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 twenty he was working as a cowboy on the Murphy Ranch in Denton, Texas. The Murphy Ranch also just 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 then joined the Sam Bass Gang in robbing banks and trains. However, when they went to rob a bank in Round Rock, Texas on July 19, 1878, the Texas Rangers, who had been tipped off, were waiting for them. 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 along 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 Weiser/Legends of America, updated February 2020.

Also See:

Adventures of the Old West

Outlaws on the Frontier

Outlaw & Scoundrel Photo Galleries

Sam Bass Gang