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Old West Outlaws - P-Q

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Frank Parish Grave, Virginia City, MontanaFrank Parish (or Parrish) (18??-1864) - Though a crippled rancher by trade, Frank Parish, was accused of being in cohorts with Henry Plummer’s gang of Innocents, and was hanged on January 14, 1864 by Montana Vigilantes. Hailing from Tennessee, Parish was lured to the west by glowing reports from a relative and at the age of 25, arrived at Grasshopper Creek near Bannack, Montana. He and a partner soon pooled their resources and bought a claim which was obviously profitable as Parish and two other partners established a ranch on Rattlesnake Creek along the Virginia City-Bannack Stage Route. Some of the area miners suspected that Parish had stumbled onto a rich mine and after following him back to his ranch and seeing no signs of a mine, became suspicious. Soon, afterwards, Parish froze his feet and hands so badly that he was left a cripple and unable to work his ranch land. However, with the convenient location on the stage route, his Indian wife began to prepare meals for stage passengers and travelers along the road, and the couple also provided a bar.


In November, 1863, Parrish became so ill that a doctor was summoned from Virginia City who found that his fever was so he probably wouldn’t survive. However, Parish survived and on January 14, 1864, made the mistake of traveling to Virginia City for supplies. Unknown to Parish, the Montana Vigilantes had been meeting, and the soon after his arrival, he was surrounded by armed men and arrested. When he asked why, he was told "For being a road agent, thief, and an accessory to numerous robberies and murders on the highway." To this, Parish quietly responded, "I am innocent of all, as innocent as you are." He was then hustled to a building at Wallace and Jackson Streets for a "trial.” Vigilante President Paris Pfouts and several other men were present and soon proceeded to severely interrogate the rancher. Before, it was said and done, Parrish had confessed to rustling cattle and horses, providing food outlaws, and robbing a stage coach. Though numerous town members were well aware that Mrs. Parish would serve anyone along the road and that the crippled rancher was bedridden during the time of the stage robbery, no one stood up for him. Other "trials” were also taking place that day, and in the end, five men, including Parish, Boone Helm, Hayes Lyons, Jack Gallagher, and "Clubfoot George” Lane would be hanged from a beam of an unfinished building. His body was buried in Virginia City's Boot Hill Cemetery.


Allen H. Parmer (1848-1927) - Born and raised in Missouri, Parmer rode with William Quantrill during the Civil War and was paroled with Frank James in Kentucky at war’s end. Afterwards, he joined with the James-Younger Gang and was allegedly present during their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. He then attended Bryant and Stratton's Business College in St. Louis, Missouri in 1867-68. A warrant was issued for his arrest for participating in the robbery of the Hughes and Wasson Bank in Richmond, Missouri in May, 1867; however, when he produced an alibi that he was working in St. Louis at the time, all charges were dropped. OnNovember 24, 1870, he married Susan Lavinia James, sister of Frank and Jesse James and the couple would have six children. He moved his family to Archer City, Texas somewhere along the line, where he worked as a manager for the Stone land and Cattle Company. During this time, his brother-in-law, Jesse James, often utilized his home as a hide-out. His wife, Susan, died in 1889 and he remarried Sarah Katherine Ogden December 27, 1892. Parmer died October 25, 1927 in Texas.


Donnie PenceAlexander Doniphan "Donnie" Pence (1847-1896) - Born on August 15, 1847 in Clay County, Missouri to Adam and Ann Pence, he was the younger of Bud Pence and had at least 8 other siblings. Bud and Donnie grew up as neighbors to Frank and Jesse James and because of their proximity in ages, became fast friends with the James brothers. Both Frank James and Bud Pence joined up with Quantrill's Raiders in 1863, and Donnie and Jesse James followed in their footsteps about six months later. After the war, both Bud and Donnie made their way to Nelson County, Kentucky but soon joined up with the James-Younger Gang and were involved in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Bank in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. Both he and his brother bud were identified as participants in the robbery, and quickly fled back to Kentucky. Though Missouri authorities tried to extradite his brother Bud back to Missouri, Bud escaped from jail. Donnie married Sarah Isabel Samuels on November 10, 1870 and lived at the Samuels Depot in Nelson County, Kentucky. By this time, Donnie had gone "straight,” and in 1871 became a respected sheriff, a position he held for more than two decades. He died of typhoid pneumonia on February 25, 1896 and was buried at Stoner's Chapel Cemetery in nelson County, Kentucky.


Thomas Edward "Bud” Pence (1842-1880) - Born on November 28, 1842 in Clay County, Missouri to Adam and Ann Pence, he was the older brother to Donnie Pence and had at least 8 other siblings. Bud and Donnie grew up as neighbors to Frank and Jesse James and because of their proximity in ages, became fast friends with the James brothers. Pence joined up with Quantrill's Raiders in 1863, shortly after his boyhood friend, Frank James. After the war, Bud moved to Nelson County, Kentucky, but soon joined up with the James-Younger Gang and was involved in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Bank in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. Both he and his brother Donnie were identified as participants in the robbery, and quickly fled back to Kentucky. Missouri authorities quickly sent notice and Bud was arrested and jailed. After extradition proceedings a Missouri deputy traveled to Kentucky to transport him back to Missouri, but Pence had escaped, probably with the help of sympathetic local authorities. On December 1, 1867, he married Mary Rachel Samuels and by 1880, were living with Mary’s widowed mother in Nelson County, Kentucky. He died of unknown causes September 15, 1880.




Tom Pickett (1858-1934) - Raised in Decatur, Texas , Pickett would grow up to be both a lawman and an outlaw at various times of his life. He began a life a crime when he stole some cattle at the age of 17. Soon captured, his father, a former officer for the Confederacy and a member of the Texas legislature, mortgaged the family home to pay his fine. Pickett later went on to serve as a Texas Ranger for a short time. He then followed a cattle drive to Kansas and became a gambler. There he met "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh and the pair went to Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1879, where Pickett served as a "peace officer" in the Dodge City Gang. When the city of Las Vegas ran the men out of town, he and Rudabaugh soon joined up with Billy the Kid's Gang and were rusting cattle near Fort Sumner. After Tom O'Folliard was killed by Pat Garrett's posse, Picket and the others fled, hiding out in a stone house in Stinking Springs, New Mexico. Garrett soon tracked them down on December 23, 1880 and in the ultimate shoot-out, Charlie Bowdre was killed, and the rest of the gang captured and taken to Santa Fe, New Mexico.


After being released on a $300 bail, Pickett drifted into northern Arizona where he hooked up with the Hash Knife outfit and participated in the Graham-Tewksbury feud. Wounded in the leg during one of the many skirmishes, Pickett returned to working as a cowboy. He married in 1888, but his wife and baby both died in childbirth. He spent the rest of his days gambling, bartending, prospecting for gold and working as a cowboy. However, he did serve a short stint as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. After he was forced to have his leg amputated, Pickett returned to northern Arizona where he died of old age on on May 14, 1934 in Winslow, Arizona at the age of 76.


George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb and Charley Pierce DeadCharley Pierce (18??-1895) - After unsuccessfully racing horses in Pawnee, Oklahoma, Pierce became a member of the Dalton Gang during the 1890's. After most of the gang's members were killed during the Coffeyville, Kansas raid on October 5, 1892, Pierce joined Bill Doolin's Oklahombres. He participated in several holdups, but his final battle occurred on May 2, 1895. After the Doolin Gang split up, Pierce and George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb rode to the Dunn Ranch on the Cimarron River to visit Newcomb's lover, the famous "Rose of Cimarron." They also planned to collect some $900 owed to Newcomb by Rose's brothers. However, as they approached the house the pair of outlaws were ambushed, shot out of their saddles by Rose's brothers who wanted to collect the large bounty on their heads. Both bodies were then taken to Guthrie, but Newcomb was still alive. When he sat up and begged for water, he received another bullet for his efforts.


Charley Pitts (18??-1876) - On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. Among the outlaws were the James Brothers, the three Younger Brothers, and two more Quantrill veterans, including Clell Miller and Charlie Pitts. The attempted robbery was to be the demise of the infamous James-Younger Gang and the death of Charley Pitts. When ordered to open the safe, bank cashier, Heyman, refused to do so and ducked down. Angered, Jesse put a pistol to his head and shot him. The shot was heard beyond the bank and when the bank alarm began to go off the Northfield citizens opened fire upon the gang. Charley Pitts and Bill Chadwell were killed. Cole, Jim and Bob Younger were badly wounded but managed to escape. However, they were captured just one week later, just east of Mankato. The Younger Brothers were sentenced to life terms in prison. Frank and Jesse escaped back to Missouri, unharmed.


BillPowers.jpg (124x176 -- 13252 bytes)Bill Power, aka: William St. Power, Tom Evans (18??-1892) - Not much is known about Bill Power other than he drifted into Indian Territory with a trail herd from the Pecos. His name was actually William St. Power and in addition to using the name "Bill Power," he also used the alias of Tom Evans. While working at the Bar X Bar Ranch, he became acquainted with Emmett Dalton and other cowboys who would soon become part of the infamous Dalton Gang.


In the two years the Dalton Gang operated, the outlaws were involved in a number of train and bank robberies before they schemed to a double bank robbery in Coffeyville, Kansas on October 5, 1892. Spotted by locals, a shootout followed the attempted robbery which claimed the lives of power, along with Grat and Bob Dalton, and Dick Broadwell; as well as four Coffeyville residents. Emmett Dalton, though seriously wounded, was the only the only one to survive and wound up serving 14 years in prison. Power was buried, along with the Dalton brothers at the Coffeyville, Kansas Cemetery.



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