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Old West Outlaws - R

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Index       <<  Previous  A  B  C  D  E-F  G  H  I-J  K  L  M  N-O  P-Q  R  S T-U  V-Z  Next  >>

 

William F. "Little Bill" Raidler (18??-1904) - An educated man from Pennsylvania, Bill Raidler drifted into Texas, where he became a cowboy. Soon, he moved on to Oklahoma, where he met Bill Doolin and the next thing you know, he was riding with the Doolin Gang. Along with robbing banks and trains, Raidler was involved in a number of gunfights, the most well-known of which was when the Doolin Gang was jumped by a posse near Dover, Oklahoma in on April 4, 1895. After some two hundred shots were exchanged, Raidler and three other members galloped away to safety, leaving behind "Tulsa Jack” Blake who had been killed by U.S. Deputy Marshal William Banks. It would be 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. 

 

A few months later, on September 6th, Raidler was tracked down by Bill Tilghman and two other law enforcement officers. When Raidler fought back by firing his rifle, the lawmen returned shots and Raidler was hit in the wrist by a rifle slug. Dropping his gun and running, he was hit again, in the back and the neck, but survived. He stood trial for his part in a train robbery in Dover, Oklahoma and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was released in 1903 but died just a year later.

 

 

"Little Bill" Raidler 

 

Bannack, Montana GallowsNed Ray (18??-1864) - Before making his way to Bannack, Montana Ray worked as an engineer in Benicia, California, but spent the vast majority of his time as a professional gambler. Later, he made his way to Salt Lake City, Utah where he was convicted in the theft of two mules and sent to prison. However, he escaped in 1863 and by mid-May, he had made his way to Bannack. It is not known if Henry Plummer had been previously associated with Ray while they were both in the California area, but Plummer appointed Ray as a deputy after he was elected Sheriff on May 24, 1863. Though Ray was known as a "rough” and associated with known outlaws, there is no record that he was ever accused of or committed any crimes while in Bannack. However, when the Montana Vigilantes were formed in December,1863, he came under suspicion when Erastus "Red" Yager was hanged on January 4, 1864. The Montana Vigilantes claimed that Yager had named Henry Plummer as the leader of the gang called the Innocents. The vigilantes acted swiftly and on January 10, 1864 they rode into Bannack from Virginia City and apprehended Henry Plummer and his two deputies, Buck Stinson and Ned Ray. Marching the three men to the gallows in a military style, the three were lifted up and dropped to their deaths. The three bodies were left hanging until the next morning. Plummer’s was the only body placed in a wooden coffin and none were buried in the cemetery, but instead all three were buried in shallow graves in Hangman’s Gulch about a hundred yards up from the gallows.

 

Jim Reed, outlawJim Reed (18??-1874) - Little is known of Reed's early life, but he grew up in Missouri and his family was friends with the Shirleys, who would have the dubious honor of raising the girl who would end up with the nickname of the Bandit Queen - Belle Starr. Reed grew up to ride with Quantrill's Raiders during the Civil War, along with the James and Younger brothers. When the war was over, he was with the James-Younger Gang when they fled to Texas after they robbed the bank in Liberty, Missouri in 1866.

 

There, he reconnected with Myra Belle Shirley (Starr) and the two soon married on November 1, 1866. Their first child - Pearl was born in 1868. In the meantime, Reed had become involved with the Tom Starr gang, rustling cattle. Reed was soon a wanted man, allegedly for murdering a man named Shannon. Jim and Belle then fled to California with their young daughter and soon had a second child in 1871 named Edward.

 

Soon afterwards, Reed returned to Texas with his family and became involved with the James-Younger Gang as well as continuing to ride with Tom Starr's gang. In April, 1874, he robbed the Austin-San Antonio stage and though there was no evidence that Belle Reed participated, she was named as an accessory in the indictment. With the law hot on his tail, Jim Reed was killed by a deputy sheriff at Paris, Texas, in August 1874. His widow, Belle then sent her children to Missouri to live with their grandmother and dropped out of sight for a few years until she re-emerged as an outlaw in her own right.

 

Texas Jack ReedNathaniel Reed "Texas Jack" (1862-1950) - Hailing from Arkansas, Reed became a proficient bank and train robber in Indian Territory, claiming to have pulled off four train robberies, seven bank jobs, and three stagecoach holdups before he was finally shot by U.S. Deputy Marshal Bud Ledbetter during an attempted train robbery in 1894. Wounded, Reed was still able to escape, but the following year, turned himself in to Judge Isaac Parker at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Making a deal to provide information on more notorious outlaws, Reed received just a five year sentence. However, after just one year, he was released. Much like more famous outlaws, such as Cole Younger and Frank James, he began exhibiting hirnself with carnival companies and Wild West Shows as "Texas Jack, the famous bandit and train robber." He also wrote a small book entitled "The Life of Texas Jack, Eight Years a Criminal - 41 Years Trusting in God." Though he desperately wanted to interest motion picture producers in his life story, they never responded, probably because he had turned himself in, rather than being captured with "guns blazing." He died in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 7, 1950, at age eighty-eight.

 

Johnny Ringo, aka: Ringold (1850-1882) - Stories vary as to Ringo's real name, but he was known to have been born to a good family on May 3, 1850 in Green's Fork, Indiana. They soon moved to Missouri where Ringo attended college. The family moved again to California, but Ringo headed to Texas in 1869. There, he earned a deadly reputation in numerous gunfights and fought with Scott Cooley in the Mason County War of 1874-1876. For his actions in this feud, he spent almost two years in jail until charges were dismissed.

 

Johnny Ringo

Johnny Ringo was thought to have been killed by

 either  Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!

 

 

 

Afterwards, he settled in Loyal Valley, Texas, where he did a short stint as a constable. His life as a lawman; however, didn't last long as he next appeared in Arizona in 1879. There, Ringo hooked up with the Clanton Gang, a group of outlaws commonly known as the "Cowboys" around Tombstone. Ringo himself was called "the King of the Cowboys."

 

Though he was a known antagonist of Wyatt Earp heavily involved with the Clantons, he was not a participant in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

 

In 1882, Ringo was found dead with a bullet in his brain. Though his death was ruled as a suicide, his gun was discovered fully loaded, and most believed it to be murder, some say by either Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday. Ringo is buried a few yards from the tree where his body was found. The grave is located on a ranch southeast of Willcox, Arizona, on private property and can only be viewed with permission.

 

Ben Robertson, aka:  Ben Wheeler, Ben Burton (18??-1884) - The son of a respected Texas family, Wheeler was born Ben F. Robertson around 1854. He lived an honest life, marrying and having four children by the time he severely wounded an opponent in a dispute in 1878. Abandoning his wife and children, he fled the state, traveling to Cheyenne, Wyoming where he worked as a cowboy. Later, he wound up in Indianola, Nebraska, using the name of Ben F. Burton.

 

There, he married a woman named Alice Wheeler in November, 1881, but after living with her at her parent’s home for a year, he abandoned her as well. From there, he went to Caldwell, Kansas, where he met up with an old friend named Henry Brown, who was serving as Caldwell's City Marshal. Now going by the name of Ben Wheeler, Brown appointed Wheeler as Assistant Marshal in December,  1882.

The two men "cleaned up” the tough town of Caldwell quickly, but Brown was having financial troubles and soon devised a plant to take care of his problem. On Apr. 30, 1884, Henry Brown and Robertson traveled to Medicine Lodge, Kansas, allegedly in search of a killer. However, their real intentions were to rob a bank, along with two other outlaw friends by the names of John Wesley and William Smith. However, their robbery attempt failed and the four quickly fled. Almost immediately, they were apprehended by a posse just outside of town. Taken to the Medicine Lodge jail, the outlaws were given a meal, their photo taken, and told to write letters to their families. At about 9:00 p.m.a mob broke into the jail and the prisoners attempted to dash for freedom. Brown fell quickly, his body riddled with bullets. Wheeler was also wounded but was dragged along with Wesley and Smith to a nearby elm tree and hanged.

Annie Rogers, aka: Della Moore, Maud Williams (18??-19??) - Born in Texas as Della Moore, Annie was working in Fannie Porter's brothel in San Antonio when she met Harvey Logan, better known as Kid Curry. Though Curry had a reputation as the most dangerous member of the Wild Bunch, his affection for the slender, dark-haired girl seemed genuine. They often "presented" themselves as man and wife, but it is unknown if they were actually ever married.

 

On July 3, 1901, the Kid, along with Ben Kilpatrick and O.C. Hanks robbed the Great Northern Coast Railroad near Wagner, Montana, escaping with more than $40,000. Several months later, Annie was arrested on October 14th in Nashville, Tennessee for passing bank notes that were stolen in the great Northern robbery. Annie spent time in jail until she was acquitted on June 18, 1902.

 

In the meantime, Curry had also been arrested when he got into a bar fight in Knoxville, Tennessee on December 13, 1901. Captured two days later, he was still in jail when Rogers was released. In November, 1902, he was convicted of multiple charges, including forging stolen bank notes and sentenced to 130 years in prison. However, he escaped on June 27, 1903 and a year later, he participated in robbing the Denver & Rio Grande train near Parachute, Colorado on June 7, 1904.

 

Two days later, a posse caught up with the outlaws and in the confrontation, Logan was wounded. However, rather than go to prison, he took his own life. He was 37 years old.

 

Annie Rogers never saw Harvey Logan again after she was acquitted of passing the bank notes and lived the rest of her life as a law abiding citizen.

Annie Rogers was Kid Curry's girlfriend

Annie Rogers was Kid Curry's best girl.

This image available for photographic prints & downloads HERE!

John D. Ruggles (1859-1892) - Getting into trouble at an early age, John Ruggles served time in prison for robbery when he was still a young man. When he was released he and his brother, Charles, robbed the Redding & Weaverville stage just outside Redding, California. In the process, Charles was shot in the face and the stage guard was killed. Thinking his brother dead, John hid the money and fled. However, Charles survived and both were apprehended and taken to jail. On July 24, 1892 a vigilante mob stormed the jail, hauled out the two men and hanged them. The hidden loot was never found.

Charles L. Ruggles (1870-1892) - Charles Ruggles came from a good family, attending college and never committed a crime until his older brother, John, was released from prison. John, who had spent his life committing robberies, convinced Charles to rob a stagecoach with him. On May 14, 1892, the pair robbed the Redding & Weaverville stage just outside Redding, California. In the process, Charles was shot in the face and the stage guard was killed. Thinking his brother dead, John hid the money and fled. However, Charles survived and both were apprehended and taken to jail. On July 24th a vigilante mob stormed the jail, hauled out the two men and hanged them. The hidden loot was never found.

 

 

Continued Next Page

Bodie California Jail

Many of these old outlaws wound up in the pokey,

like this one in Bodie, California.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!

Also See:

More Old West Lists:

Explorers

Gunfighters

Lawmen

Native Americans

Outlaw Gangs

Scoundrels

Soldiers

Trailblazers & Cowboys

Vigilantes

Women

 

Index       <<  Previous  A  B  C  D  E-F  G  H  I-J  K  L  M  N-O  P-Q  R  S T-U  V-Z  Next  >>

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