Dalton Raid in Coffeyville Historic Text

The Dalton Gang has been exterminated — wiped off the face of the earth.

Galveston Daily News, October 6, 1892

Coffeeville, Kansas

Coffeyville, Kansas

The Dalton Gang’s failed bank robbery in Coffeyville, Kansas on October 5, 1892 is forever in Old West Legend.  Here is a collection of Newspaper reports of the time.

October 6, 1892 – Galveston Daily News

Coffeyville, Kansas, Oct. 5. — The Dalton Gang has been exterminated — wiped off the face of the earth. They were today shot down, but not until four citizens of this place yielded up their lives in the work of extermination. Six of the gang rode into town this morning and robbed two banks. The raid became known to the officers of the law, and when the bandits attempted to escape they were attacked by the marshal’s posse. In the battle which ensued four of the desperadoes were killed outright, and one so fatally wounded that he has since died. The other escaped but is being hotly pursued.

Daltons Dead

Of the attacking party four were killed, one fatally and two seriously wounded. The dead are:

  • Bob Dalton, desperado, shot through the head.
  • Grant [Grat] Dalton, desperado, shot through the heart.
  • Emmett Dalton, desperado, shot through the left side. [Incorrectly reported. Amazingly, Emmett, who had been shot 23 times, lived and was sent to the penitentiary at Lansing, Kansas. After 14 years, he was released and went on to write a book about the event.]
  • Joseph Evans, [Bill Power] desperado, shot through the head.
  • John Moore, “Texas Jack,” [Dick Broadwell] desperado, shot through the head.
  • T. C. Connelly, city marshal, shot through the body.
  • L. M. Baldwin, bank clerk, shot through the head.
  • G. W. Cubine, merchant, shot through the head.
  • C. J. Brown, shoemaker, shot through the body.

Thomas G. Ayers, cashier of the First National Bank, was shot through the groin and cannot live.

A. Reynolds, of the attacking party, has a wound in the right breast, but it is not considered necessarily dangerous.

Louis Dietz, another of the attacking party, was shot in the right side. His wound is serious but not fatal.

It was rumored a month ago that the Dalton Gang contemplated an immediate raid upon the banks of the city. Arrangements were made to give them a warm reception, and for over a week of patrol was maintained night and day to give warning of the gang’s approach. The raid did not take place, and then came the report, from Deming, N. M., that United States officers had had a battle with the bandits and three bandits had been killed. This report is believed here to have been circulated by the Daltons themselves, their intention being to divert attention from their real intentions and to lull the people of the town into a sense of security. The people, however, were not so easily deceived, and when the report of the disaster to the gang in New Mexico was denied vigilance was renewed. Still the expected raid was not made; finally the patrol was withdrawn last Saturday, although every stranger was carefully scrutinized as soon as he appeared on the streets.

It was 9 o’clock this morning when the Dalton Gang rode into town. They came in two squads of three each, and passing through the unfrequented part of town into the valley in the rear of the First National Bank quickly tied their horses and without losing a moment’s time proceeded to their attack upon the banks.

Bob Dalton, leader of the outlaw Dalton Gang

Bob Dalton, leader of the outlaw Dalton Gang

Robert Dalton, the notorious leader of the gang, and Emmett, his brother, went to the First National Bank, the other four, under the leadership of “Texas Jack,” or John Moore, going to the private bank of C. M. Congdon [Condon] & Co. Meantime an alarm had already been given.

The Dalton boys were born and bred in this vicinity, and were well known to nearly every man, woman and child in town. In their progress through town, they had been recognized. City Marshal Connelly was quickly notified of their arrival, and almost before the bandits had entered the bank he was collecting a posse to capture them if possible or kill them if necessary. He ran first to the livery stable of Jim Spears, a dead shot with the Winchester and a valuable man in any fight. Then he summoned George Cubine, a merchant; Charles Brown, a shoemaker; John Cox, express agent, and other citizens who could be conveniently reached.

Stationing them about the square, which both of the banks faced, he hastened to augment the posse by summoning other citizens for impromptu police duty. While Marshal Connelly was collecting his forces the bandits, all ignorant of their being laid for, were proceeding deliberately with their work of robbing the banks. Texas Jack’s band entered Congdon’s [Condon’s] bank, and with Winchesters leveled at Cashier Ball and Teller Carpenter ordered them to throw up their hands. Then Texas Jack searched them for weapons, while the other three desperadoes kept them covered with rifles. Finding that he was unarmed, Cashier Ball was ordered to open the safe. The cashier explained that the safe’s door was controlled by a time lock and could not by any means short of dynamite be opened before its time was up, which would be 10 o’clock, or in about twenty minutes. “We will wait,” said the leader, as he sat down at the cashier’s desk. [In truth, the vault was already open but the outlaws didn’t bother to try the door.]

“How about the money drawers?” he asked, suddenly, and jumping up, he walked around to the cages of the paying and receiving tellers and taking the money, amounting in all to less than $2300, dumped it into a flour sack with which he was supplied and again sat down while the time lock slowly ticked off the seconds and the hands of the clock hardly moved towards the hour of ten. Bob and Emmett Dalton, meanwhile, were having better luck at the First National Bank. When they entered the bank, they found within it Cashier Ayers, his son, Albert Ayers, and Teller W. H. Sheppard, none of them armed, and with leveled revolvers the brother bandits intimidated them. Albert Ayers and Teller Sheppard were kept under the muzzle of Emmett Dalton’s revolvers, while Bob Dalton forced Cashier Ayers to strip the safe vault and cash drawers of all the money contained in them and place it in a sack brought along for that purpose. Fearing to leave them behind lest they should give the alarm before the bandits should be able to mount their horses and escape, the desperadoes marched the officers of the bank out of the door with the intention of keeping them under guard, while they made their escape. The party made its appearance at the door of the bank just as Liveryman Spears and his companions of the marshal’s posse took their positions in the square. When the Dalton Brothers saw armed men in the square they appreciated their peril on the instant, and leaving the bank officers on the steps of the bank building, they ran for their horses. As soon as they reached the sidewalk, Spears’ rifle quickly came to position. An instant later, it spoke and Bob Dalton, the notorious leader of a notorious gang, fell in his tracks, dead. There was not a quiver of a muscle after he fell. The bullet struck him in the right temple, plowed through his brain and passed out just above the left eye.

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