Frank “Blockey” Jackson – Riding With Sam Bass

Sam Bass Gang, photo courtesy City of Roundrock, Tx and Robert G. McCubbin, Jr.

Sam Bass Gang.

Frank Jackson, aka Blockey, was born in Texas in 1856. Jackson was orphaned as a boy and was trained to be a tinsmith. However, he was not very interested in the profession, and by the time he was 20, he was working as a cowboy on the Murphy Ranch in Denton, Texas. The Murphy Ranch also happened to be one of Sam Bass‘ hideouts.

Frank’s first foray into the outlaw life was when he murdered a man named Henry Goodall, a black man accused of horse theft. After the two got into an argument, Jackson shot Goodall and cut his throat. Officially an “outlaw,” he joined the Sam Bass Gang in robbing banks and trains. However, on July 19, 1878, the Texas Rangers, who had been tipped off, were waiting for them when they went to rob a bank in Round Rock, Texas. In the inevitable gunfight, gang member Seaborn Barnes was shot in the head, and Bass was severely wounded. Though Bass was wounded, he made it to his horse and rode out of town with the help of Frank Jackson. The next day Bass was found lying helpless in a pasture north of town and was brought back to Round Rock, where he died without telling the authorities anything about where Jackson was headed.

Afterward, Frank Jackson made the ultimate escape. It is thought that he became a successful rancher in New Mexico and died about 1930.

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

Also See:

Adventures of the Old West

Outlaws on the Frontier

Outlaw & Scoundrel Photo Galleries

Sam Bass Gang