William F. “Little Bill” Raidler – Riding With the Doolin Gang

Bill Raidler

William F. “Little Bill” Raidler was an Old West outlaw 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 several gunfights; the most well-known of which was when a posse jumped the Doolin Gang near Dover, Oklahoma, 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 U.S. Deputy Marshal William Banks had killed. 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 6, 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.


© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated December 2022.

Also See:

Doolin-Dalton Gang

Outlaws on the Frontier

Outlaws & Scoundrels Photo Gallery

Train Robberies of America