William F. “Little Bill” Raidler was an Old West outlaw of the and member of the Doolin-Dalton gang.
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-Dalton 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 200 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.
By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.