Monday, July 30, 2018

Alvin "Pack Saddle Jack" Potter -- New Mexico Killer

Alvin "Pack Saddle Jack" Potter was born sometime in 1878. Some say he died in the 1920s, but really it's not known when he died or how. Though that's the case, we do know prison records show he's buried in the New Mexico State Prison Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As for who was he? Well, he started out a petty thieve, moved on to join a small gang of train robbers, and then graduated from thieve and full fledged murderer.

It's said he picked up the handle "Pack Saddle Jack" because that was the type of saddle that he used when riding his horse. Yes, some say he actually used a pack saddle instead of a regular riding saddle to ride a horse. Of course, another story goes that he was a petty criminal who supposedly hid the things he stole in his pack saddle and covered it with a blanket. As strange as it sounds, it's said he'd actually sit on top of the blanketed pack saddle in an effort to get people to stop thinking that he was hiding something. If that sounds pretty dumb to you, please don't feel alone on that. I thought so as well when I researched this outlaw.

If you've ever packed a pack saddle, then you know how it sounds pretty silly for someone to try to hide stolen goods on a pack saddle even by covering it with a blanket -- all with the hopes that no one notices you're riding on something. It's one thing to use panniers, but just a pack saddle would be pretty obvious. 

From what I could find out about "Pack Saddle Jack," since around 1897, he and his family lived in Cedaredge, Colorado. By 1907, he was in jail in Delta, Colorado, for beating up his wife. He was one of the three outlaws in a gang which also included Harvey Logan, aka Kid Curry. He and Curry and another robbed a Denver & Rio Grande train near Parachute, Colorado, on July 7th, 1904. 

The story goes that when the westbound Denver & Rio Grande train made its 1:15 a.m. stop in Parachute, that a man jumped aboard the engine. At gun point, he ordered the train engineer to proceed to Streit Flats just three miles west of Parachute. That man is believed to have been Kid Curry. Three miles west of Parachute is where Pack Saddle Jack and another joined Curry.

The three train robbers had the Baggage Master open the doors of the baggage car and then they used dynamite to blow open the safe. While they were expecting to find a shipment of gold, the safe was empty. It's said the gold shipment was actually shipped out earlier than scheduled. From there, the badmen headed out and ended up in Battlement Mesa where they stole fresh horses. 

While this was going on, lawmen gathered a posse of town's folk, local ranchers, and cowboys from around the Grand Junction and Parachute area. As soon as they were ready, they took off after the train robbers. The posse caught up with the outlaws and immediately a running gun battle started. 

Somehow the badmen escaped that fight, but the posse again caught up with them on East Divide Creek. Legend says the outlaws hid behind rocks and yelled at the posse to "go back or get hurt!" 

The posse didn't take kindly to being threatened by a few lowlife outlaws and the battle was on. Soon, one outlaw was heard screaming that he'd been hit. Many in the posse said later they heard him say he was going to "finish the job" before hearing a shot fired. When the posse overtook their position in the rocks, they found an outlaw with a bullet hole in his chest and a bullet hole in his head. 

The coward who took his own life was later identified by Pinkerton Detectives as Kid Curry. Since this was pretty close to Glenwood Springs, he was taken to that graveyard where he was buried. His grave is supposedly near Doc Holliday's grave there.  

In March of 1907, famed Colorado lawman, former Gunnison County Sheriff and Deputy U.S. Marshal Cyrus Wells "Doc" Shores, was working as a railroad detective. He arrived in Cedaredge looking for information on Pack Saddle Jack and his cohort. He knew they were involved in the Denver & Rio Grande robbery, and he needed to find them.

Cyrus Wells “Doc” Shores was a legend in that part of the country. He was considered a lawman's lawman. He was born on November 11th, 1844, so he was a 62 year old man when he arrived in Cedaredge. Just as point of interest, he died on October 12th, 1934. Yes, just one month shy of 90 years old. He's buried in the Gunnison Cemetery.

He was considered tough as they came, a lawman with common sense and a great deal of smarts who was known for sniffing out badmen. He started out as a  lawman on Colorado's Western Slope in the early days when lawmen had to make the law as they went along. As the Gunnison County Sheriff, he was known for the captured of Alferd Packer who was known as the "Colorado Cannibal." After serving as a Deputy U.S. Marshal, he took the job of railroad detective. The inscription on his headstone reads, "Western Colorado's most noted frontiersman, pioneer and lawman."

Shores' investigation of the the Denver & Rio Grande robbery led to the arrest of Pack Saddle Jack in Glenwood Springs. Because of Shores' reputation, it's said Pack Saddle Jack didn't put up a fight. But because of alibis, a jury couldn't convict him and he was acquitted in June of 1907.

After the trial, Pack Saddle Jack moved his wife and four children to Taos, New Mexico. It was there on March 26th, 1909, that after being involved in a bar-fight in Robert Pooler's Saloon in Taos, Pack Saddle Jack left to find a gun.

When he returned, he had a rifle and wanted to kill saloon owner Robert Pooler. Some say he wanted to kill him for taking the side of the others who he was in a fight with. Some say he wanted to kill Pooler simply because Pooler threw him out of his saloon. For whatever no good reason, Pack Saddle Jack used his rifle to ambush Robert Pooler. He dry gulched Pooler by firing a single shot through a saloon window. It's said Pooler was dead before he hit the floor.

Robert C. Pooler was born on May 9th, 1872. He was only 36 on the night that he had to deal with Pack Saddle Jack. Fact is, Jack was only 4 years younger than Pooler.

Alvin "Pack Saddle Jack" Potter was seen committing the murder and was immediately arrested. This time, a fake alibi wouldn't be able to get him off. He was tried and convicted in a New Mexico court of 2nd degree murder. For his killing of Taos saloon owner Robert Pooler, Pack Saddle Jack was sentenced to 99 years in the New Mexico State Penitentiary.

While I couldn't find when this killer died, there are those who say that former Deputy U.S. Marshal Doc Shores visited Pack Saddle Jack in prison when Shores was working on a book. Shores had reported that Pack Saddle Jack had gone insane in prison and died sometime there in the 1920s.

But frankly, who knows? Besides, when he died doesn't really matter. What matters is, insane or not, he spends eternity frying in Hell for ambushing and killing an innocent man who is said to have left behind a wife and children.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why It’s Not Racist Or Sexist For The University Of Wyoming To Champion Cowboys

Dear Friends, 

While I don't post the articles of other writers very often, this is a very good article that I would like to share with all. Also I would like to thank Floyd Campbell for sending it to me. Thanks Floyd! 

Why It’s Not Racist Or Sexist For The University Of Wyoming To Champion Cowboys

By Helen Raleigh
JULY 17, 2018

Activists are attacking the University of Wyoming's use of 'cowboy' in its slogan, on the grounds it's sexist and racist. They could not be more wrong.

The University of Wyoming finds itself in a rare national controversy because of its new marketing slogan: “The world needs more cowboys.” Even though the recruiting video features a diverse student body on and off campus, some faculty members and activists complained the word “cowboy” is sexist and racist, because it implies only white men with guns are welcomed.

“If you’re not a white person and especially if you’re an Indian, it would make you feel out of place,” Darrell Hutchinson, cultural specialist with the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming, told Reuters. “It wouldn’t make you feel too good about yourself.” These critics of the slogan couldn’t be more wrong.

UW is my alma mater. Years ago, when I was still a new immigrant to this country, I rode the Greyhound bus for three days and three nights from upstate New York, to Laramie, Wyoming, to begin my pursuit of an MBA degree at the UW business school. It was my first cross-country trip in the U.S. and my first time in America’s west. When the bus dropped me off at the Laramie Greyhoundbus station, I thought I had walked into a John Wayne western movie set: crystal clear blue sky, rugged mountains with snow caps, and miles and miles of openness.

As a female minority immigrant, my life in Laramie was a blessed one. UW has a beautiful campus and an amazingly diverse student body. In my MBA class, there were two Chinese students, three from Norway, two from Finland and four from the U.S. Two thirds of my class was made up of women. Some of us are more liberal than others. Next to the tall pine trees and inside the unique sand stone buildings, I often saw different skin colors and heard many different languages spoken.

UW is not only the place where I acquired an excellent education from many distinguished professors, it’s also the place I experienced many first time life experiences. This was where I bought my first car, a stick shift 1984 Ford Escort Pony. My roommate had to drive the car back to our apartment since I only knew how to drive an automatic. She gave me one lesson around the block and I was off on my own. I have to admit that the first couple of trips were rough, but I eventually got a hang of it. That is the cowboy way: someone is always there to help, but mostly you will learn to figure it out on your own.

At UW, I went to my first BBQ and learned how to grill hotdogs. I attended my first Cowboys’ football game and high fived with mascot Pistol Pete. The gold and brown hoodie with an emblem depicting a cowboy riding a bucking horse with hat in hand kept me warm through the harsh winter.

When it was near Christmas, two professors took several of us to the mountains. We got to pick out our own Christmas tree in the woods, cut it and drag it back to their pickup truck. I also learned how to snowshoe during this trip, and that has become one of my favorite winter sports. By the time I completed the MBA program, UW had transformed me from a soft spoken and somewhat timid young woman into a confident cowboy who was ready to take on any challenge.

Yes, I am proud to call myself, an immigrant from Communist China, a cowboy. Like UW’s new recruiting video says, “it’s not what you are that makes you a cowboy or cowgirl, but who you are. It’s a shared spirit. It’s the spirit of the underdog. The kind of spirit that longs for something to prove. The kind that emboldens those who possess it to stand on the perimeter and howl into the unknown with unbendable optimism.” After two years at UW, that cowboy spirit was ingrained in me.

Our higher education is in a deep crisis. University campuses used to be the first places for free inquiry, ideas and reason. Now they have become the first place where the freedom of expression is often pushed aside to make room for ideological purity. Non-progressive ideas often are not tolerated, sometimes rejected violently, for no reason except the political correctness bench marks set by a few.

So many elite universities, such as Yale, have bowed down to PC mobs and forgone their roles of teaching our young people critical thinking, curiosity, truth, reason and beauty. But, UW stands out and stands firm. The board of trustees voted “unanimously” to proceed with “the world needs more cowboys” campaign, because “the world needs more wonder. More outside thinkers hungry for a challenge.”

The annual cost for attending UW as an out of state undergraduate student is about $14,000, compared to almost $70,000 that elite schools such as Yale charge. If you are a high school senior, I’d strongly encourage you to apply for UW. At UW, it does not matter what your gender is, what skin color you have or what language you speak. This is the place where not only you will receive a quality education with little or no student loan debt, but also where you will join many fellow cowboys to “pick up the torch of progress and fearlessly venture onwards” to create wonders in this world.

About the author: 

Helen Raleigh is a senior contributor to The Federalist. An immigrant from China, she is the owner of Red Meadow Advisors, LLC, and an immigration policy fellow at the Centennial Institute in Colorado.

She is the author of several books, including "Confucius Never Said" and "The Broken Welcome Mat." 

Monday, July 23, 2018

So Long Hopalong Cassidy -- A Poem By Don McLean

Dear Friends,

As can be expected of a child of the 1950s and '60s, I grew up on Westerns. 

Like many many others, I marveled at the lighting speed of The Rifleman, I admired the go it alone knight for hire Paladin in Have Gun Will Travel, I laughed at the cowardly antics of Brett and Bart Maverick, and I loved Zorro's skill with a sword and his black horse Tornado. 

But as most of you know, I'm a fan of William Boyd who played Hopalong Cassidy. Yes, my favorite was Hopalong Cassidy. And because William Boyd made over 66 Hopalong Cassidy films between 1938 and 1945, I grew up on re-runs. And frankly, I'm actually very thankful for that.

While I will do a more extensive post on William Boyd, I wanted to share this with you. It's a poem. In 1971, poet song writer Don McLean came out with a song titled American Pie. What people may not know is that McLean was a fan of Hopalong Cassidy. He wrote the poem below to William Boyd's famous Hopalong Cassidy. The poem first appeared on the inside record sleeve of the American Pie album.

Here's Don McLean’s poem to Hopalong Cassidy which was included on the inside cover of the American Pie album in 1971.

So Long Hopalong Cassidy

No matter how scary life got I could depend on you
You had that easy smile and white, wavy hair
You were my favorite father figure with two guns blazing
Not even Victor Jory could stand up to those 44-40s you packed
And that stallion you rode, I think his name was Topper
He was so beautiful and white he even came when you whistled
I’ve always liked black and I loved your clothes
Black hat, black pants, and shirt
Silver spurs and two guns in black holsters with pearly-white handles
Black and white, that was you Hoppy
The bad men fell the good guys lived on
The ladies touched your hand but never kissed
Whenever John Carradine asked a question you’d say
“That comes under the heading of my business”
Then you’d call for another sarsparilla
I believed in you so much that I’d take my Stetson
off and put it over my heart whenever anybody died
My hat’s off to you, Hoppy
Say good-bye to all the boys at the Bar-20
The black and white days are over
So long Hopalong Cassidy

Poem: Copyright Don McLean 1971

Why write it?

Hopalong is a symbol of a simpler time, a time less complicated, a time of clear black and white values. Hoppy was a defender of the weak, and didn't put up with outlaws. He was honest, tough, virtuous, smart, and resourceful. He was the sort of person that Americans strive to be in that he knew himself and wasn't about to sacrifice who he was for love or money. I believe most Americans are like that, or want to be like that. 

William Boyd is said to have seen the poem, and is said to have been flattered by it. Today, the words to the poem are on a plaque at the hospital where Mr. Boyd passed away. 

I thought you might find that interesting.

Tom Correa

Friday, July 20, 2018

Black Vigilantes in the Old West

The Tuskegee Institute studied the number of lynchings between 1882 and 1968, and found that 4,743 people were lynched. Of that number, they say 3,446 were Black-Americans. While I don't know how accurate their data is, at first I wondered why they started their research data from 1882 and not sooner.

As sooner, say instead of starting their data in 1850 when California was admitted to the Union as a state?

Why do I say start the data in 1850 with the admission of California? Well, that's because there were a large number of lynchings as a result of the California Gold Rush of 1849. In fact, per capita, no other state, including all of those which comprise the South, had more lynchings than California. 

Of course if we combine all of the lynchings in all of the states in the South, then certainly the majority of lynchings occurred in the South. But let's keep in mind, lynchings were not restricted to the South or out West in California as they also took place in the Mid-West, the Northwest, and in the Northern and the border states. 

And while there are people today who want to make lynchings a racial issue exclusively regarding Black-Americans, it's not. While racism played a huge factor in getting Blacks in the South lynched, especially after the Civil War, the Tuskegee Institute itself reported that 1,297 White-Americans were also lynched in the period between 1882 and 1968. Besides Whites, we also know that Hispanics, Californios, Native Americans, Chinese, Jewish, Irish, and Italian-Americans were also lynched.

As for Whites being targeted, the term "Lynch's Law" is said to come from the American Revolution. Virginia justice of the peace Charles Lynch is said to have ordered "Loyalists" hanged without trial. Those "Loyalists" were Whites. And in the South long before the Civil War, Whites were targeted and lynched if they were suspected of being members of the abolitionist movement.

And by the way, not all lynch mobs were White. Yes, there were Black Vigilantes.

For example, there's the case of a White prison guard who was lynched by a Black mob of angry citizens in April of 1884. The guard's name was Samuel T. Wilson. In Issaquena County, Mississippi, he is said to have ordered two convicts to beat a Black fisherman by the name of Negia McDaniel. Sadly, they beat McDaniel to death.

According to a newspaper account, Wilson was supervising a crew of Black convicts who were hauling lumber aboard a flatboat. They landed their flatboat near McDaniel who was bank fishing. Wilson and McDaniel started arguing, some say about Wilson disturbing the fish. A very angry Wilson is said to have ordered two convicts to beat McDaniel. When McDaniel died from the beating, Wilson ordered that McDaniel be thrown in the river. 

Wilson was arrested for murder. He went before Adam Jenkins, who was a Black-American Justice of the Peace. Testimony was heard from the convicts who beat McDaniel to death. But as strange as it sounds, the Judge is said to have refused testimony which may have benefited Wilson. Based on the testimony of the the two convicts, Judge Jenkins then ruled that there was enough evidence to hold Wilson and that a Grand Jury should be convened. 

It's said that there were up to 300 Black citizens in attendance at the hearing of Wilson. Soon after hearing the Judge recommend referral to the Grand Jury, those there began shouting their intent to lynch Wilson on the spot. Judge Jenkins saw what was going on and immediately told Issaquena County Deputy Sheriff Lawson, who was a White officer, to get Wilson out of town for his own safety. 

Deputy Sheriff Lawson, and three armed guards, two of which were Black officers and one White officer, went about their duty and escorted Wilson out of the court. When they were about a half mile from the court, a huge mob of angry Black citizens surrounded Lawson, the guards, and Wilson. Soon, the citizens forced the Deputy Sheriff to turn Wilson over to them. The Black lynch mob immediately took Samuel T. Wilson to a nearby tree and strung him up. 

Of course, after Wilson's lynching, local newspaper supposedly reported how Whites there were not happy with Judge Jenkins taking the word of two Black convicts, especially the very men who were trying to save themselves since they were the one's who actually killed McDaniel. But, from what I've read, there were no reports of White citizens taking action against the Black residents of the area over the Wilson lynching.

To answer the question, why did the Tuskegee Institute study the number of lynchings between 1882 and not sooner? I found that while Black-Americans had been lynched right after the Civil War, it wasn't until the early 1880s that Blacks became targets of lynch mob violence.

For example, according to one report, in 1884, 160 Whites were lynched compared to 51 Blacks. Also, there is something else, some Black victims were lynched by Black mobs. Yes, Black citizens lynched Black criminals. Yes, just the same as Whites lynched White criminals. 

According to a report, in 1886, 74 Black-Americans were lynched. That was the first year to exceed the number of Whites lynched, which was 64. By 1892, 160 Black-Americans were lynched compared to 69 White-Americans. So apparently, 1886 was the turning point.

In 1997, E. M. Beck and Stewart Tolnay published an essay entitled “When Race Didn't Matter: Black and White Mob Violence Against Their Own Color."

In that, the authors state how Black lynch mobs were a factor in lynch mob activity between the years 1882 and 1930. Black lynch mobs gathered in rural areas and their victims were said to have been accused of much more serious crimes than White lynch mobs. The authors reported that over a third of the lynchings committed by Black lynch mobs had to do with them taking Black suspects from police custody. The other two thirds of the lynchings were Whites, Native Americans, and others who Black citizens felt would not be punished properly in White courts. 

They are said to have felt that the criminal justice system would not act correctly when it came to punishing those, Black or White, who committed crimes against Black-Americans. And frankly, there is no better example of this concern on the part of the Black community in the 19th Century than what took place in 1887 in Pickens County, South Carolina.

Manse Waldrop was a White man who was determined to be responsible for the rape and murder of a young Black girl. The child's name was Lula Sherman. Fearing that the Justice System would not work as it should, on December 30th 1887 a group of Black citizens did exactly what White citizens did in the Old West.

It's said that around midnight, Constable David E. Garvin was driving a buggy over some railroad tracks in Central, South Carolina. He was heading north to Pickens. In the seat next to him was his prisoner Manse Waldrop. Waldrop was cuffed and was being escorted to a jail to await trial. At a Coroner's Inquest that afternoon, Waldrop was determined to be the man who raped and killed 14-year-old Lula Sherman. 

She was the daughter of a sharecropper. And while this story is focusing on her being Black, and her killer being White, and how Black citizens felt they needed to take the law into their own hands to find justice, this is more about a killer of a young girl getting what was coming to him. Keep in mind, while racism was alive and well to the point where White scum like Waldrop would've gotten a lenient sentence in some places around the country, I believe Waldrop would have met the same end. Whether it was by a mob of Black citizens or a mob of White citizens, Waldrop deserved hanging.  

It's said that "before the buggy made it a mile down the road," armed men appeared out of the darkness. Officer Garvin saw what was taking place and instantly tried to turn his buggy around. Two men restrained Garvin's buggy by grabbing a hold of the halter on the mule pulling the buggy. Others in the citizens' group, vigilantes, grabbed Waldrop and jerked him from the buggy. 

In that cold night, citizens stepped forward to do what they feared the Justice System would not. They pulled Waldrop out of the buggy and took him off into the woods. Officer Garvin later reported that he soon heard a single shot coming from the dark woods. The next day, Waldrop was found hanging from a tree. He was lynched after being shot in the head.

Lula's father was Cato Sherman. Because Cato Sherman made no secret of his taking revenge on Waldrop, he and four others were later arrested. They were charged with Waldrop's murder. In the trial that followed, Cato Sherman was found not guilty. But, two of Sherman's accomplices were sentenced to death.

In the following days, it's said that both Black and White citizens of the area petitioned South Carolina Governor John P. Richardson to pardon the two. The good news is that the governor did in fact issue pardons for the two Black men who were convicted of lynching of Manse Waldrop.

I read where the lynching of that child rapist and killer started a lot of folks into taking a look at "what exactly justifies a lynching?" And while Black citizens as vigilantes is not what people think of taking place in the Old West, it did take place for all the same reasons that White citizens did it. 

Just as White vigilance groups did, Black vigilantes didn't hide behind a badge or ambush their victims later. They seized the day and dealt out justice swiftly.  

Tom Correa

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Murder Indictment of Wyatt Earp & His Vendetta Posse

I've heard from a number of readers telling me that Wyatt Earp and his posse, to include his brother Warren Earp, John "Doc" Holliday, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson, were never charged for the wanton murder of Frank Stillwell at the train station in Tucson. No matter if they were all wearing badges or not, the homicide they committed was unlawful and they did in fact evade justice.

As I have stated in another article on this, on the morning of March 21th, 1882, Frank Stilwell's body was found about 100 yards from the Porter Hotel alongside the tracks riddled with two buckshot and three bullet wounds.

The coroner, Dr. Dexter Lyford, reported that he found a single bullet wound that passed through his body under the his armpits, a wound from a rifle through the upper left arm, a buckshot wound that passed through the liver, abdomen, and stomach, and another buckshot wound that fractured his left leg. There was also a rifle wound through the right leg.

The Tombstone Epitaph reported the next day that Stilwell had been shot six times which included a round of buckshot in his chest that struck him at such close range that six buckshot left powder burns on his coat and holes were measured to be within a 3 inch radius of each other. 

While the Tombstone Epitaph reported that Stilwell had been shot six times, the official Coroner report stated Wyatt Earp and his men killed Stilwell with five different caliber weapons. Sounds like more than each bad actor decided to take their turn killing someone already dead.

Frank Stilwell was already dead but Earp and his men, all supposed lawmen, kept shooting him even after he was dead? They sound more like executioners than lawmen, doesn't it?

Later, Ike Clanton correctly stated in a newspaper interview that he and Stilwell had been in Tucson to respond to a federal subpoena from the Grand Jury. It was over interfering with a U.S. mail carrier when they "allegedly" robbed the Sandy Bob line of the Bisbee stage on September 8th, 1881.

In fact, the federal charges that took them in front of the Grand Jury had been filed by then Deputy U.S. Marshal Virgil Earp after Frank Stilwell was acquitted for lack of evidence on the state charges of robbery.  

Clanton said he had heard that the Earps were coming in on a train to kill Stilwell after hearing the testimony from Pete Spence wife. According to Clanton, Stilwell left the hotel and was last seen walking down the railroad tracks away from the Porter Hotel. It is believed that Stilwell was on his way to meet another "cow boy" who was also subpoenaed to testify but was possibly coming in on a later train since he hadn't arrived earlier when they checked the station. 

The following is a transcript of the Murder Indictment for the arrest of Wyatt Earp and those who were in on the murder of Frank Stillwell. It was issued on March 25th, 1882.
Territory of Arizona

Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson

Grand Jury Indictment for the Killing of Frank Stilwell

In the District Court of the First Judicial District of the Territory of Arizona in and for the County of Pima

Territory of Arizona

Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson.

Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson are accused by the Grand Jury of the County of Pima and Territory of Arizona on their oath by this indictment of the crime of murder committed as follows: 

That the said Doc Holliday at the City of Tucson in the said County of Pima on or about the 20th day of March, A.D. 1882 with force and arms in and upon the body of one Frank Stillwell then and there being, then and there feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Doc Holliday a certain gun charged with gunpowder and leaden bullets which he the said Doc Holliday in his hands then and there feloneously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp, sherman McMasters and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present standing by, aiding, abetting assisting and maintaining the said Doc Holliday the felony and murder as aforesaid set forth, in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ, and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do say that the said Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warrren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson, the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid felonously, wilfully and of their mailice aforethought did Kill and Murder: 

Contrary to the form of Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona

Second Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said Wyatt Earp on or about the said 20th day of March A.D. 1882 at said City of Tucson in said County of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of the said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Wyatt Earp a certain gun charged with gunpowder and leaden bullets which he the said Wyatt Earp in his hands then and there had and held, then and there feloneously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off, giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and said Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, sherman McMasters and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present standing by, aiding abetting assisting and maintaining the said Wyatt Earp the felony and Murder as aforesaid set forth in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ. and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid feloneously, wilfully and of their mailice aforethought did Kill and Murder:

Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona

Third Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said Warren Earp on or about the said 20th day of March A.D. 1882 at said City of Tucson in said County of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of the said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Warren Earp a certain gun charged with gunpowder and leaden bullets which he the said Warren Earp in his hands, then and there had and held, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present, standing by, aiding, abetting assiting and maintaining the said Warren Earp the felony and murder as aforesaid set forth in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ. and so the Jurors aforesaid upon the oaths aforesaid do say that the said Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Sherman McMasters and John Johnson the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought did Kill and Murder:

Contrary to the form of Statute in such case made as provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona.

Fourth Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said Sherman McMasters on or about the said 20th day of March A.D. 1882, at said City of Tucson in said County of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of the said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and the said Sherman McMasters a certain gun charges with gun powder and leaden bullets which he the said Sherman McMasters in his hands then and there had held, then and there feloneously wilfully and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of there the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off, giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound of which said mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, Wyatt Earp and John Johnson then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their mailice aforethought were present standing by, aiding, abetting, assisting and maintaining the said Sherman McMasters the Felony and Murder as aforesaid set forth, in manner and form aforesaid, to do and committ. And so the Jurors aforesaid do say that the said Sherman McMasters, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp and John Johnson the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforesaid feloneously wilfully and of their malice aforethought did Kill and Murder: Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the Territory of Arizona.

Fifth Count

and the said Grand Jurors do further present that the said John Johnson on or about the said 20th day of march A. D. 1882 at said City of Tucson in said county of Pima with force and arms in and upon the body of said Frank Stilwell then and there being, then and there feloneously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault, and the said John Johnson a certain gun charged with gun powder and leaden bullets which he the said John Johnson in his hands then and there had and held, then and there feloneously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell did discharge and shoot off, giving to him the said Frank Stilwell then and there with the said gun so discharged and shot off as aforesaid in and upon the body of him the said Frank Stilwell a mortal wound he the said Frank Stilwell instantly died, and the said Doc Holliday, Warran Earp, Wyatt Earp and Sherman McMasters then and there feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought were present standing by, aiding, abetting, assisting, and maintaining the said John Johnson the Felony and Murder as aforesaid set forth, in manner and form aforesaid to do and committ and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that said John Johnson Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Warren Earp and Sherman McMasters the said Frank Stilwell then and there in manner and form aforsaid feloneously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought did Kill and Murder: Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the dignity and peace of the Territory of Arizona

Hugh Farley District Attorney
of Pima County Arizona Territory
-- end of murder indictment of Wyatt Earp and his "vendetta" posse.

I did not correct the spelling and/or any other errors in the indictment papers. It is presented here as it was written and produced in 1882.

Please keep in mind, Stilwell's body was found on the tracks the following morning after he had been killed and shot by each member of Earp's deputized federal posse. But by that time, Wyatt Earp and his "posse" had fled the scene.

Earp and the others did not report what took place to the local law in that jurisdiction or make any sort of report of what took place as would normally be done by a Deputy U.S. Marshal and his posse. Instead, no differently than the killers that they were supposedly hunting down with warrants in their hands to bring to justice, Earp and the others acted like a gang of killers and murdered Stillwell then fled the scene.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Monday, July 9, 2018

Let's Not Forget O.M. Aldrich

Beware of the Merry-Go-Round Operator

In my article The Hanging of Tom Horn, 1903, part of the story is about the quick action of O.M. Aldrich who recaptured Horn on the day that the killer escaped from jail. A few of you have written to ask if I could put it in a stand alone post. Well, here it is. I hope you enjoy the irony as much as I do.

On Sunday, August 9th, 1903, at 8:00 am, Tom Horn and the prisoner in the next cell, a man by the name of McCloud, decided to make their break. During their escape Deputy Sheriff/Jailer R.A. Proctor was beaten and tied up with a window cord. The escapees then went into the Sheriff’s office in search of weapons. As fate would have it, it's said they overlooked a cabinet containing five lever action .30-30 Winchesters rifles.

McCloud ran out a side door leaving Horn to go back to Proctor. Horn snatched a pistol from Proctor, then beat the Deputy in the head and face before running out the side door as well.

According to historian Lee A. Silva, the handgun Tom Horn tried to use during his escape attempt was a John Browning designed, Fabrique Nationale (FN) manufactured, semi-automatic pistol. Tom had never used a semi-auto pistol before and luckily for Deputy Proctor that Horn didn't know how to use it since he would have most likely killed Proctor during his escape.

Horn ran out the same door used by McCloud, but when hearing the Cheyenne Police shoot at McCloud and him surrender, Horn decided to run South and then East toward Capitol Avenue. That's where he ran into big problems with the Merry-Go-Round operator.

Believe it or not, a Merry-Go-Round Operator, actually a Mechanical Engineer,  by the name of O.M. Aldrich spotted Tom Horn running from the jail. Aldrich quickly responded by grabbing his .38 caliber Iver Johnson pocket pistol and lighting out after Horn.

While chasing Horn, Aldrich took a shot at him but sadly missed its mark. The shot is said to have made Horn turn and attempt to return fire. But since Horn didn't know how to operate the semi-automatic pistol, he wasn't able to shoot and kill Aldrich. It's believed it he had known how to operate that semi-auto pistol that Aldrich would have been dead.

Merry-Go-Round Operator Aldrich caught up with Horn and pulled off a round  again. This time his shot is said to have actually creased the top of Horn's head. And as strange as it sounds, this stunned the killer. Believe it or not, it's said that Horn actually became wobbly when shot at. He is said to have actually fainted face first down into the ground.

It's said that Horn tried to regain his feet and get back up. When he did, he again tried to shoot Aldrich who was now almost on him. Again, Horn didn't know how to fire the FN semi-automatic pistol. So no, Tom Horn was not a "weapons expert" by any stretch of the imagination. 

When O.M Aldrich caught up with Tom Horn, he commenced to beat the tar out of the child-killer. In fact, when a mail clerk by the name of Robert LaFontaine showed up to help Aldrich who had tackled Horn, LaFontaine said Aldrich was beating the crap out of the famous killer -- actually clubbing Horn in the back of the head with his little Iver Johnson .38 caliber pocket pistol.

Worn out and beaten, the famous assassin Tom Horn stopped resisting and surrendered to Aldrich and LaFontaine. Horn was lead back to jail by a very large, and very angry, group of townsfolk. The group was soon joined by Cheyenne City Police Officer Otto Aherns, a second officer named Stone and Deputy Leslie Snow.

Many in the group started taunting Horn to make another run for it. Some in the group spit at Horn. A few threw rocks. It's said when Deputy Snow showed up to help escort Horn, he actually tried to bash Horn with his rifle but was stopped by Deputy Proctor.

Some called for a rope. Some were calling for the child-killer to be taken to a nearby tree and lynched. I find it interesting that Deputy Proctor put down any talk of lynching Horn when the crowd outside the jail didn't want to disperse. I also find it interesting that Kels Nickell, the father of the 14-year-old boy who Horn shot twice and killed, was there that day. He's said to have actually tried to  agitate the crowd into lynching Horn. Deputy Proctor is said to have quieted him down as well.

Robert LaFontaine said later that he spent most of his time pulling Aldrich off of Horn for fear the Merry-Go-Round operator was going to kill the assassin. Yes, the Merry-Go-Round Operator whopped the Hell out of the famous bushwhacker Tom Horn!

And as for the man who chased down Tom Horn and beat the tar out of him, Mr. Aldrich was treated as a hero by the folks in that city for many years after that.

As for Horn, for the last few days before his execution armed troops surrounded the block where the jail and courthouse were located and supposedly a Gatling gun was placed on the roof.

Tom Correa

Friday, July 6, 2018

He Brought Law & Order To Leadville

Mart Duggan made news in September of 2005 when Denver historians discovered Duggan’s unmarked grave. Money was raised and a proper tombstone was erected for him in 2010.

Martin J. "Mart" Duggan was born on November 10, 1847, in County Limerick, Ireland. While some say he was born in 1848, I'm going with what's on his headstone.

Immigration to the United States is said to have come to a virtual halt at the outbreak of the American Revolution. It didn't began again until the so-called "Era of Good Feelings." The "Era of Good Feelings" was a period in America which reflected a sense of "National Purpose" and a desire for unity among Americans between 1817 and 1825.

The "Era of Good Feelings" saw the end of the Federalist Party as well as the end to the bitter partisan disputes between it and the Democratic-Republican Party. During those few years, a goal for all was to put politics aside and let what was good for the American people be the priority.

Many of the first arrivals from Ireland came to work on the Erie Canal. But that was the only canal project they worked on. And of course, many went to work for the railroads. Unlike the myth that they were just unskilled laborers, in reality most were skilled tradesmen.

A decade or so later by the mid 1840s, it's said the nature of Irish immigration to America changed because the potato blight destroyed the staple of the Irish diet. The blight in turn produced a famine, and hundreds of thousands of Irish peasants were driven from their homeland and forced to migrate to America.

Unlike the earlier Irish arrivals, most of the folks who arrived later had little to no skills or experience. Worst of all, they arrived with little to no education, very little money if any, just the clothes on their backs, and very little hope. Fact is, they came to America with very few resources of any kind to help them make it.

What they did have going for themselves was vital to their survival. First, they came with good intentions to make better lives for themselves. The vast majority of newcomers were God fearing, honest, hard working, and family oriented. Second, while they might not have known what the word "assimilate" meant, on the overall they did just that over the long haul.

According to records, the population of Irish arriving here between 1840 and 1851 was recorded as 6,552,385. And while they did assimilate over the long haul, being low on the pecking order meant that conditions for many Irish arrivals to American cities at the time was not much better than the conditions that they fled from in the old country. Sadly, the conditions they found themselves in were often crowded shanty towns, living in shacks, where sanitation was barely existent.

Jobs were hard to come by and employers made no bones about their unwillingness to take on the Irish newcomers. In many instances signs saying "No Irish Need Apply" were very clearly hanged out for all to see. And of those who did find work, Irish immigrant women found work as domestics while the men worked as servants and took whatever laborer jobs that could be found in construction.

The Irish newcomers felt the open hostility of those who arrived before them, and the slums took its toll on those there. The workhouses got many, but many also landed in the jails. Thankfully some made their way out of the cities of the East and headed West.

Mart Duggan was like thousands of other Irish children raised in America to immigrant parents. His family came to America and settled in the slums of New York City. He grew up among the bars and the drunks, the brothels, the poor, and the filth of the city.

By 1859 when young Mart was about 11 years old, the Duggan family had enough of New York and moved to Nebraska to take up farming there. After a few years in Nebraska, they moved to the Colorado Territory right after the Homestead Act of 1862 was passed.

Settlements were going up all over the West because of the Homestead Act of 1862. The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. It was meant to encourage Americans to migrate West. The enticement was 160 acres of free land. Those who took the challenge were called "homesteaders."

In exchange for that free land, a "homesteader" paid a small filing fee and they had to complete five years of continuous residence there. That might sound like a bargain before receiving ownership of the land, but only 1 in 3 actually made it through the 5 required years. It was tough hard work and many simply returned East.

Mart Duggan was in his mid 20s when he left the family farm to seek his fortune in the rich mining camps of Colorado. He drifted from one mining camp to the next. Along the way, as with everyone, needing to eat prompts people to take all sorts of jobs they might not necessarily take.

In Duggan's case, he found work as a laborer in the mines, a teamster, mule skinner, and even as a stock tender. And according to legend, he had almost a dozen notches on his pistol when he became a cowboy and Indian fighter. Of coarse, I wouldn't put any money on the later being true.

Georgetown was established in Colorado's Clear Creek Canyon in 1859 during Pike's Peak Gold Rush. She is known as the "Silver Queen of the Rockies." And contrary to what some say, that town of Georgetown was not named after George Washington. In reality, it was founded by two brothers who were prospectors. Their names were George and David Griffith. Georgetown was actually named in honor of the older of the two brothers. 

Coming twenty years later, the Colorado Silver Boom started in 1879 with the discovery of silver at Leadville. A friend of mine from that area once told me that Colorado means "colored red," and with the over 82 Million dollars worth of silver that was mined during the period is said to have kept Colorado out of the red and in the black for years.

By the time Mart Duggan was 29, in 1876, he found himself a Jack of many trades but master of none. Needing work, the stocky 5 foot 5 inch tall Irish-American started working as a bouncer in the Occidental Dance Hall & Saloon in Georgetown.

Not long after he started working as a bouncer there, he had to disarm a loud mouth drunk. It actually happened pretty quickly. At one moment the drunk was waving his pistol, the next moment the drunk was laid out. The drunk found himself on the floor looking up at Duggan who had taken the drunk's own pistol and used it to buffalo him over the head. The drunk became so angry that he actually challenged Duggan to go out into the street and shoot it out.

Duggan had never been in a gunfight up to this point in his life. The story goes that Duggan didn't hesitate a second and threw the drunk’s pistol across the room. The scrappy Irishman then told the drunk to pick it up, and that he'd be waiting for him outside. And with that, Duggan walked into the street and waited.

When the drunk came out for their gunfight, it's said patrons from the saloon went outside with him. They lined the sides of the street to watch what would happen next. The drunk is said to have seemed a lot more sober than he lead on to be when he walked outside. Soon people there were whispering that Duggan had bit off more than he could chew.

The two faced one another about 30 feet apart. It's said that the man went for his gun, and so did Duggan. Witnesses said that the first shots were close, but the drunk fired first.

Duggan followed his first shot with two more. The drunk was said to have been maybe a half a second faster than Duggan, but he missed. Duggan was not as fast, but he was accurate. He didn't miss. His three shots slammed into the man's chest, killing him instantly. Who was the drunk, no one knows. Fact is, he was unknown to everyone there because he hadn’t been in town long enough for anyone there to find out his name. Right after the shooting a Miners Court convened and acquitted Duggan when the shooting was ruled self defense.

About two years later, Duggan left Georgetown and headed for Leadville during the silver boom there. By then, Leadville, Colorado, was a booming mining town. It was a raucous, no holds barred town of gamblers, pimps, prostitutes, con men, and other seedy types all wanting to take as much gold from miners as they possibly could. 

It's said that when Mart Duggan arrived in Leadville, he was immediately mistaken for a thug by the name of Sanford "Sam" Duggan, Sam was known for attempting to extort money from miners in different mining camps. Sam's method was simple. He threatened miners with physical violence unless they paid him not to beat them up or kill them. While it was an easy mix up because of Mart Duggan's last name, the mistake was resolved with someone came forward to report that Sanford Duggan was lynched in Denver years earlier.

Leadville had a population of around 15,000 when Duggan arrived. The town appointed T. H. Harrison as its first City Marshal. While Harrison was appointed because of a great reputation as a no non-sense lawman, he was actually beaten up by local hooligans and ran out of town just two days after being appointment.

Horace Austin Warner Tabor, who would later become one of America's wealthiest men, was the Mayor of Leadville. When Harrison was ran out of town on a rail, Tabor appointed George O'Connor as City Marshal.

City Marshal George O'Connor is said to have had grit and was starting to bring about some semblance of peace in Leadville when he was shot and killed by one of his own deputies. That took place on April 25th, 1878, after Marshal O'Connor reprimanded Deputy Marshall James M. "Tex" Bloodsworth for spending too much time in saloons, gambling and frequenting dance houses.

After Marshal O'Connor informed Bloodworth that he would request that the City Council to fire him, the Deputy immediately planned the murder of Marshal O'Connor. The evening of April 25th, Bloodworth met Marshal O'Connor at Bill Nye's Saloon and soon exchanged words. Bloodworth then shot the Marshal several times and left him to die as he ran out of the saloon. Bloodworth then stole a horse and was never seen again after fleeing Leadville. 

Marshal O'Connor did not die quickly but instead lingered for several hours. He had only been City Marshal for 3 weeks before being killed. When he died, he was survived by his wife and son.

While Marshal O'Connor was still dying, Mayor Tabor called an emergency session of the city council. A few people who knew Duggan's work as a bouncer in Georgetown, and of course the shootout that he was in there, steered the Mayor toward Mart Duggan to replace Marshal O'Connor. It's said that Duggan hesitated at first, but then accepted the appointment as City Marshal on the grounds that he could maintain the peace anyway he saw fit.

The same hooligans who ran off Harrison and gave O'Connor a hard time for the short time that he was on the job quickly started threatening Duggan. The threats were not subtle, he was told to either leave town or be buried in Leadville.

On the same day of his appointment and swearing in, Duggan was summoned to the Tontine Restaurant over a disturbance by some rowdy miners. Once there, he stood down the leader of the rowdies by telling him to get out of the restaurant. When the leader balked and asked what if he didn't, Duggan told him that he'd kill him where he stood. The leader of the miners saw that the new City Marshal wasn't bluffing and left.

Soon a reputation of his being a no nonsense lawman was being talked about in town. It was right after his first encounter with the rowdies at the Tontine Restaurant that he started firing the deputies who were left over from the previous Marshal's office. If he thought one was crooked or not capable of doing their job, or if he thought a deputy was too friendly with the criminal element of the town, he would fire them on the spot.

After taking on his own department, Duggan is said to have actually walked right into the office of a local judge and ran him out of town at gunpoint. The judge was said to be too lenient when it came to handing out sentences, and may have been in cohorts with the criminal element there. So Duggan showed up at his office and fired him. The judge didn't take being fired lightly and told Duggan that he didn't have the authority to fire him.

Legend says Duggan pulled his Smith&Wesson .44 Double Action Frontier Revolver and stuck its barrel under the judge's nose. Then it's said he held it there as he walked the judge out of his office and into the street. He supposedly pointed the judge toward the end of town and told him to get out.

Marshal Duggan's Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action Frontier
As a piece of trivia, the Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action Frontier was not one of their best sellers. That's not to say it didn't have a following from some bad hombres. For example, killer John Wesley Hardin was carrying a Smith & Wesson .44 Frontier when he shot in the head in El Paso's Acme Saloon by John Selman in 1895. It's said that George Scarborough shot and killed Selman a year later with a Smith & Wesson .44 New Model.

To clean up Leadville, Duggan fired what he thought were crooked deputies and replaced them with his hand picked men. He also replaced that sympathetic judge with a man of his own choosing. Once his judge was in place, he supervised court sessions for a week while making sure strict sentences were passed down. It is interesting to note that there are sources which say the judge who was walked out of town actually returned later only to apologize to Duggan. He was placed back on the bench by Duggan after promising to lay down harsher sentences.

A few years later, Duggan told a reporter in a newspaper interviewer, "Immediately after I was appointed, I received a written notice from the roughs to leave town, and if I stayed 24 hours, I would follow George O’Connor. Paid no attention to notice but took every precaution to always be on guard. The town was not only full of thieves, thugs and desperate characters, but there was some quarrelsome, shooting miners -- determined that no newcomer should have authority over them.”

Duggan's heavy handed tactics were effective. While not liked by all, they were tolerated because he produced results. And while some may think his heavy handed approach didn't apply to everyone, it did. In fact there is a story of him arresting one of the wealthiest mine owners in Colorado for being drunk and disorderly. The story goes that when the mine owner resisted arrest, Duggan used his pistol to beat the mine owner over the head before carting him off to jail.

There was an incident that was almost made for Hollywood. That was when he responded to the Pioneer Saloon during a disturbance. Two miners were arguing over the pot in their poker game. One miner was a Black man by the name of John Elkins. The other was a White man named Charlie Hines.

When the argument escalated from words to fists, Elkins pulled a knife and stabbed Hines. Knowing that a Black man stabbing a White man would probably get him lynched before he finished telling folks what happened, Elkins fled. Two deputies soon found Elkins and immediately arrested him without incident. But when the word got around that Hines was close to dying, a mob quickly formed to string up Elkins from any tree that could be found.

Elkins being Black and Hines being White didn't help matters as the lynch mob wanted to do what they saw was there duty. But then again, with Elkins being Black, their duty may have just been an excuse to hang a Black man.

So now, here comes the scene almost made for Hollywood. Marshal Duggan received the word that his two Deputies had found Elkins and they had him locked up in jail. Duggan saw the mob and decided to head them off before they could get into the jail. So City Marshal Mart Duggan found a second pistol and stood in front of the jail with a pistol in each hand. Yes, two pistols.

He cocked both revolvers and told the mob that he would kill the first man who takes another step forward. As angry as the mob were at that moment, no one wanted to test him. No one wanted to find out if Duggan would keep shooting until he was empty and go out blazing away trying to keep a prisoner. So the mob which was supposedly about 100 men, in fact dissolved on the spot.

Luckily for Elkins, Hines made a recovery and the scene didn't have to be acted out again later. When he went to court, a jury of White men found that Elkins did in fact act in self-defense. But wisely, Elkins is said to have left town as soon as he was released from custody.

Duggan was fired by Mayor Tabor after a February of 1879 incident where the Marshal was drunk. According to some, Duggan was normally well mannered and soft-spoken. But supposedly when he was in a bottle, he became mean and as deadly as a rattler. And if pushed, he became even meaner.

A Leadville newspaper once wrote, "Sober, there was no more courteous, obliging person. But under the influence of liquor, he was the incarnation of deviltry and had as little regard for human life as a wild beast."

In that incident in February of 1879, Duggan assaulted a Tontine Restaurant bartender who told him that he was "violent and abusive." In fact, Marshal Duggan actually threatened the bartender's life after pulling his revolver and knocking the bartender to the floor.

Duggan was suspended. But he was then reinstated when the bartender, who didn't want to have Duggan as an enemy, withdrew his charges. For the few days that he was suspended, his deputies threatened to quit and the town went wild. With no law and order in sight, Mayor Tabor quickly reinstated Duggan and order was restored. 

In March of 1879, Bill and Jim Bush got into an argument with Mortimer Arbuckle. On a lot that belonged to the Bush brothers, Arbuckle built a shack. It was a shack that Arbuckle was using to conduct business out of.

Their argument went from shouting to pushing, and then Jim Bush pulled a pocket pistol and shot Arbuckle dead. Arbuckle was not armed, and he was very well liked there. So now, a lynch mob quickly formed. They wanted to lynch Jim Bush, but also burn down the hotel owned by Bill Bush. Duggan arrested Jim Bush and put him in his jail. And again, Duggan backed down a lynch mob.

But that time, Duggan knew that his backing down that mob was only temporary -- and that it was only a matter of time before the vigilantes acted. As soon as he started hearing talk that vigilantes were going to assault the jail going around, he knew he had to do something. Duggan took Jim Bush to Denver for safe keeping until his trial.

A month later, it was a year since taking the job. Believe it or not, since he was married by then, he stated that he wanted to move his family to Flint, Michigan, where his wife had relations. So in order to make the trip East, Mart Duggan quit when his term expired. He was replaced by Pat Kelly who did not have the same attitude of Marshal Duggan.

Within months Leadville reverted back to the way it was before Mart Duggan pinned on a star. Hooligans started running protection rackets openly and soon took over businesses at gun point.

Gangs of hooligans were led by a killer known as Edward Frodsham who was from Brigham, Utah. Frodsham had been sentenced to ten years in prison for killing John Peasley in Wyoming. Peasley made the mistake of having an affair with Frodsham's wife. Frodsham was released after only two years behind bars. Yes, that sort of thing where a killer gets out early happened even back then.

In August of 1879, Frodsham who was supposedly good with a gun, and a friend by the name of Lee Landers who was an escaped convict, were in a gunfight in Laramie, Wyoming.  The shootout which took place in Susie Parker's brothel resulted in the killing a cattle dealer named Jack Taylor.

Though Frodsham was wounded in the gunfight, he was arrested. He posted bail but then moved to Leadville. Almost immediately after arriving there in December of 1879, he shot and killed Peter Thams. Marshal Kelly didn't arrest Frodsham for the murder. Some say Kelly was scared of getting killed.

Lake County Deputy Sheriff Edmund H. Watson wasn't scared of Frodsham and did in fact arrest the killer. This time, with Kelly and not Duggan in charge, vigilantes stormed the jail and took both Frodsham and outlaw Patrick Stewart out of the jail. The vigilantes lynched them both.

Leadville was out of control, so the City Council didn't wait and simply fired City Marshal Pat Kelly. They also sent for Mart Duggan to return at once.

When Mart Duggan returned to take the position of Leadville City Marshal over again in late December of 1879, he immediately fired all of Kelly's deputies and replaced them with men of his own. Whether there was a law on the books or not, it's said that with a pistol in both hands -- Duggan arrested anyone who he believed was causing problems for the town. 

It took months, but soon enough Leadville was peaceful as could be expected. So in April of 1880, with Leadville again under control, Mart Duggan decided to leave. This time, his replacement was Lake County Deputy Sheriff Edmund H. Watson who was coaxed into the City Marshal's position by Duggan himself. Watson's arrest of Frodsham garnered him a great deal of respect in and around the town, and that was half the battle of keeping the peace back in the day.

A month later, Duggan was employed by former Mayor Tabor. He was hired to help end a miners' strike over wages. Some say it was his hiring that ended the strike, that his reputation did it. Either way, within a month of being hired, the miners' strike ended.

Later that year, in November, Duggan's personal reputation took a hit when he  got into an argument with a miner by the name of Louis Lamb. He and Lamb had argued before. This time when Lamb walked away, Duggan kept yelling at Lamb.

It's said that Lamb walked away but at some point turned and pulled a pistol. Duggan drew his and shot Lamb dead. Duggan turned himself in and was later cleared on grounds of self-defense. That shooting tarnished his reputation. He lost a great deal of prestige over the shooting of Lamb.

It's said that Duggan went into the Livery business and owned a livery stable in Leadville at the time of the Lamb shooting. After the shooting of Lamb, his business went under altogether by 1882.

Duggan moved to Douglass City, Colorado, where he became a City Deputy while also tending bar. There is a story about him tracking down con-artists in 1887. Supposedly a con-artist arrived there and fleeced a few dance hall girls.

The crook sold them fake jewelry. The girls talked to Duggan about it. Duggan hunted the man down. It's said that he beat the man pretty badly, then made him return the money that he had taken from the girls.

Believe it or not, it's said that the con-artist went to Leadville and filed charges of robbery and assault and battery against Duggan. Mart Duggan was summoned and appeared in court to face the charges. He brought along with him the dance hall girls who were cheated.

While the judge acquitted Duggan on the charge of robbery, he fined the former City Marshal $10 for assault and battery. When Duggan heard the fine, he became so angry that the con-artist decided that it would be a wise move to drop the charges and leave town. That con-artist was never seen in those parts again.

Later in 1887, former City Marshal Mart Duggan accepted a position as a Deputy in Leadville. Some say he was out of step with the times since many in Leadville saw themselves as no longer a mining camp and more a civilized city. Knowing that, one has to be sort of surprised that they asked for Duggan to return in any sort of capacity as the law there. They must have known that his techniques were the same as they were ten years earlier when he brought law and order to that town.

It didn't take long for his old ways to clash with what some saw as the modern and more civilized way of doing things. That happened in March of 1888 when  Duggan arrested a jewelry peddler who was cheating people in town. Because he roughed up the peddler when the no good cheat tried to resist arrest, the judge threw the charges out of court and Duggan was fined $25 for an unlawful arrest. With that, Mart Duggan had enough and resigned. He would never put on a badge again.

For one reason or another, Duggan started drinking heavily about that time. As I said earlier, he was known as a mean drunk. During that time, he was involved in a number of arguments. While he wasn't against using his fists if things escalated, he was also known to have little to no patience when challenged by bullies. And no, being outnumbered didn't seem to matter to him. As far as he was concerned, his enemies had the choice of guns or knifes if that suit them.

On April 9th, 1888, he had been in the Texas House Saloon most of the night. He didn't like people being picked on and soon had a run in with two gamblers by the names of William Gordon and Bailey Youngston over their treatment of someone else there. The story goes that it was in the very early morning hours that he took up for someone. That's what started the argument between he and the two gamblers.

After being threatened by the two who were said both bigger men, Duggan asked both to step outside and finish it in the street. Both of the gamblers knew of his reputation with a gun, so both decided against it and backed down.

It was about 4:00 am when Duggan finally calmed down and decided to head home. It's said that he only walked a few steps out the door of the Texas House when someone came up from behind and shot him in the back of the head.

His killer is said to have fled after seeing that Duggan didn't go down. Instead of immediately falling, he instead staggered next door to the Bradford Drug Store where he finally went down. Bystanders carried Duggan into the drugstore. His wife was called and she was told what had taken place, and that he wasn't dead.

When she arrived, she was met by many of his friends. Her husband was indeed not dead, so she sat with him well into the morning.

Legend says at one point he opened his eyes and asked for a drink of water. At that point, someone asked him if Bailey Youngston had shot him? He replied, "No. And I'll die before I tell you".

Mart Duggan died at 11:00 am on April 9th, 1888. He died almost 10 years to the day after taking office as City Marshal there. And yes, the mystery surrounding why he withheld the name of his killer has never been solved. Some say he may simply not have known who it was. But if so, why say "I'll die before I tell you"?

He was highly respected and Leadville certainly mourned his death. He was buried in Denver and many say his funeral was one of the largest ever attended.

Bailey Youngson, Jim Harrington, and George Evans, were arrested as murder suspects. Only Bailey Youngson went to trial. But because of lack of eye witnesses, he was acquitted.

No one was ever convicted for his murder. But that didn't stop the town of Leadville from confronting those who they suspected, and running them out of town. Of course, by now whoever did bushwhack him has long since met his maker and has had to answer for his heinous act. So hopefully, that cowardice individual is sitting in Hell.

As for Mart Duggan, born in Ireland, he was raised in the tough slums of New York City and then the Nebraska farmland. He worked at many jobs and became one of the Old West's great lawman. He was a true town tamer in every sense.

Sadly, he is mostly forgotten today. But there was a time not all that long ago in the Old West, when Mart Duggan made outlaws change their ways and think twice before breaking the law. He was the man who brought law and order to Leadville. He was truly one of the most feared lawmen in the West. That's just a fact.

Tom Correa

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dalton Gang Meets Their Waterloo in Coffeyville, Kansas

On Friday, October 7, 1892, the Coffeyville Journal published the below detailed account of the Dalton Gang's last battle that had taken place two days before:


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.

-- end of the October 7, 1892, the Coffeyville Journal report.

I find it interesting that a number of Coffeyville citizens immediately began grabbing up souvenirs off the dead bodies of the gang. I also read where the gang members who owned new Colts did not fire them. They instead only used their Winchester rifles while trying to escape the onslaught from the towns folk.

Tom Correa