In the summer of 1879, a gang of
desperados known as the Dodge City Gang made their first
New Mexico. As the first
Santa Fe trains steamed into the territory that
summer, it brought with it a whole host of gamblers, ruffians and unsavory
Before long, a group
formed called the "Dodge City Gang,” since so many of them had earned
reputations for violent behavior in the western cow towns of
The Dodge City Gang was firmly in
control of a criminal cartel bent on thumbing their noses at the law. For the next two years, the Dodge City Gang participated in
several stage coach and train robberies, organized cattle rustling, and
were said to have been responsible for multiple murders and
Las Vegas Hanging Windmill.
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|The Dodge City Gang was comprised
of a judge, a group of peace officers, and several known outlaws with
Dodge City who were
tormenting the citizens in and around
Las Vegas at the time.
The "gang" consisted of Justice of the Peace
"Hoodoo Brown" Neill; City Marshal Joe Carson; Deputy U. S.
Marshal and later,
Las Vegas Marshal "Mysterious
Dave" Mather; peace officer
Tom Pickett; policeman
John Joshua (J.J.)
Webb, hard cases
Dave" Rudabaugh, Selim K. "Frank" Cady,
Dutch Henry Borne, William P.
"Slap Jack Bill" Nicholson, John "Bull Shit Jack" Pierce, Jordan L.
Webb (no relation to
J.J), and various other
notorious gunmen. While
Rudabaugh, Cady, Nicholson,
Pierce, Jordan Webb, and the rest would commit acts of thievery,
J.J. Webb, in their official
capacities, were suspected of helping cover their tracks.
stage robberies in August of 1879, and one train robbery in October
occurred in the
area. Many suspected that the perpetrators were members of the Dodge City Gang.
On August 18, 1879 a
Barlow & Sanderson stagecoach was robbed by three men near the village
New Mexico .
John Clancy, Jim Dunagan, and Antonio Lopez were arrested for the
robbery, however they were not convicted.
Just a few
weeks later on August 30, 1879, another Barlow and Sanderson
stagecoach was held up. "Frank" Cady, "Slap Jack Bill", "Bull Shit
Jack", and Jordan L. Webb, all with ties to the Dodge City Gang, were
arrested and charged with the second holdup. However, they too,
Rudabaugh would later confess to this crime in cahoots with
Las Vegas Marshal Joe
Carson and a man named Joseph Martin.
On October 14, 1879, a train was
robbed in the
Las Vegas area by
masked men. The robbers made off with $2,085, three pistols, and all
the lanterns on the train. In mid–February of 1881, in an attempt to
avoid trial on a capital offense,
Rudabaugh would plead guilty to the robbery.
At the time of the
robbery, Charlie Bassett, Chalk Beeson, and Harry E. Gryden of
Kansas, along with
were hired by the Adams Express Company to investigate the robbery. It is
Webb was already suspected of being an
accomplice in the thefts.
The town was getting a bad name in the
rest of the county due to the violence and thievery that prevailed.
"Shooting scrapes are of frequent occurrence in that remote region."
Dodge City Times.
Miquel Otero, later governor of
wrote that in one month twenty–nine men were killed in the
Las Vegas vicinity. It seemed as if every
and Colorado had congregated in