Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dalton Gang, Dead, October 5, 1892

Kansas' Original Wild Bunch
The Dalton Gang Wiped Out! October 5, 1892

Kansas History
The Dalton Gang was wiped out October 5, 1892 when they tried to rob two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville, KS.  The only survivor was Emmett Dalton, insert, who served a prison term. The other four, left to right, were BIll Power, Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton, and Dick Broadwell, three of whom are buried in Coffeyville.  Four citizens "The dalton Defenders" were killed defending the town.  The Dalton Museum in Coffeyville and the Dalton Gang Hideout Museum in Meade, KS both contain artifacts and historical information on the infamous gang.

Photo by the Kansas State Historial Society (should be Historical)

This unused postcard from 2013.

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The Dalton Gang, also known as The Dalton Brothers, was a family of both lawmen and outlaws in the American Old West during 1890–1892. They specialized in bank and train robberies. They were related to the Younger brothers, who rode with Jesse James, though they acted later and independently of the James-Younger Gang. The three Dalton brothers involved in the gang were Gratton "Grat" Dalton (born 1861), Bob Dalton (born 1869), and Emmett Dalton (born 1871). A fourth brother, William M. "Bill" Dalton (1866–1894), also had a career as an outlaw, but operated as a member of the Wild Bunch. (There were 15 Daltons in the family, two died in infancy)

How the gang started:

Frank Dalton was the oldest of the brothers and kept the others on their good behavior. He was a Deputy US Marshal and his brothers had ridden with him in posses. Frank Dalton was killed when he was tracking a horse thief in the Oklahoma Territory. Dalton and another deputy marshal located the fugitive with his companions on November 27, 1887, and attempted to arrest him. The outlaws resisted, and Dalton was shot dead. Two of the outlaws were killed, and Dalton's companion was wounded. The wanted horse thief escaped capture. On December 3, the remaining outlaws were located and second gunfight took place. Deputy U.S. Marshal Ed Stokley shot and killed the horse thief, but was himself fatally wounded.

Following in their brother's footsteps, the remaining brothers — Grat, Bob, and Emmett — became lawmen. In 1890, however, after not being paid money owed them for their work, the brothers became outlaws themselves. Bob Dalton had already killed his first man when he was just 19. Deputy Marshal Dalton claimed the killing was in the line of duty. However, some noted that the dead man had been a rival for a woman. In March 1890, Bob Dalton was charged with bringing liquor into the Indian Territory. He jumped bail and did not appear for his trial. In September 1890, Grat was arrested for stealing horses — a capital offense — but either the charges were dropped or he was released. Discredited as lawmen, the Daltons soon formed their first gang.

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