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Old West Outlaws - B

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An outlaw robs the stageCullen Montgomery Baker (1839-1868) - A guerilla soldier during the Civil War, Baker didn't want to give up the fight once the Confederates lost the war. Afterwards, he continued to "fight the war," ambushing reconstructionists, killing former slaves, and generally terrorizing the State of Texas for four years. Though many Confederate sympathizers considered him a hero and his violent accounts were often romanticized, in reality, he was a merciless killer who murdered not only for his "cause," but also for any other little thing that displeased him. Operating from the Sulphur River bottoms near Bright Star, Arkansas, authorities blamed him for killing at least 30 people during these years, most of them by ambush or shots to the back. A posse finally caught up with him on January 6, 1869 in Southeast Arkansas and Baker was shot. 


Seaborn Barnes Seaborn Barnes, aka: "Nubbin’s Colt" (1849-1878) - Born in Cass County Texas around 1849, Barnes never really attended school and was illiterate when he went to work as a cowboy in his early teens. Never able to hold his liquor well, he was involved in many barroom fights and was jailed for a year in Fort Worth over a shooting that occurred when he was just 17.


He was arrested again in 1874 in Calahan County, but soon escaped. In 1878, Barnes joined up with the Sam Bass Gang and soon became Bass' chief lieutenant, helping to rob several trains in the spring of 1878. However, when they attempted to rob the bank at Round Rock, Texas on September 20, 1878, a new member of the gang - Jim Murphy, turned informer and the Texas Rangers were waiting. In the ultimate shoot-out that occurred, Barnes took a bullet in the head and was killed instantly. Though Bass was severely wounded, he made it to his horse and rode out of town along with another bandit by the name of Frank Jackson. 


However, Bass was found lying dead on the ground the next day not far from town, identified by the traitor, Jim Murphy. Frank Jackson escaped, never to be heard from again. Seaborn Barnes was buried next to Sam Bass  in the Round Rock cemetery. On his tombstone read the words: "He was right bower (sea anchor) to Sam Bass."


Richard "Rattlesnake Dick" Barter, aka: Dick Woods (1834-1859) - Born in Quebec, Canada, Barter migrated to California during its gold rush days, but failing to find gold the legitimate way, he turned to rustling horses. Not known to have ever killed anyone, he nonetheless terrorized the Sierra foothills for over three years from 1856 to 1859. He soon hooked up with brothers, George and Cyrus "Cy" Skinner and they started relieving muleskinners of their loads of gold coming from Nevada City. On July 11, 1859, Barter and Cy Skinner were trapped in a mountain pass near Auyurn, California by Sheriff J. Boggs. In the gunfight that followed, Rattlesnake Dick was killed and a wounded Skinner was taken into custody and given a long prison sentence. Also see: Rattlesnake Dick's Stolen Loot.


Samuel "Sam” Bass (1851-1878) - Born on a farm near Mitchell, Indiana onJuly 21, 1851, Bass hated school and by the time he grew up, he was illiterate. As a young man, he moved to Denton, Texas where he went to work for Sheriff W. F. Egan as a teamster. But he soon tired of the hard work of loading and unloading the wagons and quit to become the full-time owner of a one-man racing stable. Later he worked as a cowboy and drove a large herd of cattle north to Kansas, along with two other men named Jack Davis and Joel Collins. However, once they arrived, they began to hear of the gold strike in Deadwood, South Dakota and after a bout of drinking, they decided to keep the cattle owner's profits and join the rush. After drinking and gambling the money away, Bass became a true outlaw and began to rob stage coaches in the Dakotas. Later, he organized a gang, robbing trains and banks.  More .....




Jules Beni (18??-1861) - On the border of Colorado and Nebraska, Beni established a trading post in 1859 to serve the many travelers heading westward. Naming his post Julesburg, the station soon became an important stop on the Overland Stage Route, as well as a Pony Express stop. However, when Beni was appointed as the Stage Station Manager, the route began to be robbed constantly and other crimes were committed in the area including cattle rustling and wagon train robberies. It was soon discovered that Beni was leading a gang of outlaws and he was replaced by the stage line with Captain Jack Slade. Furious, Jules, ambushed Slade with a shotgun; however, the new manager survived. After he recovered, he hunted Beni down, lashed him to a corral post and used him as target practice. Beni died with 22 bullet holes in him and Slade kept his ears as souvenirs.


William "Tulsa Jack" Blake (18??-1895) - Blake was a cowboy in Kansas during the 1880's but later he wandered south into Oklahoma and by late 1892 he had joined up with Bill Doolin's Wild Bunch. During the next two years he would be involved with a number of train and bank robberies with other members of the gang. During this time he was a key figure in a gunfight with several lawmen at Ingalls, Oklahoma, on September l 1893, where the gang killed three officers. A posse led by U.S. Deputy William Banks finally tracked down the gang in Major County, Oklahoma on April 4, 1895. In a fierce gun battle that lasted almost 45 minutes, Blake was killed by U.S. Deputy William Banks when he tried to to escape. The death of "Tulsa Jack" was the beginning of a violent end to Bill Doolin's gang, as the rest of the gang would soon be killed or captured as well.


Black BartCharles E. Bowles, aka: Black Bart, Charles E. Boles, T.Z. Spalding (1830-1917?) - Born in Jefferson County, New York in 1830, Bolton made his way to California in about 1850. Sometime later he decided to make his living as one of most unusual stagecoach robbers in American history. His first recorded robbery was in August, 1877 when he waylaid a Wells Fargo coach outside Fort Ross, taking a strongbox that contained $300. Over the next years, he would rob another 30 stagecoaches, never wounding anyone during the crimes, and often leaving notes of poetry behind in the strongboxes he looted.


I've labored long and heard for bread
For honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you've tread
You fine-haired sons of bitches.

It was signed Black Bart - The PO8


During his hold-ups, he wore a flour sack over his head with the eyeholes cut out and never robbed the passengers. In 1883, after robbing another Wells Fargo stage, a lone rider following the coach, fired a shot and wounded Bolton in the hand. Wrapping his wound in a handkerchief and fleeing, the handkerchief was later found by a Wells Fargo detective. A laundry mark on the fabric led the detective to Bolton who was arrested. On November 17, 1883, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years at San Quentin. After serving four years, he was released and in 1917, newspapers reported his death, but it was never officially confirmed. See full Article HERE.


Joe Boot (18??-??) - Little is known about this "one-hit" outlaw, whose name is remembered in history only because of his stage robbery with the lady bandit, Pearl Hart. Thought to have been a farmer before meeting Hart in Arizona, he was working as a miner in Globe when the pair hooked up. Allegedly, he had been planning a train robbery for some time when Hart approached him, needing money for her ill mother. Instead of robbing a train, the two held-up a stagecoach between Florence and Globe, Arizona on May 30, 1899. Taking about $450 and a revolver, they were soon apprehended. Though Hart was sentenced to just five years, Boot was sentenced to 30 years in the Yuma Territorial Prison. However, just two years later, in 1901, he escaped. Thought to have fled to Mexico, he was never recaptured or heard of again.


Charlie BowdreCharles "Charlie" Bowdre (1848-1880) - Charlie Bowdre came from a prominent family in Wilkes County, Georgia where he was born in 1848. Raised in DeSoto County, Mississippi, he headed west and by 1874 he had landed in New Mexico where he was farming south of Lincoln. When the Lincoln County War erupted he fought with the McSween faction along side Billy the Kid. After losing the war, both he and the Kid, retreated to Fort Sumner, where Bowdre went to work as a cowboy. Though he was not overly involved with Billy's cattle rustling activities, he remained friends with several of the gang members and by association, was a suspect in their outlaw endeavors. In December, 1880 he was riding into Fort Sumner with Billy and his gang when Pat Garrett shot and killed gang member Thomas O'Folliard. The others escaped, but several days later, on December 23, 1880, Garrett and his possemen shot and killed Bowdre and captured the Kid and his gang at Stinking Springs. Bowdre is buried next to Billy the Kid at Fort Sumner's old military cemetery.


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 Hutchinson, 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 Hutchinson Cemetery.


Curly Bill BrociusWilliam B. "Curly Bill" Brocius (or Brocious) (1845-1882) - An outlaw leader of the Clanton Gang of Arizona, Curly Bill was a vicious, drunken gunman, cattle rustler and murderer. In October of 1880, he shot Tombstone's first marshal, Fred White when the marshal attempted to disarm him. Charged with the murder, Brocius was later acquitted by a jury as an accidental death. In July of 1881, Curly Bill, along with Johnny Ringo, killed William and Isaac Haslett in Hauchita, New Mexico in revenge for the deaths of Clanton members Bill Leonard and Harry Head who had attempted to rob the Haslett brothers general store some weeks earlier. A few weeks later, Brocious led an ambush attacking a group of Mexicans in the San Luis Pass, killing six of them and torturing the remaining eight. After the death of "Old Man" Newton Clanton in another ambush in Guadelupe Canyon in July, Curly Bill became the leader of the Clanton Gang. After the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in October, 1881, Brocius attempted to kill Virgil Earp and succeeded in assassinating Morgan Earp. Brother Wyatt, looking for revenge for Morgan's killing, reportedly caught up with Brocius on March 24, 1882, and killed him with a double shotgun blast to the chest. This account; however, was reported by Wyatt Earp himself and many historians doubt the fact as Earp was known to have exaggerated some accounts.


Leonard Calvert Brock, aka: Will Waldrip, Joe Jackson, Henry Davis (1860-1890) - Born on July 13, 1860, Brock and his brother, W.L., joined the Burrow Gang in 1888 and aided the notorious brothers in a number of train robberies in Texas and Alabama. He was identified as one of the outlaws when the Burrow Gang robbed the Mobile & Ohio train on September 26, 1889. After a substantial reward was posted for him, he was arrested on a train in Columbus, Mississippi in July, 1890. After a quick conviction, he was sentenced to a long prison term. However, he committed suicide on November 10, 1890 by jumping from the fourth tier of the cell block.


George W. Brown (18??-1864) - An alleged outlaw, Brown was said to have been associated with Henry Plummer's gang of Innocents. Probably born in Minnesota, he grew up to marry a Sioux woman and the couple had several children. During the Minnesota river uprising, he served as a scout under Lieutenant Colonel William Rainey Marshall. By 1863, Brown had found his way to Montana, where he was said to have been an influential member of the ruthless gang of road agents called the Innocents. On January 4, 1864, he and Erastus "Red” Yager were the first two victims of the newly organized  Montana Vigilantes. They were both hanged in Laurin, Montana, about 11 miles northwest of Virginia City.  


Charles "Charlie" Bryant, aka: Black Face Charlie (18??-1891) - Born in Wise County, Texas, Charles worked as a cowboy from the time he was just a teenager. When he was still very young, he got into a gunfight and when a pistol was fired next to his face, the grains of black powder permanently disfigured him, hence the nickname. Charlie joined the Dalton Gang in 1890 and was with them when they robbed a train near Wharton, Oklahoma on May 9, 1891, as well as the train robbery near Red Rock some weeks later. Bryant was said to have loved gunplay of any kind and the Daltons often found him unreliable, he was so quick with the "trigger finger." While the gang was camped out near Buffalo Springs, Oklahoma, Charlie got sick and was taken to see a doctor in nearby Hennesssey. While he was recuperating in a hotel, U.S. Deputy Marshal Edward Short learned of his whereabouts and soon made an arrest. On August 3, 1891, Short and Bryant boarded a train so that Short could deliver the outlaw to the federal district court in Wichita, Kansas. When Short had to relieve himself, he made the mistake of leaving Bryant under the guard of the express car messenger. The messenger, seeing that Bryant was asleep, laid down the gun and went about his work. When Short returned, Charlie, who had only been pretending to be asleep, had just grabbed the revolver and shot the marshal in the chest as he reentered the car. Short immediately returned fire with his rifle, blowing his chest away and severing his spinal column. By the time the train reached Waukomis, both men were dead.


Rufus Buck (18??-1896) – A Creek Indian who had served time for minor offences in the Fort Smith, Arkansas jail, Buck decided to make a name for himself in the summer of 1895. Forming the Buck Gang, he and four other men began to stockpile weapons before going on a ten day murder and robbery spree in Indian Territory. Buck bragged to anyone who would listen that "his outfit would make a record that would sweep all the other gangs of the territory into insignificance.” Beginning on July 30, 1895, the outlaws killed U.S. Deputy Marshal Garrett when he tried to stop them from a store robbery in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. They then went on to rob a number of settlers in the next ten days, killing two more men, and raping two women. All five members were hanged at Fort Smith on July 1, 1896.


Laura Buillion, member of the Wild BunchLaura Bullion, aka: Della Rose, Rose of the Wild Bunch (1876?-19??) - Born in Knickerbocker, Texas around 1876 to a German mother and a Native American father, she met outlaws William Carver and Ben "The Tall Texan" Kilpatrick when she was just a teenager. Knickerbocker was a haven of outlaws and Laura's own father was a bank robber, so it came as no surprise when the young girl followed a life of crime. When she was just 15 years-old she began a romance with Will Carver, who had been married to her aunt until she had recently died. Carver often worked with Black Jack Ketchum robbing trains before he moved on to Utah and hooked up with Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, where Laura ultimately ended up too. Somewhere along the line, Laura transferred her affections to Ben Kilpatrick , who cast his lot with the Wild Bunch in 1898. Laurie Bullion often helped the gang by fencing goods and money for them and was known to the group as Della Rose and often called the "Rose of the Wild Bunch."


Having taken part in several train robberies with the Wild Bunch, Kilpatrick and Bullion returned to Texas with William Carver, where Carver was ambushed and killed by lawmen on April 1, 1901. Bullion and Kilpatrick then fled to to St. Louis, Missouri, where they were arrested on November 8, 1901. Kilpatrick was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Laura was sentenced to five.


After serving 3 1/2 years, Laura was released from the Missouri State Penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri, on September 19, 1905 and lived the last years of her life in Memphis, Tennessee, under the name of Freda Lincoln, making her way as a seamstress and a dressmaker. She passed away on December 2, 1961 and is buried in Memphis under a tombstone that reads, "Freda Bullion Lincoln—Laura Bullion—The Thorny Rose." She never saw her lover Ben Kilpatrick again. Kilpatrick, on the other hand, was released from prison in June, 1911 and immediately returned to a life of crime. While trying to rob a Southern Pacific express near Sanderson, Texas, on March 13, March, 1912, he was killed with an ice mallet.


Eugene Bunch, aka: Captain J. F. Gerard (18??-1892) - Born in Mississippi, Bunch was well educated and grew up to become a teacher in Louisiana before moving on to Gainesville, Texas where he edited a local newspaper. However, for reasons unknown, he turned to train robbery. Along with a few other bandits, the group robbed trains in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi from 1888 to 1892. Upon arriving on the train, Bunch always spoke softly to the express car messengers, telling them that if they did not open their safes, he would "blow their brains out." Before robbing the train's passengers, he always politely introduced himself as Captain J. F. Gerard to train passengers, tipped his hat to the ladies and didn't take their handbags. Though he was just as gentlemanly to the men, he did, however; take their wallets. For the four years Bunch operated, he robbed six trains, making off with an more than $30,000. But for Bunch, like many others, it wasn't to last. After making his largest robbery in 1892, taking some $20,000 from a train near New Orleans, he was heavily pursued by Pinkerton agents. Before long, they tracked him to a swamp near Franklin, Louisiana and on August 21, 1892, shot and killed him and his cohorts.


Jim BurrowJim Burrow (18??-1888) - Jim Burrow, originally from Alabama, grew up to rob trains with his brother Reuben "Rube" Burrow in 1886. Robbing their first train on December 1, 1886 in Bellevue, Texas, they only netted a few hundred dollars. Adding members to their gang, they robbed so many trains by early 1888 that they had become the most most infamous train robbers since Jesse James, and were pursued by hundreds of lawmen throughout the south and southwest. But for Jim, his life as an outlaw was to be short-lived. In 1888, the brothers were recognized by a conductor on a train pulling into Nashville, Tennessee. Notifying authorities, lawmen trapped Rube and Jim in a passenger car. Rube shot his way to freedom but Jim was taken into custody and jailed in Texarkana. Later that year, he died in prison of consumption on October 5, 1888.


Rube Burrow, train robberReuben "Rube" Houston Burrow (1854-1889) - Born in Lamar County, Alabama on December 11, 1854, he grew up to be a farmer in Arkansas. However, in 1872 he moved to Stephenville, Texas where he maintained a ranch. In 1876, he married and the couple had two children. He was known as an upstanding citizen, and a Masonic Lodge member. After his wife died of Yellow Fever in 1880, he was left to care for his two small children. He remarried in 1884 and bought a farm near Alexander, Texas. However, when his crops failed, he turned to robbing trains with his brother Jim in 1886. Collecting a couple more hard cases including W.L and Leonard Brock, Henderson Brumley, and Nep Thornton, forming the Burrow Gang, they robbed their first train on December 1, 1886 in Bellevue, Texas, though they only netted a few hundred dollars. The gang, taking on new members here and there continued to rob so many trains that by early 1888, they had become the most infamous train robbers since Jesse James, and were pursued by hundreds of lawmen throughout the south and southwest. When they were spied by a conductor on a train as it was pulling into Nashville, Tennessee, lawmen trapped Rube and Jim in a passenger car. Rube shot his way to freedom but Jim was taken into custody and jailed in Texarkana. Later that year, Jim died in prison of consumption on October 5, 1888. With wanted posters hanging everywhere, Rube became the subject of one of the most widespread manhunts in American history. But, unafraid, the outlaw continued to rob trains, often returning to Alabama where he would be protected by the locals. That all changed on October 7, 1890, when Rube was recognized by a store owner named Dixie Carter in Linden, Alabama. As Burrow looked at some rifles, Carter pointed his own shotgun at the outlaw and marched him to a storeroom where he locked him up. However, while Carter went for the authorities, Burrow was able to escape, later returning to the store planning to kill Carter. When Rube spotted the shopkeeper at the train depot he opened fire, sending a bullet into Carter's Arm. Carter, drawing his own revolver, returned fire and hit Burrow in the stomach. The outlaw later died in the street and Carter recovered the reward.



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