Gangs existed in the American West from the days first settlers arrived. The gangs were bunch of outlaws who rode together and robbed, killed and terrorized people. Sometimes the movies make this seem very cool and interesting, but the truth is that these people were nothing but the criminals and made life of settlers miserable. Sheriffs and marshals tried to deal with them, but sometimes that resulted in gunfights and death. Gangs were the real problem as they robbed stagecoaches and bank and many people lost their hard earned money. Here are two gangs that are so well known that they have become a wild west legends and inspired several movies.
I Dalton brothers were raised on the border of Indian Territory, near Coffeyville, KS.
For a short time they were on the side of the law, working as Deputy Marshals. On Nov. 27, 1887 in a gun battle with the with the Smith-Dixon Gang, Frank Dalton who was a Marshall, was shot and killed. Grat Dalton returned to Indian Territory, and took up his brother's lawful position. When he tried to arrest one suspect he got shot. I guess the Daltons had enough. Emmett Dalton earned a living as a cowboy where he met two of the future Gang's members, Bill Doolin and Bill Powers.
Not much is known about Bill Power other than he drifted in to the Territories from Texas with a trail herd from the Pecos. He also met some other cowboys who later became their gang members such as
Charlie Pierce, George Newcomb, Charlie Bryant, and Dick Broadwell. Soon the Dalton brothers started having issues with law. For example, Bob Dalton was accused of selling whiskey and Grat Dalton lost his job as a Marshall.
Then in July of 1890 Bob, Grat, and Emmett were accused of stealing horses near Claremore I. T. and selling them in Kansas. Grat was arrested and placed in jail. On the night of February 6th, 1891 the Southern Pacific RR train was robbed at Alila, CA. The Dalton boys were accused. Then they robbed the train at Wharton in May of 1891. The gang stole $1745 of the railroads money, a lot of money for that time.The Gang's next robbery was the Katy train at Leliaetta. On the night of September 15, 1891 they stopped and boarded the train, and robbed $2500.
In May in 1892 the Daltons robbed another train!. On June 1, 1892 at the train station at Red Rock, waited for the train to rob. When the train entered the station the train coaches were dark,- smartly, they figured out something was wrong and left the train alone! A second train appeared few hours later. They robbed it. The first train was full of armed guards protecting $70,000 !
On July 14, 1892 the gang made its last train robbery at Adair . This train also had protection, but Daltons were so good in robbing that deputies did not even realize they were being robbed until it was way to late.After the Adair robbery the Gang split up and went their own ways.
Early in the morning on Oct. 5 1892 five members of the gang, Bob, Grat, Emmett, Bill Power, and Dick Broadwell rode into Coffeyville. They were recognized by people and the people killed all except Emmitt.There was still three members of the old gang still at large, Bill Doolin, Bitter Creek Newcomb, and Charlie Pierce. Also there was a fourth Dalton boy, Bill Dalton, who would travel the outlaw path. He would soon join his brothers old partners and together they would terrorize the territories for years to come as the infamous Doolin-Dalton Gang. But that's another story.
Jesse James full name is Jesse Woodson James. He was born in Missouri on September 5, 1847. B
Frank and Jesse had talked before about forming a gang with Cole Younger.TBut it wasn’t until March 1867 that they pulled their first job together.
They tried to rob a bank at Savannah. All three aimed at the bank president, but all were poor shots, and only one bullet barely grazed him. This job failed. Two months later a man and his fifteen-year-old son were found dead, thought to have been killed by Jesse.
In March of 1868, the James brothers and Younger brothers robbed the banking house of Nimrod & Cin in Russellville, Kentucky. In 1869, they robbed a Richmond, Missouri Bank. That same year they robbed the Daviess Savings Bank at Gallatin, Missouri. On April 29, 1872, five men, including the James, robbed a bank in Columbia, Kentucky.
Their first target was the Chicago and Rock Island express near Adair, Iowa, on July 21, 1873. They stopped the train by removing a portion of the track. Jesse killed the engineer during that robbery. They got $2,000 from the safe and the valuables of the passengers. Two months later Frank and Jesse stole $10,000 from a Kansas City fairground. By that time the Pinkertons were after them. Pinkerton detective J. W. Whicher was killed while pursuing the James brothers, allegedly by Jesse and Frank. Pinkerton sent more agents after them.
On January 31, 1874, they robbed the Iron Mountain Railroad train in Wayne County, Missouri. While hiding out in Roscoe, Missouri, the Pinkertons caught John and Jim Younger.
The next year, a robbery attempt in Northfield, Minnesota that went bad, resulted in many of those in the James gang losing their lives. Unlike many of their previous escapades, this time the citizens fought back. They were jailed at Faribault, Minnesota. They pled guilty and were sentenced to life imprisonment at Stillwater State Penitentiary. Jesse and Frank managed to be some of the only ones to escape unharmed. Jesse lived under the name of Howard during this time.
In October 1879, Jesse was back with a new gang. They robbed a Chicago and Alton train. They robbed four more trains in 1881, the last one at Glendale, Missouri. Two of their gang members were captured after that one. After that the James gang was never heard from again. Jesse was killed by Bob Ford, a gang member, on April 3, 1882. for the reward money. T