatal shot. Turning his face to his pursuers, he again
Grat Dalton and Dick Broadwell attempted to use his Winchester. John Kloehr's rifle spoke in unmistakable tones another time, and the oldest member of the band dropped with a bullet in his throat and a broken neck.
Emmett Dalton had managed to escape unhurt up to this time. He kept under shelter after he reached the alley until he attempted to mount his horse. A half-dozen rifles sent their contents in the direction of his person as he undertook to get into the saddle… Emmett succeeded in getting into the saddle, but not until he had received a shot through the right arm and one through the left hip and groin. During all this time he had clung to the sack containing the money they had taken from the First National Bank. Instead of riding off, as he might have done, Emmett boldly rode back to where Bob Dalton was lying, and reaching down his hand, attempted to lift his dying brother on the horse with him. 'Its no use,' faintly whispered the fallen bandit, and just then Carey Seamen fired the contents of both barrels of his shot-gun into Emmett's back. He dropped from his horse, carrying the sack containing over twenty thousand dollars with him, and both fell near the feet of Bob, who expired a moment thereafter."
Source: Eye Witnesses to History.
The Dalton Gang Members:
Gratton Hanley "Grat" Dalton was born near Lawrence, Kansas, on March 30, 1861. He was living in California when his brother Frank, a U.S. Deputy Marshal for the Federal Court of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was shot and killed in an ambush. Grat returned to Indian Territory and picked up where Frank left off, becoming a U.S. Deputy Marshal for the Muskogee Court. But he soon got a bad reputation as a lawman, and decided to go to the other side of the law and started robbing trains.
William St. Power, alias Bill Power, alias Tom Evans was a drifter. He met Emmett Dalton while working on a ranch in Indian Territory. There is not much known about Bill Power other than he drifted in to the Territories from Texas with a trail herd from the Pecos. He was also known as Tim Evans. He is buried in Coffeyville’s Elmwood Cemetery next to the other gang members.
Robert Rennick "Bob" Dalton - 1869 to 1892
Raised on the border of Indian Territory near Coffeyville, Kansas, the Dalton brothers originally were on the side of the law. Oldest brother Frank Dalton (June 8, 1859 - November 27, 1887) was a U. S. Deputy Marshal for the Federal Court of Fort Smith, Arkansas, but he was shot and killed in an ambush by the Smith-Dixon Gang. His younger brother Grat Dalton took up where Frank left off, becoming a U.S. Deputy Marshal for the Muskogee court. Bob Dalton was a U. S. Deputy Marshal for the Federal Court in Wichita, Kansas, working in and out of the Osage Nation. Youngest brother Emmett worked as a member of some of his brother's posses. Bob Dalton is buried in the Coffeyville’s Elmwood Cemetery.
Emmett Dalton 1871 to 1937
It was Emmett, while working as a cowboy on the Bar X Bar Ranch near the Pawnee Agency, who met two of the Gang's members, Bill Doolin and William St. Power, alias Bill Power, alias Tom Evans. Not much is know about Bill Power, other than he drifted into the Twin Territories of Oklahoma and the Indian Nation from Texas with a trail herd from the Pecos. Emmett also met future Gang members working on the ranches nearby. They were Charlie Pierce, George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb, Charlie "Black-Faced Charlie" Bryant, and Richard "Dick" Broadwell, alias Texas Jack, alias John Moore.
Emmett was sentenced to life in the state prison at Lansing, Kansas, by Judge J.D. McCue of the Montgomery County District Court for second degree murder. He spent 15 years in prison before winning a parole. The remaining years of Emmett’s life were spent on the stage, writing a book on the family and the Raid and as a real estate dealer in California. He died in Los Angeles on July 13, 1937.
Richard “Dick” Broadwell, aka: Texas Jack, John Moore (18??-1892) - Dick Broadwell was from a prominent family near Hutchinson, Kansas and at the opening of Oklahoma Territory he staked a claim to a homestead in the Cowboy Flats area. There, he met and a young lady who owned the homestead next to his and asked her to marry him. After their marriage, she persuaded him to sell both claims and move with her to Fort Worth, Texas, where she disappeared with their money. The embittered Broadwell returned to the Indian Territory and started work on the ranches where he met the members of the Dalton Gang. Soon, he was robbing banks and trains throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. He was killed during the attempted double bank robbery in Coffeyville, Kansas on October 5, 1892. His family claimed his body and returned with it to Hutchison, Kansas. However, he was buried at night in an unmarked grave. The exact location is unknown but is most likely somewhere in the Broadwell plot in the Hutchison Cemetery.
Charley Pierce (18??-1895) - After unsuccessfully racing horses in Pawnee, Oklahoma, Pierce became a member of the Dalton Gang during the 1890's. After most of the gang's members were killed during the Coffeyville, Kansas raid on October 5, 1892, Pierce joined Bill Doolin's Oklahombres. He participated in several holdups, but his final battle occurred on May 2, 1895. After the Doolin Gang split up, Pierce and George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb rode to the Dunn Ranch on the Cimarron River to visit Newcomb's lover, the famous "Rose of Cimarron."
George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb, aka: Slaughter’s Kid (18??-1895) - George Newcomb, who was known as "Bitter Creek" Newcomb, came from Fort Scott, Kansas. Starting his career as a cowboy at the age of twelve, he worked for C. C. Slaughter on the Long S Ranch in Texas before drifting into Indian Territory. Newcomb was a member of both the Dalton and the Doolin Gangs, both of which robbed a number of banks and trains. By May 1895, he had a $5,000 reward on his head. When he and Charley Pierce stopped to see Newcomb’s teenage girlfriend, Rose Dunn, her brothers turned them in for the reward. Both Newcomb and Charley Pierce were shot and killed by lawmen. His father James Newcomb claimed the body and buried George on the family farm near Nine Mile Flats, southwest of Norman, Oklahoma, on the north bank of the Canadian River.
They also planned to collect some $900 owed to Newcomb by Rose's brothers. However, as they approached the house the pair of outlaws were ambushed, shot out of their saddles by Rose's brothers who wanted to collect the large county on their heads. Both bodies were then taken to Guthrie, but Newcomb was still alive. When he sat up and begged for water, he received another bullet for his efforts.
March 21, 1890 -- Pawhaska, Indian Territory -- Bob and Emmett Dalton arrested on charges of introducing intoxicating liquor into the Osage Nation.
July 1890 -- Claremore, Indian Territory -- Bob, Grat and Emmett Dalton accused of stealing horses. Bob and Emmett flee to California. Grat arrested, but subsequently released for lack of evidence; he then joined his brothers in California.
February 6, 1891 -- Alila, California -- A Southern Pacific train robbed. Grat and Bill Dalton arrested for the crime. Bob and Emmett flee to Oklahoma.
May 1891 --Wharton, Oklahoma Territory -- Five members of the Gang rob a Santa Fe train, making away with $500.
August 1891 -- Hennessy, Oklahoma Territory -- Deputy Marshal Ed Short arrests Charley Bryant. While taking him to Wichita, Kansas, the prisoner secures a handgun. Both men are killed in the ensuing gunfight.
September 1891 -- Lillietta, Indian Territory -- Four members of the gang rob a Missouri Kansas & Texas train, making away with $2,500.
September 18, 1891 -- California -- Grat Dalton escapes from jail and returns to Oklahoma to join up with his brothers.
June 1, 1892 -- Red Rock, Oklahoma Territory -- Seven members of the gang rob a Santa Fe train and make away with $50.
July 14, 1892 -- Adair, Indian Territory -- Eight members of the gang rob a Missouri Kansas & Texas train. In a shoot-out with railroad guards, an innocent bystander is wounded, another wounded. Two guards are also wounded. Total amount of take is never disclosed.
The Dalton Gang Hideout
History of the Dalton Gang Hideout; with permission from "The Dalton Gang and Their Family Ties" by Nancy Ohnick.
The Preservation of an Outlaw Hideout
In the southern part of Meade, Kansas, four blocks south of highway 54, still stands the two-room house that was first occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J.N. Whipple. Eva Dalton, sister of the infamous outlaws, married J.N. Whipple October 15, 1887, at which time they moved into the newly constructed house Whipple had built for his bride. The house was on the outskirts of town in those days, the landscape dropped sharply from the house to a streambed to the south where water occasionally flowed into Crooked Creek to the east. A sharp bluff to the south of the streambed formed a canyon of sorts, later dubbed, "Gallop Away Canyon." Taking advantage of the landscape, Whipple built his house half underground with one exposed wall and a door leading from the basement to the south. Their barn also was half sheltered by the earth in the hill below.
Eva Dalton came to Meade shortly after the town was established in 1885. She was engaged in a millinery business with Florence Dorland, who later married R.A. Harper, an early-day Meade County rancher. Whipple operated a mercantile store in on the northwest corner of the square. Fairly successful as a businessman, he was reported to have been a good poker player, often holding games at the Whipple home.
The Dalton brothers were reportedly seen several times in Meade before a price was set on their heads, but their sister was never heard to mention their names after they became famous.
The Whipples left Meade by early 1892, and their property was sold under foreclosure. Soon after, the H.G. Marshall family moved into he house. The new occupants discovered a tunnel from the house to the barn. Inside the house the mouth of the tunnel was hidden by a small closet beneath the stairway leading to the two-room basement of the place. The tunnel was constructed by placing beams of wood across a deep rain wash which were then covered with earth. It was barely large enough for a man to walk through in a stooped position. From the house the tunnel led into a small feed room in the barn, which hid the tunnel entrance.
One of the Marshall daughters, Mrs. Roy Talbott, often told the story that several times horseback riders came up the canyon to the barn; placed their hoses in the barn and came on into the house through the tunnel. When the surprised riders learned that another family occupied the house, other than the Whipples, they immediately fled back through the tunnel, mounted their horses and galloped away.
Legend has it that many of the old-timers of Meade were very friendly with the Dalton Gang and thus the gang never raided the Meade banks or committed any overt acts in this vicinity. Old timers were always tight lipped about the notorious brothers.
Raid on Coffeyville:
Following the Adair train robbery the Dalton Gang split up and went their separate ways. With the law on their trail, the Daltons decided to carry out 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 the money they needed while also going down in history by accomplishing something that no other gang had ever even attempted. The perfect town for the robbery was Coffeyville, Kansas, their old home town.
Early in the morning of October 5, 1892, Bob, Grat and Emmett Dalton, along with Bill Power and Dick Broadwell, rode into Coffeyville and tied their horses in the alley across from the town's two banks. Bob and Emmett walked into the First National Bank, while the other three went into the Condon Bank. But the Daltons' plan began going wrong almost as soon as they rode into town.
At least one Coffeyville citizen recognized the Daltons and notified the Marshall. While the bandits were inside the banks, citizens were arming themselves with weapons and taking up positions to defend the town. Meanwhile, Cashier C.M. Ball of the Condon Bank stalled the robbers by claiming that the time lock on the vault had not released. As the gangs emerged from the two banks they found themselves under fire from the Coffeyville citizenry.
The ensuing gunfight lasted no more than twelve minutes. By the time it was over four of the bandits -- Bob and Grat Dalton, Bill Power, and Dick Broadwell -- were dead and Emmett Dalton was seriously wounded. Four Coffeyville citizens -- including the town Marshall -- were also killed, and another three were wounded.
The citizens of Coffeyville put the bodies of the four dead gang members on public display and sent copies of the photo below to major newspapers across the country.
Bob and Grat Dalton, along with Bill Powers, were buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Coffeyville. Broadwell's body was returned to Hutchinson, Kansas, by his relatives.
Coffeyville Kansas' Elmwood Cemetery is best known as the burial site of 3 members of the Dalton gang and two town defenders. Coffeyville was where the Dalton Gang, made up of Grat Dalton, Bob Dalton, Emmett Dalton, Bill Power, and Dick Broadwell, met their fate when they tried to rob two banks at the same time.
The Dalton Gang arrived in Coffeyville early in the morning of October 5, 1892, expecting to tie their horses up next to one of the banks. But the hitching post had been removed and instead of leaving one of their members to hold the horses, they decided to hitch the horses down an alley at the far side of the plaza.
One of the members of the Dalton Gang was recognized as they crossed the square and Coffeyville's citizens were ready for the gang when they left the banks.
There was a running gun battle in which eight men died and four were wounded. Except for Emmett Dalton, alll of the Dalton Gang members were killed. Four of Coffeyville's defenders (Lucius Baldwin, Charles Brown, Marshal C.T. Connelly, and George Cubine) were also killed. Although Emmett Dalton was severely wounded and not expected to live, he recovered and served 14 years in jail before being pardoned. He lived until July 13, 1937
Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton and Bill Powers are buried in the same plot. For years, their graves were marked with only the metal pipe which was the hitching post to which they tied their horses on the day they died. Today the graves of three Dalton gang members are marked with a stone purchased years later by their brother Emmett.
The graves of two of the Coffeyville Defender's, Charles Brown & George Cubine, are nearby. As is the grave of Frank Dalton (brother of the gang members), who was killed in 1887, in the line of duty as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. All of the graves face to the west.
Elmwood Cemetery is easy to find. Take Eldridge Street west from the Brown Mansion off south 169 Highway Signs clearly mark the way and will lead you through Elmwood Cemetery to the Dalton gang graves and the map in the picture below.
In March 1893, Emmett Dalton pled guilty to murder, and was sentenced to life in the state prison at Lansing, Kansas, by Judge J.D. McCue of the Montgomery County District Court. He spent 15 years in prison before winning a parole from Kansas Governor Hoch, on November 4, 1907. On September 1, 1908, he married Julie Johnson Gilstrap Lewis, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The couple lived in Bartlesville for a couple of years before moving to California. The remaining years of Emmett's life were spent on the stage, writing a book on the Dalton family and the Raid, and as a real estate dealer in California. In May 1931, the couple returned to Coffeyville for a visit, and were treated as celebrities. While there, Emmett had a marker placed on his brothers' graves. He died in Long Beach, California, on July 13, 1937.
Emmet Dalton in Prison
Bill Doolin, Bitter Creek Newcomb, and Charlie Pierce continued to terrorize the territories for several more years. Along with another Dalton boy, Bill, they came to be known as the Doolin-Dalton Gang.
Another story about the Dalton Gang:
The Daltons; transcribed by Janice Rice.
The Dalton family lived in lower Kansas, near Coffeyville, which was situated almost directly upon the border of the Nations. They engaged in farming, and indeed two of the family were respectable farmers near Coffeyville within the last three or four years. The mother of the family still lives near Oklahoma City, where she secured a good claim at the time of the opening of the Oklahoma lands to white settlement. The father, Lewis Dalton, was a Kentucky man and served in the Mexican war. He later moved to Jackson county, Missouri, near the home of the notorious James and Younger boys, and in 1851 married Adelaide Younger, they removing some years later from Missouri to Kansas. Thirteen children were born to them, nine sons and four daughters. Charles, Henry, Littleton and Coleman Dalton were respected and quiet citizens. All the boys had nerve, and many of them reached office as deputy marshals. Franklin Dalton was killed while serving as deputy United States marshal near Fort Smith, in 1887, his brother Bob being a member of the same posse at the time his fight was made with a band of horse thieves who resisted arrest. Grattan Dalton, after the death of his brother Franklin, was made a deputy United States marshal, after the curious but efficient Western fashion of setting dangerous men to work at catching dangerous men. He and his posse in 1888 went after a bad Indian, who, in the melee, shot Grattan in the arm and escaped. Grattan later served as United States deputy marshal in Muskogee district, where the courts certainly needed men of stern courage as executives, for they had to deal with the most desperate and fearless class of criminals the world ever knew.
Robert R. Dalton, better known as Bob Dalton, served on the posses of his brothers, and soon learned what it was to stand up and shoot while being shot at. He turned out to be about the boldest of the family, and was accepted as the clan leader later on in their exploits. He also was a deputy United States marshal at the dangerous stations of Fort Smith and Wichita, having much to do with the desperadoes of the Nations. He was chief of the Osage police for some time, and saw abundance of violent scenes. Emmett Dalton was also possessed of cool nerve, and was soon known as a dangerous man to affront. All the boys were good shots, but they seemed to have cared more for the Winchester than the six-shooter in their exploits, in which they were perhaps wise, for the rifle is of course far the surer when it is possible of use; and men mostly rode in that country with rifle under leg. Uncle Sam is obliged to take such material for his frontier peace officers as proves itself efficient in serving processes. A coward may be highly moral, but he will not do as a border deputy. The personal character of some of the most famous Western deputies would scarcely bear careful scrutiny, but the government at Washington is often obliged to wink at that sort of thing. There came a time when it remained difficult longer to wink at the methods of the Daltons as deputies. In one case they ran off with a big bunch of horses and sold them in a Kansas town. On account of this episode, Grattan, William, and Emmett Dalton made a hurried trip to California. Here they became restless, and went back at their old trade, thinking that no one even on the Pacific Slope had any right to cause them fear.
They held up a train in Tulare county and killed a fireman, but were repulsed. Later arrested and tried, William was cleared, but Grattan was sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary. He escaped from jail before he got to the penitentiary, and rejoined Emmett at the old haunts in the Nations, Emmett having evaded arrest in California. The Southern Pacific railway had a standing offer of $6,000 for the robbers at the time they were killed. The Daltons were now more or less obliged to hide out, and to make a living as best they could, which meant by robbery. On May 9, 1891, the Santa Fe train was held up at Wharton, Oklahoma Territory, and the express car was robbed, the bandits supposedly being the Daltons. In June of the following year another Santa Fe train was robbed at Red Rock, in the Cherokee strip. The 'Frisco train was robbed at Vinita, Indian Territory. An epidemic of the old methods of the James and Younger bands seemed to have broken out in the new railway region of the Southwest. The next month the Missouri, Kansas and Texas train was held up at Adair, Indian Territory, and a general fight ensued between the robbers and the armed guard of the train, assisted by citizens of the town. A local physician was killed and several officers and citizens wounded, but none of the bandits was hurt, and they got away with a heavy loot of the express and baggage cars. At Wharton they had been less fortunate, for though they killed the station agent, they were rounded up and one of their men, Dan Bryant, was captured, later killing and being killed by United States deputy Ed. Short, as mentioned in an earlier chapter.
Dick Broadwell joined the Dalton gang about now, and they nearly always had a few members besides those of their own family; their gang being made up and conducted on much the same lines of the James boys gang of Missouri, whose exploits they imitated and used as text for their bolder deeds. In fact it was the boast of the leader, Bob Dalton, in the Coffeyville raid, that he was going to beat anything the James boys ever did: to rob two banks in one town at the same time. Bank robbing was a side line of activity with the Daltons, but they did fairly well at it. They held up the bank at El Reno, at a time when no one was in the bank except the president's wife, and took $10,000, obliging the bank to suspend business. By this time the whole country was aroused against them, as it had been against the James and Younger boys. Pinkerton detectives had blanket commissions offered, and railway and express companies offered rewards running into the thousands. Each train across the Indian Nations was accompanied for months by a heavily armed guard concealed in the baggage and express cars. Passengers dreaded the journey across that country, and the slightest halt of the train for any cause was sure to bring to the lips of all the word of fear, "the Daltons!" It seems almost incredible of belief that, in these modern days of fast railway service, of the telegraph and of rapidly increasing settlements, the work of these men could so long have been continued; but such, nonetheless, was the case. The law was powerless, and demonstrated its own unfitness to safeguard life and property, as so often it has in this country. And, as so often has been the case, outraged society at length took the law into its own hands and settled the matter.
The full tale of the Dalton robberies and murders will never be known, for the region in which they operated was reticent, having its own secrets to protect; but at last there came the climax in which the band was brought into the limelight of civilized publicity. They lived on the border of savagery and civilization. Now the press, the telegraph, the whole fabric of modern life, lay near at hand. Their last bold raid, therefore, in which they crossed from the country of reticence into that of garrulous news gathering, made them more famous than they had ever been before. The raid on Coffeyville, October 5, 1892, both established and ended their reputation as desperadoes of the border. The rumor got out that the Daltons were down in the Nations, waiting for a chance to raid the town of Coffeyville, but the dreaded attack did not come off when it was expected. When it was delivered, therefore, it found the town quite unprepared. Bob Dalton was the leader in this enterprise. Emmett did not want to go. He declared that too many people knew them in Coffeyville, and that the job would prove too big for them to handle. He consented to join the party, however, when he found Bob determined to make the attempt in any case. There were in the band at that time Bob, Emmett, and Grattan Dalton, Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell. These lay in rendezvous near Tulsa, in the Osage country, two days before the raid, and spent the night before in the timber on Onion creek, not far below town. They rode into Coffeyville at half-past nine the following morning. The street being some what torn up, they turned aside into an alley about a hundred yards from the main street, and, dismounting, tied their horses, which were thus left some distance from the banks, the First National and the bank of C. M. Condon & Co., which were the objects of their design. Grattan Dalton, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers stepped over to the Condon bank, which was occupied at the time by C. T. Carpenter, C. M. Ball, the cashier, and T. C. Babb, a bookkeeper. Grattan Dalton threw down his rifle on Carpenter, with the customary command to put up his hands; the others being attended to by Powers and Broadwell. Producing a two- bushel sack, the leader ordered Carpenter to put all the cash into it, and the latter obeyed, placing three thousand dollars in silver and one thousand in currency in the sack. Grattan wanted the gold, and demanded that an inner safe inside the vault should be opened. The cashier, Ball, with a shifty falsehood, told him that they could not open that safe, for it was set on a time lock, and no one could open it before half-past nine o'clock. He told the outlaw that it was now twenty minutes after nine (although it was really twenty minutes of ten) ; and the latter said they could wait ten minutes. He was, however, uneasy, and was much of the mind to kill Ball on the spot, for he suspected treachery, and knew how dangerous any delay must be. It was a daring thing to do to sit down in the heart of a civilized city, in broad daylight and on the most public street, and wait for a time lock to open a burglar-proof safe. Daring as it was, it was foolish and futile. As the robbers stood uneasily guarding their prisoners, the alarm was spread. A moment later firing began, and the windows of the bank were splintered with bullets. The robbers were trapped, Broadwell being shot through the arm, probably by P. L. Williams from across the street. Yet they coolly went on with their work as they best could, Grattan Dalton ordering Ball to cut the string of the bag and pour out the heavy silver, which would have encumbered them too much in their flight. He asked if there was not a back way out, by which they could escape. He was shown a rear door, and the robbers stepped out, to find themselves in the middle of the hottest street fight any of them had ever known. The city marshal, Charles T. Connolly, had given the alarm, and citizens were hurrying to the street with such weapons as they could find at the hardware stores and in their own homes. Meantime Bob and Emmett Dalton had held up the First National Bank, ordering cashier Ayres to hand out the money, and terrorizing two or three customers of the bank who happened to be present at the time. Bob knew Thos. G. Ayres, and called him by his first name, "Tom," said he, "go into the safe and get out that money get the gold, too." He followed Ayres into the vault, and discovered two packages of $5,000 each in currency, which he tossed into his meal sack. The robbers here also poured out the silver, and having cleaned up the bank as they supposed, drove the occupants out of the door in front of them. As they got into the street they were fired upon by George Cubine and C. S. Cox; but neither shot took effect. Emmett Dalton stood with his rifle under his arm, coolly tying up the neck of the sack which held the money. They then both stepped back into the bank, and went out through the back door, which was opened for them by W. H. Shepherd, the bank teller, who, with Tom Ayres and B. S. Ayres, the bookkeeper, made the bank force on hand. J. H. Brewster, C. H. Hollingsworth and A. W. Knotts were in the bank on business, and were joined by E. S. Boothby; all these being left unhurt. The firing became general as soon as the robbers emerged from the two bank buildings. The first man to be shot by the robbers was Charles T. Gump, who stood not far from the First National Bank armed with a shotgun. Before he could fire Bob Dalton shot him through the hand, the same bullet disabling his shotgun. A moment later, a young man named Lucius Baldwin started down the alley, armed with a revolver. He met Bob and Emmett, who ordered him to halt, but for some reason he kept on toward them. Bob Dalton said, "I'll have to kill you," and so shot him through the chest. He died three hours later. Bob and Emmett Dalton now passed out of the alley back of the First National Bank, and came into Union street. Here they saw George B. Cubine standing with his Winchester in his hands, and an instant later Cubine fell dead, with three balls through his body. Near him was Charles Brown, an old man, who was also armed. He was the next victim, his body falling near that of Cubine, though he lived for a few hours after being shot. All four of these victims of the Daltons were shot at distances of about forty or fifty yards, and with rifles, the revolver being more or less uncertain at such ranges even in practiced hands. All the gang had revolvers, but none used them. Thos. G. Ayres, late prisoner in the First National Bank, ran into a store near by as soon as he was released, caught up a Winchester and took a station near the street door, waiting for the bandits to come out at that entrance of the bank. Here he was seen by Bob Dalton, who had gone through the alley. Bob took aim and at seventy-five yards shot Ayres through the head. Friends tried to draw his body back into the store, but these now met the fire of Grattan Dalton and Powers, who, with the crippled Broadwell, were now coming out of their alleyway. T. A. Reynolds, a clerk in the same store, who went to the door armed, received a shot through the foot, and thus made the third wounded man then in that building. H. H. Isham, one of the owners of the store, aided by M. A. Anderson and Charles K. Smith, joined in the firing. Grattan Dalton and Bill Powers were shot mortally before they had gone more than a few steps from the door of the Condon bank. Powers tried to get into a door when he was shot, and kept his feet when he found the door locked, managing to get to his horse in the alley before he was killed by a second shot. Grattan Dalton also kept his feet, and reached cover back of a barn about seventy yards from Walnut Street, the main thorough- fare. He stood at bay here, and kept on firing. City marshal Connolly, carrying a rifle, ran across to a spot near the corner of this barn. He had his eye on the horses of the bandits, which were still hitched in the alley. His back was turned toward Grattan Dalton. The latter must have been crippled somewhere in his right arm or shoulder, for he did not raise his rifle to his face, but fired from his hip, shoot- ing Connolly down at a distance of about twenty feet or so. There was a slight lull at this point of the street fight, and during this Dick Broadwell, who had been wounded again in the back, crawled into concealment in a lumber yard near by the alley where the horses were tied. He crept out to his horse and mounted, but just as he started away met the livery man, John J. Kloehr, who did some of the best shooting re- corded by the citizens. Kloehr was hurrying thither with Carey Seaman, the latter armed with a shotgun. Kloehr fired his rifle and Sea- man his shotgun, and both struck Broadwell, who rode away, but fell dead from his horse a short distance outside the town. Bob and Emmett Dalton, after killing Cubine and Brown and shooting Ayres, hurried on to join their companions and to get to their horses. At an alleyway junction they spied F. D. Benson climbing out of a window, and fired at him, but missed. An instant later, as Bob stepped into full view of those who were firing from the Isham store, he was struck by a ball and badly wounded. He walked slowly across the alley and sat down on a pile of stones, but like his brother Grattan, he kept his rifle going, though mortally shot. He fired once at Kloehr, but was unsteady and missed him. Rising to his feet he walked a few paces and leaned against the corner of a barn, firing two more shots. He was then killed by Kloehr, who shot him through the chest. By this time Grattan Dalton was feebly trying to get to his horse. He passed the body of Connolly, whom he had killed, faced toward his pursuers and tried to fire. He, too, fell before Kloehr's Winchester, shot through the throat, dropping close to the body of Connolly. Emmett Dalton was now the only one of the band left alive. He was as yet unwounded, and he got to his horse. As he attempted to mount a number of shots were fired at him, and these killed the two horses belonging to Bob Dalton and Bill Powers, who by this time had no further use for horses. Two horses hitched to an oil wagon in the street were also killed by wild shots. Emmett got into his saddle, but was shot through the right arm and through the left hip and groin. He still clung to the sack of money they had taken at the First National Bank, and he still kept his nerve and his wits even under such pressure of peril. He might have escaped, but instead he rode back to where Bob was lying, and reached down his hand to help him up behind himself on the horse. Bob was dying and told him it was no use to try to help him.
As Emmett stooped down to reach Bob's arm, Carey Seaman fired both barrels of his shotgun into his back, Emmett dropping near Bob and falling upon the sack, containing over $20,000 in cash. Men hurried up and called to him to throw up his hands. He raised his one unhurt arm and begged for mercy. It was supposed he would die, and he was not lynched, but hurried away to a doctor's office near by. In the little alley where the last scene of this bloody fight took place there were found three dead men, one dying man and one badly wounded. Three dead horses lay near the same spot. In the whole fight, which was of course all over in a few moments, there were killed four citizens and four outlaws, three citizens and one outlaw being wounded. Less than a dozen citizens did most of the shooting, of which there was considerable, eighty bullet marks being found on the front of the Condon bank alone. The news of this bloody encounter was instantly flashed over the country, and within a few hours the town was crowded with sightseers who came in by train loads. The dead bandits were photographed, and the story of the fight was told over and over again, not always with uniformity of detail. Emmett Dalton, before he was sent to the penitentiary, confessed to different crimes, not all of them hitherto known, which the gang had at different times committed. So ended in blood the career of as bloody a band as might well be discovered in the robber history of any land or time of the world. Indeed, it is doubtful if any country ever saw leagues of robbers so desperate as those which have existed in America, any with hands so red in blood. This fact is largely due to the peculiar history of this country, with its rapid development under swift modern methods of transportation. In America the advance to the westward of the fighting edge of civilization, where it meets and mingles with savagery, has been more rapid than has ever been known in the settlement of any country of the world. Moreover, this has taken place at precisely that time when weapons of the most deadly nature have been invented and made at a price permitting all to own them and many to become extremely skilled with them. The temptation and the means of murder have gone hand in hand. And in time the people, not the organized law courts, have applied the remedy when the time has come for it. Today the Indian Nations are no more than a name. Civilization has taken them over.
The Dalton Raid at Coffeyville; Transcribed by Sheryl McClure
From the 1903 "History of Montgomery County Kansas"
In all the annals of crime in our country, few if any, events have furnished more dramatic incidents or created more of a sensation than the raid of the Daltons at Coffeyville, on the morning of Wednesday, October 5th, 1892. There have been other bank robberies where larger amounts of money have been at stake, and some in which better known bandits and outlaws have participated, but in the sanguinary nature of the struggle, the number of shots fired, and the victims on both sides, the Coffeyville affair must stand preeminent. “The Dalton Gang," whose leaders organized and perpetrated this raid had already acquired an unenviable reputation as outlaws and train robbers, and were ready for any crime if the stakes were large enough. Three of the Dalton brothers, with two ordinary criminals of the sort that could be picked up almost anywhere in the Indian Territory, constituted the party. The Dalton family originally consisted of Lewis Dalton and his wife, whose maiden name was Adaline Lee Younger, and who was born in Cass County, Missouri, in the neighborhood whence came other Youngers, who achieved notoriety as bank robbers.
They were the parents of thirteen children, of whom two died in infancy. The family were not strangers at Coffeyville, having settled in that vicinity in 1882 and remained there until the opening of Oklahoma in 1889. In fact, Lewis Dalton remained in this county until his death, at Dearing, in 1890. The rest of the family went to Oklahoma and took up claims. The old people seem to have been peaceable and law-abiding, but three of the boys became deputy United States marshals in the Indian Territory, one of them also serving for a short time as chief of police of the Osage Nation. Familiarity with crime and positions seems to have developed a passion for criminal adventure, which may have been also to some extent, a matter of heredity on their mother’s side. Gratton, Emmet and Robert were the Daltons in the gang, and the two other members of the quintette who raided the Coffeyville banks were known as Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell. Robert, the leader of the gang, was only 22 years of age, while Emmet was a mere boy two years younger. Gratton was 31.
The Daltons are credited with having stolen a herd of cattle in the territory about two years previous to the events to be here narrated, and so far as known, they took the first degree in outlawry at that time. In the early part of 1891, Gratton, William and Emmet Dalton were arrested for train robbery in Tulare county, California. Emmet escaped, William was acquitted, and Gratton was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary. He escaped from the county jail before being taken to Folsom, and there was a standing reward of $6,000 offered for Gratton and Emmet by the Southern Pacific Railway at the time these men met their fate at Coffeyville. In early 1891 there was a train robbery by masked men at Wharton, Indian Territory, on the Santa Fe Railroad; and in July of the same year another at Adair, on the Missouri Kansas & Texas, both of which were credited to the Daltons.
On the morning of the Coffeyville raid, the five men mentioned were seen by several people riding toward that city, and they were taken, in every instance, for a United States Deputy Marshal and his posse. They came in on the main road from the west, turned south one block from the business part of town and hitched their horses in the alley running back from Slossen's drug store, which has since become famous as "the Alley of Death." They then started down the alley, Gratton, with Powers and Broadwell in front, and Emmet and Bob following. Next they crossed the sidewalk, on emerging from the alley, they passed within five feet of a citizen who was acquainted with them well enough to recognize them in spite of the disguises they had assumed on going into a locality where they were so well known. A moment later he saw the three men who were in front enter C. M. Condon & Co.'s bank and present a Winchester at the cashier's counter. He raised the alarm at once.
Meantime the other two had crossed Union street and entered the First National bank. They were followed by some citizens who suspected their object and the alarm was speedily raised on the east side of the plaza, also. Immediately half a dozen men rushed to the hardware stores of Isham Bros. & Mansur and A. P. Boswell & Co., on the east side of Union street, and proceeded to provide themselves with rifles and ammunition, determined that the bank robbers should not get away if it was possible to prevent it.
In Condon & Co.'s bank were C. T. Carpenter, one of the proprietors; Chas Ball, the cashier, and T. C. Babb, the bookkeeper. The leader of the raiders, Grat. Dalton, ordered the men behind the counter to throw up their hands; and on looking up from his work at the desk, Mr. Carpenter saw three Winchesters aimed at his head, and heard such reassuring words as these: “We have got you, G-- d-- you! Hold up your hands,"
As soon as Dalton had passed around into the inside of the enclosure at the bank, he ordered Mr. Ball to hold a grain sack he had brought with him, while Carpenter was told to put the money in the canvas sacks in the safe into it. There was $3,000 in silver in the three sacks, and when he had got that Dalton ordered Mr. Ball to open the burglar proof chest in the vault. Ball replied:
“It is not time for it to open."
“What time does it open?" asked Gratton.
“Half past nine," answered Ball, guessing what o'clock it might be, sparring for time.
“What time is it now?" queried the bandit.
“Twenty minutes past nine." glibly answered Ball, looking at his watch.
As a matter of fact, it was twenty minutes of ten, but Dalton did not know this and calmly proposed to wait until the chest could be opened. In a moment or two he began to suspect the truth and turned on Ball and cursed him and threatened to put a bullet through him. With the money from the counter the robbers now had $4,000, but the firing which had begun from the outside was getting so hot that the robbers ordered the sack carried into the back room, where the currency was sorted out and the silver left. The bankers and two customers who happened to be in when the raid was made, were lying on the floor now to escape the rain of bullets that came crashing through the plate glass. Broadwell had already received a bullet in the arm that disabled him, and the robbers made haste to get out into the street whence they had come.
Meanwhile, a good deal had been happening at the First National across the street. Bob Dalton and Emmet entered here about the same time the other three men went into Condon's. They covered the cashier, Thomas G. Ayers, and the teller, W. H. Shepard, with their guns and ordered everyone present to hold up his hands. The men in the bank in front of the counter at the time were J. H. Brewster, the well known contractor, who built the county court house, A. W, Knotts, who was afterward deputy sheriff, and C. L.
Hollingsworth. Leaving Emmet on guard in front, Bob went around to the rear and entered the private room, where he found Bert Ayres, the bookkeeper, and ordered him to go to the front and get the money on the counter. He then ordered the cashier to bring out the money that was in the safe, and not satisfied with what he got went into the vault himself and took two packages of currency containing five thousand dollars each and added them to the collection in his sack, which now amounted to $20,000. Ordering the bank force and customers out before them, the bandits started to go out the front door, but soon shots drove them back and they then retreated by a back door.
Right at this time the murderous work began. So far, only two men had been wounded, Broadwell, on the inside of Condon's bank, and Charles T. Gump, who had taken a position outside of the First National with a gun ready to shoot at the robbers when they started out. Bob Dalton fired a shot which struck him in the hand and disabled him. When the two robbers emerged from the rear door of the First National, having the teller, Mr. Shepard with them, they came across Lucius L. Baldwin, a clerk from Reed Brothers' store. He was holding a revolver at his side and corning forward as if to join the others. Both the Daltons leveled their Winchesters at him and commanded him to stop. For some reason he failed to obey and kept moving toward them, Bob remarked, “I'll have to get that man," and pulled the trigger which sent a bullet through Baldwin's breast near the heart. He was only about fifty feet away at the time. He was picked up by friends and carried away but only survived for about three hours.
The Daltons ran north up the alley to Eighth street and turned west when they reached that street. When they got as far as Union Street on the east side of the Plaza, they looked down that street to the south and fired a couple of shots, apparently for the purpose of frightening their assailants away. By the time they had reached the middle of the street on their way across to the "Little block" in the center of the Plaza, they discerned George Cubine standing in the doorway of Rammel (Ramel?) Brothers' drug store, which adjoined the First National bank building on the north. He had a Winchester in his hand and was looking the other way, toward the door of the bank from which he was expecting to see the outlaws emerge. They each fired twice at him, and as the four shots rang out, he fell to the pavement lifeless, with one bullet through his heart, another through his left thigh and a third through his ankle. The fourth ball went astray and crashed through the plate glass window of the store behind him. Charles Brown, an old man whose place of business was next north of the drug store, rushed out to assist the fallen man; but seeing that he was dead, seized the Winchester Cubine had and turned it on his slayers. Four more deadly shots rang out from the bandits' guns, and Brown fell bleeding and dying. He survived three hours in dreadful agony and then passed away.
These three murders had been committed in less time than it has taken to tell it. By this time the Daltons caught sight of another man who was watching the entrance of the bank, ready to fire when they should emerge. When turned out of the bank at the time the outlaws started to come out the front way, Cashier Ayres ran into Isham's hardware store, just to the south, and procured a Winchester, with which he took a position in the doorway, where he could command the entrance to the bank. As they were stepping up on to the sidewalk on the west side of Union street, and across the street from the Eldridge House, Bob took deliberate aim at Ayres, who was about seventy-five yards distant, and fired a bullet which struck him in the cheek, just below his left eye and came out at the back of his head near the base of the skull. He fell bleeding and unconscious and for days hung between life and death, but finally recovered.
Just at this time, Gratton and his companions had reached the alley adjoining Slosson's store, up which they had left their horses, and before the prostrate form of Mr. Ayres could be removed they fired nine shots into the front of the building where he lay. Bob and Emmet proceeded west on Eighth street and were not noticed again until they reappeared near the junction of the two alleys, having come down back of Wells Brothers' store. Their escape would have been comparatively easy, had they not returned to that spot, but made a break for the open country and taken the first horse they came across.
As it was, the whole force, of the bandit band was now gathered in what has since been known as "the Alley of Death," and there they all fell beneath the bullets of the volunteers for law and order, though not until another good citizen lost his life. For the facts thus far published we are indebted to the painstaking and carefully written work published by Colonel D. Stewart Elliott, of the Coffeyville Journal, entitled: "Last Raid of the Daltons;" and for the story of the concluding scenes of that raid we can do no better than to reproduce the chapter of that work on "The Alley of Death" almost verbatim.
When the alarm was first given that the banks were being robbed, Henry Isham, the senior member of the firm of Isham Brothers & Mansur, was busy with a customer, as were two clerks in the store, Lewis T. Dietz and T. Arthur Reynolds. This store not only adjoined the First National bank on the south, but from its front a clear view is to be had across the Plaza and up the alley at the west side to which the Daltons first came and to which they finally retreated. Mr. Isham dismissed his customer, closed his safe, and, grasping a Winchester, stationed himself near a steel range in the front of the store where he could see all that was going on in the front part of Condon's bank. Dietz snatched a revolver and stationed himself close to Isham, while Reynolds, having observed the robbers enter the banks, was so eager to prevent their escape that he seized a Winchester, ran out upon the sidewalk and commenced firing upon the robber who was stationed near the southeastern door of the Condon bank. A shot from the latter's rifle struck some intervening object and glanced and hit Reynolds on the right foot at the base of the little toe, coming out at the instep. He was the third man wounded in the store, and was now forced to leave the field. Indeed, with its blood bespattered floor, the store now began to look like a slaughter house or a section of a battle field. M. N. Anderson, a carpenter, who had been at work a couple of blocks away, now arrived and took the Winchester Reynolds had dropped and stationed himself beside Isham, where he performed valiant service until the close of the engagement. Charles K. Smith, a young man from a barber shop near Ishim's store, also procured a Winchester and joined the forces in the hardware store in time to help exterminate the gang.
From five to nine shots were fired by each man who handled a Winchester at this point. The principal credit, however, for the successful and fatal work done at the store was due to Mr. Isham. Cool and collected, he gave directions to his companions and at the same time kept his own gun at work.
The moment that Grat. Dalton and his companions, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers, left the Condon bank after looting it, they came under the guns of the men in Isham's store. Grat, Dalton and Bill Powers each received mortal wounds before they had gone twenty steps. The dust was seen to fly from their clothing, and Powers in his desperation attempted to take refuge in the doorway of an adjoining store, but the door was locked and no one answered his request to be let in. He kept his feet and clung to his Winchester until he reached his horse, when another ball struck him in the back and he fell dead at its feet. Grat. Dalton, getting under cover of an oil tank which had been driven into the alley just about the time the raid was made, managed to reach the side of a barn on the south side of the alley, about two hundred feet from Walnut street. The point where he stopped was out of the range of the guns at Isham's on account of an intervening outside stairway. He stood here for a few minutes firing wild shots down the alley toward the Plaza.
About this time John J. Kloehr, a liveryman, Carey Seaman and the City Marshal, Charles T. Connelly, who were at the south end of the Plaza, near Reeds' store, started up Ninth street so as to intercept the gang before they could reach their horses. Connelly ran across a vacant lot to an opening in the fence at the alley, right at the corner of the barn where Grat. Dalton was still standing. There he sprang into the alley, facing the west where the horses were hitched. This movement brought him with his back toward the murderous Dalton, who was seen to raise his Winchester to his side and, without taking aim, fired a shot into the back of the brave officer. Connelly fell forward on his face, within twenty feet of where his murderer stood. He breathed his last just as the fight ended.
Dick Broadwell, in the meantime, had reached cover in the Long-Bell Lumber Company's yards, where he lay down for a few moments. He was wounded in the back. A lull occurred in the firing after Grat Dalton and Bill Powers had fallen. Broadwell took advantage of this and crawled out of his hiding place, mounted his horse and rode away. A bail from Kloehr's rifle, and a load of shot from a gun in the hands of Carev Scanlan, overtook him before he had ridden twenty feet. Bleeding and dying he clung to his horse and passed out of the city over a portion of the road by which the party entered it not more than twenty minutes before. His body was subsequently found by the roadside half a mile west of the city, and his horse with its trappings was captured near where he fell.
Almost at the same moment that Marshal Connelly went down before the deadly rifle of Grat. Dalton, Bob and Emmet emerged from the alley by which they had left Eighth street in their effort to rejoin the rest of the party where their horses had been left. They had not met with any resistance in passing from where they had shot Cubine, Brown and Ayres, as the firing toward the south end of the Plaza had attracted general attention in another direction. The north and south alley through which they reached "the Alley of Death," has its terminus opposite the rear end of Slossin's store. When they reached the junction of the alleys, they discovered F. D. Benson climbing through a rear window with a gun in his hand. Divining his object, Bob fired at him point blank, at a distance of not over thirty feet. The shot missed. Bob then stepped into the alley and glanced up at the tops of the buildings as if he suspected the fusilade that was pouring into the alley came from that direction. As he did so, the men at Isham's took deliberate aim from their positions in the store and fired at him. The notorious leader of the Dalton gang evidently received a severe if not fatal wound at this time. He staggered across the alley and sat down on a pile of dressed curbstones near the city jail. Still true to his desperate nature, he kept his rifle in action and fired several shots from where he was sitting. His aim, though, was unsteady and the bullets went wild. While sitting on the rocks he espied John Kloehr on the inside of the fence near Slosson's store. He tried to raise his Winchester to his shoulder, but could not, and the shot intended for Kloehr struck the side of an outhouse and failed in its mission. Bob Dalton then made his supreme effort. He arose to his feet and sought refuge alongside of an old barn west of the city jail, and, leaning against the southwest corner of the building he brought his rifle into action again and fired two shots in the direction of his pursuers. They were his last shots. A ball from Kloehr's rifle struck him full in the breast and he fell over backward among the stones which covered the ground there, and which were reddened with his life blood.
After shooting Marshal Connelly, Grat. Dalton made another attempt to reach his horse. He passed by his fallen victim, and had advanced probably twenty feet from where he was standing when he fired the fatal shot then turning his face to his pursuers he again attempted to use his Winchester. John Kloehr's rifle blazed out again now, and the oldest member of the band dropped with a bullet in his throat and a broken neck. He fell within a few feet of the dying marshal.
Up to this time Emmet Dalton had managed to escape untouched. He kept under shelter after he reached the alley until he attempted to mount his horse. A half dozen rifles were then fired in his direction, as he undertook to get into the saddle. The two intervening horses belonging to Bob Dalton and Bill Powers were killed by some of the shots intended for Emmet; and the two horses attached to the oil tank-wagon being directly in range received fatal wounds. Emmet succeeded in getting into the saddle, but not until he had received a shot through the right arm and another through the left hip and groin. During all this time he had clung to the sack containing the money he had taken from the First National bank. And then, instead of riding off, as he might have done, Emmet boldly and courageously rode back to what he must have known was almost certain death and came up beside where Bob was lying and attempted to lift his dying brother onto the horse with him. "It's no use," faintly whispered the fallen bandit, and just then Carey Seaman fired the contents of both barrels of his shot-gun into Emmet's back, as he was leaning over the prostrate form of his leader and tutor in crime. The youthful desperado dropped from his horse and the last of the Dalton gang was helpless. In falling, the sack containing the twenty thousand dollars he had periled his soul and body to get went down with him, and he landed at the feet of his brother, Bob, who breathed his last a moment later.
Citizens who had followed close after the robbers, and some of whom were close at hand when they fell, immediately surrounded their bodies. Emmet responded to the command to hold up his hands by raising his uninjured arm and making a pathetic appeal for mercy. Lynching was suggested, but better councils prevailed and he was taken to the office of a surgeon, who dressed his wounds. He recovered with. the quick elasticity of youth and was taken to the jail at Independence, where, in the following March, he pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree and was sentenced to a ninety-nine years' term in the penitentiary, ten of which he has already served. His aged mother is untiring in her efforts to secure pardon and freedom for her wayward boy, but no governor has yet dared to brave the indignation of the friends of the victims of the raid by granting her prayer.
Less than fifteen minutes had elapsed from the time the raiders entered the banks until four of them were dead and the others helpless with wounds. And it was only twelve minutes from the firing of the first shot until the last one sounded the knell of the Dalton gang.
Summarizing the reports, it appears that eighty bullet marks and numerous evidences of the impact of small shot were visible on the south front of Condon's bank when the battle ended. Not more than fifteen guns were actively engaged in the fight on both sides; and yet eight people were killed and three wounded. While all the citizens who were killed or wounded were armed, George Cubine was the only one of them who had fired a shot before being struck down, missing the scores of bystanders and onlookers about the Plaza, including many girls and little children, not one was struck by a short or bullet. It was war, a very sanguinary war, while it lasted, the percentage of victims to combatants being greater than in any battle that was not a massacre; but no wild shooting was done.
While the people of Coffeyville wiped out the outlaw gang at a terrible cost of valuable lives, they insured their city against any more such visitations during the lifetime of the present generation, and conferred a service upon the state and upon society by demonstrating how risky and unprofitable such raids are likely to prove.
John J. Kloehr's version of the Coffeyville raid:
The New York Sun, April 8, 1906: I don't like to tell this story. I have never told it before, that is, with anything like completeness.
Just a word or two about the Daltons before beginning the story of their final raid. They were Kentuckians, born and bred. They were cousins by marriage of the notorious Younger's and James's. In them the lust of slaughter was inborn. In 1889 the Dalton family, father and mother and thirteen children, among them the three who met their death here – Bob, Emmet and Grattan – came to Kansas. They settled on a farm in Montgomery county, where they remained until the opening of the Territory. Then began the life of adventure that proved their undoing. First, United States deputy marshals, then train robbers, whisky peddlers, and bandits in the mountain passes of California; then, the final act, bank robbers.
On October 4, 1892, five men, Tim Evans, or Powers, Grat Dalton, Bob Dalton, Emmet Dalton and Dick Broadwell, the last having been enlisted in the scheme a day or two before, rode up from the Indian Territory from that part known as the Cherokee nation.
They passed the night hiding in the wooded fastnesses along the banks of the Verdigris River, on which this town stands. Early on the morning of the 5th they took up their journey again, their bloodied horses refreshed by rest and food.
For miles they followed one of the main roads into Coffeyville, the road that becomes Eighth street when it enters the town.
As they neared the town they were noticed by many people riding to and from the city. The Daltons, who were, of course, well known in Coffeyville, were disguised by false beards and other means. Long cloaks concealed their weapons – Winchester rifles and heavy Colt's revolvers. They looked, as they intended, like a party of deputy United States marshals on official business. This was an occurrence too common to excite wonderment or remark.
As they rode up Eight street many eyes were turned upon them, but without the slightest suspicion. It was evidently their intention to tie their horses on Eighth street, where they would be readily accessible when the need to flee came. However, the street was torn up, pending certain repairs, making this impossible. An alley running directly off the street attracted their attention. They turned down it, the only false move they had made thus far, and tied their horses to a paling back of my livery stable. Then in single file they emerged from the alley, their long coats removed, their spurs clanking, their guns swinging at their sides.
Three of them, Bob and Grattan Dalton and Powers, entered the Condon National Bank, and covering the cashier with their Winchesters commanded him to open the vault. Grat hurried around behind the iron screen that partitioned the vaults and the business part of the bank from the front, and opening a heavy grain sack commanded one of the three clerks to pour into it all the cash in sight. That done he, with a fierce oath and threatening wave of his gun, commanded the cashier to open the vault and get the gold.
“I can't,” replied the cashier. “The time lock is on the vault.”
“What time will it open?”
“At half past 9,” returned the cashier. The time was only a guess on his part; it was after 10 o'clock then, but Grat bit at the desperate expedient to gain time.
“We'll wait,” he announced.
All this time the citizens were not idle. So completely by surprise had the assault on the bank been that no one was in the least prepared. Even the town marshal, Frank Connelly, was unarmed. The first intimation that I had of the affair was when some one ran into the stable shouting that Condon's bank was being robbed. I had no weapon in the barn, but, running across the street to the hardware store, I fitted myself out with a small Winchester, the first thing that I came upon. Stationing myself on the street I began to fire on the Condon bank, hoping to frustrate the plans of the bandits. In this I was soon joined by others, who hurriedly procured weapons from the hardware stores. The plate glass windows of the bank were riddled and bank people narrowly escaped death from the flying bullets, but the effect of the fusillade was to make the robbers chary of staying too long in the bank. In the grain sack was about $4,000 in silver and greenbacks. The silver was discarded, Grat Dalton stuffing the paper money into his coat.
Then they made their way to the rear doors of the bank, driving the cashier and his assistants before them. When they swung open the door they were confronted by George Baldwin, 23 years old, as brave and noble a lad as ever breathed. In his hand he held a pistol, a toy compared to the weapons carried by the robbers.
“I'll have to get that man,” said Bob Dalton, and raising his fatal Winchester to his shoulder he fired, and Baldwin fell to the ground mortally wounded.
At the other bank, the First National, a similar scene was enacted. The cashier and others in the bank were made to hold up their hands and the contents of the vault were emptied into a sack. Here, too, the fire from the people on the streets became too severe and they were forced to discard the heavy silver for the lighter and more valuable gold and paper.
Charles Gumy, another of the bravest men this or any other town has ever known, opened fire on the bank, but was wounded by a shot from one of the robbers that splintered the stock of his gun and smashed his right hand into a mass of raw flesh. Friends rushed out to him and dragged him within the shelter of a store.
After leaving the First National Emmet Dalton and Dick Broadwell passed down Eight street, where they were joined by the three from the Condon Bank. There in front of his shoe shop stood George Cubine, gun in hand, waiting for them. Two shots rang out simultaneously and Cubine fell back dead. Charles Brown, a fellow workman of Cubine's, saw him fall and ran out to help him. Again the deadly rifles of the bandits spoke, and Brown fell a martyr to right and the ties of comradeship.
Passing down Union street, after killing Cubine and Brown, the five bandits espied Thomas Ayres, cashier of the First National Bank, standing by the curb with a rifle in his hands. Bob Dalton's rifle rang out and Ayres fell, wounded in the head, although the distance was more than seventy-five yards.
Bob and Emmet then hurriedly dodged behind buildings and were not seen again until they reappeared in the alley where their horses were tied. Grat Dalton and his companions, Bowers and Broadwell, regained the shelter of the alley first.
In the alley was standing a Standard Oil tank, to which a magnificent team of grays were hitched. Using the wagon for a breastwork, the three bandits prepared to deal death to all who should dare dislodge them.
All this time I was, so to speak, mounting guard over the horses. I saw Grat and his companions take up their position behind the wagon and I determined to wait until the most auspicious moment came before attempting to do anything. Just at this moment Bob and Emmet came down the alley from the other way, making for their horses. As I saw them they saw me. We had often competed in friendly shooting matches. He knew that when I fired I shot to kill.
“Hell!” he exclaimed. “There's Kloehr. I hate to do it, but he's got to fall.” For a moment I was transfixed, watching his face intently as the bird watches the snake about to seize it. Then instinctively my own rifle came to my shoulder. I fired just as Bob pulled the trigger. His bullet went wild, glancing striking the side of the alley, taking a tangent course and killing both the Standard Oil horses and entering my barn, where it demolished a buggy wheel. But Bob, poor chap, lay in the alley, shot through the breast. Emmet fired at me, and I returned the shot. He was wounded. I could see that, but he kept steadily on. His companions behind the oil wagon now opened up on me. I had no time to care for Emmet. Skirting the alley paling until he came to a breach, he crawled through and away.
Grat Dalton, Powers and Broadwell kept up a galling fire on me. I was not hit. Some way I felt exalted, lifted above everything on this earth. I did not fear their bullets; it seemed as though I was invulnerable.
Finally, Grat exposed himself. I got him. Then, seized with a sudden terror, Powers and Broadwell made a rush for their horses. Before they could mount I had hit them, too, but Broadwell, exerting superhuman effort, dragged himself into the saddle and rode off. His body was found later beside a hedge a mile from town.
Emmet, who had made his way to a lumber pile, now reappeared in the alley, obviously trying to reach his horse. I shot him again. He had enough, and surrendered, and is still doing time at Fort Leavenworth.
After the raid, Kloehr was hailed a hero for his part in the fight, and perhaps over the years he came to believe this version of events; that he single-handedly got rid of every member of the gang. It is well known that Bob and Emmett went into the First National bank, and that Bob shot Lucius Baldwin at the back of this bank. Emmett was knocked off from his horse by the buckshot fired from the gun of Carey Seaman.
The alley death scene
The Dalton Raid Story:
The romance which surrounds the Old West – the romance of the self-sufficient individual, the romance of the cowboy and the Indian, the romance of the lawman and the desperado – is perhaps nowhere else so evident as in the story of the Dalton gang raid in Coffeyville, Kansas, on October 5, 1892.
On the afternoon of October 4, 1892, a group of men cut a barbed wire fence and rode their horses across a plowed field, five abreast, to some timber near Onion Creek on a farm located three miles southwest of Coffeyville. They tied their horses to separate trees and prepared to camp.
The men who made up this group from that day on would always be called the Dalton gang. The actual Daltons were Grat, Bob and Emmett. Their cohorts were Bill Power (sometimes known as Tom Evans) and Richard L. (Dick) Broadwell (sometimes known as John Moore or Texas Jack).
October 5 dawned a bright, clear Wednesday. When the men left the timber, two of them looked different. Bob, the leader, was wearing a heavy black moustache and goatee. Grat sported a black moustache and side-whiskers. Emmett had earlier grown a beard to wear as his disguise.
The five men followed their tracks back over the plowed field to the bank of Onion Creek, where the bridge crossed the stream, then headed north to the trail known as Coffeyville’s Eighth Street. Here they turned east, with the three Daltons in front and Power and Broadwell in the rear. When they reached the corner of Eighth and Maple, where the Episcopal Church was located, they first turned south, passing the Long-Bell Lumber Company’s office and then turned east into the alley that runs through Coffeyville's block 50 from Maple to Walnut.
The Dalton gang rode into the alley, dismounted and tied their horses to the fence. The five then walked east toward the plaza, three in front and two in back.
Before 8:00 a.m. that Wednesday, the streets around the Plaza were filled with people bringing produce to the community and with those on errands typical of a busy town in a rural area.
Aleck McKenna was standing in front of McKenna & Adamson’s dry-goods store when the Dalton gang came out of the alley. He noticed their disguises and recognized one of the Daltons. McKenna watched as the first three men went into the C.M. Condon & Co. Bank’s southwest door and as the other two ran across the street and entered the First National Bank.
From where he was standing, McKenna had a clear view into the front part of the Condon. To his amazement he saw a Winchester pointed toward the cashier’s counter. He quickly called out to the men in the dry goods store that the bank was being robbed.
Citizens seeking to halt the robbery ran to the two hardware stores on the plaza (A.P. Boswell & Co. and Isham Brothers & Mansur) to arm themselves. Both stores, which had firearm inventories, passed out guns and ammunition to people who sought to stop the robbery.
A dozen citizens with rifles and shotguns quickly erected a wagon barricade across the south end of the plaza near Boswell's. Parker L. Williams climbed out on the Barndollar Brothers Store awning so he would have a good field of fire. (The Barndollar store was three doors south of the First National Bank.)
While Coffeyville’s citizens were arming themselves, the Daltons were unaware that the alarm had been given.
A customer, John D. Levan, came into the Condon through the southwest door. The gunmen in the front of the bank told him to lie down on the floor.
Charles T. Carpenter, a Condon officer, hadn’t seen the Daltons as they had come in the southwest door, but turned to see Grat’s Winchester pointed at him. Bill Power went over to the southwest door, and Dick Broadwell went to stand by the southeast door. The gang had not yet seen Babb, the bookkeeper, who quietly moved into the vault.
The cashier, Charles M. Ball, hearing the commotion, came into the front of the bank and found Winchesters covering him and Carpenter. Grat went through the private office and entered the area behind the bank counter. He gave Cashier Ball a two-bushel grain sack, telling him to hold it open, and directed Carpenter to put all the money on the counter and in the cash drawer into the sack, which he did.
Once the Condon cash from the counter and the money drawer was in the sack, Grat asked for any other currency and the gold. He ordered Ball and Carpenter into the vault and, as they turned to enter, he discovered Babb. Grat cursed the young bookkeeper and told him to come out from behind the bookrack with his hands up.
Grat then ordered Ball to open a burglarproof chest standing in the vault, but Ball said that it was on a time-lock setting and could not be opened until 9:30. (Actually the time lock had been set for 8:00 a.m., and it had gone off at that time). Grat asked, “What time is it now?” Ball, glancing at his watch, said 9:20 (although it was 9:40.) Grat said – fateful statement – “We can wait."
Ball had made up the time-setting ploy because the chest contained over $40,000. When Grat asked how much cash the bank’s books had shown the previous evening, Ball replied $4,000, all of which was now in the sack. Ball went on to say that there was nothing in the chest with the time lock except small change; the bank had ordered some currency, but it had not yet arrived.
While that was going on in the Condon, Bob and Emmett Dalton in the First National Bank, were having better luck, though they too had no idea that the alarm had been given. When Bob and Emmett had entered, three customers – J.H. Brewster, A.W. Knotts and C.L. Hollingsworth – were in the bank. Jim E.S. Boothby, another customer, had stepped into the bank a moment or two after the robbers. Seeing what was going on, he started to back out of the bank; one of the Daltons, waving his rifle, motioned him inside.
Leaving Emmett on guard in the front area of the bank with the customers, and with Cashier Thomas G. Ayres and Teller W. H. Shepard, Bob went through a hall into the private office in the rear of the bank where Bert S. Ayres, the young bookkeeper, was at his desk. Bob ordered Ayres to go to the front of the bank where the vault was located and to hand over the money. When Ayres didn’t move quickly enough, both Daltons swore at him and threatened to shoot him. The bookkeeper handed over the money on the counter and that in the cash drawer; then Bob ordered him to get the money from the safe. The bookkeeper said that he did not know the combination.
Cashier Ayres then went to the safe and returned with some money, which he put in the grain sack the Daltons had carried in with them. Bob asked if they now had all the money. The Cashier said there was still some gold in the vault and asked if they also wanted that. Bob said yes, that they wanted every cent, so the Cashier hurriedly got that for him.
Bob, obviously not convinced that he had all the gold, entered the vault, opened the safe door and removed two more packages of money, each containing $5,000. Angrily, Bob threw the packages into the money sack, which now contained about $21,000.
Making the three bank employees go out in front of the counter, Bob and Emmett ordered the three bankers and the four customers to leave by the front door.
Just as the bank personnel and the bank customers reached the sidewalk, bootmaker George Cubine, with his Winchester, and American Express agent C.S. Cox, with a revolver, fired from the doorway of the drug store at Bob and Emmett in the front door of the First National. (Rammel Brothers Drug was immediately north of the First National and across the street east from the Condon.) Neither shot hit the Daltons, but they jumped back into the bank. Two of the bank employees, Bert Ayres and Shepard, also retreated into the comparative safety of the bank building. Cashier Ayres ran on out the front door of the bank and into Isham’s. There he grabbed a rifle and moved to stand in the north door of the hardware store.
At this point some of the citizen defenders opened fire on the Condon, shattering the plate glass windows. There, Power and Broadwell got busy, each firing from four to six times at citizens outside the bank. The bankers and the two customers stretched out on the floor to avoid the bullets that flew everywhere as the citizens in front of Boswell’s fired about 80 shots into the bank. Power was heard to say that he’d been hit and couldn’t use his arm, that he couldn’t shoot any longer. Grat then ordered Ball to open the sack and give him only the currency. Ball, emptying the sack on the floor, heard a bullet from outside pass close to his head; he hurriedly handed the currency over to Grat, who stuffed it in his vest.
In the First National, Bob moved back to the bank front door while Emmett, holding his Winchester under one arm, tied a string around the opening of the money sack. Bob took aim and fired, his shot hitting defender Charles Gump on his gun hand. Friends helped the wounded man back into Isham’s. Another Isham employee, T. Arthur Reynolds, taking a rifle he had grabbed from inventory, ran out onto the sidewalk and began shooting at the southeast door of the Condon. A shot from the outlaws then struck Reynolds on his right foot. Friends helped him back into Isham’s too.
Bob and Emmett told Shepard to open the back door of the First National for them, and they moved toward that door. At about the same time, carrying a pistol, Lucius M. Baldwin, a young employee of Read's store, went out the back door of Isham’s into the alley running behind Isham's and the bank. Both Bob and Emmett leveled their rifles at him and ordered him to stop. However, Baldwin continued to move forward. Bob raised his rifle and fired. The bullet hit Baldwin in the left chest and passed through his body. The Daltons ran to the north entrance of the alley, where it entered Eighth Street. Friends carried Baldwin into Isham’s. There were now three wounded citizens in Isham’s, all bleeding profusely.
Emmett, carrying the money sack, ran in front of Bob, who kept his rifle at the ready. When they reached Eighth Street, they turned west toward Union. At the corner of Union and Eighth, they glanced south and fired two shots in that direction.
Bob and Emmett continued west on Eighth, reaching the middle of the intersection of Eighth and Union. From there they could see Cubine, with his Winchester ready, standing in the doorway of Rammel’s Drug Store, looking south toward the First National. Four shots were fired from the intersection, about 40 or 50 yards away, and Cubine fell dead, shot in the back. He had one bullet through his heart, one in his thigh and a third in an ankle. The fourth bullet went through the plate glass window of the drug store.
At about the time Bob and Emmett reached Eighth Street, Grat, in the Condon, finished stuffing the money into his vest and ran out the Condon’s southwest door and headed for the alley, his companions following. Outside the Condon, Grat, Power and Broadwell found themselves caught in a crossfire between the men at Isham’s and the men on the south side of the plaza in front of Boswell’s.
As their partners were leaving the Condon, Bob and Emmett finished crossing Union at Eighth and began mounting the steps to the raised sidewalk at the corner. Seeing Thomas Ayres in the north door of Isham’s, Bob took careful aim and, from about 75 yards away, fired. The bullet entered below Ayres’s left eye and came out at the base of his skull. George Picker quickly pressed his thumb over Ayres' spouting blood, undoubtedly saving his life.
Just as Ayres fell, Grat and his two companions from the Condon reached the alley opening. Before Ayres could be pulled to safety, the fleeing gang fired nine shots into Isham’s.
As Emmett and Bob turned left from Eighth into the north/south alley, they ran into 14 year-old Robert L. Wells Jr., who was holding a .22 pistol. One of the outlaws tapped the lad with this rifle; the other cursed at him and told him to run home or he was liable to get hurt. David Stewart Elliott, the Journal editor, writing soon after the raid, commented “The boy was not slow in obeying the command."
When Grat, Broadwell and Power left the Condon, they ran directly into the line of fire from both the men at Isham’s and those at Boswell’s. Grat and Power received serious wounds before they had retreated twenty steps. Finally the outlaws from the Condon made it to the east/west alley and were lost to the sight of the men at Boswell’s. The men near Isham’s still had a relatively good field of fire.
At about the time that the three outlaws from the Condon reached the east/west alley, Bob and Emmett were running south from Eighth Street through the alley that divided the north half of block 50. Near the junction of the two alleys, they saw F.D. Benson climbing through a rear window of Slosson & Co.’s drug store. Bob fired at him, but his bullet hit the window.
In the alley, wounded outlaw Power tried to take refuge in the rear door of a store, but the door was locked. Clinging to his rifle, he staggered west down the alley to his horse. Then another shot hit him in the back, and he fell dead beside his horse.
Grat, using the cover of an oil tank, reached the stable west of the jail. Liveryman John Kloehr, Carey A. Seamen – a barber – and Marshal Charles T. Connelly were on the south side of the plaza when the gang reached the alley.
As the three defenders hurried west toward Kloehr's livery establishment (which opened onto the alley), Connelly said he needed to get a gun. The Marshal ran into the Swisher Brothers Machine Shop, a short distance west on Ninth, and borrowed a rifle. He then hurried across Ninth to a vacant lot that opened on the alley. When he entered the alley, his back was toward Grat, who raised his rifle to his side and fired without taking aim. Connelly fell forward, dying.
Grat then tried to reach his horse. He passed the Marshal’s body and turned to face his attackers, trying to use his rifle. Kloehr fired another shot, which hit Grat in the throat and broke his neck.
Hit as he entered the east/west alley, Bob staggered across it and sat down on a pile of curbstones stacked near the jail. While sitting there, he fired several times, but the bullets went wild.
A lull occurred after Grat and Power fell, so Broadwell crawled out of hiding, mounted his horse and rode away. A bullet from Kloehr’s rifle and a load of shot from Seaman’s shotgun hit him. Bleeding and dying, he hung on to his horse and managed to get away from the fight scene, only to fall from his horse, dead, some blocks away.
Bob spotted John Kloehr inside the fence at the back of his livery business. Bob tried to raise his rifle to his shoulder but could not get it up to aim. His shot went wide. Bob managed to stand and move to the stable west of the jail where, leaning against the corner, he fired two more shots. A shot from Kloehr’s rifle then struck Bob in the chest, and he fell to the ground.
Emmett, still carrying the grain sack with approximately $21,000 of the First National Bank’s money, had managed to escape unhurt up to this time. The horses belonging to Bob and Power had been between Emmett and the defenders; both horses were killed by shots intended for Emmett. Finally he reached his horse. A half-dozen shots went in his direction as he attempted to mount. Wounded in the right arm and in the left hip and groin, Emmett managed to get in his saddle.
All accounts agree that Emmett, still clinging to the sack containing the First National Bank money, chose not to ride away. Instead, he rode back to where Bob was lying, reached down his hand, and tried to lift his dying or dead brother onto the horse with him. Elliott’s account said Bob whispered, “It’s no use.” Then Seaman fired both barrels of his shotgun at Emmett’s back, and he fell from the horse.
At last came the cry: “They are all down!”
Note: The above excerpts are used with written permission from Lue Diver Barndollar, author of What Really Happened on October 5, 1892:
Bill Dalton - Prelude to Disaster! Dennis Muncrier:
In the late 1800's in Indian Territory, there were many outlaw gangs that were made up of brothers. Some of these were the Miller, Lee, Marlow, Younger, James and the subject of our sketch today, the Dalton brothers.
One of the curiosities of this family is that Frank Dalton was a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Indian Territory who gave his life in the line of duty in 1887. Grattan, or Grat as he was called, and Bob were also deputy U.S. Marshals and often rode with Frank. Emmett was a kid at this time and just rode along with his older brothers in the posse.
After Frank was killed, the remaining three brothers started a life of crime. Or, could it have been "returned to" a life of crime. Bob who was wounded in 1888 while a marshal, had also killed a man in a lover's triangle and is said to have been in the horse stealing business while still a marshal. When some stolen horses were trailed to Kansas, Bob, Grat and Emmett decided they needed a vacation in California to visit their brother Bill.
The trip was uneventful until three masked gunmen held up the Southern Pacific RR near Tulare, California. Bill proved his alibi but Grat could not and was convicted of robbery and sentenced to Folsom Prison. Grat somehow obtained the keys to his cell and escaped while waiting to go to prison and with his brothers Bob and Emmett, high-tailed it back to Kingfisher, O.T.
It is said that Bob was the wild one and was the ringleader of the outlaw brothers. He included the likes of Bill Doolin, Dick Broadwell and Blackface Charley Bryant. Charley got his moniker because he had a black powder gun blow up in his face.
In the early 1890's, the Daltons rode out of Kingfisher, O.T. to spread their rein of terror. On their ill fated and ill-conceived trip to Coffeyville, Kansas, they attempted to rob two banks at the same time. Now folks, the Dalton Brothers were raised in Coffeyville. Everybody in that small town knew them by site. Everybody knew that they were bank and train robbers.
How dumb do you have to be to rob a bank in your hometown? It is no wonder that every available citizen was armed and waiting for them outside the two banks. Bob and Grat were killed in the armed melee that resulted and Emmett was seriously wounded but survived to serve a stretch in the Lansing pen for robbery. After being pardoned by the Kansas governor, Emmet went to California and became a technical advisor in the making of western movies.
This is where Bill Dalton enters the picture. After the shootout, Bill was notified to come take care of his brother's final affairs. Some say that Bill lived in California at the time of the robbery but when Bill was killed, Marshals found letters addressed to his wife in California and mailed from Oklahoma Territory months before the Coffeyville Raid. Bill may have been in the country well before the raid.
Littleton or "Lit" Dalton later told a reporter that Bill was indeed in Kingfisher, O.T. when the ill-fated raid on Coffeeville was being planned. For some reason, probably good sense, he refused to join the raid on their former hometown. Lit also related in that interview that Bill's real name was Mason Frakes Dalton although he always went by the name Bill. Bill appears as Mason on both the 1870 and 1880 census in Missouri.
Upon arrival at Coffeyville, Bill was incensed to find that souvenir hunters had taken all the personal possession that his brothers had on them. This personal property of the boys was passed around or sold like tokens from a county fair. This incident is believed to have been a major factor as to why Bill took the path he choose after the death of his brothers.
Others say it was the bad blood the boys inherited from their mother. You see, their mother Adeline was a Younger, the aunt of Cole, Bob and Jim Younger and a cousin of Frank and Jesse James. The Daltons had moved to Coffeyville from Missouri at the beginning of the Civil War to escape the ravages that were known to be coming. The Dalton boys grew up listening to stories of their famous or infamous relatives.
With the opening of the Oklahoma Territory in 1889, Lewis and Adeline Dalton made the run like so many others into the new land settling near Kingfisher, O.T. Charles, Littleton and Henry also made claims near Kingfisher to be near their father. There were 15 children in the Dalton family and only Bob, Bill, Grat and Emmett turned to a life of crime. Their siblings were solid, productive citizens in Oklahoma Territory.
Bill Dalton was a respected businessman in California and is said to have even served in the California legislature although this has never been proven. He lived in a beautiful two-story home surrounded by palm trees. Bill would later be buried in the front yard of his home. Here he married Jane Bliven, an affluent young lady.
After the Coffeyville Raid, Bill reorganized the remaining gang with Bill Doolin, Roy Daugherty (a.k.a. Arkansas Tom Jones), George Newton, and Tulsa Jack Blake, William F. Raidler (a.k.a. Little Bill) and Richard West (a.k.a. Little Dick). Later Three-fingered Dynamite Dick hung out the gang. Evidently back then you couldn't be a successful outlaw without a really catchy nickname. The headquarters for the gang was in the town of Ingles in the Cherokee Strip.
On Sept. 1st, 1893, the gang was in a saloon drinking when several lawmen and townsmen surrounded the place. Arkansas Tom was captured but the rest of the gang, all wounded, escaped the shootout. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison. The gang laid low and recovered from their wounds for the next few months. In May of 1894, the gang would ride again to rob the Longview, Texas bank. This would be their last crime and the unsigned bank notes taken in this robbery would prove to be their downfall.
The Shootout at Elk, I.T.
After the Coffeyville Raid by the Dalton brothers with the death of Bob and Grat and the wounding of Emmit, the remainder of the gang scattered. Brother Bill would gather the old gang members Bill Doolin, "Tulsa Jack" Blake, "Bitter Creek" Newcomb and Charley Pierce and begin a new reign of bandit terror in the territory. The shootout at Ingles in the Cherokee Strip on September 1, 1893 left the entire gang wounded, some severely but only "Arkansas Tom" was captured.
The last raid committed by the last Dalton outlaw occurred on May 23, 1894. This gang consisted of Jim Wallace, Big Asa Knight, Jim Knight, and George Bennett. At 3:00 p.m., two roughly dressed men appeared at the desk of the president of the First National Bank of Longview, Texas. One of the men handed President Clemmons a note that read: "This will introduce you to Charles Spreckelmeyer, who wants some money and he is going to have it. B. and F." The B&F apparently stood for "Bill and friends." The interesting thing about this name is that there was a family named Spreckelmeyer living in Ardmore at that time.
Mr. Clemmons looked up to find he was looking down the bore of a Winchester. The robbers got away with $2,000 in ten-dollar bank notes and nine twenty-dollar bills. Now you have to remember this was way before the Federal Reserve System when banks issued their own currency as well as the National Currency. The president and the treasurer of the bank usually signed banknotes by hand with pen and ink. The reason the exact number of bills was known is that the money taken was in new, uncirculated bills issued by the bank with many of them yet unsigned. Legend, rumor and outright fabrication has given the total take as somewhere between $2,000 and $4,500.
The City Marshal learned of the robbery in progress and assembled the citizens of Longview and the proverbial gun battle between the bad men and the good town folks ensued. Exiting the bank, a fusillade of fire poured down on the bandits. The bandits forced the bank employees to go into the street first. While the posse was busy shooting at the bank president and tellers, the bandits mounted up and rode away unscathed. One of the gang named Jim Wallace was at once struck down and mortally wounded. As usual, just about everybody on the street near the bank were killed or wounded with all the flying lead. Bill and the remainder of the gang escaped.
The dead outlaw wore a hat with a label inside that read "W.O. Dustin, Ardmore, I.T." The Longview sheriff telegraphed the U.S. Marshal in Ardmore and gave a description of the man. After some detective work it was determined that it was Jim Wallace who lived on a ranch at Elk, thirty miles northwest of Ardmore in the Arbuckles.
Things quieted down for a few weeks after the robbery. On the morning of June 7th, 1894, two women and a man came to Ardmore, I.T. for some shopping. They bought the usual items people used except they also purchased an unusually large amount of ammunition of various calibers. Also purchased was a suit of clothes for a man but it was much larger than the size of the man accompanying the women.
This caused the clerk in the store to become suspicious and he began examining the bank notes. He noticed they were new bills from the First National Bank of Longview, Texas and several were not signed. The clerk took the notes to the law who immediately telegraphed the sheriff in Longview and the serial numbers of the notes matched the stolen notes.
While all this commotion was going on with the bank notes, the U.S. Marshals were notified that a suspicious package had arrived by train from Texas at the freight depot. When the marshals opened it they found three gallon barrels of whiskey. Introduction of whiskey into the Indian Territory was a serious offense and the marshals took watch on the freight depot to see who claimed the package.
Most of the day passed with the man and two women making the best of a shopping spree spending a considerable amount of money. In the afternoon the man appeared at the freight depot and claimed the package containing the whiskey. At this point U.S. Marshal Seldon Lindsey arrested the man who he recognized as Houston Wallace, brother of Jim Wallace, the dead bandit at the Longview Bank robbery. Lindsey also took the two women into custody who identified themselves as Mrs. Pruitt and Mrs. Smith.
One of the women had $300 dollars hidden in her bosom and the other had $400 hidden in her stocking also being loot taken in the Longview robbery. Houston Wallace was locked up on introduction charges and the women were to be detained until noon the next day. Lindsey immediately formed a posse and made plans to go to the Houston Wallace ranch in the Arbuckle Mountains near Elk. (The post office name at Elk was changed to Pooleville about 1906.)
There were rewards of about $35,000 offered by various organizations for the capture of Bill Dalton, dead or alive. This was a huge sum of money in 1896. In today's money, this would be the equivalent of $866,000. A .44-.40 Winchester or Colt revolver could be bought for $13 and ammunition was 1½ cents per round. A Stetson hat cost $4.50 and a good enough saddle cost $10. Land sold at this time for about $1.25 per acre in Oklahoma Territory.
The rewards caused two marshals to form two separate posses to go to Elk. The competing marshal, hoping to delay Lindsey's arrival at Elk, got the confiscated whiskey and gave it to Lindsey's posse hoping to get them drunk enough so they would pose no threat to his posse getting the huge rewards. One man in Lindsey's posse passed out and fell dead drunk on the way to the hideout. By the time the posse arrived at the Houston Wallace ranch only Lindsey and Loss Hart were in good enough shape to perform their task.
In the early morning of June 8th, 1894, Lindsey's posse, or what was left of it, surrounded the Houston Wallace ranch house. The only semi-sober posse man left was stationed in front of the house. All was quite around the house as the sun began to break across the Arbuckles. A man was observed playing in the front yard with four children. A young girl went to the pasture to fetch the milk cow.
As the girl and the cow passed the ravine behind the house, she saw Lindsey and Hart hiding in the ravine but walked quietly on to the house pretending not to see them. She tied up the cow and yelled to the man in the front yard playing with the children. The man ran to the house and in a few seconds jumped out the back window with a pistol in his hand. He ran a few hundred feet toward the timber and the ravine when U.S. Marshal Lindsey called for him to surrender. The man turned and fired his pistol at Lindsey hidden in the ravine. Lindsey knew that if this man were Dalton he would not miss a second shot.
The marshal, who wanted to take the desperado in alive, had a thousand thoughts race through his mind in an instant. Which one of them would ride away from there that day? Which one of them would live to tell their grandchildren this story? Which one of them had seen his last sunrise? It was now down to “him or me”. Lindsey threw his .38-.56 Winchester to his shoulder and fired. At almost the same instant Hart fired his .44 Winchester at the fleeing man. The first shot struck the man in the chest spinning him around when the second shot hit him in the back with either bullet proving fatal.
The man fell face down on the grass. Hart and Lindsey cautiously approached the fallen victim. Slowly the man rolled over on his back, smiled and breathed his last breath. Hart and Lindsey recognized him as being Bill Dalton. Only three shots were fired and the most feared and wanted man in the old west was taken. The last of the Dalton gang was dead.
"Tulsa Jack" Blake died following the hold-up of the Rock Island train at Dover, O.T. on May 5, 1895, at the hands of Marshal Chris Madsen . "Bitter Creek" Newcomb and Charley Pierce died by the hands of their friends at the outlaw hangout at Rock Fort Ranch with a load of buckshot for each. Marshal
Bill Tilghman captured Bill Doolin in December of 1895 in a Eureka Springs, Arkansas bathhouse where Doolin had gone for treatment of rheumatism. Bill Raidler is seriously wounded and captured by Marshal Bill Tilghman near Pawhuska, O.T. Dynamite Dick Clifton was arrested on a whiskey charge in Texas and brought back to Guthrie. On July 5, 1896, Bill Doolin, Dynamite Dick, and 12 other prisoners escaped from the Guthrie, O.T. jail. Marshal Heck Thomas took Doolin down the next year with a load of buckshot. "Little Dick" West was killed on April 8, 1898 by Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas's posse. Dynamite Dick Clifton was killed by deputies on November 7, 1898 near Checotah, I.T.
Who Killed Bill Dalton?
In the early morning hours of June 8th, 1894, on the Houston Wallace ranch in the Arbuckle Mountains, U.S. Marshals Loss Hart and Seldon Lindsey shot and killed Bill Dalton, the last of the Dalton Gang.
Dalton was wanted for the robbery of the Longview bank among many other bank and train robberies. There was an aggregate of $35,000 in rewards for Bill Dalton, dead or alive. It was common at the time for the posse to split the rewards of any captured felon. If the criminal was not captured, the posse got nothing for their trouble.
The officers went into the house after the shooting and pandemonium broke loose. The children were crying, the young girl was screaming and the other man seen at the window in the house had mysteriously disappeared. The marshals tried to console the children and assure them they would not be harmed. Young Gracie and Charles Dalton, age 6 and 8 were terror stricken at seeing their father killed.
The posse began searching the house for the money. It was stashed all over the log cabin but the major portion of the loot was nowhere to be seen. The marshals happened to remember that Bill Dalton had a particular fancy for trap doors and pulled a rug off the floor. Sure enough there was a trap door under the rug. Beneath the floor was a bank bag from the Longview bank containing $1,700. They had their proof that it was the Dalton gang that robbed the bank.
Also found in the cabin was the trunk of the Mrs. Smith who was detained in Ardmore. The lawmen found bundles of letters addressed to her, “Jane Dalton”, at Fresno, California and mailed from Oklahoma Territory. This is the cause for the reasoning that Bill was in this country well before his brother’s ill-fated raid on Coffeyville.
Dalton’s body was placed in a wagon belonging to Houston Wallace and the procession headed back to Elk to retrieve their horses. On the way back to Elk, the still dead drunk posse man was lying beside the road. The posse stopped and laid him in the wagon beside Dalton’s body.
Those of us who know how hot and humid it gets in the Arbuckles in the summer time can guess what was beginning to happen to Dalton’s body. The body was swollen so badly by the time the posse reached Milo, I.T. that they stopped at the well of Jim Alverson and poured twenty buckets of cool well water on the corpse in an attempt to reduce the swelling. This effort didn’t help the body much but did wash the blood off the clothing exposing the bullet hole in Dalton’s chest.
Buck Garrett had released the two women as instructed by Lindsey and the wagon with Dalton’s body and the wagon driven by Mrs. Pruitt and Mrs. Dalton (alias Mrs. Smith) loaded with supplies met on the road about five miles from Ardmore. The women were told that Bill Dalton had been killed but both women disclaimed any knowledge of the outlaw. As the two wagons passed, Jane Dalton saw her husband’s body lying in the back of the wagon she became hysterical. She was placed in the wagon with the body and returned to Ardmore with the posse. The body was taken to Appolla’s Funeral Home where an estimated crowd of 1,000 people pushed and shoved to see a last glimpse of the King of Western Outlaws. Ardmore quickly turned into a circus of reporters not unlike today.
This media frenzy is where the conjecture about the shooting came about. The second marshal and posse arrived well after the shootout at the Wallace Ranch. One of Lindsey’s posse men, the remaining sober one, told this second marshal that Loss Hart had killed Dalton when in fact he couldn’t see who had done it because the shootout occurred behind the house out of his sight.
This second marshal is the person who told the press that Loss Hart had been the man. The only people to ever talked to the press about the shooting were the members of this second posse who were not even present when the shooting occurred. For some unknown reason Lindsey gave orders to his posse that the details of the shooting would not be discussed. Maybe this was in deference to Mrs. Dalton and her children to save them the pain of knowing exactly how he died.
Marshal Lindsey's instructions to his posse that no one was to ever give details of the shooting to the press and not one of them ever did. But, as today, the reporters who were hounded for details by their editors back home, began to “assume” a lot of facts that were simply not true at all. At Appolla’s undertaking establishment, a doctor removed the two bullets that were still in Dalton’s body.
A .38/56 Winchester ball, a peculiar caliber, was removed from the heart of Dalton. A .44 Winchester ball was removed from Dalton’s back. Lindsey used a .38/56 and Loss Hart used a .44 Winchester. There was even some conjecture that the death photo of Dalton was not really of him because the man was too “fat”. Remember that the marshals were pouring cold well water on the corpse to keep the swelling down with little effect on the thirty mile wagon trip on that hot Arbuckle Mountain June day.
Who killed Bill Dalton? It really makes little difference. A man made a series of bad decisions in his life and paid for it with the ultimate penalty. Jane Dalton’s husband and Gracie and Charles’ father was dead. The most hunted and feared outlaw of the 1890’s had seen his last sunrise.
DALTON ON PAROLE
Notorious Bandit Been in Prison Fifteen Years
Last Survivor of Robber Gang
Desperate Outlaws Committed Reckless and Foul Murders for Years
July 18, 1907—El Reno American—Kansas City, Mo., July 15—Bewildered by the busy scenes And new sights confronting his eyes, Emmett Dalton, the ex-train robber, is enjoying the first bit of freedom he has spent outside of prison walls in nearly fifteen years. A week ago he was granted a four months’ parole by Governor Hoch and released from the Kansas Penitentiary at Lansing in order that he might come to the city to receive treatment for a would in the shoulder, received I the famous skirmish at Coffeyville, Kansas. It is believed that a pardon is in sight for the ex-bandit and it is probably that he will not be obliged to stay in prison long after the expiration of his present parole. His aged mother, who is now with him, has been working for his freedom for years and recently her efforts have received the endorsement of many prominent Kansans.
Emmett Dalton is the last surviving member of the Dalton gang of outlaws, which included the three brothers, Bob, Gratton and Emmett, who first sprang into public notice in 1899 and were wiped out in 1892 at Coffeyville, Kansas, where they attempted to rob the Coffeyville National Bank. Bob Dalton had been a deputy marshal in the Indian Territory, where he acquired a reputation for nerve and daring. In 1889 he was discharged from the service for accepting bribes from criminals. Accompanied by his brothers, Gratton and Emmett, he proceeded to California. They had not been there long before there was a train robbery near Attila, in which the fireman of the train was killed. The Daltons were accused and indicted. They left the sate and for the next eighteen months they made criminal history faster than it had been made since the days of the Younger and James boys.
The Santa Fe train robberies at Wharton and Red Rock, the Missouri Pacific robbery at Adair and the San Francisco robbery near Vinita all followed in rapid succession,. Between jobs the gang hid in the Indian Territory, Arkansas and Kansas. The railroad and express companies heaped up rewards until they amounted to $25,000, but there were no captures. The Coffeyville raid was the pet scheme of Bob Dalton. He had lived there, knew the banks, and was anxious to outdo the James and Younger exploits by riding boldly into the town in broad daylight and plundering both banks at one haul. The raid occurred in October 1892. The gang rode into the town and hitched its horses in an alley and started for the banks, each man carrying a Winchester in the hollow of his arm.
But the purpose of the gang was quickly realized and a cry of “Robbers in the bank!” brought the citizens out in force. The defendants of the town rushed into hardware stores and armed themselves with rifles and guns. They stole out on the tops of buildings, in alleys and back lots, while some few stood boldly out in the street. In the National Bank Bob and Emmett Dalton had compelled the bank force to hold up its hands and had dumped $20,000 in cash into a sack. Coming to the bank window, Bob engaged in battle with the townspeople, killing one man and wounding three others.
Meanwhile there was more serious trouble for Grat Dalton at the Condon bank. The bank had a time lock, which frustrated the efforts of the gang to open it. Grat swept up the cash he found lying around, exchanging a few shot with the citizens until he was forced to flee. The gang hurried to the alley where their horses were tied, and where they wee hemmed in by the citizens to such an extent that the Dalton boys, only Emmett, swifter of foot than the others, gained his horse. Emmett rode but a short distance, when to the astonishment of the citizens he turned back to help his brother Bob, who had been mortally wounded.
When the smoke of battle cleared away there were eight dead men. The robbers had lost bob and Grat Dalton, Joe Evans and John Moore, and their fifth man, Emmett Dalton, had been shot until it was thought he could not live. The citizens had lost the city marshal, a bank clerk and tow merchants of the town. Several others had been severely wounded. After Emmett recovered fro his wounds he was tried and sentenced to be hanged, which in Kansas means a life sentence in the penitentiary. He was but 18 years old when captured and has been confined in the penitentiary nearly 15 years. He has been spoken of at all times as a model prisoner.
GOV. HOCH TO GIVE DALTON’S PARDON
November 7, 1907—The El Reno American—Topeka, Kas., Nov 4—Governor Hoch Saturday issued a pardon to Emmet Dalton, former member of the Dalton gang that ended its career at Coffeyville, Kans., in 1892, under circumstances that attended the capture of the greater part of Younger band of bandits at Northfield, Minn., in 1876.
Dalton was a model prisoner and for several years a trusty at the Kansas penitentiary in Lansing.
Fifteen years ago, with his brothers and three other companions, he tried to rob two banks at Coffeyville. He and Bob got $22,000 from one bank and started to ride away, but his companions engaged in a pitched battle in the other bank and lost their opportunity to escape.
Bob Dalton was killed and Emmett captured. Emmet was then only 20 years old. He was sentenced to death but the decree was commuted to life imprisonment.
Emmet was wounded in the arm in the Coffeyville fight.
The injury never healed and three months ago he was granted a parole in order that the might go to Kansas City and have the wound treated. He returned to Coffeyville a few days ago to serve out his sentence.
The Governor had requested Alton to come to Topeka and the prisoner made the trip from Lansing alone. After a conference with Dalton, Governor Hoch handed him the parchment that made him a free man. Then he shook hands with Dalton and declared his belief that he would become a useful citizen.
Dalton tanked the governor and added: “There is someone in Kingfisher who will be glad to hear of this.”
He referred to his mother, who lives in Oklahoma. She is 92 years old and has been working for her son’s pardon for several years.
THE DALTONS WIPED OUT.
Galveston Daily News / October 6, 1892.
A BLOODY DAY AT COFFEYVILLE FOR BOTH SIDES.
The Place Strewed With Corpses of Robbers, Officers and Citizens -- The Plot and the Battle Described.
COFFEYVILLE, Kan., Oct. 5. -- The Dalton gang has been exterminated -- wiped off the face of the earth. They were to-day shot down, but not until four citizens of this place yielded up their lives in the work of extermination. Six of the gang rode into town this morning and robbed two banks. The raid became known to the officers of the law, and when the bandits attempted to escape they were attacked by the marshal's posse. In the battle which ensued four of the desperadoes were killed outright, and one so fatally wounded that he has since died. The other escaped but is being hotly pursued.
Of the attacking party four were killed, one fatally and two seriously wounded. The dead are:
Bob Dalton, desperado, shot through the head.
Grant Dalton, desperado, shot through the heart.
Emmett Dalton, desperado, shot through the left side.
Joseph Evans, desperado, shot through the head.
John Moore, "Texas Jack," desperado, shot through the head.
T. C. Connelly, city marshal, shot through the body.
L. M. Baldwin, bank clerk, shot through the head.
G. W. Cubine, merchant, shot through the head.
C. J. Brown, shoemaker, shot through the body.
Thomas G. Ayers, cashier of the First national bank, was shot through the groin and cannot live.
T. A. Reynolds, of the attacking party, has a wound in the right breast, but it is not considered necessarily dangerous.
Louis Dietz, another of the attacking party, was shot in the right side. His wound is serious but not fatal.
It was rumored a month ago that the Dalton gang contemplated an immediate raid upon the banks of the city. Arrangements were made to give them a warm reception, and for over a week of patrol was maintained night and day to give warning of the gang's approach. The raid did not take place, and then came the report, from Deming, N. M., that United States officers had had a battle with the bandits and three bandits had been killed. This report is believed here to have been circulated by the Daltons themselves, their intention being to divert attention from their real intentions and to lull the people of the town into a sense of security. The people, however, were not so easily deceived, and when the report of the disaster to the gang in New Mexico was denied vigilance was renewed. Still the expected raid was not made; finally the patrol was withdrawn last Saturday, although every stranger was carefully scrutinized as soon as he appeared on the streets.
It was 9 o'clock this morning when the Dalton gang rode into town. They came in two squads of three each, and passing through the unfrequented part of town into the valley in the rear of the First national bank quickly tied their horses and without losing a moment's time proceeded to their attack upon the banks.
Robert Dalton, the notorious leader of the gang, and Emmett, his brother, went to the First national bank, the other four, under the leadership of "Texas Jack," or John Moore, going to the private bank of C. M. Congdon & Co. Meantime an alarm had already been given.
The Dalton boys were born and bred in this vicinity, and were well known to nearly every man, woman and child in town. In their progress through town, they had been recognized. City Marshal Connelly was quickly notified of their arrival, and almost before the bandits had entered the bank he was collecting a posse to capture them if possible or kill them if necessary. He ran first to the livery stable of Jim Spears, a dead shot with the Winchester and a valuable man in any fight. Then he summoned George Cubine, a merchant; Charles Brown, a shoemaker; John Cox, express agent, and other citizens who could be conveniently reached. Stationing them about the square, which both of the banks faced, he hastened to augment the posse by summoning other citizens for impromptu police duty. While Marshal Connelly was collecting his forces the bandits, all ignorant of their being laid for, were proceeding deliberately with their work of robbing the banks. Texas Jack's band entered Congdon's bank, and with Winchesters leveled at Cashier Ball and Teller Carpenter ordered them to throw up their hands. Then Texas Jack searched them for weapons, while the other three desperadoes kept them covered with rifles. Finding that he was unarmed, Cashier Ball was ordered to open the safe. The cashier explained that the safe's door was controlled by a time lock and could not by any means short of dynamite be opened before its time was up, which would be 10 o'clock, or in about twenty minutes. "We will wait," said the leader, as he sat down at the cashier's desk.
"How about the money drawers?" he asked, suddenly, and jumping up, he walked around to the cages of the paying and receiving tellers and taking the money, amounting in all to less than $2300, dumped it into a flour sack with which he was supplied and again sat down while the time lock slowly ticked off the seconds and the hands of the clock hardly moved towards the hour of ten. Bob and Emmett Dalton, meanwhile, were having better luck at the First national bank. When they entered the bank, they found within it Cashier Ayers, his son, Albert Ayers, and Teller W. H. Sheppard, none of them armed, and with levelled revolvers the brother bandits intimidated them. Albert Ayers and Teller Sheppard were kept under the muzzle of Emmett Dalton's revolvers, while Bob Dalton forced Cashier Ayers to strip the safe vault and cash drawers of all the money contained in them and place it in a sack brought along for that purpose. Fearing to leave them behind lest they should give the alarm before the bandits should be able to mount their horses and escape, the desperadoes marched the officers of the bank out of the door with the intention of keeping them under guard, while they made their escape. The party made its appearance at the door of the bank just as Liveryman Spears and his companions of the marshal's posse took their positions in the square. When the Dalton Brothers saw armed men in the square they appreciated their peril on the instant, and leaving the bank officers on the steps of the bank building, they ran for their horses. As soon as they reached the sidewalk, Spears' rifle quickly came to position. An instant later, it spoke and Bob Dalton, the notorious leader of a notorious gang, fell in his tracks, dead. There was not a quiver of a muscle after he fell. The bullet struck him in the right temple, plowed through his brain and passed out just above the left eye.
Emmett Dalton had the start of his brother, and before Spears could draw a bead on him he had dodged behind the corner of the bank, and was making time in the direction of the alley where the bandits had tied their horses.
The shot which dropped Bob Dalton aroused Texas Jack's band in Congdon's bank, who were patiently waiting for the time lock of the safe to be sprung with the hour of 10. Running to the windows of the bank they saw their leader prostrate on the ground. Raising the rifles to their shoulders, they fired one volley out of the windows. Two men fell at the volley. Cashier Ayers fell on the steps of his bank shot through the groin. Shoemaker Crown [sic] of the attacking party in the square was shot through the body. He was quickly removed to his shop, but died just as he was carried within.
The firing attracted the attention of Marshal Connelly, who was collecting more men for his posse, and with a few whom he had already gathered, he ran hurriedly to the scene of the conflict.
After firing a volley from the windows of the bank the bandits, knowing their only safety lay in flight, attempted to escape. They ran from the bank, firing as they fled. The marshal's posse on the square, without organization of any kind, fired at the fleeing bandits, each man for himself. Spears's trusty Winchester spoke twice more in quick succession before the others of the posse could take aim, and Joseph Evans and Texas Jack fell dead, both shot through the head, making three dead bandits to his credit.
In the general fusillade which followed Grant Dalton, one of the surviving members of Texas Jack's squad, Marshal Connelly, George Cubine and L. M. Baldwin, one of Congdon's clerks, who was out collecting when the attack was made, were mortally hit and died in the field.
Allie Ogee, the only survivor of the band, succeeded in escaping to the alley where the horses were tied and, mounting the swiftest horse of the lot, fled south in the direction of the Indian territory.
Emmett Dalton, who had escaped from the First national bank, had already reached the alley and safety, but had some trouble in getting mounted, and Allie Ogee had already made his escape before Emmett got fairly started.
Several of the posse, anticipating that horses would be required, were already mounted and quickly pursued the escaping bandits. Emmett Dalton's horse was no match for the fresher animals of his pursuers. As the pursuers closed on him he turned suddenly in the saddle and fired upon his would-be captors. The latter answered with a volley and Emmett toppled from his horse, hard hit. He was brought back to the town and died late this afternoon. He made an anti-mortem statement, confessing to various crimes committed by the gang of which he was a member.
Allie Ogee had about ten minutes' start of his pursuers, and was mounted on a swift horse. At 5 o'clock this evening he had not been captured.
After the battle was over search was made for the money which the bandits had secured. It was found in the sacks where it had been placed by the robbers. One sack was found under the body of Bob Dalton, who had fallen dead upon it while escaping from the First national bank. The other was found tightly clinched in Texas Jack's hand. The money was restored to its rightful owners.
The bodies of those of the attacking party who were killed were removed to their respective homes, while the bodies of the dead bandits were allowed to remain where they had fallen until the arrival of the coroner from Independence, who ordered them removed to the courthouse. There he held an inquest, the jury returning a verdict in accordance with the facts. The inquest over the bodies of the dead citizens will be postponed until the result of the pursuit of Allie Ogee is known.
During the time the bodies remained in the square they were viewed by hundreds of people of this and surrounding towns, who, having heard of the tragedy, came in swarms to inspect the scene. The excitement was of the most intense character, and the fate of Allie Ogee, should he be captured, was determined by universal consent. He will be hanged.
Other topics which attracted universal comment were the fulfillment of a prophesy that the Daltons would "die with their boots on," the peculiar fate which had decreed that they should die by the hands of their old friends in the vicinity of the place of their birth, and the excellent marksmanship of Liveryman Spears, who with three shots sent death to as many bandits.
The Outlaw Brothers:
The Daltons were a numerous family. There were five boys and three girls. Of the boys, two are engaged in farming, one in Oklahoma, where the mother of the family lives, and one near Coffeyville, where the three brothers met their death to-day. The Daltons were second cousins of the noted James boys, who defied the law in Missouri for so many years, and through them were related to the Youngers, who are now serving life terms of imprisonment in the penitentiary of Minnesota. Bob Dalton was the first of the boys to enter upon a career of crime. While scarcely more than a boy he became a cattle thief and did a thriving business driving off cattle from herds on the Cherokee strip and taking them across the Indian Territory into Colorado, where he would sell them. He was joined soon by his brother, Grant Dalton. Their depredations became so frequent and troublesome that the cattlemen organized to drive them from the strip. A posse of cowboys formed for that purpose gave the Daltons a hard chase, finally losing them in the wilds of New Mexico. The next heard of the Daltons was in California, where they took to train and stage robbing. While robbing a stage there one of the passengers was killed in the attack. This spurred the officers to extraordinary efforts to effect the capture of the Dalton gang, and Grant Dalton was finally captured. While being taken to a place for safe keeping he was rescued by the other members of the gang, and the whole party finally escaping after being chased all over California and through part of Arizona.
In the spring of 1889, the gang turned up again in the Indian Territory, and when Oklahoma was opened to settlement the Dalton boys secured a choice claim for their mother near Hennessey, where she still lives, supported by one of her sons. At the time of the opening Bob Dalton was a United States deputy marshal, being selected on account of his peculiar fitness to deal with desperate characters. After the opening he returned to his life of outlawry and he and Grant were then joined by their brother Emmett, the youngest of the brothers. They were at that time also joined by Texas Jack and soon gathered about them several desperate characters. It was then that the most successful period of the Daltons' career, from their standpoint, began. Their attention was first directed to the robbing of express trains, and they perpetrated many successful "hold-ups," the most noted of which are the robberies of the Santa Fe at Wharton, at Red Rock, of the Missouri Pacific at Adair, and of the 'Frisco near Vinita. The Wharton robbery was perhaps the most dramatic of all. The robbers went to Wharton on horseback, and entering the station there, asked the operator if the train was on time. He replied he would inquire, and was about to do so when one of the band, fearing the operator had recognized them, shot him dead upon the spot without a word of warning. When the train arrived it was held up after the regulation manner. In the pursuit of the robbers which followed, outlaw Ed Bryant was captured at Enid by Deputy United States Marshal Ed Short, known throughout the entire territory as a most brave officer. Short placed the captive in the baggage car of the Santa Fe train to take him to Guthrie. He had disarmed him, placing a brace of revolvers on a convenient trunk, and placed the desperado in irons. When the train reached Adair Short disembarked to send a telegraphic message. When he re-entered the car Bryant had secured one of his weapons and holding it in his manacled hands fired and fatally wounded Short. The officer, however, had strength to raise a Winchester and put four bullets into Bryant's body, expiring as he pulled the trigger the last time.
There were no fatalities attending the Red Rock robbery, but the Adair robbery resulted in the deaths of two men. The express car was guarded and a hot fight took place between the guards and the robbers. The place where the train was held up was in the midst of town. One stray bullet passed into the room of a physician, and striking him in the head, killed him instantly. Another physician, hearing firing, went in its direction and was also shot and killed.
The last train robbery committed by the gang was that of the 'Frisco near Vinita. The amounts secured by the robbers in their various raids will probably never be known. It was very great, however, and has been estimated at $300,000.
After the 'Frisco robbery, the Daltons seem to have diverted their attention to the robbery of banks. They rode into El Reno one day and attacked the only bank in town. The only person in the bank at the time was the wife of the president, who fainted at the first sight of the ugly revolvers. The bandits leisurely took all the money in sight and remounting their horses rode away. This raid netted them $10,000, which was such a severe blow to the bank it was forced into liquidation. To-day's was the next and last raid of the gang, and with it ended the existence of a band equalled only in the desperate character of its undertakings by the James and Younger bands.
EPILOGUE. News accounts after the Coffeyville shootout, this one among them, included a number of errors:
- Emmett Dalton, after being shot 23 times, did not die but recovered from his wounds, was sentenced to a life term in the penitentiary at Lansing, received a pardon after 14 years, made a career in California real estate and died in 1937 at the age of 66.
- The eldest Dalton in the shootout was not Grant but Grat, short for Gratton.
- The time lock at the Congdon (actually Condon) bank had already opened the vault earlier that morning, but the robbers didn't bother to try the door.
- There is doubt as to whether there was actually a sixth robber who escaped, but in any case it was not Allie (or Ally, or Allee) Ogee, who wrote an indignant letter to the editor of the Coffeyville newspaper stating that he was employed at a meatpacking plant in Wichita at the time of the ill-fated raid.
In 1886, the C.M. Condon and Co. opened its doors to the citizens of Coffeyville, Kansas. Through the years, The Condon National Bank has served the area as a stable financial institution. Banking itself has changed a great deal, but one thing still remains the same-our commitment to deliver quality service to our customers.
Condon Bank immediately after the Dalton Raid October 5, 1892.
David Elliott was editor of the local newspaper and published a detailed account soon after the gun battle (1892)
After crossing the pavement the men quickened their pace, and the three in the front file went into C.M. Condon & Co.'s bank at the southwest door, while the two in the rear ran directly across the street to the First National Bank and entered the front door of that institution. The gentleman [the observer] was almost transfixed with horror. He had an uninterrupted view of the inside of Condon and Co.'s bank, and the first thing that greeted his vision was a Winchester in the hands of one of the men, pointed towards the cashier's counter in the bank. He quickly recovered his lost wits, and realizing the truth of the situation, he called out to the men in the store that 'The bank is being robbed!' Persons at different points on the Plaza heard the cry and it was taken up and quickly passed around the square.
At the same time several gentlemen saw the two men enter the First National Bank, suspecting their motive, followed close at their heels and witnessed them 'holding up' the men in this institution. They gave the alarm on the east side of the Plaza. A 'call to arms' came simultaneously with the alarm and in less time than it takes to relate the fact a dozen men with Winchesters and revolvers in their hands were ready to resist the escape of the unwelcome visitors.
Just at this critical juncture the citizens opened fire from the outside (of the Condon Bank) and the shots from their Winchesters and shot-guns pierced the plate-glass windows and rattled around the bank. Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell replied from the inside, and each fired from four to six shots at citizens on the outside. The battle then began in earnest. Evidently recognizing that the fight was on, Grat Dalton asked whether there was a back door through which they could get to the street. He was told that there was none. He then ordered Mr. Ball and Mr. Carpenter [two bank employees] to carry the sack of money to the front door. Reaching the hall on the outside of the counter, the firing of the citizens through the windows became so terrific and the bullets whistled so close around their heads that the robbers and both bankers retreated to the back room again. Just then one at the southwest door was heard to exclaim: 'I am shot; I can't use my arm; it is no use, I can't shoot any more.'
He (Bob Dalton) then ordered the three bankers to walk out from behind the counter in front of him, and they put the whole party out at the front door. Before they reached the door, Emmett called to Bob to 'Look out there at the left.' Just as the bankers and their customers had reached the pavement, and as Bob and Emmett appeared at the door, two shots were fired at them from the doorway of the drug store… Neither one of them was hit. They were driven back into the bank… Bob stepped to the door a second time, and raising his Winchester to his shoulder, took deliberate aim and fired in a southerly direction. Emmett held his Winchester under his arm while he tied a string around the mouth of the sack containing the money. They then ordered the young men to open the back door and let them out. Mr. Shepard complied and went with them to the rear of the building, when they passed out into the alley. It was then that the bloody work of the dread desperadoes began."
The Dalton Gang Wiped Out:
The Dalton Gang Goes on Its Last Raid.
Los Angeles Times - October 6, 1892
A wild shoot-out in Coffeyville in 1892 spelled the end of the notorious Kansas bank robbers, the Dalton gang. This account of the incident appeared in the Los Angeles Times on October 6, 1892.
By Telegraph to The Times.
Coffeyville (Kan.,) Oct. 5.—[By the Associated Press.] The Dalton gang has been exterminated—wiped off the face of the earth. Caught like rats in a trap, they were today shot down, but not until four citizens of the place yielded up their lives in the work of extermination. Six of the gang rode into town this morning and robbed two banks of the place. Their raid had become known to the officers of the law, and when the bandits attempted to escape they were attacked by the marshal's posse. In the battle which ensued four desperadoes were killed outright and one, Emmett Dalton, so badly wounded that he is dying. The other escaped, but is being hotly pursued.—Of the marshal's posse four were killed, one fatally and two seriously wounded.
The dead desperadoes are: Bob Dalton, Grattan Dalton, Joseph Evans, John Moore (“Texas Jack.”)
The dead citizens are: T. C. Connelly, City Marshal; L. M. Baldwin, bank clerk; G. W. Cubine, merchant; C. J. Brown, shoemaker.
The wounded are: Thomas G. Ayres, cashier of the First National Bank, shot through the groin and cannot live; T. A. Reynolds, wounded in the right breast; Louis Detz, shot in the right side.
It was rumored a month ago that the Dalton gang contemplated a raid on the city. Arrangements were made to give them a warm reception, but excitement finally died away and the street patrol was given up. About 10 o'clock this morning the gang rode into town. They came in two squads of three each, and passing through unfrequented streets rendezvoused in an alley in the rear of the First National Bank. Robert Dalton, the notorious leader, and Emmett, his brother, went to the First National Bank. The other four, under the leadership of “Texas Jack” or John Moore, went to the private bank of C. M. Congdon & Co. In the mean time an alarm had been given. The Dalton brothers were born and bred in this vicinity, and had been recognized. City Marshal Connelly was quickly notified, and began collecting a posse. While the Marshal was collecting his forces the bandits, all ignorant of the trap, were proceeding deliberately with the work of
ROBBING THE BANKS.
“Texas Jack's” band entered Congdon's bank and with Winchesters leveled at Cashier Ball and Teller Carpenter demanded that the safe be opened. The cashier explained that the door of the safe was controlled by a time lock and could not be opened for about twenty minutes, or at 10 o'clock. “We'll wait,” said the leader, and he sat down at the cashier's desk, first gathering up the money in the cash drawer.
Bob and Emmet Dalton, in the meanwhile, were having better luck at the First National Bank. When they entered the bank they found Cashier Ayres, his son, Albert Ayres and the teller, W. H. Shepherd. None of them were armed, and with leveled revolvers the brother bandits' easily intimidated them. Albert Ayres and Teller Shepherd were kept under the muzzles of Emmett Dalton's revolvers while Bob Dalton forced Cashier Ayres to strip the vault and cash drawers of all the money and place it in a sack. Fearing to leave them behind lest they should give the alarm too soon the desperadoes marched the officers of the bank out of the door, with the intention of keeping them under guard while they made their escape.
BOB DALTON KILLED.
The party made its appearance at the door just as Liveryman Spears and others of the Marshal's posse took their positions in the square. When the Dalton brothers saw armed men in the square they appreciated their peril in an instant, and leaving the bank officers on the steps of the bank building they ran for their horses. As soon as they reached the sidewalk Spears's rifle quickly came into position. An instant later it spoke, and Bob Dalton, the notorious leader of the notorious gang, fell dead, Emmett Dalton had the start of his brother, and before Spears could draw a bead on him he had dodged behind the corner of the bank and was making time in the direction of the alley where the horses were tied.
The shot which dropped Bob Dalton aroused “Texas Jack's” band in Congdon's bank. Running to the windows they saw their leader prostrate on the ground. Raising their rifles they fired one volley out of the window.
CASHIER AYERS FELL
On the steps of the bank, shot through the groin. Shoemaker Brown of the attacking party in the square was shot through the body and died in a few minutes. The firing attracted the attention of Marshal Connelly, who was collecting more men for his posse, and with those he had already gathered he ran hurriedly to the scene of conflict.
After firing the volley from the window, the bandits perceiving that their only hope of safety lay in flight attempted to escape. They ran from the door of the bank, firing as they fled. The Marshal's posse in the square, without organization of any kind, fired at the fleeing bandits each man for himself.
MAN AFTER MAN KILLED.
Spears tried his Winchester twice more in quick succession before the others of the posse could take aim, and Joseph Evans and “Texas Jack” fell dead, both shot through the head, making three dead bandits to his credit. In the general fusillade Grattan Dalton, one of the two surviving members of “Texas Jack's” squad, Marshal Connelly, L. M. Baldwin, one of Congdon's clerks, and George Cubine were mortally hit and died on the field. Allie Ogee, the only survivor of the band, successfully escaped to the alley where the horses were tied, and mounting the swiftest of the lot fled south in the direction of the Indian Territory.
Emmett Dalton, who escaped from the First National Bank, had already reached the alley in safety, but had some trouble in getting mounted. Several of the posse quickly mounted and pursued the escaping bandits. Emmett Dalton's horse was no match for the fresher animals of his pursuers. As they closed on him he turned suddenly in his saddle and fired upon his would-be captors. The latter answered with a volley and Emmett toppled from his horse hard hit. He was brought back to town. He made an ante-mortem statement confessing various crimes committed by the gang. He is slowly dying in a room in the hotel here and death is expected at any moment. The indignation against the robbers was so intense this afternoon that the citizens wanted to lynch the dying bandit. To prevent this the Coroner gave out a statement that he was already dead.
Up to 11 o'clock tonight Allie Ogee has not been captured.
THE PLUNDER RECOVERED.
After the battle was over search was made for the money the bandits secured from the banks. It was found in sacks where it had been placed by the robbers. One sack was found under the body of Bob Dalton, who had fallen dead on it while he was escaping from the First National Bank. The other was tightly clenched in Texas Jack's hands.
The bodies of those of the attacking party who were killed were removed to their respective homes, while the bodies of the dead bandits were allowed to remain where they had fallen until the arrival of the Coroner from Independence, who ordered them removed to the courthouse. There he held an inquest, the jury returning a verdict in accordance with the facts. During the time the bodies remained in the square they were viewed by hundreds of people of this and surrounding towns, who, having heard of the tragedy, came in swarms to inspect the scene.
Excitement was of the most intense character, and the fate of Allie Ogee, should he be captured, was determined by universal consent and he will be hanged by the people. Other topics, which attracted universal comment, were the fulfillment of the prophesy that the Daltons would
“DIE WITH THEIR BOOTS ON.”
The peculiar fate which decreed that they should die by the hands of their old friends in the vicinity of their place of birth and the excellent markmanship of the livery man, Spears, who with three shots sent death to as many bandits.
CAREER OF THE DALTONS.
The Daltons were a numerous family. There were five boys and three girls. Of the boys two engaged in farming, one in Oklahoma, where their mother lives, and one near Coffeyville, where three of the brothers met death today. The Daltons were second cousins of the noted James boys, and through them related to the Youngers, now serving life terms of imprisonment in the penitentiary of Minnesota for train and bank robberies. Bob Dalton became a cattle thief when a mere boy and was soon joined by his brother Grattan. They were finally run out of the country, and the next heard of them was in California, where they took to train and stage robbing. After an exciting experience there they returned to Indian Territory in the spring of 1889, when Oklahoma was open to settlement, securing a homestead for their mother, where she still lives. At the time of the opening Bob Dalton was a United States deputy marshal, being selected on account of his peculiar fitness to deal with desperate characters. After the opening he turned to a life of outlawry, and he and Grattan were joined by their brother Emmett, the youngest of the brothers, “Texas Jack” and others of desperate character. From this time their record as robbers of express trains and perpetrators of other outrages is fresh in the public mind.
A TALK WITH EMMETT DALTON.
Late tonight an Associated Press representative had a talk with Emmett Dalton. He declared the stories of hidden treasures all nonsense. “If there had been a hidden treasure,” he said, “we would all be alive today. It was because we were all broke that we planned the Coffeyville raid. We were being hard pressed by the officers down in the Territory, and Bob decided that we would have to get out of the country. He planned the robbery about two weeks ago while we were camped in the Osage country. We tried to persuade him not to do the job then. He called us cowards. That settled it. We started.”
It was with great difficulty the bandit told the story, as he was suffering terribly from wounds in the side. The physician says he cannot possibly survive.
Cashier Ayers is resting easier tonight.
City Marshal Connelly, who was killed today, was about to take a position as principal of the high school. George Cubine, killed by the Daltons, was a boot and shoe dealer of Coffeyville, and was one of the solid business men of the city. C. M. Condon, head of the banking firm of C. M. Condon & Co., lives in Oswego, in the adjoining county of Labette, where he has been conducting a bank for a number of years. The firm owns banks in several towns in this section.
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 6, 1892.
They rode in from the west through a crisp, brilliant October morning in 1892, a little group of dusty young men. They laughed and joked and ‘baa’ed at the sheep and goats along the way. In a few minutes they would kill some citizens who had never harmed them. And in just a few minutes more, four of these carefree riders were going to die.
Did you enjoy our article?
Read more in Wild West magazine
Subscribe online and save nearly 40%!!!
For they planned to rob two banks at once, something nobody else had ever done, not even the James boys. They had chosen the First National and the Condon in pleasant, busy Coffeyville, Kan. Three of the young men were brothers named Dalton, and they knew the town, or thought they did, for they had lived nearby for several years. Coffeyville was a prosperous town, with enough loot to take them far away from pursuing lawmen.
Now, 110 years after the raid, much of what happened is lost in the swirling mists of time. Today it’s hard to sort out fact from invention, and one of the remaining questions is this: How many bandits actually rode up out of the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) to steal the savings of hard — working Kansas citizens? Most historians say there were five raiders … but some say there was a sixth rider, one who fled, leaving the others to die under the citizens’ flaming Winchesters.
Coffeyville was unprepared, a peaceful little town, where nobody, not even the marshal, carried a gun. The gang might have gotten away with stealing the citizens’ savings that October 5 morning except for Coffeyville’s penchant for civic improvement. For the town was paving some of its downtown streets, and in the course of the job the city fathers had moved the very hitching racks to which the gang had planned to tether their all important horses. So the outlaws tied their mounts to a fence in a narrow passage, called Death Alley today. They walked together down the alley, crossed an open plaza, and walked into the two unsuspecting banks. Tall, handsome Bob Dalton was the leader, an intelligent man with a fearsome reputation as a marksman. Grat, the eldest, was a slow — witted thug whose avocations were thumping other people, gambling, and sopping up prodigious amounts of liquor. He was described as having the heft of a bull calf and the disposition of a baby rattlesnake. Emmett, or Em, was the baby of the lot, only 21 on the day of the raid, but already an experienced robber. The boys came from a family of 15 children, the offspring of Adeline Younger, aunt to the outlaw Younger boys — and shiftless Lewis Dalton, sometime farmer, saloonkeeper and horse fancier.
Backing the Dalton boys were two experienced charter members of the gang, Dick Broadwell and Bill Power (often spelled Powers). Power was a Texas boy who had punched cows down on the Cimarron before he decided robbing people was easier than working. Broadwell, scion of a good Kansas family, went wrong after a young lady stole his heart and his bankroll and left him flat in Fort Worth.
Grat Dalton led Power and Broadwell into the Condon. Em and Bob went on to the First National. Once inside, they threw down on customers and employees and began to collect the banks’ money. However, somebody recognized one of the Daltons, and citizens were already preparing to take them on.
Next door to the First National was Isham’s Hardware, which looked out on the Condon and the plaza and down Death Alley to where the gang had left their horses, at least 300 feet away. Isham’s and another hardware store handed out weapons to anybody who wanted them, and more than a dozen citizens were set to ventilate the gang members as they left the banks. The first shots were fired at Emmett and Bob, who dove back into the First National and then out the back door, killing a young store clerk in the process.
Grat was bamboozled by a courageous Condon employee who blandly announced that the time lock (which had opened long before) would not unlock for several minutes. Grat, instead of trying the door, stood and waited, while outside the townsmen loaded Winchesters and found cover. When bullets began to punch through the bank windows, Grat, Broadwell and Power charged out into the lead swept plaza, running hard for the alley and snapping shots at the nest of rifles in Isham’s Hardware. All three were hit before they reached their horses — dust puffed from their clothing as rifle bullets tore into them.
Bob and Emmett ran around a block, out of the townspeople’s sight, paused to kill two citizens and ran on, turned down a little passage and emerged in the alley about the time that Grat and the others got there. Somebody nailed Bob Dalton, who sat down, fired several aimless shots, slumped over and died. Liveryman John Kloehr put the wounded Grat down for good with a bullet in the neck. Power died in the dust about 10 feet away. Broadwell, mortally wounded, got to his horse and rode a half — mile toward safety before he pitched out of the saddle and died in the road.
Emmett, already hit, jerked his horse back into the teeth of the citizens’ fire, reaching down from the saddle for his dead or dying brother Bob. As he did so, the town barber blew Emmett out of the saddle with a load of buckshot, and the fight was over. Four citizens were dead. So were four bandits, and Emmett was punched full of holes — more than 20 of them. Which accounted for all the bandits… or did it?
Emmett always said there were only five bandits. However, four sober, respectable townsfolk, the Hollingsworths and the Seldomridges, said they had passed six riders heading into town, although nobody else who saw the raiders come in thought there were more than five. And, two days after the fight, David Stewart Elliott, editor of the Coffeyville Journal, had this to say: It is supposed the sixth man was too well — known to risk coming into the heart of the city, and that he kept off some distance and watched the horses.
Later, in his excellent Last Raid of the Daltons, Elliott did not mention a sixth rider, although he used much of the text of his newspaper story about the raid. Maybe he had talked to the Seldomridges and Hollingsworths, and maybe they had told him they could not be certain there were six riders. Maybe — but still another citizen also said more than five bandits attacked Coffeyville. Tom Babb, an employee of the Condon Bank, many years later told a reporter that he had seen a sixth man gallop out of Death Alley away from the plaza, turn south and disappear.
If Tom Babb saw anything, it might have been Bitter Creek Newcomb, also a nominee for the sixth man. He was a veteran gang member, said to have been left out of the raid because he was given to loose talk. One story has Bitter Creek riding in from the south to support the gang from a different angle. If he did, Babb might have seen him out of the Condon’s windows, which faced south.
The trouble with Babb’s story is not the part about seeing a sixth bandit — , it’s the rest of it. After Grat and his men left the Condon, Babb said he ran madly through the cross — fire between Isham’s Hardware and the fleeing bandits, dashed around a block and arrived in the alley as the sixth man galloped past: He was lying down flat on his saddle, and that horse of his was going as fast as he could go. Finally, he stood right next to Kloehr, the valiant liveryman, as he cut down two of the gang. Maybe so. Babb was young and eager, and as he said, I could run pretty fast in those days.
Still, it’s a little hard to imagine anybody sprinting through a storm of gunfire unarmed, dashing clear around a city block, and fetching up in an alley ravaged by rifle slugs. To stand next to Kloehr he would probably have had to run directly past the outlaws, who were still shooting at anything that moved. And nobody else mentioned Babb’s extraordinary dash, even though at least a dozen townsmen were in position to see if it had happened.
Still, there is no hard evidence to contradict Babb. Nor is there any reason to think that his memory had faded when he told his story. Maybe he exaggerated, wanting just a little more part in the defense of the town than he actually took… and maybe he told the literal truth. So, if Babb and the others were right, who was the fabled sixth man?
Well, the most popular candidate was always Bill Doolin, who in 1896 told several lawmen he rode along on the raid. No further questioning was ever possible, because in 1896 Doolin shot it out with the implacable lawman Heck Thomas and came in second. A whole host of writers supported Doolin’s tale. His horse went lame, the story goes, and Doolin turned aside to catch another mount, arriving in town too late to help his comrades. The obvious trouble with this theory is that no bandit leader would have attacked his objective short — handed instead of waiting a few minutes for one of his best guns to steal a new horse.
Nevertheless, the Doolin enthusiasts theorized that Doolin had gotten his new horse and was on his way to catch up with the gang when he met a citizen riding furiously to warn the countryside. The man stopped to ask Doolin if he had met any bandits. Doolin naturally said he hadn’t, and, ever resourceful, added: Holy smoke! I’ll just wheel around right here and go on ahead of you down this road and carry the news. Mine is a faster horse than yours. Doolin, according to oneaccount, started on a ride that has ever since been the admiration of horsemen in the Southwest… Doolin… crossed the Territory like a flying wraith,… a ghostly rider saddled upon the wind.
The flying wraith fable is much repeated. One writer says Doolin never stopped until he reached sanctuary west of Tulsa, a distance of at least 101 miles.
But before anybody dismisses Doolin as the sixth bandit, there’s another piece of evidence, and it comes from a solid source. Fred Dodge, an experienced Wells, Fargo Co. agent, stuck to the Daltons like a burr on a dogie. He and tough Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas were only a day behind the gang on the day of the raid.
Dodge wrote later that during the chase an informant told him Doolin rode with the other five bandits on the way north to Coffeyville, but that he was ill with dengue fever. Although Heck Thomas remembered they received information that there were five men in the gang, Dodge had no reason to invent the informant. And, if Dodge’s information was accurate, Doolin’s dengue fever would explain his dropping out just before the raid a great deal better than the fable about the lame horse.
Not everybody agreed on Doolin or Bitter Creek as the mystery rider. After the raid some newspapers reported the culprit was one Allee Ogee, variously reported as hunted, wounded and killed. Ogee, it turned out, was very much alive and industriously pursuing his job in a Wichita packing house. Understandably irritated, Ogee wrote the Coffeyville Journal, announcing both his innocence and his continued existence.
A better candidate is yet another Dalton, brother Bill, lately moved from California with wrath in his heart for banks and railroads. Bill had few scruples about robbing or shooting people; after Coffeyville he rode with Doolin’s dangerous gang. Before Bill was shot down trying to escape a batch of tough deputy marshals in 1894 , he said nothing about being at Coffeyville, and he couldn’t comment after the marshals ventilated him. So nothing connects Bill Dalton with the sixth rider except his surly disposition and his association with his outlaw brothers.
In later years, Chris Madsen commented on the Coffeyville raid for Frank Latta’s excellent Dalton Gang Days. If whatMadsen said was true, neither Doolin nor Bill Dalton could have been the sixth bandit. Madsen was in Guthrie when the Coffeyville raid came unraveled, was advised of its outcome by telegram, and forthwith told the press. Almost immediately, he said,Bill Dalton appeared to ask whether the report was true. Madsen believed that Bill and Doolin both had been near Guthrie,waiting for the rest of the gang with fresh horses. You have to respect anything Madsen said, although some writers have suggested that the tough Dane was not above making a fine story even better. We’ll never know.
Other men have also been nominated as the One Who Got Away, among them a mysterious outlaw called Buckskin Ike, rumored to have ridden with the Dalton Gang in happier times. And there was one Padgett, a yarn spinner of the I bin everwhar persuasion. Padgett later bragged that he left whiskey — running in the Cherokee Nation to ride with the Daltons. At Coffeyville he was the appointed horse holder, he said, and rode for his life when things went sour in that deadly alley.
Some have suggested that the sixth rider might even have been a woman, an unlikely but intriguing theory. Stories abound about the Dalton women, in particular Eugenia Moore, Julia Johnson and the Rose of Cimarron. The Rose was said to be an Ingalls, Okla., girl, who loved Bitter Creek Newcomb and defied death to take a rifle to her beleaguered bandit boyfriend. And there was Julia Johnson, whom Em married in 1907. Emmett wrote that he was smitten by Julia long before the raid, when he stopped to investigate celestial organ music coming from a country church. Entering, he discovered Julia in the bloom of young womanhood, and it was love at first sight. Well, maybe so, although Julia’s granddaughter later said Julia couldn’t play a lick, let alone generate angelic chords from the church organ.
Julia, Em said, was the soul of constancy, and waited patiently for her outlaw lover through all his years in prison. Never mind that Julia married two other people, who both departed this life due to terminal lead poisoning. Never mind that she married her second husband while Emmett was in the pen. The myth of maidenly devotion is too well — entrenched to die, and she has been proposed as the sixth rider more than once, on the flimsiest theorizing. However, aside from the fact that Julia probably never laid eyes on Emmett until he left prison–that’s what her granddaughter said, anyway — there’s no evidence Julia rode on any Dalton raid, let alone Coffeyville.
Bob’s inamorata and spy was Eugenia Moore. Eugenia, we are told, rode boldly up and down the railroad between Texas and Kansas, seducing freight agents and eavesdropping on the telegraph for news of money shipments. Eugenia might have been Flo Quick, a real-life horse thief and sexual athlete, who dressed as a man to ride out to steal and called herself Tom King. The Wichita Daily Eagle rhapsodized: She is an elegant rider, very daring. She has a fine suit of hair as black as a raven’s wing and eyes like sloes that would tempt a Knight of St. John her figure is faultless Even if the reporter overdid the description, Flo was no doubt someone who would have caught Bob Dalton’s eye. There is no evidence, though, to suggest she rode with him on the raid.
And so, if there was a sixth bandit, who was he? He could have been some relative unknown, of course, Padgett or somebody like him, but that is unlikely. This was to be a big raid, the pot of gold at the end of Bob Dalton’s rainbow. He would not take along anybody but a proven hard case, even to hold horses. Doolin is the popular candidate, with substantial support in the evidence. Still, I’m inclined to bet on Bill Dalton, in spite of Chris Madsen’s story. Although there is no direct evidence to link him with the raid, he gathered intelligence for the gang before they rode north to Kansas, and he certainly turned to the owlhoot or outlaw trail in a hurry after Coffeyville. He repeatedly proved himself to be violent and without scruple, and he loathed what he considered the Establishment: banks and railroads.
For those who scoff at the idea of a sixth bandit, there’s one more bit of information, a haunting reference that was apparently never followed up. In 1973, an elderly Coffeyville woman reminisced about the bloody end of the raid: Finally they got on their horses… those that were left. Several of ‘em, of course, were killed there, as well as several of the town’s people. And they got on their horses and left…
This article was written by Robert Barr Smith and originally published in October 1995 Wild West Magazine.
The Dalton Gang and Their Family Ties; By Nancy Ohnick
I first got the idea for this book when I managed the Dalton Gang Hideout back in the 1980's for the Meade Chamber of Commerce. Thousands of people visited Meade, Kansas every year to tour this famous attraction. Since a lot of the park surrounding the Hideout, as well as the current-day tunnel, was constructed by W.P.A. crews after World War II, old timers in the area would dismiss the whole idea as being created for the purpose of tourism, so I started researching local records in an effort to "prove" that Eva Dalton Whipple actually lived there. Little did I know how evolved in that search I would become, and how intertwined my life would become with Eva's story. I had worked at the Hideout with the original curators when I was in high school, and now I was writing a book about the place and becoming somewhat of an authority on the Dalton family.
My search took me through the courthouse records where I found Eva's marriage license, deeds to property, and mortgage papers... even down to the summons the sheriff tried to serve when their little house was repossessed. This led me to the local newspapers where I became acquainted with John Whipple and Eva Dalton through the local news a century past. There I found the wonderful account of their wedding at a friend's home south of Meade... the birth of their daughter, and many tidbits of gossip about the two of them. They were a well-liked, respected members of Meade society in the late 1880's. Through the help of a friend in Arkansas I found a photograph of Eva Whipple when she lived in Siloam Springs, a real victory in the circle of Dalton family genealogist. Imagine my delight when I discovered that a building I own in downtown Meade is the very spot where John Whipple had his store!
The book contains a detailed history of the Dalton Gang Hideout, how it came to be and how it has remained for over half a century. It contains the story of John and Eva Whipple and their life in Meade, Kansas. Nancy Samuelson, a noted Dalton genealogist contributed information about every member of the Dalton family, and Bill Phillips, a Dalton descendant, contributed an article about the famous gang. This third edition of the book contains new information about Bill Dalton, his association with the Bill Doolin Gang, and a wonderful account of a train robbery they were involved in at Cimarron, Kansas... the closest to Meade any Dalton broke the law.
Much has been written about the Dalton Gang. This book does not attempt to rehash the story of the outlaw brothers, what it does is give the reader good information about the rest of the Dalton family and especially their sister, Eva. It is a small book, only 95 pages, but it contains information not found anywhere else, and a unique perspective on the family of an outlaw gang.
Coffeyville, Kansas: The Town That Stopped the Dalton Gang
(Coffeyville Historical Society)
When Luther Perkins erected his new building in Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1890, a bank robbery was the farthest thing from his mind. Like his fellow citizens, he felt the town had come of age. The design of the new building would convey the permanence and elegance a proper town should display. It would house needed businesses, professional offices, and the new C. M. Condon and Company Bank.
The difficult years seemed to be over: the violence over slavery, the bloody Civil War, and the nearly 30 years of lawlessness that characterized the post-Civil War period. The legendary outlaws of the 1870s and 1880s were mostly dead, in prison, or keeping a low profile. Cole Younger was serving a 25-year sentence for his part in a bank robbery attempt. From his prison cell he warned young people against a life of violence and crime, but his Dalton cousins would not listen. These former Coffeyville residents were interested in the new bank for reasons quite different from those of Luther Perkins. Bob Dalton planned to outdo the James boys by using the town as the setting for a spectacular double bank robbery. The robbery ended, however, with four of the five outlaws dead. Coffeyville became famous all over the country as the "town that stopped the Daltons."
Setting the Stage
In 1892--the year the infamous Dalton Gang attempted to rob two Coffeyville, Kansas banks--Kansas already had a long history of violence. The area had been acquired from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The American Indian tribes living there were soon forced out by cattle herders and other settlers from Texas and Missouri. The approach of the Civil War brought further conflict. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 prohibited slavery in the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act established the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and provided that the people living there should determine for themselves whether slavery would be permitted or not. While people in Nebraska Territory quickly chose to prohibit slavery, the settlers of Kansas Territory were bitterly divided. In 1856, the territory became known as "Bleeding Kansas" because of the violent clashes between pro- and anti-slavery factions.
Kansas entered the Union as a free state on the eve of the Civil War. Like the other middle border states of Missouri and Arkansas and the Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma), it held people with strong southern sympathies as well as people who just as strongly supported the Union. Violent men used the war as an excuse to loot and murder. Their legacy created a new culture of lawlessness in the post-Civil War era when outlaws such as Frank and Jesse James and Cole and Jim Younger terrorized citizens.
As the end of the 19th century approached, the citizens of Kansas looked forward to the progress and prosperity that the new 20th century seemed to promise. Most of the notorious outlaws of the 1870s and 80s were dead or in prison by this time. The Dalton Gang, however, was alive and well. At Coffeyville, in 1892, the outlaws and the citizens of the town clashed in the course of a daring bank robbery.
The People of Coffeyville Say "Enough!"
On Friday, October 7, 1892, the [Coffeyville] Journal published a detailed account of the Dalton Gang's last battle that had taken place two days before:
DALTONS! The Robber Gang Meet Their Waterloo in Coffeyville. The Outlaws Beaten at Their Own Game.
The fifth of October, 1892, will be marked in the history of the city of Coffeyville, in fact in the current history of the country, as the date on which one of the most remarkable occurrences of the age took place. Between 9:30 and 10:00 on Wednesday morning, [five men], armed to the teeth and apparently disguised, rode boldly [into town]. They entered an alley and hitched their horses to the fence. They quickly formed into a sort of military line, three in front and two in the rear. Aleck McKenna was in front of his place of business when the men came out of the alley, and they passed within five feet of where he was standing. He recognized one of them as a member of the Dalton family. The men quickened their pace and three of them went into C. M. Condon & Co.'s bank while two ran directly across the street to the First National bank. The next thing that greeted Mr. McKenna's eyes was a Winchester pointed toward the cashier's counter in the [Condon] bank. He called out that "the bank was being robbed." The cry was taken up and quickly passed from lip to lip all around the square. The unwelcome visitors in this bank were in plain view of a score or more people on the plaza.
Grat Dalton, disguised by a black moustache and side whiskers, led the raid on Condon and Co.'s bank. He sternly commanded the clerk to hand over the cash on hand, and urged him to be quick about it. The robber gathered up the funds and carelessly stuffed them in the inside of his vest. One of the other men passed into the office. He ordered Mr. C. M. Ball, the cashier, to bring the money out of the safe. Mr. Ball told him that the time lock was on and that he could not get into the money chest. The fellow told him that he would have to get into it, or he would be compelled to kill him. [The robber] inquired how soon the time lock would open. Mr. Ball told him that it was set for 9:45. "That is only three minutes yet, and I will wait," replied the intruder. Before the three minutes had expired, firing began on the outside of the bank, and the bullets began to come through the plate glass windows. All three men rushed out in the direction of the alley where their horses were hitched.
It may be stated in this connection, that Mr. Ball's story about the time lock was purely fictitious. It was set for eight o'clock and had opened at that hour. The fact that there was over forty thousand dollars in the chest influenced the cool headed cashier to lie to the burglar.
Bob Dalton, the acknowledged leader of the outfit, disguised by false moustache and goatee, accompanied by his youngest brother, Emmett, entered the First National bank. They covered the teller and the cashier with their Winchesters and, addressing the cashier by name, directed him to hand over all the money in the bank. The cashier very deliberately handed over the currency and gold on the counter, making as many deliveries as possible, in order to secure delay in hope of help arriving. The money [was] stuffed into a common grain sack and carefully tied up. [At the sound of] a shot from outside, [the bandits went] out through the back door of the bank. Just at this juncture, Lucius M. Baldwin came out of Isham's hardware story. Bob Dalton drew up his Winchester, fired, and Baldwin fell dying in the alley. Bob Dalton raised his gun and fired in the direction of the bank, and George Cubine, a man who had been his acquaintance and friend in former years, fell dead. Reaching the middle of the street, he fired another shot, and Charles Brown fell. Bob Dalton raised his gun and fired the fourth shot. His victim this time was Thomas Ayers, cashier of the First National bank. Emmett Dalton had run ahead of Bob with the grain sack containing over $21,000 over his shoulder. Bob and Emmett joined Grat Dalton and his party in the alley. It was at this point, in this now historic alley, that the daring highwaymen met their doom.
In the meantime, as many citizens as could so do, had procured arms and secured positions where they could command the point of retreat of the highwaymen. H. H. Isham and L. A. Deitz had stationed themselves behind two cook stoves near the door of the hardware store. A dozen men with Winchesters and shot guns made a barricade of some wagons. The robbers had to run the gauntlet of three hundred feet with their backs to a dozen Winchesters in the hands of men who knew how to use them. The firing was rapid and incessant for about three minutes, when the cry went up; "They are all down." Several men who had been pressing close after the robbers sprang into the alley and covering them with their guns ordered them to hold up their hands. One hand went up in a feeble manner. Three of the robbers were dead and the fourth helpless. Between the bodies of two of the dead highwaymen, lying upon his face, was Marshal T. Connelly, the bravest of all the brave men who had joined in resisting the terrible raiders in their attempt to rob the banks. Dead and dying horses and smoking Winchesters on the ground added to the horrors of the scene. Tearing the disguises from the faces, the ghastly features of Gratton and Bob Dalton, former residents of Coffeyville and well know to many of our citizens, were revealed. The other dead body proved to be that of Tom Evans, whilst the wounded man was Emmett Dalton, the youngest brother of the two principals of the notorious gang.
It was well known that one of the party had escaped, and a posse was hastily organized and started in pursuit. [In] a half mile, they came upon the bandit lying [dead] beside the road. He proved to be John Moore, the "Texas Jack" of the gang. His proper name was Richard Broadwell, and he was one of the most experienced and coolest of the gang. The dead raiders were put in the city jail.
Not over fifteen guns were actively engaged in the fight of Wednesday on both sides and the engagement lasted about ten minutes. Eight persons were killed and three wounded.
The unfounded reports that have been sent out by excited newspaper correspondents to the effect that the citizens were anticipating a visit from the Dalton gang is a canard of the worst kind, and is a reflection upon the courage and promptness to act on the part of our people. When the robbers were discovered, there was not a single, solitary armed man anywhere upon the square or in the neighborhood. Even Marshal Connelly had lain his pistol aside. Every gun that was used, with the exception of that brought into action by George Cubine, was procured in the hardware store and loaded and brought into play under the pressure of the great exigency that was upon the people. The citizens of Coffeyville who were killed in the terrible engagement with the Daltons were each one engaged in the fight, and were not innocent bystanders. Our people are adept in the business of resisting law-breakers, and they will do their duty, though it costs blood.
The smoke of Wednesday's terrific battle with the bandits has blown aside, but the excitement occasioned by the wonderful event has increased until it has gained a fever heat. The trains have brought hundreds of visitors to the scene of the bloody conflict between a desperate and notorious gang of experienced highwaymen and a brave and determined lot of citizens who had the nerve to preserve their rights and protect their property under the most trying circumstances.
The Dalton gang is no more, and travelers through the Indian Territory can go right along without fear now. The country, and the railroads and express companies especially, can breathe easier now that the Daltons are wiped out. The country is rid of the desperate gang, but the riddance cost Coffeyville some of its best blood.
By the 1890s, Coffeyville, Kansas, was a prosperous trading and milling center for a rich farming region. C. M. Condon and Co. was one of two banks in the town. The Condon bank was located in the Perkins Block, which housed professional offices and stores. The building was constructed in 1890 and occupied a prominent position on the plaza in the center of town. The two sides of the wedge-shaped building are brick and the elaborate details of the front are stamped metal.
One of the most famous outlaw crimes was in 1894 when the famous Dalton gang, headed by young Bill Dalton, robbed the First National Bank of Longview. It ended in a bloody gunfight which resulted in the ultimate capture of the outlaw band.
After gunfights and prison ended the careers of his famous brothers -- Bob, Frank, Gratton and Emmett -- Bill Dalton became obsessed with the idea of making his own name more prominent than that of his brothers. Bill soon joined Bill Doolin, a former member of his brothers¹ gang, and together they formed a new gang of motley group of misfits, including Jim Wallace, a cowboy with the habit of deserting his women; Jim Nite, a loafer from Oklahoma; and Bill Nite, Jim¹s young brother. Together, they vowed to take East Texas by storm.
Jim Wallace had been married at one time to the daughter of a Longview farmer and told Dalton about the prosperous First National Bank. Choosing the bank for their first job turned out to be a mistake. It was not only their first job, but the last of the Dalton family.
A few days later, the Longview bank received a scrawled note in the mail:
"We take this method of informing you that on or about the 23rd day of May, A.D., 1894, we will rob the First National Bank of Longview. So take notice accordingly and withdraw your deposit as this is a straight tip. For further information, see Charles Specklemeyer or the undersigned. Yours for business, B&F."
It later turned out Bill Dalton had written the note. The B&F apparently stood for "Bill and friends." The bank official who received the note showed it to his superiors, but they judged it to be a hoax.
But just as planned, the Dalton gang rode into Longview on May 23, 1894. Holding two bank officials and a customer at gunpoint, they made their withdrawal -- taking coins, bills and $20 bank notes -- but bank president T.E. Clemmons grabbed Dalton's drawn pistol. The pistol fired, but the hammer came down on Clemmons' hand. Jim Nite kept his gun leveled at Clemmons' brother, J.R., the other bank officer.
While the struggle continued, witnesses in the bank bolted and ran out the back door, jumped a high fence to avoid Wallace, and alerted Longview residents.
Realizing their only chance for escape lay in using Clemmons brothers as hostages, they turned the bankers into human shields, forcing them out the back door and onto waiting horses.
But lawmen arrived and gunshots ran up and down the alley. Seven people were wounded and two Longview residents and Wallace died from gunshots. As angry townspeople hung Wallace's body from a telegraph pole, a posse was quickly organized and rode after the remaining gang members, traveling as far north as Ardmore. Conceding they were out of their element, the posse returned to Longview in a few days.
But Bill Dalton's own mistakes eventually cost him his freedom. A few months later, he used several of the bank notes taken in the Longview raid to buy a wagon and supplies near Ardmore. Authorities traced the money to Dalton, rode out to his home to make the arrest, and killed him when he tried to flee.
The two Nite brothers were found by lawmen in Guadalupe County, Texas, where they were shot. Bill died instantly and Jim was seriously wounded. In 1897, Jim was returned to East Texas to stand trial for the bank robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Texas Gov. Oscar B. Colquitt granted Nite a pardon, but he was later killed in a Tulsa saloon fight.
Wallace's body was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Longview. The money taken by the Dalton gang in its last raid amounted to $2,000 and a few unsigned bank notes.
Lawmen and outlaws Emmett Dalton (1871-1937), Frank Dalton (1859-87), Grattan “Grat” Dalton (1861-92), Robert Rennick “Bob” Dalton (1869-92), and Mason Frakes “William” “Bill” Dalton (1865-94), five sons of Adeline Younger and Lewis Dalton, came from a family of fifteen children who grew up in Kansas near Indian Territory. Their mother was an aunt of the Younger boys of James-Younger gang fame.
Frank Dalton served as a deputy U.S. marshal for the Federal District Court of Western Arkansas at Fort Smith from 1884 until he was killed by horse thieves and whiskey peddlers on November 27, 1887. He was a good, efficient officer and highly respected by other lawmen.
Grat and Bob Dalton pinned on badges shortly after Frank's death and served as deputy U.S. marshals for the federal courts at Wichita, Kansas, and Fort Smith. Emmett often rode as a guard or posseman for his brothers. In 1890 charges for stealing horses were lodged against Grat; however, after a hearing he was released. About the same time, Bob was charged with introducing whiskey into Indian Territory. A hearing resulted in a true bill against him.
Grat, Bob, and Emmett then left Oklahoma and joined older brothers living and working in California. In February 1891 Bill, Grat, Bob, and Emmett were accused of robbing a Southern Pacific train at Alila, California. Grat and Bill were arrested. Bob and Emmett returned to Oklahoma and formed the Dalton Gang. Grat was found guilty at his trial, although over a dozen eye witnesses placed him in a hotel in Fresno at the time of the robbery. Bill was also tried but promptly acquitted. Grat escaped from jail in September 1891 while awaiting sentencing. He later joined his brothers in Oklahoma.
In the meantime, Bob and Emmett collected several friends: George Newcomb, Charley Bryant, Bill Powers, Charley Pierce, Dick Broadwell, William McElhanie, and Bill Doolin, and began to rob trains in present Oklahoma. They robbed four: the Santa Fe at Wharton, May 9, 1891; the Katy (Missouri, Kansas and Texas) at Leliaetta, September 15, 1891; the Santa Fe at Red Rock, June 1, 1892; and the Katy at Adair, July 14, 1892.
For one reason or another the gang pared down to five members. On October 5, 1892, Bob, Grat, and Emmett Dalton, Bill Powers, and Dick Broadwell attempted to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kansas. Four of the gang were shot and killed, and Emmett was badly wounded. Four Coffeyville townsmen were also killed: City Marshal Charles T. Connelly, Lucius Baldwin, George Cubine, and Charles Brown.
Emmett, sentenced to life in prison, became a model prisoner and was pardoned by the Kansas governor after serving fourteen and a half years. After he was released, he made and acted in a few movies, wrote two books about his outlaw days, and became active in the construction and real estate business near Los Angeles, California.
After the Coffeyville raid, Bill Dalton supposedly joined the Doolin gang. He was reportedly a participant in a gun battle at Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory, on September 1, 1893, where three deputy U.S. marshals were killed by the Doolin gang. He might also have been a member of a four-man gang that robbed the First National Bank of Longview, Texas, on May 21, 1894. Bill was shot and killed by a posse near Ardmore on June 8, 1894.
All nine of the deputy U.S. marshals who killed Bill Dalton were indicted for his murder in the federal court at Ardmore in June 1896. Apparently, none of them were ever tried. Why they were indicted remains a mystery to this day.
Source: Nancy B. Samuelson.
The Dalton Gang; by Carl R. Green, William R., Sanford:
Raised near Coffeyville, Kansas and on the border of Indian Territory, the Dalton brothers were originally lawmen. Oldest brother Frank Dalton was a U. S. Deputy Marshal for the Federal Court of Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was shot and killed in the line of duty when ambush by the Smith-Dixon Gang.
Following in his brother’s footsteps younger brother Grat Dalton became a U.S. Deputy Marshal for the Muskogee court. Likewise, Bob Dalton was a U. S. Deputy Marshal for the Federal Court in Wichita, Kansas, working in and out of the Osage Nation. Youngest brother Emmett was a sometimes employed as a member of his brother’s posses.
While working as a cowboy on the Bar X Bar Ranch near the Pawnee Agency, Emmett met two of the future Gang’s members, Bill Doolin and William St. Power, alias Bill Powers, alias Tom Evans. Little is know about Bill Power, other than he drifted into the Twin Territories of Oklahoma and the Indian Nation from Texas with a trail herd from the Pecos. Emmett also met future Gang members Charlie Pierce, George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb, Charlie”Black-Faced Charlie” Bryant, and Richard “Dick” Broadwell, alias Texas Jack, alias John Moore all of whom were working on nearby ranches.
Dick Broadwell was from a prominent family near Hutchinson, Kansas. When the young lady he married disappeared with all his life’s savings, he moved to the Territories and began working on the ranches. Charlie Pierce was from the Blue River country in Missouri, fleeing to the Indian Nation to avoid jail for whiskey peddling. Bitter Creek Newcomb came from Fort Scott, Kansas, where he started his career as a cowboy at the early age of twelve by working for C. C. Slaughter on the Long S Ranch in Texas. Black-Faced Charlie hailed from Wise County, Texas, and got his nickname from a powder burn on his cheek.
The Dalton’s got into trouble about the time that Bob got accused of selling whiskey to the Osage Nation. Grat Dalton was in trouble at the same time and was dismissed as deputy marshal for conduct unbecoming an officer of the law. In 1890, the two brothers, along with Emmett, were accused of stealing horses near Claremore, Indian Territory, and selling them in Kansas. They all headed to California, where they joined brother Bill. On the night of 6 February 1891, they held up the Southern Pacific Railroad train at Alila, California. Subsequently, Grat and Bill were arrested while Bob and Emmett fled the state with a posse on their heels.
While hiding out in the Indian Nation, the two Dalton brothers hooked up with Charlie Bryant and Bitter Creek Newcomb and robbed another train. Right on the hells of this robbery, Bryant became ill and was taken to a doctor in Hennessey, Indian Territory, where he was recognized by U. S. Deputy Marshal Ed Short. With no jail in Hennessey, the marshal took his prisoner by train to the Federal jail in Wichita. During the trip, Bryant seized a pistol, and in a blazing shoot-out with the marshal, both men died in a hail of bullets from each other.
Bob and Emmett Dalton, along with Bitter Creek, Bill Power, Dick Broadwell, Charlie Pierce, and Bill Doolin then robbed the Katy train on 15 September 1891. Three days later, Grat Dalton, still in custody in California, managed to escape his captors and made his way back to Oklahoma, promptly joining up with the other members of the gang, where they commenced a train-robbing spree. The last train robbery was 14 July 1892, after which the gang split up and went their own ways.
Deciding they needed one last robbery to get enough money to flee the country, the Dalton boys devised a plan to rob two banks in the same town at the same time, thus accomplishing something no other outlaw gang had ever attempted. It was to be a colossal mistake, as they chose their own home town of Coffeyville, Kansas, as the target. Not only were they recognized when they rode into town early in the morning of 5 October 1892, they were ambushed by the local citizens who were determined to stop the Dalton Gang once and for all.
In a fierce gun battle which left four members of the gang and four citizens dead the Dalton Gang came to an end. Seriously wounded Emmett was the sole surviving member, and a doctor told the townsfolk that he would die that night. Emmett, however, eventually recovered and was sentenced to life in prison. In 1907 Emmett was paroled and became a writer and reporter. His written account of the Dalton’s episodes popularized them and many stories, motion pictures, and even the museum at Coffeyville have resulted.
Emmett would say later that U.S. Deputy Marshal Heck Thomas was their sole nemesis. After each holdup, Thomas was in the field chasing the gang. He had worked with Bob and Grat Dalton when they were riding as deputy marshals, and he also knew their late brother Frank Dalton. Heck Thomas was one of the most respected deputy marshals that ever rode for the Fort Smith Court in the Territories. He never let the Dalton Gang stay or rest in any one place for very long.
Coffeyville was not the end of the Dalton Gang. Three members of the old gang remained at large; Bill Doolin, Bitter Creek Newcomb, and Charlie Pierce. In fact, Bill Doolin is thought by many historians to be the sixth member of the gang which hit Coffeyville, the one which held the horses in the alley, and the only member to have escaped. Also, the fourth Dalton brother, Bill Dalton, hooked up with the former members of the gang, and they would terrorize the Territories for year to come as the infamous Doolin Gang. Their leader, Bill Doolin, was to become known as “King of the Oklahoma Bandits,” and on his heels went U. S. Marshal Heck Thomas in pursuit.
"Strong men wept great tears of grief..."
In the town of Coffeeville, there is a small alley near two banks with the name "Death Alley." It received its infamy on October 5, 1892 when the young, rather inexperienced yet very headstrong outlaw gang led by the Dalton brothers entered it at 9:30am. It had been years since they roamed these streets, their boyhood haunts, and they came back for the purpose of pulling off the West's most spectacular outlaw stunt...robbing two banks at once.
Few know that their mother, Adeline Dalton, sister of the man who fathered the Younger brothers who rode with Jesse James and his gang, began her own brood with law-abiding young men. Her first son, Frank, became a respected U.S. Marshall who died fighting for the law. It was her younger boys who gave the Dalton family its outlaw legacy.
Grat and Bob Dalton loved hearing the tales of their cousins, the Younger’s, who robbed banks with the James gang. They also had short tempers. Bob was quick to grab a Winchester rifle and shoot out windows when he felt slighted or hurt. The two brothers began an outlaw career that lasted a few months and gave them the name of "the poor man's James gang" when they got the idea of out-doing their kin and all other bank robbers of the time by going back to their home town and robbing two banks at once.
Bob, Grat, and their young 20-year-old brother, Emmett Dalton, formed the brothers who gave the gang its name, and they recruited Bill Doolin, Bill Powers, and Dick Broadwell as members of the Coffeeville raid.
The plan seemed good. Bob donned a false beard since he felt many may recognize him in the town, and the six camped on Onion Creek outside town. The twenty-three-year-old Bob drew the three non-Daltons a map in the dirt showing the Condon Bank, and the First National, no more than 50 paces away. He showed them the hitching rack where they all would tie their horses for a quick ride out. They agreed that Grat, Dick Broadwell, and Bill Doolin would go to the Condon Bank, and Bob would look after Emmett and take Bill Powers to the First National. At 2am, the bandits stood and emptied their pockets of everything they had and threw all into the fire so that they wouldn't be identified if killed.
The next morning, as they rode in, Bill Doolin's horse pulled up lame. He said he would ride back for a fresh mount, but never returned. This cut the gang down to five.
As they came nearer to town, they noticed that workmen were digging in the streets near the banks, and the hitching racks Bob counted on were torn down.
If you ask me, this kind of start was telling them that to continue was not a good idea. But try telling Bob anything...
They decided to leave their horses in a small alley between the banks. Then the five entered the street. Grat and Dick Broadwell veered left toward the Condon Bank while Bob, Emmett, and Bill Powers walked toward the First National. A man from town named Aleck McKenna recognized Grat right away, noticed that they were carrying rifles and had six guns on, and followed them. He watched them enter the Condon Bank. Through the front window, he saw a Winchester rifle raise up.
"The bank's being robbed! The bank's being robbed! The bank's being robbed!" McKenna screamed these words running down the street.
Now, there are two things the Daltons seemed to have overlooked. The fact that someone in the town would recognize at least one brother, and the fact that these citizens, tired of outlaws in the west stealing hard-earned cash, were NOT about to wait around while bandits stole their money. And Isham's Hardware was right across the street from The First National. And they sold guns. (Free that day).
Grat and Dick Broadwell had thrown down on the teller, and Grat demanded "Open the safe and open it quick."
The teller said "It's a time lock. Won't open until 9:45." He was lying.
"Open it or I'll kill you!"
Instead of opening the safe with $40,000 in cash, the teller threw Grat a bag of $4,000 of silver.
"I don't want silver!" Outlaws never liked taking silver. It was too heavy to ride fast with. "It's 9:42. Only three minutes yet. We'll wait."
So in the Condon Bank, the outlaws waited.
In The First National, Bob had thrown a grain sack to the teller and demanded him to fill it up. That he did. He took the grain sack back, and the three headed for the door and opened it...to a hail of bullets from Ishman's.
Bob closed the door and decided the back way was the best way, although it would mean the long way around to the alley. They took the teller and a few others as hostages and human shields, and walked out the back way.
With the shots, Grat and Dick ran out, abandoning the holdup, and shooting their way to the alley.
Bob and the crowd walked the back way with his hostages. One young man with a pistol, seeing the crowd approach, thought it was all townspeople; he could not see the Daltons.
"Hold up!" Bob called to him. The young man ran toward them. Bob gave Emmett the grain sack. "You look after the money. I'll do the shooting." He fired and hit the boy in the chest. He was the first casualty.
Bob, Emmett, and Bill Powers abandoned the hostages and began running to the alley. Along the way, Bob killed George Cubine, the bookmaker who serviced the Daltons when they were young boys. He fired and hit several others, killing one more.
Bob and his side reached the alley about the same time that Grat and Dick did. Then Bill Powers was hit. Then Dick Broadwell. Then Bob. Then Grat. Then Emmett, twice. The townspeople honed in on the alley. Then Grat fired and killed the town Marshall while at the same time being hit in the chest, then dropped dead. Powers lunged for his horse, almost got on, then was hit again and dropped dead. Dick Broadwell was hit several more times, managed to climb onto his horse and ride, but dropped dead from the saddle before getting far from town. Emmett, hit in the arm and hip, struggled onto his horse and never dropped the money. He reached down to grab for Bob, who lay dying against a pile of rocks.
"Don't mind me, boy," Bob said. "I'm done for. Don't surrender! Die game!"
Just then, two townspeople stepped into the alley behind Emmett with shotguns. Both shot, firing 18 buckshot into Emmett's back and legs. He fell.
One lone voice yelled across the street. "They're all down!" This signaled the end, just as McKenna's cry to arms signaled the start.
Yet Emmett lived. The sole survivor.
Four townspeople died and many more were wounded. Four of the gang died and Emmett was wounded bad.
The Coffeeville Journal said about that day, "Strong men wept great tears of grief, whilst the women and children cried and wrung their hands in agony."
Coffeeville "was at once their crowning glory and their crowning failure." It was what made the Daltons famous---just like they wanted.
Photographers took several pictures of the dead outlaws both standing and lying.
Emmett lay in bed for five months healing before he went to trial. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He served his sentence until 1907, when the governor pardoned him. Upon release, he began serving the right side of the law, and wrote a few books and became a consultant for Hollywood movies. He died in Hollywood in 1937.
In 1931, he revisited Coffeeville with his wife and several reporters tagging along. He went to the cemetery, and stood over the single tombstone that marked the graves of his brothers and Bill Powers. He pointed to the graves and said to the reporters, "I challenge the world to produce the history of an outlaw who ever got anything out of it but that..."
Dr. McEwen Treats Emmett Dalton!
You can have Pat Garrett, who killed Billy the Kid and the vigilantes of the Barbary Coast, but nobody did a better job of cleaning up the gang of desperadoes than the citizens of Coffeyville.
If you don't believe it, just ask Dr. W. W. McEwen. Ask him about the time he was mayor of Mound Valley, Kansas when he traveled 20 miles to save Emmett Dalton, leader of the famous gang of Mid-Western desperadoes, after the citizens of Coffeyville had shot him up.
I guess it was early in the 1890's. Every day we heard tales of the Dalton gang. Why Dilinger didn't hold a candle to them. They robbed, they killed and they were plenty slick.
One morning in Mound Valley where I was mayor we heard (rest of the paragraph is not legible from copy of newspaper).
You know it was a smart clerk that was responsible for the killin's. He told the gang that they couldn't get into the vault of the Condon Bank until 9 o'clock. The bank was sort of a flat iron building. The gang waited outside.
Somehow word got out that the Dalton gang was inside. People came out by the hundreds. They got on each side of that bank and stared firin'. They plugged windows. Four citizens were killed and four of the gang.
There they were, eight dead, lyin' in a livery stable when I arrived. The sheriff came over to me and said: "Doctor McEwen, there's another one of the gang that's still alive. Come over and see if he's goin die. No doctor in town will treat him."
Well, I went over all right. But the doctor already had treated him. Somebody had plugged his bullet wounds with cotton, keeping the blood inside, and he was dyin'. I said, "Sheriff we gotta get him out of here. Where can we take him?" "Why to Lonnie's cafe," he said.
So we got some men to carry him away. When the crowd heard we was takin' him away, and he was still alvie they began to grow wild. "Lynch him-beat him." they shouted. We finally got him over to the cafe and I dressed his wounds. He's still livin', up in Hollywood, I think. He was accused of second degree murder, sentenced to life imprisonment, but he was paroled after 20 years of good behavior.
This was what my great grandfather told a newspaper reporter about his role in the Dalton story. He was 83 years old when this was written. I have researched this and find no records in Coffeyville in the museum of him treating Emmett Dalton. But my grandfather told us of this story and told us it is true. The story is that he was summoned to come to Coffeyville because at first they didn't think they could get the doctor there to treat Emmett Dalton.
The Dalton Family:
James Lewis Dalton-----Father
Adeline Lee Younger-----Aunt to Younger Brothers Outlaws
Children: Ben, Henry, Farmed in Texas, Littleton, farmed in Montana, Bill moved to Calif. And married a Wheat Farmer’s Daughter. He later divorced and joined the Bill Doolin Gang.
Lewis Dalton became a deputy US Marshal at Ft. Smith and was slain in a shootout with the Smith-Dixon gang (whiskey peddlers and horse thieves) in 1887. Grat Dalton took his brother’s job at Fort Smith. Bob and Emit had worked on the Turkey Track Ranch and the Bar X Bar Ranch (Both near Mannford) (Bar X Bar was the Land between the Cimarron and Arkansas Rivers.)
As cow punchers they became friends with Bill Dullin and Bill Powers. Later, Bob and Emmit took jobs as deputy US Marshals out of Wichita as Posse men, making $3.00 per day.
Grat was an excellent marksman and after a few drinks was obliged to prove it by shooting an apple from atop a Ft. Smith youth’s head. He was fired unceremoniously.
June 20, 1891, Bob and Emit received a $1.00 per day pay cut and quit their jobs in protest. Bob Emmit and Grat got together and began steeling horses and mules. Grat was arrested but found not guilty.
All three moved to California with Bill where all four and two other outlaws robbed a train. Trackers followed Grat and Bill to Bill’s farm and arrested them. Bill was able to make bail; Grat escaped and made his way back to Oklahoma before his trial.
Bill was found not guilty because a witness testified that Bill was somewhere else.
Grat, Bob and Emmit returned to Oklahoma and teamed up with Bitter Creek Newcomb and Black Faced Charley Bryant.
They robbed a train near Wharton, Indian Territory and got $2,000.00. While they threatened the express agent on the train, the agent stuffed $27,000 of Guthrie Bank Money in the wood stove and covered it with ashes. The outlaws didn’t bother looking in the wood stove. This was the gang’s largest robbery!
They hid out near Hennesey in the breaks for almost a year. Black Faced Charley became deathly ill and was moved to a hotel in Hennesey. There Deputy Marshall Ed Short recognized him and arrested him. The next day Short moved Black Faced Charley to Guthrie by train. Black faced Charley got hold of a revolver and shot Short through the lung. Short used his repeating Winchester rifle and emptied it at point blank range into Black Faced Charley.
Both men were delivered to Guthrie that day, lying dead side by side! Black Faced Charley died as he had bragged: in one minute of Bullets, Brimstone and Smoke!
Grat, Bob and Emit were joined by Bill Doolin, Bill Powers, Dick Broodwell and Charley Pierce. Indian Territory lawmen thought it might be expedient to encourage the tribes to pursue the outlaws. After about six cases of mistaken identity, (They had killed whiskey peddlers and other outlaws) the lawmen called off the tribes search for the outlaws. (Too many oops!) The gang soon robbed the MK&T of its coal mine payroll, near Wagoner.
Making their escape to the Turkey Track Ranch, they hid in the many caves along the Cimarron where no lawman in his right mind would follow!
The Dalton Gang always rode thoroughbred horses which could easily outdistance posse horses. They would steal and run to the Cimarron near present day Mannford. That was their strategy!
At Coffeyville, they planned to rob two banks. Witnesses saw six men approaching town, but only five outlaws were accounted for.
Bob, Grat, Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell were killed. Emmit was wounded, but survived for trial and sentencing to life in prison.
The fifth outlaw was John Dulin whose horse had became lame. He had stolen a plow horse and proceeded to Coffeyville to join the robbery when riders passed telling about the failed bank robbery.
Dulin turned his plow horse around and headed back to the Cimarron Cave Country.
Bill Dalton then appeared in Coffeyville and claimed one of the thoroughbreds, saying it was stolen from his farm. He also impersonated a Deputy U. S. Marshall and threatened several Coffeyville citizens with arrest for murder of his brothers.
Emit was pardoned after serving fourteen years and spent the rest of his life traveling and lecturing about the evils of lawlessness.
Bill Dulin formed the Dulin gang at Fairfax and was joined by bill Dalton and several other ruffians. Their fame for driving a US Marshall’s raid out of Fairfax is content of several films. Dulin was caught in Eureka Springs by Sheriff Bill Taligman, who posed as a priest to enable the arrest. Afterwards Dulin escaped and was tracked down and killed by a shotgun blast by famed Marshal Heck Thomas.
Bill Dalton was killed in a gunfight as he jumped from a 2d story window, in Elk (20 mi. N. W. of Ardmore), Oklahoma Territory, June 8, 1894.
The Dalton Gang’s escapades lasted three years, their awful deeds will be remembered forever.
Dalton Gang member may be buried in Hutch; by Ray Hemman:
Possibly buried amid the upper crust of earl-day Hutchinson society is one of the desperadoes that made Coffeyville famous.
Dick Broadwell, a Dalton Gang member who died Oct. 5, 1892, is thought to be buried in Hutchinson’s Eastside Cemetery, though no one is exactly sure where.
Coffeyville residents are celebrating the centennial of the raid during activities that begin Thursday and extend through Monday, the actual anniversary. On Saturday, descendants of both the desperados and the city defenders will have reunions in Coffeyville.
The gang rode into Coffeyville shortly before 10 a.m. on Oct. 5, 1892, and attempted the rare feat of holding up two banks at one time. Four in the gang died; four Coffeyville residents, too, were gunned down.
Mary Broadwell, Dick’s sister, was married to E. B. “Burt” Wilcox of Hutchinson, according to marriage records in Reno County. Broadwell has been described as “tall, handsome, well-dressed, filled with a jovial spirit of deviltry, he was popular and welcomed everywhere,” according to an article that appeared in the Feb. 10, 1952, Salina Journal.
Broadwell’s parents moved to Hutchinson from Meade, where they had a cattle operation, according to the story, leaving their son to operate it. Broadwell was supposed to have done very well in cattle.
Meade also was the site of the Daltons’ hideout. Broadwell joined the Daltons for several train robberies in the 1890’s.
Though critically wounded in the bank robberies at Coffeyville, Broadwell survived the initial gunfire and mounted his house for an escape. He was found dead two miles out of town, however.
Word of the Dalton raid arrived back in the Salt city with William Tell Jones, a bricklayer who had been in Coffeyville on business. Jones, upon seeing Broadwell, is said to have blurted out, “Great jumpin’ catfish! That’s Dick Broadwell! Why, he’s from Hutchinson – same as me.” Because of his comments, Jones was temporarily detained in the Coffeyville jail because he was suspected of being a member of the gang.
Broadwell was buried in a pauper’s grave in Coffeyville, but not for long, according to information collected by officials at Johnson & Sons Funeral Home. For 75years, Johnson & Sons was located in the old Wilcox home at 134 East Sherman, moving to its current location on East 30th avenue earlier this year.
According to funeral director’s records from Skinner-Hamlin Funeral Home in Coffeyville, Broadwell died on Oct. 5, 1892, and was buried Oct. 6. The records then show that a G. R. Broadwell and an E. B. Wilcox paid $10 for Broadwell’s body.
Edward and Burt Wilcox, Mary Broadwell Wilcox’s husband, are thought to have gone to Coffeyville a few days after the robbery, had Broadwell’s body exhumed and quietly returned to Hutchinson.
No one knows exactly what happened to Broadwell’s body after it was brought back to Hutchinson. There are two theories; The first is that Braodwell was buried under an assumed named in an unmarked grave in the Eastside Cemetery.
The other school is that Broadwell was buried in the Wilcox family plot, which is just west of the cemetery office and near the graves of Hutchinsons, Conklins, Rayls, Harshas and others who were early-day leaders in Hutchinson.
In Memory of Richard L. “Dick” Broadwell, alias "Texas Jack", alias "John Moore"
(? - Oct. 5, 1892)
Dick did not start out as an outlaw. He came from a prominent family that lived near Hutchinson, Kansas. When the Oklahoma Territory was opened he staked a claim at "Cowboy Flats" in Logan County, Oklahoma. There, he meet and fell in love with the young lady who owned the homestead next to his. She agreed to marry him if he would sell both their claims and move to Fort Worth, Texas. Unfortunately for Dick, she took all the money and disappeared. He returned to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and went to work on the local ranches.
While working at the Bar X Bar ranch near the Pawnee Agency, Dick meet Emmett Dalton and a number of future Dalton Gang members such as Bill Doolin and "Black Faced" Charlie Bryant.
Dick hooked up with the Dalton Gang in 1891. He was with them when they robbed the Katy train at Leliaetta (near Wagoner, Oklahoma) on the night of September 15, 1891. They took $2,500 from the express car. On June 1, they robbed a train at Red Rock but made off with only $50.
The Gang attacked another train at Adair in the Indian Territory on July 14. They were so quiet that the lawmen on the train did not realize the train was being robbed until the job was almost completed. There followed a fierce gunfight with the train's deputy marshals that killed an innocent bystander. The outlaws escaped unharmed.
The Daltons figured to make one last robbery, get enough money, and leave the country. They devised a unique plan to rob two banks at same time; a feat that no gang had ever done before. The banks they picked to rob were in their old home town, Coffeyville, Kansas.
Dick rode into Coffeyville on the morning of Oct. 5, 1892 with 4 other gang members: Bob, Grat, and Emmett Dalton, and Bill Power. There may have been a sixth member of the gang but the record is not clear. They tied their horses in what is today known as Death Alley across the plaza from the banks. Dick went with Grat Dalton and Powers into the C. M. Condon and Co. Bank.
At the bank, the cashier fooled them into wasting valuable time by telling them that the vault was on a time lock and that they had to wait for it to open. This gave the citizens of the town, who had recognized the Daltons (despite the false beards they were wearing), time to get weapons.
In the gun battle that followed four townspeople were killed and several wounded. Power, Grat Dalton, and Bob Dalton were killed trying to escape to their horses. Dick came closer to getting away than any of the others. He made it to his horse and was riding away when he was shot by two different townsmen. He managed to ride a half mile out of town before he fell off his horse dead.
Emmett Dalton, who was only 21, was blown out of his saddle by a shotgun blast in the back while trying to save his brother Bob. Despite the wound, he survived. He was sentenced to life in prison, but he was later pardoned by the governor, and moved to California.
Dick Broadwell's family were probably some what embarrassed by all of this but they came to Coffeyville, and, after the pictures were made, carted Dick's body back to his home, Hutchinson, Kansas. They buried him at night in an unmarked grave in the Hutchinson Cemetery inside the Broadwell plot.
Bob Dalton and the pregnant Lucy Johnson. The original photo was dated May 9, 1889 and was designated as being taken in the Fowler Photography Studio in Vinita, Indian Territory. Later, in November of that year, Jennie Mae Johnson was born into this family of carefree outlaws. The date May 9, played a continuous role in the Dalton gangs' activities. On May 9, 1889, the date appears for the first time as it was printed on this portrait of Bob Dalton. The next appearance of this date was when the Dalton gang, in full operation robbed a train at Wharton, which is now Perry, Oklahoma. The date of the robbery was May 9, 1891. This robbery was noted by Emmett in his book titled, When the Daltons Rode, as the "Honeymoon Holdup." After his release from Lansing State Prison, Emmett and Julia Ann took to the road with his motion picture scripts and book signings. One such event was when he traveled to Lansing, Kansas to visit old friends and acquaintances who had not been released. According to newspaper interviews Emmett was simply taking a vacation from the California grind with Julia Ann at his side. Julia was asked what she thought of the excursion back to where the two had originated and her reply was, "It is our second honeymoon." The date of the interview was May 9, 1931. Finally, a woman died in Los Angeles, California and her remains were cremated at the Forest Lawn Cemetery. Her name was Julia Dalton and her date of death was May 9, 1947.
Mrs. Dalton’s Boys; by Mary Trotter Kion:
Adeline Younger, at age sixteen, married Louis Dalton in Cass County, Missouri. She was a small woman but it's said that she had a firm will while others considered her down right aggressive. Adeline had not had much education, but she did possess a lot of common sense. She surely needed both traits where she and her husband lived in an old ranch house in the wild and unsettled times in Missouri after the close of the American Civil War.
Adeline worked hard to bring up her boys. And it was nearly a situation of bringing them up all on her own. Although she was married, her husband figured that child raising was woman's work. He lent little help, if any, and considered his main job was to provide the vittles his wife would cook, serve, preserve, and clean up afterwards. And, to a point, he provided the means for putting clothes on this brood.
Of Adeline's boys Ben was the eldest. Then came Frank, Grattan, William, Littleton and Robert. The youngest of the group was Emmett. Adeline tried to give them good moral teachings to live by and a loving home environment. Though she was strict with these growing sons of hers she had good reasons for being so. The years after the close of the Civil War, especially in Missouri, were filled with southern resentment towards Yankees who had entered the area during the war, burning farms, taking livestock and often all other means that folks had for feeding their families. And sometimes killing or maiming innocent folks who were just trying to get by till times got better. It just wasn't a real good time to be trying to raise up a bunch of boys to be good and honest citizens. Things might have turned out differently a few years down the trail if early on Mr. Dalton had taken more of an interest in raising the boys, and lent a much-needed hand-or perhaps a backhand now and then as the need arose.
A part of Adeline's concern for the future of her boys was centered on the fact that her maiden name was Younger, as in Bob, Jim, and Cole Younger. These young Younger fellows, soon to be known in the annals of Wild West history as the Younger Gang, were Adeline Dalton's nephews. Their pa was her brother. But Adeline's sons being first cousins to the Younger boys was only one-half of the bad situation.
There were a couple of other fellows, brothers they were, who resided somewhat near the Daltons, whose actions during the war and afterwards Adeline considered a real bad influence. At least one of these two boys, the eldest, had ridden during the war with William Quantrill and his raiders, just as had Cole Younger. These two fellows were known as Frank and Jesse James and they were distant relatives of both the Daltons and the Younger's.
There was an additional situation in the mix that didn't set too well with Adeline. It centered around her husband and it may be that Adeline was just heaping warm ashes on a smoldering fire, considering that Louis Dalton was said to have been a large and good-humored man. The father of the Dalton boys earned his living as a saloonkeeper. This, in itself, wasn't such a bad thing, unless, of course, Mr. Dalton was one to have the habit of being his own best customer but there doesn't seem to be any indication of this.
The problem was that Adeline Dalton was what folks called a 'tea-totaler,' meaning neither did she drink strong spirits but also disapproved of such imbibing in others, much less selling the stuff. And research sort of hints that Adeline more than insisted on expressing her point of view on the subject. Knowing what Physiology knows today, it's a bit of a wonder that Daddy Dalton didn't, at least on occasion, attempt to make an escape down the narrow neck of one of his own pints of merchandise, no matter whether his wife was right or wrong.
Well, finally, in 1882, Mr. Dalton gave into Adeline's insistence that his being a saloonkeeper was a bad influence on their children. The Daltons packed up and left Missouri. This time the town of Kingfisher in the wild and sparsely settled Oklahoma Territory became home to this family whose youngsters were now reaching manhood at various stages.
It seemed that now that they were resettled the Dalton boys were headed in the right direction. In Oklahoma Ben, the oldest, worked the farm with their father. Frank went in another honorable direction, however. Frank Dalton did his mother proud by pinning on a deputy marshal's badge. Unfortunately, being on the lawful end of a gun didn't guarantee success. Sometime later, Frank took a bullet while in a gun battle with a couple of whisky runners. And Mrs. Dalton now had one less son to worry about.
But the deputy marshal's badge that Frank Dalton had died for didn't leave the Dalton family. Grattan Dalton stepped in to fill his older brother's boots and badge. Following right behind Grattan, Bob and Emmett, though not yet of age but known for their excellent marksmanship, in time had a star decorating their apparel as well.
It wasn't long before an announcement was made "by those in authority" that Bob, Emmett and Grattan Dalton resembled three of the train robbers. It should be noted that even at this time, some twenty-five years after the discovery of California gold there was still an interesting mixture of characters swarming through the hills, seeking their fortune. It can't help but be wondered just how many of these come-lately gold-seekers also resembled the train robbers. Anyway, the Daltons were now the star villains of an intense search.
The script the law laid out went something like this: The law decides that Bill Dalton left his ranch some nine days prior to the holdup. He, supposedly, had three brothers with him. Next, the script has the brothers riding to a spot near Alila. Now Emmett steps into the spotlight. The law has him venturing to Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco, where the railroad terminal was located. Here, they have Emmett finding out which trains would be carrying something of value. It's just a minor point that, a far as my research extended, nothing mentions just how Emmett accomplished this near magical bit of information gathering. It is highly unlikely that the railroad posted a manifest on which trains were carrying what, or that they gave such information out to any passing stranger. There is always the possibility that it was an inside job-like someone working for the railroad giving out information for a cut of the take.
But he law figured all this out somehow. However, while the law was announcing their story, and before they could add an ending in their favor, the Daltons, except for Bill, skedaddled. Bill was left in the clear because he was so popular in the area. Evidently, the sheriffs weren't as stable in their own popularity since they were reluctant to question him.
Although the train robbery, for the Daltons, was seemingly now in the past, it just wasn't so. In Fresno, California, a saloonkeeper recognized Grattan and arrested him. However, after being marched off to the sheriff's office, Grattan talked his way free. Eventually, a grand jury did indict the four Dalton brothers for the Alila, California train robbery but only Grattan and Bill were arrested. There was no sight of Bob and Emmett who, it was believed, had headed back to the mid-west.
Grattan was convicted by testimony that involved all four of the brothers, but here the research gets somewhat tricky. One source says that three-days before Grattan was to appear for sentencing an unidentified someone, supposedly from the outside, assisted him in taking a secret vacation from all of his immediate troubles. Another source agrees that Grattan was arrested and convicted but from thereon the details change some. This source puts Grattan on a train, and I assume to a prison because it says that he was "headed for a 20-year prison sentence." This version has Grattan "handcuffed to one deputy and accompanied by another." It relates that after the train had traveled some distance one of the deputies fell asleep. The other deputy must have been more of the sociable type because he evidently was busy talking to some other passengers. This being a hot day, all of the train's windows were open. Considering the situation, Grattan evidently saw his chance to escape. Now recall, this source states that Grattan was handcuffed to one of the deputies. Whether it was the one asleep or the one making friends, it doesn't specify. If it was the one asleep he was about to have what's called a rude awakening.
Adeline Dalton was now living in Coffeyville, Kansas. If she had any hopes and dreams that her boys would grow up to be worth something, and she probably did, those dreams were soon to come true. It just didn't come about the way Mother Dalton had figured it would.
Eventually, the law picked up the trail of Bob and Emmett Dalton in the mid-west. So naturally posses were formed to hunt the boys down with orders to capture the Daltons dead or alive. And about their worth-the law figured they were worth about $5,000-each.
The Dalton brothers were now considered professional outlaws. But outlawing was not all that occupied their time. Bob Dalton had a sweetheart. Eugenia Moore was an attractive country girl living in the area where the boys were hiding out. Adding to Eugenia's charm was the fact that she had a bosom-buddy girl friend who was a railroad telegraph operator and evidently wasn't adverse to passing on a bit of information-like when an unusually large shipment of money would be passing near by via the rails. This handy source of information enabled Bob to learn that just such a situation would take place aboard the Santa Fe express on May 9, 1891. The stashed cash was being carried to a bank in Kansas City, Missouri. Bob also learned that the express messenger, if under attack, was instructed to pretend that he didn't have the combination to the safe and to insist that it could only be opened at its destination. Then came word to the Daltons of a bonus to the situation.
It seems that the party that was looking for the Daltons in the Cherokee Strip was being led by a courageous and tireless deputy marshal by the name of Ransom Payne. Payne is described as being in his early forties. He was a tall, strong man who sported clean-cut features and a blond mustache. With Payne and his group was a veteran Indian guide known as Tiger Jack. Earlier, the Daltons had learned that Payne was after them so Payne, himself, was now marked for death.
The delightful bonus to the Daltons came when they learned that not only was there to be a large cash shipment aboard the before mentioned train but also Payne, their pursuer. The scene was set. Somewhere, in the dark of night, along the Cherokee Strip, the Dalton Gang was about to double their pleasure-or so they thought. The plan was to take Payne out, permanently, and pay themselves handsomely for the deed.
After the Adair train robbery, which netted the Daltons $17,000 in coin, the whole territory was in an angry uproar. And now Mrs. Dalton's boys, and the rest of their gang, were worth even more.
The Daltons stayed in hiding for a while but there was more being cooked up around their campfire than coffee, bacon and beans. One of the other members of the gang may have been heating the vitals but it was twenty-three year old Bob Dalton who was cooking up plans about what the gang would do next.
The gang was now certain about a few facts: The price on their heads had increased, the law had intensified their search for the gang, and there was a need for them all to scatter for a while. This last certainty brought up another good point: for the boys to scatter and stay hidden for who knew how long, they were going to need money-lots of money. So just one more robbery needed to go down to fund their individual vacations.
Here, too, Bob took the lead. The Dalton Gang was going the make the boldest bank robbery ever heard of in the history of the west. They were going to rob two banks at the same time.
Coffeyville, Kansas, near the Oklahoma border, was the local this wild event was to take place in. The boys figured it was to their advantage that they had lived in Coffeyville for a time in their youth and knew the lay of the land. The big doings was to take place on October 5, 1892, soon after the banks opened, before too many withdraws were made. Their twin targets were the Condon Bank and the First National Bank.
The boys hadn't seen their mother in many years and decided that on their way to Coffeyville they would stop and give her a visit. It was after dusk on the night before the robbery that the boys reined up in front of the old cabin where she lived. Halting their horses they saw Adeline Dalton step to the window to draw the shades. One source says that the boys probably, at that moment, realized what their chosen career may have done to their mothers. They couldn't face her now, so turned their horses and rode away. Later that night, they camped on Onion Creek where they could see in the near distance the lamplight windows of Coffeyville, Kansas.
It was not long after Bob gave the order to start, this early morning of October 5, 1892, in Coffeyville, Kansas that the Dalton Gang, in their attempt to rob two banks at once, ran into their first obstacle.
They entered Union Street, which was the main route to the center of town. Here, workmen were tearing up the street. Gone was the hitching post that was supposed to have been in front of the Opera House. It was this hitching post the Daltons had planned to tie their horses to. The instant new plan was to divert the horses to the alley and tie them to posts near a lumberyard. It was now 9:30 a.m.
Broadwell and Powers had not been in Coffeyville for many years and had no concern about being recognized. This was not the case for the three Dalton brothers. Emmett and Bob had donned false beard and Grattan had grown dark whiskers for the occasion. All ready, the men walked through the alley to the plaza, confident that none of them would be recognized. They were wrong.
Old Alec McKenna was a stable-keeper in Coffeyville and had been around town for many years. He happened to take a glance at the men and thought he recognized the three Dalton boys. Keeping his eye on them all, he watched as Grattan and two other men entered the Condon Bank and, at the same time, Bob and Emmett enter the First National.
Creeping closer, McKenna took a peek through the Condon Bank window. He saw Grattan pointing his Winchester at cashier Charley Ball and the bank's vice-president Charles T. Carpenter. Instantly, McKenna began to yell that the Daltons were holding up the bank.
Inside the Condon Bank the robbers heard the age-old claim that the safe would not open until a set time, in this case not for another three minutes which could seem like a mighty long stretch during a holdup. Grattan decided to wait.
The bank was probably filled with silence for those eon-long three minutes, except for the ticking of the clock. One minute passed, then two minutes were gone. There was one minute to go but before the time was up bullets came crashing into the bank. Walls were splintered and glass was shattered. Store shelves in town had been cleared of weapons and bullets and now armed men seemed to sprout from every portal.
The gun battle that resulted after the Dalton Gang's attempt to rob two banks at once in Coffeyville, Kansas on October 5, 1892 was over. It had lasted a mere ten minutes. Bob Dalton, who had led the gang, was dead. His brother Grattan was dead. Their two partners, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers, were also dead. Emmett Dalton, alone, though seriously wounded, was the only surviving member of the immediate group.
Emmett was first carried to the drugstore. Later he was moved to a hotel where guards were posted. The law feared there might be a lynching or that any members of the Dalton Gang that had not been involved in the twin robbery might be prowling around, fixing to attempt to rescue Emmett.
It wasn't long before Coffeyville was bulging with folks who had come to town by horseback, buckboard, train or any other means, just to get in on the excitement. It was not excitement that one lone woman looked for as she entered Coffeyville. Adeline Dalton came to be at the side of her son, Emmett. One other faithful woman came to Emmett's side. Julia Johnson, his boyhood sweetheart, took Emmett's hand and promised to wait for him. Julia kept her promise.
Emmett Dalton took five months to heal before he was well enough to stand trial. To the murder charge set before him he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Kansas Penitentiary. It seemed that his mother, Adeline, and his sweetheart, Julia, would have a long wait before they had their boy and their lover back.
But Emmett Dalton was a model prisoner while behind bars. He was rewarded by being released from prison fourteen years after he had been locked up. It seems he had become a changed man.
Perhaps Emmett Dalton had changed. For many years after his release from prison he wrote and lectured on the subject of how futile a life of crime was. Eventually, he became a successful building contractor in Southern California. And true to her word, Julia Johnson had waited for his release. They were married and remained together until Emmett Dalton died on July 13, 1937.
Of Adeline Dalton's other son, Bill, it was either fate or luck that caused his arrest in California. If not for that, he too very well could have been with the gang in Coffeyville. But it seems that what took place in Coffeyville made little impression on Bill Dalton. He joined Bill Doolin in robbing trains and banks. The outlaw life ended for both Doolin and Bill Dalton in 1895. Bill saw the dark hand of death in September of that year in a gun battle. Doolin died, also in a gun battle, four months later.