Outlaw gangs go as far back in history as the beginning of man, with the word “thug” (Thugz) dating to 1200 A.D. when gangs in India were pillaging many of the country’s towns. These gangs often had their own hand signs, rituals, symbols and slang, as they clustered together for means of force and protection.
During the 1800’s, Americans were fascinated by gangs and their members such as the James Gang, Billy the Kid’s Gang, the Doolin-Dalton Gang, the Wild Bunch and dozens of others that ruled the Wild West.
Though the history of these Old West gangs is often romanticized, it should not be forgotten that they were in fact, nothing more than thugs.
Outlaw Gang List:
Alvord-Stiles Gang (1899) – Led by two ex-lawmen, Burton Alvord and Billy Stiles, this gang of train robbers operated in Arizona Territory at the turn of the century. Some of the members of the gang were were Bravo Juan Yoas, brothers, George and Louis Owens, “Three Fingered Jack” Dunlap, and Bob Brown. Alvord is thought to have died a natural death around 1910 in Central America, where he moved after serving a prison sentence for robbery. Stiles was shot and killed in Nevada in 1908.
Archer Gang (1880’s) – Much like the Reno Brothers had operated two decades earlier, the Archer brothers — Thomas, Mort, John, and Sam, raided Orange and Marion Counties in Indiana for several decades.
Black Hills Bandits (1876-1877) – Comprised of Sam Bass, Joel Collins, and four other men, they robbed stagecoaches in the Deadwood, South Dakota area and pulled of the Big Springs train robbery in Nebraska. See Article HERE
Clanton Gang, aka: The Cowboys (1870’s) – The Clanton family and their ranch hands were a loosely organized gang of outlaws who operated along the Mexican border of Arizona, stealing cattle, robbing stage coaches, ambushing teamsters, and committing murder. See Article HERE.
Brack Cornett Gang – See Bill Whitley Gang
Dalton Gang (1891-1892) – Led by brothers Bob and Grat Dalton, the Dalton Gang robbed banks and trains throughout Kansas and Oklahoma until they were killed in the Coffeyville, Kansas Raid. See Article HERE.
Doolin-Dalton Gang, aka: Oklahombres, the Wild Bunch (1892-1895) – Led by Bill Doolin, the gang specialized in robbing banks, stage coaches and trains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. See Article HERE.
Espinosa Gang – Bitter at the killing of six family members during the Mexican-American War, the Espinoza took their revenge on Colorado residents and travelers, murdering them viciously. See Full Article HERE.
The Five Joaquins (1850-1853) – The Five Joaquins were said to be responsible for the majority of cattle rustling, robberies, and murders that were committed in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevadas between 1850 and 1853.