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Old West Outlaws - G

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Jack Gallager Tombstone, Virginia City, MontanaJack Gallager, aka: Three-Fingered Jack (18??-1864) - Born at Ogdensburg, New York, Gallagher made his way west when he grew up. He was in Kansas in 1859 before making his way to Colorado, where he killed a man in Denver in 1863. He then fled to Montana, where he became a deputy under Sheriff Henry Plummer, and worked in Virginia City. There, he soon hooked up with several crooked law officers and was thought to have been involved in the murder of fellow deputy John Dillingham in June, 1863. Later he seriously wounded a man named Jack Temple in a gunfight at a Virginia City Saloon and with another outlaw named Bill Hunter, was said to have robbed a Mormon who was on his way to Salt Lake City, Utah. However, the Montana Vigilantes were on to his bandit ways and on the evening of January 13, 1864, while Gallagher and others were drinking and playing faro in a local saloon, the committee was deliberating his execution. According to the tale, Gallager made one of the most truthful statements of his life when he remarked: "While we are here betting, those vigilante sons of bitches are passing sentence on us."  


The next morning, he found out how very right his prediction was, when he, along with Club-Foot George Lane, Frank Parish, Boone Helm, and Haze Lyons were rounded up and hauled to the unfinished Virginia Hotel building. Throwing the ropes over the beams, the five men were hanged. Before he died, Jack was said to have yelled to a friend, "Ray! I'm going to heaven! I'll be there in time to open the gate for you, old fellow." All five men were buried in Virginia City's Boot Hill Cemetery. 


William "Whiskey Bill” Graves (18??-1864) - A road agent in Montana, Graves was said to have been a member of Henry Plummer's gang of Innocents. When Montana Vigilantes began to round up the known outlaws in Bannack and Virginia City and hang them, Graves took off to the Bitterrot Valley of western Montana. However, when he was fingered by Red Yager to the Montana Vigilantes, they went after him, capturing him at Fort Owen near present-day Stevensville on January 26, 1864. Graves made no resistance, but refused to confess. The vigilantes then tied one end of a rope around his neck, threw the other over a stout limb and forced him to mount a horse behind another vigilante. The horse was then spurred as the vigilante yelled "So long, Bill" and Graves was lifted up behind him to hang by his neck.


Jacob Franklin Gregg (1844-1906) - Born to Jacob and Nancy Gregg in Jackson County, Missouri on March 22, 1844, he grew up to serve under William Quantrill during the Civil War. Afterwards, he joined the James-Younger Gang. He was with the gang in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. In March, 1869, he was arrested in Independence, Missouri for killings made during the war. However, during his trial in Lexington, Missouri he was acquitted partly due to the intersession of General Jo Shelby. On February 11, 1872, he married Sallie C. Gilliland and that same year moved to Texas. He died there on August 26, 1906.


Billy Grounds (1862-1882) - His real name was said to have been Boucher, Billy was born in Texas, but left headed westward in 1881, first landing in New Mexico and then Arizona. He soon hooked up with the likes of the Clanton Gang, and began rustling cattle. He soon moved on to bigger things and on March 25, 1882, he and another outlaw named Zwing Hunt, attempted to rob the Tombstone Mining and Milling Company in Charleston, Arizona.


After being challenged, they shot and killed a man before panicking and taking off without a dime. Within no time, U.S. Deputy Marshal William Breakenridge gathered a posse and began to track the two killers. Finding them at the Jack Chandler Ranch near Tombstone, a Breakenridge had killed Billy Grounds and Zwing Hunt had been wounded. Unfortunately, one of the deputized men, John Gillespie, was also dead. The other two posse members were wounded but would recover. Outlaw Zwing Hunt escaped three weeks later only to be killed by Apache Indians.


William"Curley" Grimes (1850-1879) - The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage & Express Company, which ran between Deadwood, South Dakota and Cheyenne, Wyoming, traveled one of the most dangerous routes in the American West, due to its frequent hold-ups and hostile Sioux Indians. One of most conspicuous road agents guilty of holding up the stage was Curley Grimes, who had been making a "career" in the Black Hills as a bandit for about two years. Having also been accused of stealing U.S. Mail from the stages, Special Agent William H. Llewellyn and U.S. Deputy Marshal Boone May were sent to capture him in 1979. When the two officers caught up with the road agent about halfway in between Rapid city and Fort Meade, he was arrested without incident. However, later in the day, when Grimes attempted to escape, he was shot and killed by Boone May.



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