Outlaw Gangs


Billy the Kid's Gang

Billy the Kid’s Gang

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:

Burton Alvord - Lawman and Outlaw

Burton Alvord – Lawman and Outlaw

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.

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. See Article HERE.

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. See Article HERE.

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

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

Bummers Gang (1855-1860) – Operating in Auraria (now west Denver), Colorado, the Bummers Gang began “raiding” the town in the mid-1850’s. See Article HERE.

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. See Article HERE.

Ike Clanton

Ike Clanton

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.

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

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

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. See Full 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.

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