The Doolin-Dalton Gang, also known as the Oklahombres and the Wild Bunch, was formed by William “Bill” Doolin in 1893 after his cohorts in the Dalton Gang were killed in the Coffeyville, Kansas raid on October 5, 1892.
Operating out of Indian Territory (Oklahoma), the gang was comprised of several members during various times, including George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb, Charlie Pierce, Oliver “Ol” Yantis, William Marion “Bill” Dalton, William “Tulsa Jack” Blake, Dan “Dynamite Dick” Clifton; Roy Daugherty, alias “Arkansas Tom” Jones, George “Red Buck” Waightman, Richard “Little Dick” West, and William F. “Little Bill” Raidler.
For three years, the gang specialized in robbing banks, stagecoaches, and trains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas becoming the terror of the Wild West. For whatever reasons, Doolin held something of a “Robin Hood” image and was well-liked by many people, who helped him and his gang evade the law. These people also helped the gang in its famous battle in Ingalls, Oklahoma, with U.S. Marshals.
On the afternoon of September 1, 1893, what is known as the Ingalls Gunfight occurred. While several gang members were holed up in George Ransom’s saloon, they were involved in a gun battle that left nine people killed or wounded, including one deputy who died immediately and another two people who died of their wounds the next day. Three of the outlaws were wounded, and Arkansas Tom Jones was captured.
The robberies and killings continued until Doolin was captured in a Eureka Springs, Arkansas bathhouse by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Tilghman in January 1896. Tilghman returned him to the Guthrie, Oklahoma jail. Later, however, Doolin, “Dynamite Dick” Clifton, and others escaped, and Doolin eluded apprehension for several months.
However, a posse led by Heck Thomas tracked him down near Lawson, Oklahoma Territory, on August 25, 1896. When Thomas demanded he surrender, he pulled his six-gun and fired twice before a blast from a shotgun fired by Deputy Bill Dunn and rifle bullets fired by Thomas cut him to pieces, thus signaling the passing of the Wild Bunch.
Of the other members of the Oklahombres:
- Oliver “Ol” Yantis was killed by a sheriff’s posse on November 29, 1891, at Orlando, Oklahoma Territory.
- Roy Daugherty, alias “Arkansas Tom” Jones, was captured in the Ingalls, Oklahoma gunfight on September 1, 1893. Sent to prison, he was paroled in 1910, but after robbing another bank, he was killed on August 16, 1924, in Joplin, Missouri, by police officers.
- Bill Dalton was killed on June 8, 1894, near Ardmore, Oklahoma, by an Anadarko posse.
- Tulsa Jack Blake was killed on April 4, 1895, in Major County, Oklahoma Territory, by Deputy U.S. Marshals.
- George “Bitter Creek” Newcomb was killed May 2, 1895, in Payne County, Oklahoma Territory, by the Dunn brothers for the bounty on his head.
- Charlie Pierce was killed on May 2, 1895, in Payne County, Oklahoma Territory, by the Dunn brothers for the bounty on his head.
- Little Bill Raidler was captured on September 6, 1895, by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Tilghman and was paroled in 1903 because of complications from wounds received when he was captured. He died the following year.
- Red Buck Waightman was killed on March 4, 1896, near Arapaho, Oklahoma Territory, by a Custer County posse.
- Dynamite Dick Clifton was captured in June 1896 by Deputy U.S. Marshals from Texas and was returned to the Guthrie, Oklahoma jail. He escaped along with Bill Doolin and 12 other prisoners on July 5, 1896. However, he was tracked down by Deputy U.S. Marshals and was killed near Checotah, Oklahoma, on November 7, 1897.
- “Little Dick” West was killed on April 8, 1898, by Deputy U.S. Marshals in Logan County, Oklahoma Territory.
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated December 2021.
Marshal, Evett Dumas “E.D.” Nix