Outlaw Gangs



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 1800s, 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:

Burton Alvord - Lawman and Outlaw

Burton Alvord – Lawman and Outlaw

Alvord-Stiles Gang (1899-1904) – 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.

Archer Gang (1880s) – Much like the Reno Brothers who had operated two decades earlier, the Archer brothers — Thomas, Mort, John, and Sam, raided Orange and Marion Counties in Indiana for several decades.

Sam Bass Gang (1877-1878) – Led by Sam Bass, this gang robbed trains and banks in Texas. For South Dakota and Nebraska robberies, see the Black Hills Bandits.

Billy the Kid's Gang

Billy the Kid’s Gang

Billy the Kid’s Gang, aka: The Rustlers (1876-1880) – Led by Billy the Kid, this gang formed out of the conflict of the Lincoln County War in New Mexico.

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 off the Big Springs train robbery in Nebraska.

Blonger Brothers (1890’s-1922) – Louis H. “The Fixer” Blonger led one of the longest-running confidence rings in the American West.

Bummers Gang (1855-1860) – Operating in Denver, Colorado, the Bummers Gang began “raiding” the town in the mid-1850s.

Burrow Gang (1887-1890)Reuben “Rube” Burrow, along with his brother Jim, and other members began to rob trains after Rube’s crops had failed in Texas.

Ike Clanton

Ike Clanton

Clanton Gang, aka: The Cowboys (1870s) – 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 stagecoaches, ambushing teamsters, and committing murder.

Cook Gang (1894) – Led by Bill Cook and Cherokee Bill, these outlaws terrorized Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1894. Ruthless, they shot anyone who got in their way.

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.

Daly Gang (1862-1864) – For two years the Daly Gang terrorized the town of Aurora, Nevada.

Dodge City Gang (1879-1881) – In the summer of 1879, a gang of desperadoes known as the Dodge City Gang masqueraded as lawmen in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Bill Doolin

Bill Doolin

Doolin-Dalton Gang, aka: Oklahombres, the Wild Bunch (1892-1895) – Led by Bill Doolin, the gang specialized in robbing banks, stagecoaches and trains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Espinosa Gang – Bitter at the killing of six family members during the Mexican-American War, the Espinozas took their revenge on Colorado residents and travelers, murdering them viciously.

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.

Fleagle Gang in the Newspaper

Fleagle Gang in the Newspaper

Fleagle Gang (1920s) – The Fleagle Gang robbed banks and committed murder in Kansas, Colorado, and California during the 1920s. They were found and executed or killed after robbing the First National Bank in Lamar, Colorado.

Flores-Daniel Gang (1856-1857) – Led by Juan Flores and Pancho Daniel, the gang raided southern California, stealing horses, cattle, and robbing travelers along the roadways, sometimes leaving their victims dead.

High Fives Gang (1890s) – Also referred to as the Christian Gang, led by “Black Jack” Will Christian and his brother, Bob, from Oklahoma, the gang operated in New Mexico and Arizona after the Christian brothers escaped from an Oklahoma jail in 1895.

Hole-in-the-Wall-Gang – Active in the 1880s-1890s in the Hole-in-the-Wall Pass of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang was not one organized gang of outlaws, but rather, was made up of several separate groups and individuals who made their hideouts within the pass in Johnson County, Wyoming.

Henry Plummer

Henry Plummer

Innocents Gang – The Innocents were an alleged gang of outlaw road agents in Montana Territory who operated during the gold rush of the 1860s, preying on shipments and travelers carrying gold between Bannack and Virginia City.

James Gang (1879-1882) – Three years after the demise of the James-Younger Gang, when the Youngers were arrested in Northfield, Minnesota, Jesse James put together another group to continue on with his criminal career. The James Gang lasted from 1879 to 1882, when Jesse was killed by Bob Ford on April 3, 1882.

James-Younger Gang (1866-1882) – After the Civil War, the James and Younger brothers hooked up, robbing banks, trains and stagecoaches for ten years, becoming the most famous outlaw gang in America’s history.

Al Jennings

Al Jennings

Jennings Gang (1897) – This short-lived gang operated only a few months making several failed train robbery attempts in Oklahoma in 1897 before all were arrested or killed.

Jesse Evans Gang – The Boys (1872-1879) – Lead by Jesse Evans, this gang was actively involved in cattle rustling and armed robbery in New Mexico in the early 1870s.

Ketchum Gang (1896-1899) – Made up of a revolving list of members, the Ketchum Gang was led by Black Jack Ketchum. The gang robbed retail businesses, post offices, and trains in New Mexico.

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