The "Holdup" Men
WILLIAM A. PINKERTON
International Association Chiefs of Police |
WILLIAM A. PINKERTON, ChicaRO,
r A. PiNKKKTON, Clilcrtso «ud Now York.
pml^ertoq'^ platioiiL Detective J^gei
Founded by Ai,i,an Pinkerton, 1850.
m A. PMERTON, chic^o.
GEO. D. BANGS,
General Manager, New Y
ALUNPIMEETON, New York.
John Cornish, Manager, Eastern Division, New York.
Edward S. Gaylor, Manager, Middle Division, Chicago.
James McPari^and, Manager, Western Division, Denver.
J. C. Fraser, Manager, Pacific Division, San Francisco.
KANSAS CITY, -
SAN FRANCISCO, -
30 Court Street
Merchants Bank Building
1 1 2-1 16 North Broad Stree
American Trust Building
201 Fifth Avenue
622 Main Street
Mercantile Library Bldg
Opera House Block
ATTORNEYS FOR AGENCY.
CRA VA TH. HENDERSON & DeGERSDORFF, NEW YOM
This Agency is prepared to undertake all proper Detective bu
entrusted to it by Railroad or other Corporations, Banks, Merc
Houses, Attorneys or Private Individuals. It does not operate for Re-
or engage in Divorce Cases.
The "Holdup" Men
WILLIAM A. PINKERTON
ANNUAL- tOrN VH-NttGN* •
International Association Chiefs of Police
\^':aJ AMES TOWN, V A.
Compliments of -;-
WILLIAM A. PINKERTON, Chicago,
ROBERT A. PINKERTON, Nc<C'V.,rk.
• •..|,yilKlit.;.l by Wm. a. hii.I KoitKur A. Pinkkkton, CIiI.hko hihI X.w York.
WILLIAM A. PINKKRTON.
The late ROBERT A I'hNKERTOX.
ERETOFORE my addresses have been upon sub-
jects with which most of us are familiar and, while
I know there are among those present, members
of this Association who have had more or less t(3
do with the apprehension of the train robber or ''hold-up"
criminal, a product we have that no other country has ex-
cept as our fugitives ; I believe some reminiscences of
these outlaws will be of interest.
As the detective agents throughout the United States of
many railroad, express and stage companies and of the
American Bankers' Association, and co-operating with po-
lice officials, United States marshals, sheriffs, railroads de-
tectives and various other law enforcement authorities, for
over fifty years our agency has been, engaged investigating
many of the robberies of railroad trains, banks and stages
by this desperate robber ; my father, the late Allan Pinker-
ton, my brother Robert and I, often in these years person-
ally taking part in running down this now almost extinct
outlaw. It is somewhat remarkable as will be noted
throughout my talk, that in many instances brothers were
members of individual bands, notably the Reno brothers,
John, Frank, Sim and Bill ; the Reitenhouse brothers ; the
Miles brothers, James K. and Joe, all of Indiana; the
Farrington brothers. Levy and Hillary, of West Tennes-
see; the James brothers, Frank and Jesse; the Younger
brothers. Cole, Jim, John and Bob; the Logan brothers,
Harvey and Lonny; the Collins brothers, part of the Sam
Bass gang, Joel, \\'illiam and Albert; Bud and William
Mc Daniels, part of the Jesse James gang; the Dalton
brothers, Bill, Bob, Emmett and Gratton of Kansas; the
Burrows brothers. Rube and Jim of Alabama; the Sontag
brothers, John and George of Minnesota ; the Gates brothers
of California; the Jones brothers; the McCarthy brothers,
Tom and Bill of Colorado ; the Cook brothers, Bill and
Jim of Arkansas, who were part of the Dalton gang and
the Carver and Kilpatrick brothers of Texas.
The "hold-up" robber originated among bad men of the
gold mining camps. Unsuccessful as a prospector, too lazy
to work, and with enough bravado and criminal instinct
to commit desperate crimes, he first robbed prospectors
and miners en route on foot to stage stations, of their gold
dust and nuggets, becoming bolder, looting stages and
eventually after the railroads were built, he ''held-up" rail-
way trains and robbed express cars.
W c also find them from the 'Vlare-devils" of the Civil
War, those from the Southwest who engaged in guerrilla
warfare, where, as the pride of the States which sent them
to the front and, because of their ambuscades, raids and
lawless acts during the war, they were received as heroes
when they returned to their homes. The James boys, the
A^oungers, the Renos, the Farringtons, the war giving them
the reckless life they longed for and experience fitting them
for the life of crime they inaugurated immediately after.
In the early days of the plains, the cowboy, with criminal
inclination, noted for deeds of daring, began his career by
cattle "rustling" and horse stealing, and then became a
"hold-up" of stages and trains, committing the most of
these robberies since 1875.
Also certain sensational newspapers and publishers of
"yellow" covered literature, by exploiting and extoling the
cowardly crimes of these outlaws and filling the youthful
mind with a desire for the same sort of notoriety and ad-
venture are responsible for many imitators of the "hold-
The "hold-up" man operated as the footpad does to-day,-
concealed in ambush awaiting his victim, suddenly pouncing
upon and commanding him to throw up his hands,
"covering" him by thrusting a revolver in his face, then
relieving him of his money and valuables. Usually the
"hold-up" man to avoid identification and arrest, covers his
face below the eyes with a triangular cloth or pocket hand-
kerchief, tied back of the head, wore a soft hat well down
over his eyes, although in many of the great train and bank
robberies shortly after the war, no masks of any kind were
The average train robbery band formerly consisted of
from five to eight men, but in recent years successful rob-
beries have been committed by from three to five men and
in a few instances by a lone individual.
Usually in these train robberies, one member of the
band, with red lantern or flag, at a lonely spot would signal
the train to a standstill, or one or two would board the
"blind end" of a baggage or express car and nearing the
point selected for the robbery, would climb over the tender
into the locomotive, "cover" the engineer and fireman.
while others of the bandits uncoupled the express or money
car and forced the engineer to carry them a mile or two
distant, where the cars and safes would be forced open
with dynamite. Resistance usually resulted in the death of
those who interfered. Our study of the murders com-
mitted by these desperadoes shows fully 90 per cent to be
assassinations, those killed generally being defenseless, or
the outnumbering desperadoes by pouncing on their victims
when least expected, giving them no chance for their lives.
Escapes were usually made with horses Ih waiting, in
charge of a confederate at the place of the robbery, and
often with relays of horses previously arranged, for cov-
ering five or six hundred miles, until they arrived at the;r
homes or hiding places.
There is no crime in America so hazardous as
"hold-up'' robbery. Over two-thirds of those who
have been engaged in these crimes, were killed
while operating, or in resisting arrest, or from their
wounds, lynched by posses, or as is known "died with
their boots on," while nearly all others were either captured
or sentenced to long terms of imprisonment or driven from
the United States, becoming exiles in distant foreign climes.
Those at large are constantly in fear of arrest, living se-
cluded lives, and risking no chances of discovery by com-
municating with friends.
Shortly after the close of the Civil War there was an
epidemic of train robberies in Indiana, especially between
Indianapolis and New Albany on the Jeffersonvilie and
Indianapolis R. R., now part of the Pennsylvania Rail-
way System. My father, representing the Adams Express
Company, who were the principal losers in these raids, and
who had determined to disband this ''hold-up" band, un-
dertook this difficult task. It was early determined that
the robberies were perpetrated by a desperate gang who
made Seymour and the adjacent town of Rockford tlieir
i^eadquarters, practically under the leadership of the Reno
brothers, whose parents, hard working and respectable had
settled on an Indiana farm years before and raised a family
of five boys, John, Clinton, Sim, Bill and Frank, and a girl,
Laura. During the later part of the Civil War all of the
brothers, except Clinton, known as ''Honest Reno," began
criminal careers with the Reitenhouse brothers. Tame.; K.
and Joe and Miles and John Ogle, counterfeiters, and Peter
McCartney, an expert safe burglar, all of whom, as bounty
jumpers, had swindled the Government out of large sums
of money. At the close of the War, the Renos and their
associates had returned to their homes at Seymour, In-
diana, with plenty of money, dissipating, gambling and in-
dulging in other vicious dissoluteness. Other younger men
in their neighborhood, observing these reckless expenditures,
naturally desired to likewise acquire money quickly and
soon with the Renos and their confederates, including Albert
Sparks, Henry Moore, John Gerrold and Thomas Henry,
formed "hold-up" bands for robbing express messengers
on railroads near Seymour. Robbery after robbery fol-
lowed, arrests were numerous, but powerful influences and
desperate intimidations by the criminals and their friends
made their conviction practically impossible. Farmers sup-
po>e(l to be inimical to the band were terrorized, by their
cattle l)cing poisoned or maimed and their homes and barns
burned until a reign of terror actually existed all over
The Renos met their first Waterloo during the Winter of
1867 and 1868. John Reno had robbed the county treasur-
er's office at Gallatin, Mo., of $20,000 and returned to
Seymour, Ind., the stronghold of his criminal brothers, and
where he considered he was safe. But on plans arranged
by my father for a certain day, John Reno was decoyed by
one of our secret operatives to the Seymour depot for the
arrival of a through train, on which a Missouri Sheriff
with six deputies arrived and pounced upon Reno and pulled
him aboard. There was no time for Reno's usual savior,
the writ of habeas corpus, or any other legal technicality to
prevent his removal ; a good friend had looked after the
telegraph wires so that no detaining despatches could head
off the train and John Reno was landed over the Indiana
line into Jail at Gallatin, Mo., where he was soon convicted
and sentenced to 20 years in the Missouri Penitentiary,
serving every day of his sentence.
During the Winter of 1868, there were heavy robberies
of safes of county treasurers' offices in Western Iowa, the
last occurring at Glenwood, Mills Co., Iowa, when $20,000
was stolen. Our investigations had determined the crim-
inal- to be Frank Reno, Al Sparks, Miles Ogle and Mike
J\<»,i;cr-, the last named a wealthy land owner of Council
Bluffs, a pillar of the Methodist Church and highly respected
in his community. Following a robbery at Magnolia, Har
risonville, we had traced the robbers to Council Bhiffs,
where a watch on Rogers' house resulted in the capture, the
day after the Glenwood robbery of the criminals named,
the proceeds of the raid still in their possession, they quickly
shoved it into a kitchen stove, from which we recovered it
partially burned. They were all taken to Glenwood, Iowa,
but on April i, 1868, broke jail and fled, Frank Reno going
to Windsor, Canada, where he became associated with
Charles Anderson, a clever burglar and general criminal
and with him eventually returned to Seymour.
Shortly after the Glenwod robbery. Walker Hammond,
afterwards noted as a counterfeiter, and Mike Colleran, of
Seymour, "held-up" an express messenger on a Jefferson-
ville railroad train, robbing him of $15,000 only to be "held-
up" by the Reno brothers and relieved of their plunder.
Hammond and Colleran were convicted and sentenced to
long terms of imprisonment in the Indiana State Peniten-
Subsequently Frank, Sim and Billy Reno, with Aliles
Ogle and Charles Anderson, heavily armed, ''held-up" a
train near Seymour, threw the messenger into a ditch from
the moving train and robbed the Adams Express Company's
safe of $90,000. For this crime, Anderson and Frank
Reno were arrested at Windsor, Canada, and after a contest
lasting all Summer, were remanded for extradition and later
in charge of Pinkerton detectives were lodged in the New
Albany, Ind., jail. Meanwhile, Sim and Billy Reno were
arrested in Indianapolis, Ind., and also lodged in the same
jail. Henry Moore, Gerrold and Sparks and an unknown
One of the first train robbers. Member Reno Band " Hold ups.'
man who "held-np" and robbed the J. ]\I. & I. R. R. had been
arrested at Seymour, and while enroute to the Brown-
stone jail were forcibly taken from their escorts and lynched
by excited citizens who had become incensed at the outrages
the Renos and their associates were committing.
This was followed by a Vigilance Committee, supposed
to have come from the neighborhood of Seymour, visiting
the New Albany jail, battering in the doors, over-powering
the guards and hanging Frank, Sim and Billy Reno and
Charles Anderson in the jail corridor. Notices were also
posted in public places about Seymour, naming 25 people
supposed to be affiliated with the Renos and warning them
that if any house, cattle or other property was destroyed,
the Committee would ''meet" but once more to clean
out the friends of the Renos remaining in the community.
These drastic, though apparently necessary measures
stopped train robbery in Southern Indiana; there has not
been a train robbery there since and the identity of the
Vigilantes is still a secret.
The State of Missouri has probably produced more train
robbers than any other state in the Union and of whom the
James brothers were the most desperate and vicious.
Among the Kentuckians who settled in Clay County,
Mo., before the War were Doctor and Mrs. Samuels and
their sons, Frank and Jesse James, sons of Mrs. Samuels'
previous marriage. When the War broke out, the brothers
joined the Quantrell band in their guerrilla warfare. After
the War the James boys, under the leadership of Bill An-
derson and operating with Cole, Jim, John and Bob Young-
er, Clell and John Miller, Charles Pitts, the Tompkins
brothers, Jim Cummings, Dick Liddell, and other members
of Ouantreirs band, began prowling through West and
Southwest Missouri and Eastern Kansas, looking for what
spoils they could get and for years committed a series of
the most despicable crimes of that period in Missouri, Ken-
tucky and Minnesota, "holding-up" banks in the day time,
robbing trains at night, murdering respectable citizens who
resisted them and killing officers who attempted their ar-
The published reports of the exploits of this band had
more to do with the making of bad men in the West than
anything which occurred before they began operating or
At the time Jesse James was killed and his brother sur-
rendered the statement was made that neither was ever
arrested or captured by officers, State or Federal, but Judge
Philander Lucas of Liberty, Mo., states that during 1865-
1866, about eleven o'clock one morning, the James boys,
with Clell Miller, Jim Poole and George White, rode into
Liberty, firing off their revolvers and acting like a lot of
Indians ; that they entered Meffert's saloon, had drinks, and
as they left the saloon Sheriff Rickards arrested and dis-
armed the James boys, marched them into the Court House,
arraigned them before him and that he committed them to
the County jail. As a matter of fact, there were then no
charges against them.
As a rule the James and Younger brothers and their as-
sociates, after each crime, would return tg their home.
Clay County, Mo., where they were virtually immune from
arrest, either through fear of them by the respectable ele-
ment or through the friendly aid they received from their
The first of their robberies we were retained to investi-
gate was that of June 3, 1871, when the James and Younger
brothers visited Corydon, Wayne County, Iowa, intend-
ing to rob the county treasurer of recently collected taxes.
Jesse James entered the treasurer's office offering a one
hundred dollar bill for change, but the clerk informed him
of the absence of the county treasurer, who held the com-
bination of the locked safe, but suggested that a new bank
across the square, opened that day and which had one-halt
of its capital on deposit, might accommodate him, where-
upon Jesse consulted with his associates and the robbery of
the new bank was agreed upon. On Jesse offering the one
hundred dollar bill, the cashier opened the safe for the
change, only on turning around to look into the muzzle of
two revolvers. Jesse's associates who had meanwhile en-
tered the bank, then forced the president and cashier into
a^back room, emptied the contents of the safe, about fifteen
thousand dollars into saddle bags, relieved a new depositor,
a negro preacher, who had entered, of his handful of money,
then mounting their horses fled from the town, passing on
their way a public meeting, in the outskirts, where a site
for a new school house was beinj^- discussed, and which
accounted for the county trea>urcr's absence from his office,
and saved his safe from being plundered.
As the bandits rode by the meeting they fired, in the
air, a fusillade from their revolvers and rifles, at the same
time informing the gathering of the robbery of the bank
and advising that they return to town and start a new bank.
Robert Pinkerton, then a young man, with a posse
traced the outlaws through the lower counties of Iowa. Then
with an Iowa Sheriff, the balance of the posse having with-
drawn, continued into Missouri as far as Cameron Junction,
a cross road station, where the Sheriff left for additional
help; but Robert Pinkerton continued following the trail to
the Missouri River where the band separated, some cross-
ing at Sibley Ferry, others at Blue Mill Ferry, all meeting
afterwards at the Old Blufe Mill, -from which point they
continued South, evidently making towards the James home
in Clay County. Here, Robert Pinkerton, recognizing the
folly of continuing alone withdrew.
On July 20, 1873, the James brothers committed their
first train "hold-up" robbery on the Chicago, Rock Island
& Pacific R. R., wrecking the train fifteen miles east of
Council 1 fluffs, Iowa, murdered the unarmed engineer,
wounded the fireman, injured passengers and robbed the ex-
press car of a large amount of money.
January 31, 1874, the James brothers aided by the
Younger brothers, Clcll ^filler and Jim Cummings, com-
mitted their second train "hold-up" robbery, this, on the
Iron ^Mountain Roa^l ai < ;a<Miil], Mo., fiaggiwg the train to
a standstill and "Ivjld-up" and robbing it of $I0,000. Jn
CLHLl. MILLHK aiul lilLL CIIADWlvLL.
Killed by posse after Northficld, Minn, bank raid.
the investigation of this robbery Joseph W. Witcher, one
of our detectives from Chicago, on March lo, 1874, was
overpowered, bound with ropes and put on a horse, Clell
Miller and Jesse James taking him from their home in Clav
County, Mo., to near Independence, Jackson County, Mo.,
where they assassinated him, leaving his body at the cross-
ing of the Deerington and Independence road where the
Iowa Sheriff left Robert Pinkerton three years before.
A few days later Louis Lull, a former captain of police
in Chicago, but then in our employ, in company with an
ex-Deputy Sheriff and a man named Daniels, met John and
Jirn Younger on a road near Montegaw Springs, St. Clair
County, Mo., and in the effort to arrest them. Lull killed
John Younger, but was himself mortally wounded, dying
six weeks later. Daniels was killed and Jim Younger was
The James brothers band also committed robberies on
the Union Pacific R. R., at Munsey, Kas., in December,
1875. securing $55,000, also on the Missouri Pacific R. R.
at Otterville, Mo., July 8, 1876, securing $[7,000, and when
McDaniels, one of the band being arrested with part of the
booty, was killed in an attempt to escape.
Their next serious crime was in Scptc]nl)cr, 1876, when
they attempted to rob a 1:)ank at Xorthfield, Minn., and
killed the cashier, J. L. Haywood. Citizens of the town
opened fight and killed P.ill Chadwcll. Clell Miller and
Charlev Pitt^. 1h>1) and |im ^^ninq-cr and Jesse James
were wounded. Cole Younger picked up Bob and carried
him away on his horse. A few days later. Cole, Jim and
Bob Younger, surrounded in a swamp, were captured.
Frank James managed to get Jesse into Dakota and
thence to the Missouri River, where they stole a skill and
made their escape.
Cole, Jim and Bob Younger were sentenced to long
terms of imprisonment in the Shelwater, Minn., State
September i6, 1899, Bob Younger died in prison.
July 10, 1901, Cole and Jim Younger were pardoned by
the Minnesota State Board of Pardons. October 18,
1902, Jim Younger committed suicide at St. Paul, Minn.
April 3, 1882, Bob Ford, a former associate of the
James boys, for a reward of $10,000 offered by Gov. Crit-
tendon for Jesse's body dead or alive, killed him w^hile he
was hanging a picture in his home at St. Joseph, Mo. Bob
and Charles Ford surrendered themselves for this crime anvi
were convicted and sentenced to death, but pardoned by
Governor Crittendon and paid the $10,000; thus to Gover-
nor Crittendon is due the final disbanding of the James
brothers band of outlaws and in this he was aided by Sherift*
Timberlake of Clay County and Commissioner of Police
Craig of Kansas City.
Frank James afterwards surrendered to the Missouri
authorities, stood trial, and w^as acquitted of the Gallatin,
Mo., bank robbery. Governor Crittendon refused to sur-
render him to the Minnesota authorities, and he subse-
quently settled in Western Missouri, and so far as I know,
is now living a straightforward life.
Jesse James and the Youngers are all buried at the
scenes of their boyhood days in Western Missouri.
Charley Bullard, alias *Tiano Charley" and ''Ike" Marsh,
alias "Big Ike", who first came into prominence as "hold-
up" robbers, have had rather an interesting career.
In 1869, Bullard and Marsh concealed themselves in a
Hudson River R. R. train between New York City and
Buffalo, "held-up", bound and gagged the messenger of the
Merchants Union Express Co., and stole one hundred thou-
Bullard and Marsh were arrested in Canada, extradited
and lodged in the White Plains, N. Y., jail for trial, from
which, aided by ''Billy" Forrester, an old-time associate,
November 20, 1869, Bullard and Marsh with Adam
Worth and "Bob" Cochran, stole from the Boylston Bank,
Boston, Mass., cash and securities, valued at four hundred
and fifty thousand dollars and fled to Europe with theil
At the Washington Hotel, Liverpool, Bullard met and
married a beautiful bar maid named Kittie Flynn, went to
Paris, opened the famous American bar at Rue Scribe,
where his wife's beauty and engaging manners attracted
many American visitors as well as making it the head-
quarters of American gamblers and criminals who here
planned many of their European crimes.
Bullard was, however, eventually, arrested and after a
sentence of one year in Paris for keeping a gambling house,
returned to the United States, was arrested in New York
City for the Boylston Bank robbery and sentenced to twentv
years in the State's prison at Concord, Mass., from which
he escaped September 13, 1878, and fled to Canada, where
he was arrested for a safe burglary and sentenced to five
years imprisonment at Kingston. After serving this, he
went abroad and with Max Shinburn, the notorious bank
burglar, was arrested in the act of robbing a Bank at Vi\--
eres, Belgium. Bullard was sentenced to seventeen years
imprisonment, in the Belgium penitentiary, where he died
in the early part of 1890. Bullard was well educated, spoke
English, French and German, fluently ; was a skillful pianist,
from which he gained the sobriquet of 'Tiano Charley."
After the Boylston Bank robbery, "Ike" Marsh separ-
ated from Bullard and with George Mason burglarized the
First National Bank of Wellsboro, Pa., for which he was
arrested, convicted and sentenced to seventeen years
imprisonment in the Eastern Penitentiary, Philadelphia.
While there he became a stationary engineer, and after his
release, having reformed, followed his vocation as an engi-
neer in Philadelphia, and is still so employed there.
In the early seventies. Levy and Hillary Farrington,
from near Gilliam Station, West Tennessee, William Taylor,
\\ illiain Barton, formerly a railroad brakeman and George
Bertine, all from A\'estern Tennessee, commenced train
*1iold-iip" robberies on the Nashville and Northwestern and
Mobile and Ohio Railroads, and after each ''hold-up'' the
only trace of the robbers would be a skiff, left by the bandits
tloatini^- l)()ttnni up on the ^Mississippi.
On the 6th of October, 1871, a train on the ■Mobile and
Ohio R. R. at Union City, Tenn., was attacked, the guard
and messenger overpowered and the safe of the Southern
Express Company robbed of $20,000. I was then supervis-
ing for our Agency, all train robbery cases, and with Pat-
rick Connell, Special Agent of the Southern Express Co.,
and an assistant named Bedlow, traced the men, as usual,
to the Mississippi River, where an over-turned skiff* was
found and trace lost. After a most thorough scouring of
the country and up and down the Mississippi River, we
learned of a party of strange men in a swamp near Lester's
Landing, Tenn., where we subsequently determined, they, to
cover their real business of train robbery, had opened a
small store. This we surrounded and attacked ; the train
robbers, who were heavily armed resisting and in the re-
sulting fight, Henry Bertine was killed and Hillary Far-
rington and William Barton escaped. Hillary Farrington,
we traced to Western Missouri, near Vinita, on the edge ot
Indian Territory, where wdth the aid of a deputy sheriff
and some residents of the neighborhood, we surrounded the
house in which he was secreted, but finally had i^ hie
to it in order to r]i<;]odge and arrest him.
A few days later Levy Farriiigton was arrested near
Farmington, Ills., b}^ the City Marshal and Robert A. Pink-
erton, while William Taylor, the last of the band, was ar-
rested by Patrick Connell and myself at Real Foot Lake,
Tenn., and all taken to Union City, Tenn., for examination.
When Levy Farrington arrived here in the custody of Rob-
ert A. Pinkerton, a friend named Toler, in attempting his
rescue, shot and killed the Assistant City Marshal and
seriously wounded a railroad watchman at Union City.
Toler was pursued and captured and a Vigilance Committee
was formed. Recognizing what might take place, we suc-
ceeded in getting Barton and Taylor out of the hotel where
they were confined and heavily guarded, to the Memphis,
Tenn., jail, but being unable to get the other prisoners away,
the Vigilance Committee overpowered the local officers who
were guarding them and that night shot and killed Levy
Farrington and lynched Toler.
Taylor and Barton afterwards pleaded guilty to train
robbery and were sentenced to long terms in the State
Prison at Nashville, Tenn.
For very many years after train robbery in West Ten-
nessee was an unknown crime.
In 1877, Sam Bass, Frank Hulfish, William Nixon,
Henry Underwood and James Berry, a gang of cowboys,
under the leadership of Joel Collins, near Big Springs, Neb.,
"held-up" a Union Pacific R. R. train, stealing $60,000 in
gold, with which they started on horseback for Texas. Joel
Collins, son of a preacher, came from near Dallas, Texas,
aii<l was one of four brothers, all of whom went wrong ex-
cept Joe, who was a prominent respectable cattleman. Col-
lins and Hulfish, ten days after the robbery near Ellsworth,
Kas., and resisting arrest by United States troops were shot
and killed : the money they carf ied with them was recovered.
About two weeks later Jim Berry, who was traced to ;i
farm near Mexico, Mo., was also shot and killed resisting
arrest. Bass, Nixon and Underwood escaped, Nixon sail-
ing from New^ Orleans, La., to Spanish Honduras, where he
is still a fugutive and where he invested his share of the
robbery, $10,000 gold, in business.
We located and caused the arrest of Henry Underwood
and returned him to Kearney, Neb., where he escaped from
jail and was last heard from as in the Indiana State Prison.
Sam Bass returned to Denton Co., Tex., where he has
been a deputy Sheriff, and had many friends. He soon
organized another band of train robbers, consisting of Wil-
liam and Albert Collins, brothers of Joel, James Pikes, Joe
Herndon, of the Collins homestead, Henry Jackson and
''Arkansas Johnson." They attacked the Southern Express
' the Texas and Pacific R. R. and the Houston and
... Central R. R. and in the fall of 1877 committed a
r ^hhery at AFcsquit, near Dallas, Texas. We co-operated
witli the local authorities and Texas rangers, resulting in
t'i'" :n iv^t of AX'illiam Collins, Pikes and Herndon, the latter
convicted at Tyler, Texas, and sentenced to life
iiiipr. 'iinient in the United States Penitentiary at Detroit,
Bill Collins forfeited his bond, bnt was located at Pem-
bina. A Finn., working as a cowboy. When Joseph Anderson,
DepiiiN I'. S. Alarshal from Dallas, Texas, attempted to
arrest him, both fired simultaneously, killing each other.
Albert Collins and "Arkansas Johnson" were killed re-
sisting arrest. Sam Bass, with a confederate, was decoyed
to Round Rock, Tex., by a friend, Jim Murphy, to rob a
bank and was surrounded by Texas rangers and detectives,
the Sheriff and his deputies; the effort to arrest them re-
sulting in the killing of Bass and his companion. Jim
Murphy, the "stool-pigeon," escaped unhurt, only to die
shortly after collecting his reward, and is said to have been
poisoned by friends of the Collins. Frank Johnson became
a fugitive from justice and is supposed to have settled in
Montana under an assumed name.
In 1888, Rube and Jim Burrows, originally from Ver-
non, Lamar County, Alabama, with W. L. Brock, all of
whom had been railroad employees, farm-hands and cow-
boys, robbed the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Pacific Ry.
in Texas, for which Brock was arrested and confessed, im-
plicating the Burrows brothers. The Burrows boys re-
tnnu<l tM Montgomery, Ala., where they were arrested.
While en route to the police station. Rube began firing and
escaped. Jim, however, was overpowered and taken to
Arkansas for trial for train robljery at Genowa, that state,
and died in jail.
Rube Burrows kept in hiding until 1893, when he "held-
W. L. BROCK.
Associate of Rube and Jim Burrows.
up" a train on the Illinois Central Ry., near Sardis, Miss.
He was subsequently killed by a posse, searching for him,
in Middle Florida, iirock served a short term in the peni-
In 1891, after the train left Tower Grove, a suburb of
St. Louis, two masked men boarded the ''blind" end of the
express car, crawled over the tender and forced the engi-
neer and firemen to stop the train at a cut near Old Orchard,
where two additional men, also masked, boarded the rear
end of the car. The messenger refused their demand to
open the side door of the car, turned down the light, se-
cured his revolver and began defending his trust. Immedi-
ately a heavy explosion occurred, tearing the car to pieces
and filling the air with flying debris, a piece of which struck
the messenger in the hip, knocking the revolver from his
hand. Then the robbers, entered, opened the safe with
nitro-glycerine, taking the contents, $10,000, and escaped.
Co-operating with Lawrence Harrigan, then Chief of Police,
and William Desmond of the detective department of St.
Louis, Mo., we determined the *'hold-ups" to be Marion C.
Hedgepeth, a notorius Western outlaw, James Francis, a
St. Louis burglar, Dink Wilson, an Omaha burglar, and
Adelbert Sly of St. Joe, Mo., at one time a driver for the
American Express Co., and who had stolen $20,000 from
them. We learned Sly had gone to Los Angeles, and there
Robert A. Pinkerton, aided by Detective Whittaker of San
Francisco and Detective TIawley of Los Angeles arrested
Stole $io,oo3 from St. Louis & San Francisco express.
him and later the San Francisco ix)Hce, after a desperate
struggle arrested Hedgepeth in that city. Hedgepeth and
Sly were returned to St. Louis, convicted and sentenced to
20 years imprisonment. Sly is now at Liherty, but Hedge-
])eth. after his release continued his life of crimtr.
[Is now, October, 1907, awaiting trial at Council Bluffs,
Iowa, for a safe burglary there on September i, 1907.]
Francis was killed near Pleasandon, Kas., resistmg arrest.
Wilson shot and killed Detective Harvey of Syracuse, N. Y.,
for which he was electrocuted at Sing Sing Prison, N. Y.,
and his brother Charley, wlio \\a^ with Dink when Detec-
tive Harvey was killed, who we located in Buffalo, N. Y.,
and caused lii> arrest, wa> sentenced to prison for life.
In 1891, at Western Union Junction on the Chicago, Mil-
waukee & St. Paul R. R. not far from Racine, Wis., a train
was "held-up" and on the express messenger refusing to
surrender the express car was attacked with dynamite, lit-
erally blowing the safe to pieces and the messenger barely
escaped with his life.
Later at Mankato, Minn., on the Xorthern Pacific R. R.
a similar robbery was attempted, d lie identity of the "hold-
ups" in these two robberies was unknown, but in the latter
case, two suspects ha\in.^ ])urchased tickets for California
via Portland, Ore., we. In telegraphing the numbers of these
tickets and descriptions of the suspects to our Portland,
Ore., office the suspects were put under surveillance,
located at \'isalia, Cal.. and identified as John and George
Sontag, brothers, originall\ from Mankato. Minn., who
had joined Chris Evans, an associate. Our watching of
them developed the fact of their purchasing dynamite, and
other circumstances towards verifying the suspicion against
them, but not estabhshing evidence to act upon, our sur-
veillance was stopped for the time being.
At Collins Station, Fresno Co., Cal., August 3, 1892,
a Southern Pacific R. R. train was "held-up", the express
car dynamited and $2,300 stolen. With the information of
our previous investigation the railroad detectives and ex-
press special agents established the fact that the robbers were
the men wt had followed to Visalia, Cal., and an attempt
to arrest them resulted in one of the officers being killed,
another dangerously wounded, and the bandits escaping. A
regular man-hunt, one of the most exciting that ever oc-
curred on the Pacific Coast followed for months through
the mountains of California, resulting finally in the arres'. of
George Sontag, who, forty hours after was sentenced to life
imprisonment in the Folsom, Cal., Penitentiary. SeverJ
months afterwards John Sontag and Chris Evans were cap-
tured, after a long and desperate fight with a posse, both
were badly wounded, Evans losing his right eye and one
John Sontag died in jail, soon after his arrest. Evans
was sentenced to life imprisonment, but escaped from jail
at Fresno, December 28, 1893; ^^as recaptured, February
18, 1894, and is now serving a life sentence in the Folsoni,
Associate of Sontag Bros.
The Dalton brothers. Rill, Bob, Emmctt and Grattan,
committed a series of robberies in Missouri, Arkansas, In-
dian Territory, Oklahoma and California, from February,
1891, to May, 1894, operating with Joe Evans, ''Texa^
Jack,'' Tom Littleton, Jim Wallace, Charles White and ]wi
Jones. They ''held-up'' a train on the Southern Paciiic
R. R. at Alila, Tulare County, California, killed the express
messenger and fireman ; '*held-up" the Wells Fargo Express
at Red Rock, Indian Territory, ''held-up" a Missouri, Kan-
sas and Texas passenger train at Adair, Indian Territory,
securinj^ the contents of the Pacific Express Co.'s safe.
At Cotteyville, Kansas, on October 5, 1892, one band
attempted to rob a private bank, while the other made a
similaV attack on the First National lUmk. The cashier
of the former temporized with the bandits by telling them
the safe opened with a time lock, and the money could not
be reached until ten o'clock, giving time for a raiding party
to be organized, resulting in the killing of Bob Dalton, Joe
Evans, ''Texas Jack," Grattan and Emmett Dalton and sev-
eral citizens. Bill Dalton, the only member who escaped,
organized another gang and on May 23, 1894, *'held-up" the
First National Bank at Longview, Texas, presenting the fol-
lowing note to the president:
"I Ionic, May 27,.''
First Xaii' Mial liaiik. Longview.
This will intn^ducc to you Charles Sprecklcmcyer,
who wants some money and is going to have it
W. & F."
aVftcr the president read the note, he found Dalton
pointing a rifle at him, while a confederate stole. $2,000 from
the paying teller's cage and decamped. A posse, who pur-
sued the robbers, killed Jim Wallace, one of the band, the
other escaping. Of the stolen money, three ten dollar and
nine twenty-dollar bills were new^ unsigned bank notes and
through these Bill Dalton was traced to Ardmore, I. T.,
and on June 8, 1894, was killed while resisting arrest.
Nearly every member of this gang 'Vlied with his boots
After the death of Bill Dalton, Bill Cook collected the
remnants of the Dalton gang and formed one of the most
desperate and notorious bands of outlaws, desperadoes and
murderers in the West. The band at various times, in-
cluding Bill Cook, Jim Cook, Jim French, Bill Doolin, Craw-
ford Crosby, alias "Cherokee Bill," ''Buck Wightman,'*
"Columbus Means," Thurman Palding, alias "Skeeter," Joe
Jennings, Charles Clifton, Sam Brown, George Newton,
Perry Brown, George Newcomb, alias ''Slaughter Kid."
Charles Pierce, alias "Bitter Creek," Tom Ouarles, Elmer
Lucas, Lou Gordan, Curtis Deason, Ol Yantis, Henry Mun-
son, "Tulca Jack," Dick Yeager and Zip Wyatt. Bill, Tom,
Jim, Lulu and Rose Cook were half-breed Cherokee In-
July 18, 1894, Bill Cook, "Skeeter," "Cherokee Bill,"
Henry Munson, Curtis Deason and Elmer Lucas, "held-up"
a Frisco train at Red Fork, Ark. Munson was killed trying
to escape, but Deason was captured. The others escaped.
Deason was sentenced to a long term in the penitentiary.
July 31, 1894, ^t about ten o'clock in the morning, Bill
Cook, Elmer Lucas, Jack Star, "Tulca Jack" and one other
rode into Chandler, O. T., *'held-up" the Lincoln County
Bank, killed a citizen named J. ^I. ^Mitchell, who had tried
to give the alarm, rode from the town followed by a posse
who came up with them and a fifteen-minute battle resulted.
One of the bandits, Elmer Lucas, was badly wounded and
captured, the rest escaping. Lucas was sentenced to 15
years in the penitentiary.
October 20, 1894, this band wrecked the Kansas City and
Memphis express at Corretta, L T., by throwing a switch
running it into a string of empty cars, marched the engineer
and fireman to the baggage and express cars, forced the
messenger to open the door, but, as the messenger insisted
that the safe was locked and could not be opened until it
reached its destination, the gang went through the train and
obtained about $500 from the passengers. While still en-
gaged in this, a freight train whistled nearby and the bandits
October 23, 1894, at Watooa, the bandits under Bill
Cook's lead, drove every citizen to cover and then robbed
^very store in town.
November 13, 1894, some of the gang led by Bill Cook,
^'Cherokee Bill" and Jim French, "held-up" a Missouri,
Kansas and Texas train, at Wybank, a blind siding, within
four miles of Muskogee, L T., by side tracking the train.
They attempted to enter the express and baggage cars, but
failing, shot out all the windows in ihc c:\v<, riddled the
sides of the cars and then robbed the passenger^.
An old time Pacific Coast stage and train robber. Escaped Aug. 8, 1907, from
Westminster Penitentiary, British Columbia, where
he wasyserving a life sentence.
November 28, 1894, Jim French and several others at
Chrotah, I. T., '*held-up" nine people in a store, plundered
the store, the bandits retiring without firing a shot.
Little by little, however, at the cost of the lives of many
brave officers and the expenditure of a large amount of
money, the members of the Cook band were exterminated or
imprisoned and after the United States Government had
offered $250 each for the capture of these outlaws. Nov-
ember 21, 1894, Jim Cook was sentenced to 8 years in the
penitentiary for murder. November 22, 1894, "Skeeter"
at Ft. Scott, Ark., pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the
penitentiary. February 12, 1895, Bill Cook in the U. S.
Court at Fort Smith, Ark., was sentenced to fifty years in
the N. Y. State Penitentiary at Albany, N. Y. January 30,
1895. "Cherokee Bill" was captured at Nowata, I. T., after
he had started to organize a new band.
Others of these outlaws killed while resisting arrest were
Dick Broadwell, Ol Yantis, Charles Pierce, alias "Bitter
Creek,*' George Newcomb, alias "Slaughter Kid," Bill Dool-
in, "Tulca Jack," Henry Munson and Zip Wyatt.
"Black Jack" McDonald, who was originally one of the
Dalton gang, began operations in the Southwest in 1896
with George Musgrave, Bob Hayes, Cole Young, Bob Lewis
and Sid Moore, principally "holding-up" general stores and
post offices and killing those who attempted to arrest them.
August, 1896, they unsuccessfully attempted to rob a
bank at Nogales, Arizona. October, 1896, they attempted to
rob an Atlantic & Pacific R. R. train but a Deputy United
States Marshal, who was on the train, organized a posse,
killed Cole Young and the others escaped without getting
any booty. The others were eventually killed resisting ar-
rest, ^'Black Jack," the last of the Mohicans, so to speak,
being killed in Grant Co., New Mexico, in 1897.
"Old Bill" Miner, who escaped from the New West-
minster Penitentiary, New Westminster, B. C, August 8,
1907, where he was serving a life sentence for the robbery
of the Canadian Pacific R. R. train at Furrer, British
Columbia, on the early morning of May 9, 1906, in his early
criminal career was one of the most remarkable single-
handed stage and train robbers who ever operated in the
far West, always going about his work in a matter-of-fact
way, never posing as a bad man, and never taking human
life. He never belonged to any organized band of "hold-
ups," generally worked alone until later years he picked up
others to assist him.
As early as 1869, he served a term for stage robbery in
San Quentin, Cal., prison. In 1879, after his release he,
with others, robbed the Del Norte stage in Colorado, of
thirty-six hundred dollars. An associate, Leroy, was cap-
tured and hanged by a Vigilance Committee, but Miner es-
caped with the booty, to Chicago, then to Michigan, where
he posed as a California capitalist, until his money was ex-
hausted when he again returned to Colorado and committed
several other "hold-up" robberies.
In 1 88 1, Miner, Jirh Crum, Bill Miller and a man named
Jones, "held-up" a stage between Sonora and Milton, Cali-
fornia. All were captured except Jones. Crum confessed.
Miller and MiiK-r were >ciUciice(l to 25 years each, Crum to
twelve years. Miiur was released from San Ouentin, CaL,
on June 17, 1901, and two year? later on September 23,
1903, with two others he "held-u]) " and n )bbed the Oregon
Railroad and Navigation passenger train No. 6, at Mile
Post 21, near Corbett, Oregon. One of his companions was
badly wounded. The other was later arrested and both
were sentenced to long terms, but ]^Iiner, for whom a re-
ward of $1,300 had been offered, was not captured. ]\Iiner
on September 10, 1904. at Mission Junction, British Colum-
bia, "held-up" the Canadian Pacific Co.'s railway's trans-
continental express, securing $10,000 in gold dust and cur-
rency. For his capture $5,000 reward was offered by the
Government of the Dominion of Canada, $5,000 by the
Canadian Pacific and the Dominion Express Co. and $1,500
by the Province of British Columbia. Rewards of $12,800
seems to have had no terrors to Miner, for on the morning
of May 9, 1906, he again "held-up'' the Canadian Pacific
Railway train, this time at Furrer, B. C, the robbers com-
pelling the engineer to uncouple the mail car and haul it
a mile away, where they rified it of registered mail. ^liner
believed the express packages were in the mail car and
when he found they were not, he lost his nerve, abandoned
the robbery and escaped. Large rewards induced posses to
take up the pursuit. The Canadian Constabulary, after a
fight in which one of them was wounded, on May 14, 1906,
arrested Miner, also his confederates, Louis Colquhoun and
Thomas Dunn. Miner anrl Dunn were given life sentences,
Colquhoun 25 years.
'■ Black Bart," the
I '.LACK BART.
' P. ()." ^ stage and train i
Miner is said to have originated the expression, "Hands-
up," and was one of the first highwaymen to operate on the
From 1877 to 1883, stages in the mountains of Califor-
nia were *'held-up" by a lone highwayman, always wearing
a conical circus clown hat, an old linen duster and a jute
bag about his lower legs.
At times, near the intended ''hold-up", he would arrange
a screen of jute bagging or canvas, placing behind it dum-
mies made of slouch hats on sticks and all so realistic as to
readily deceive. While ordering the dummies not to shoot
until he directed or there was some sign of resistance, he
would request the driver to please throw out the box and
mail bags, the "box" being the treasure box or safe of the
Wells Fargo Express Co., containing a large sum of money.
He was always polite to the passengers, especially to the
ladies, and after each robbery there would be a few lines of
doggerel poetry, signed "Black Bart, the P. O. 8." This and
the handwriting showed the lone robber to be of more than
ordinary intelligence, well bred, and not of the rufHan
First a mail coach in the Sierras was attacked, next he
would be heard from in the Siskiyou Mountains, on the
old trail into Oregon, and so on, altogether committing
twenty-three robberies, and for whose apprehension, a large
reward was offered. Only once did a driver get a good
look at him and described him a- an American, fifty years
of age, with long gray hair, thin face, deep set eyes, promi-
nent teeth and somewhat dignified appearance.
The only record of "Black P3art" being shot at was on
November 3, 1883,, between Milton and Sonora, in
Tiiolomne County, about three miles from Copperopolis,
Cal., on the old mail road from Yosemite. On this particu-
lar trip, McConnell, the stage driver, allowed a boy of the
neighborhood, who had a gun, to ride with him, but the lad
got down just before the stage was stopped and had gone
into the woods. The robber who, as the stage approached,
as was his custom, had used powerful field glasses to de-
termine if an armed guard was aboard, as he "held-up'' the
stage asked the driver what had become of the man with
the gun. The driver told him the truth, but as ''Bart''
started off w^ith the boxes and mail bags of gold valued at
forty- four hundred dollars, also five hundred and fifty
dollars in coin, the boy returned and McConnell snatching
the rifle from him, fired four shots at the retreating robber,
but failed to hit him.
Immediately after this, as well as after "Bart's" other
robberies, detectives promptly explored the surrounding
country, this time near a camp fire, finding a slouch hat,
silk handkerchief and a linen cuff with blood stains upon it,
the cuff having on it a laundry mark. This was the first
real clue and resulted in the detectives finding the San Fran-
cisco laundry that had placed the mark on the cuff and de-
termining that it belonged to one E. C. Bolton. The arrev.t
and identification of **Black Bart'* followed. He was also
known as Charles E. Benton and Charles E. Bowles, had
lived at an unpretentious boarding house in San Francisco,
passing as a mining man and which accounted for his oc-
Lone Highwayman. Train bank and Faro bank Robber.
casional absence. He pleaded guilty to his last robbery,
but strenuously denied that he was the ''Black Bart" who
committed the others and declared to the Court that it was
only urgent necessity that drove him to commit this crime.
On November 17, 1883, he was sentenced to six years in the
prison at San Ouentin, Cal. He originally came from De-
catur, Ills., where he had worked on farms, and from where
in Company B, 160 Illinois Regiment, served three years in
the Civil War. He w^as known in his regiment as ''Wrest-
ling Charlie," and so far as could be learned outside of his
"hold-ups" had led a respectable life, was a teetotaler, a
man of fine education, a remarkably good story teller and
since his release he has been seen more or less in honest
occupations on the Pacific Coast.
During "Black Bart's" criminal career he never took a
life or injured a human being.
Early in the evening of November 4, 1892, at Omaha,
Frank Shercliffe, alias Sherman W. ^Morris, boarded a Sioux
City and Pacific Railroad train, and as it neared California
Junction, Iowa, completely disguised w^ith a false beard, he
attacked William G. Pollock, a New York diamond mer-
chant, with a bag of shot, until it was broken open, then
seriously wounding him in the arm and shoulder with a
revolver ripped open his vest and stole therefrom unmount-
ed diamonds valued at twenty thousand dollars, signaled the
train to stop, and escaped.
As a result of our liandling the matter for the Jeweler-'
Protective Union, Sherclift'e was arrested and tried at Lo-
"CAPT." EUGENE BUNCH.
Southern Express Robber. Killed Evadinj;? .\rrest.
gan. Iowa, and >LMUL'nce(l to Mwiiiecn years in the Fort
Madison, Iowa, penitentiary.
He is believed to be the lone ''hold-up" man who, during
1892. prior to the attack on ]\Ir. Pollock, robbed gamblers
and proprietors of gambling houses in the Northw^est, usu-
ally entering at late hours of the night, while all were en-
gaged in their games and relieving them of such money
as they had on hand.
He began his career as a criminal when a boy seventeen
years of age, by robbing a safe at Aurora, Illinois, shot at
the officers who attempted to arrest him, but was captured.
Since then he has been engaged in a number of daring
robberies in the middle and far West. Like the average
professional criminal, he squandered his ill gotten gains,
but since his release from prison in 1904, still young, but
broken in health and prematurely aged he has married and,
seemingly is endeavoring to lead an honest life.
In November , 1888, a United States Express messenger
was "held-up" on a train near New Orleans, La., and robbed
of $20,000. , Investigation proved the robber to be Captain
Eugene F. Bunch, alias Captain Gerald, a former newspaper
editor of Gainesville, Texas.
Acting with the special officer of the Southern Express
Company, and a local official, we finally located Bunch in
a swamp near Franklinton, La., where, on August 21, 1892,
he was killed resisting arrest.
September 30, 1891, Oliver Curtis Perry boarded a
New York Central R. R. train at All)any. X. Y., sawed an
opening through the rear door, crawled over the freight to
OLIVKR CURTIS I'EKKV.
Single handed train robber. Operated in Now York State-
the centre, covered the messenger with a revolver and stole
five thousand dollars and some jewelry, after which nea"
Utica he made his escape by cutting the air brakes, thereby
bringing the train to a stop.
February 21, 1892, Perry again boarded an express
train near Syracuse, N. Y., concealed himself on the roof
of the express car until the train was in motion and then
with a rope fastened to a hook in the roof of the car while
the train was traveling fifty miles an hour, lowered himself
to a window and, covering the messenger with a revolver
ordered him to throw up his hands. The messenger at-
tempted to pull the bell cord, but Perry shot him in the
hand, the messenger following with several shots. Just as
Perry fired his last shot, the train pulled into Lyons and he,
in attempting to escape drove the fireman and engineer from
a locomotive which stood on a siding, started the engine
at full speed, but was followed by railroad employees on
another locomotive, who subsequently overtook him and
after considerable shooting caused his arrest.
On May 19, following he was sentenced to 49 years ^\v\
three months in the Auburn, N. Y., State Prison, from
which he escaped October 22nd, but was recaptured in less
than 24 hours. Soon after showdng signs of insanity he was
transferred to the asylum for the criminal insane at Mar-
teawan, from which he escaped April 10, 1895, but four
weeks later was arrested by a railroad detective at Wee-
hawken, N. J. This detective liad a di>])utc with the Super-
intendent of the railroad about Perry's capture, killed him
and was hanged in Xcw Jcr-cy for liis crime. After hi-,
return to Matteawan Asylum, Perry destroyed both eyes
with a saddler's needle and is now a blind raving maniac.
Perry was born in Amsterdam, N. Y. ; at fourteen was sent
to a State Reformatory for burglary; afterwards served a
term at Rochester, N. Y., then went to Minnesota, burglar-
ized a store, served three years in the Stillwater, !Minn.,
prison, became a cowboy, returned East and imposed upon
religious people by pretending to reform, and finally com-
mitted the "hold-up" crimes as alleged.
Bert Alvord, a train robber, was once City Marshal of
Wilcox, Arizona, and Deputy Sheriff of Cochise County,
said to have been a fearless, , diligent and conscientious
officer, became a train robber and "hold-up" as he claimed,
on account of a reward of $i,ooo offered for the arrest of
a "hold-up" which he was not able to collect, "held-up" a
train and took from the express messenger $i,ooo declar-
ing he had earned this money and that there was no other
way to collect it, thereafter committing many robberies, but
was finally hunted down by the rangers and rurales.
In January, 1902, Alvord joined forces with Bravo Juan,
Augustine Chicon and Bill Stiles, Texas and Mexican out-
laws, working along the border. Alvord and Bravo Juan
were captured in the Sierra Madre mountains of Sonora,
Texas, tried and acquitted. Later Alvord and Stiles were
arrested for a train robbery at Cochise. • Alvord was sen-
tenced to two years in the penitentiary at Tombstone, Ariz.,
but with Stiles awaiting trial in the same jail on six indict-
ments and thirteen other prisoners on December 15, 1907,,
While brakeman on St. L(
< and vSan Francisco Ry. with Newton Watt, murfk-red
-t.ii<4er Kellogcr Xichols. Stole $20,000.
broke jail, this being the second time Alvord and Stiles
escaped ivom this, prison ; on the previous occasion. Stiles
seriously wounding the jailer. Alvord was later recaptured
and served his time in the Yuma, Ariz., penitentiary and
was released during October, 1905.
Kellogg Nichols, a United States Express messenger,
was found murdered in his car on the Chicago, Rock Island
and Pacific R. R. train, at Morris, Ills., on the night of
March 13, 1886, the safe open and $21,500, mostly $100-
bills, stolen therefrom. My personal investigation at the
time, assisted by Frank Murray, then Chief of Police, of
Joliet, and afterwards for many years one of our Superin-
tendents, John T. Smith, Chief Special Agent of the Chi-
cago, Rock Island and Pacific R. R. and other officers de-
veloped that Nichols had been shot in the shoulder with a
.;^2 calibre pistol, a kind not used by train robbers, and his
brains literally beaten out with a car stove poker, which,
was returned to the hook where it belonged and where any
Mi'linaiy criminal would not have placed it after making the
use that was made of it.
These circumstances together with being unfavorably
impressed with the statements of Newton Watt, baggage-
man and Harry Schwartz, front brakeman of the train, led
to the suspicion that Nichols was killed by either Watt or
Schwartz because Nichols by tearing off the mask of the
robber had recognized the wearer. The following day on
the railroad tracks near Minooka, between Joliet and Mor-
ris, where Nichols was last seen alive, was found a mask
FRED WHITROCK, alias Jim Cummings.
Lone train robber. Stole $is7,ooo from St. Louis ^: San Francisco express train.
made from the tail of an old coat and which showed evi-
dence of having been torn from the wearer.
Ample evidence of their guilt eventually obtained result-
ing in their conviction and sentence to life imprisonment.
Watt died in the penitentiary, but Schwartz's sentence being
commuted by Governor Altgeld, he was released from the
Joliet penitentiary, September 2, 1896.
A short distance out of St. Louis, Mo., October 25, 1886,
a lone highwayman boarded a St. Louis & San Francisco
R}-. train, pres-ented a forged letter from the Adams Ex-
press Co., prevailed on the Adams Express messenger to
open the door of the car. The robber then compelled the
messenger, D. W. Fortheringham, to open the safe and de-
liver the contents, $57,000, to him, then binding and gagg-
ing the -messenger, left him lying on the floor of the car.
Robert A. Pinkerton and two detectives from our Chi-
cago office, several weeks afterwards arrested Fred Witt-
rock, formerly of Leavenworth, Kas., for this robbery, who
then admitted that four to five other men were concerned
with him in the crime and that to each he had sent a por-
tion of the stolen money ; that the robbery was conceived by
' I Taight, a fornu i rxpress messenger and associated
V. iii iiiin was Tho-. W'r-Awv of Chicago. Aided by the local
police, of his confc 1' i;ii(- w^ arrested Weaver in Chicago
and Haight in \a^h\ ilK . Tenn., two of Wittrock's friends
in Leavenworth and two in Kan -as City, to whom Wittrock
had given some of the -toleii ni<;iK\ and a Chicago printer
who printed the forged letter head. A\'e recovered 90 per
cent of the stolen money.
Wittrock, Haight and \\'eaver all pleaded guilty and
were sentenced to long terms in the ]Missouri penitentiary.
Wittrock served his sentence, returned to his old home in
Leavenworth, Kas., and died quite recently.
On the Mineral Range Railway, Michigan, at 9:30 A. M.,.
September 15, 1893, ^^ ^ crossing in the woods, called Bos-
ton, in a sparsely settled countr}^, masked men boarded the
locomotive and express car and forced the express messen-
ger to deliver to them a package containing seventy thousand
dollars in currency, the pay roll of the Calumet & Hecia
Mining Co. As there was no telegraph office at Boston, an
alarm was not given until the train reached Calumet, when
the local authorities were notified and arrested Jack Butler, .
an ex-convict, and Jack King, at that time the champion
Cornish wrestler of the United States.
For the American Express Company, I took charge of "
this investigation, going with the manager of the company
and several assistants to the scene of the robbery. Our
investigation assisted by the local authorities showed that
the robbers had used a horse and buggy to escape with,
and of which we obtained a good description from the
natives thereabouts ; also a close examination of the foot
prints of the horse, showed he wore racing plates, instead
of the usual heavy shoes worn by horses of that section.
This horse was subsecjuently identified as ^'Camp K," the
property of a Red Jacket, ^Nfichigan, saloon-keeper, from .
LliAKlJvS I. SHAKCICV.
Aquia Creek, Va., Express Hold-up robber.
whom the ''hold-ups" had obtained it. Our work resulted in
the additional arrest of La Liberty, a former railroad fire-
man, Dominick Hogan, an American Express messenger,
and his brother Edward Hogan, who had planned the rob-
bery. La Liberty made to me a confession that the stolen
money had been placed in his trunk at. the depot, but on
searching the trunk we found only eleven hundred dollars.
It was then determined that the night depot master at Mar-
quette, Michigan, and a local livery stable keeper had stolen
the money from La Liberty's trunk, resulting in my re-
covering altogether $69,935.00 of the $70,000 stolen.
All of these men were convicted and sentenced to long
terms in the Michigan penitentiary.
In the fall of 1895, at Aquia Creek, Stafford County,
Virginia, two men, shortly after the train was under way,
boarded an express train, one the express car and the other
the locomotive, cutting the locomotive and express car from
the balance of the train, forcing the engineer to take them
a considerable distance where the express messenger was
overpowered, the safe blown and over ten thousand dollars
stolen, the "hold-up" men escaping, notwithstanding a battle
with a posse.
Shortly afterward a stranger displaying considerable
money, was arrested at Port Royal, Virginia, from whom
Robert A. Pinkerton, representing the express company,
who was investigating the robbery, obtained a confession.
The robber proved to be Charles J., Searcey, of Texas, and
he implicated Charles Morgan, alias Morganfield, whose
arrest we brought about in Cincinnati. Searcey was sen-
tenced to ten years and ]\Iorganlield to seventeen years in
the Richmond, Va., penitentiary.
During 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905, several train rob-
beries occurred in California, Colorado and Oregon. The
identity of the robbers could not be settled at the time but
we eventually determined that they were committed by
George and Edward Vernon Gates, brothers of California,
who on March 15, 1905, at Lordsburg, New Mexico, with
rifles attempted to commit a series of ''hold-up" robberies
and wdio killed themselves when the officers attempted to
Pat Crowe, notorious as the kidnapper of Eddie Cudahy,
son of John Cudahy, the millionaire Omaha packer, for
which crime, through a miscarriage of justice, he was ac-
quitted and afterwards acknowledged being the abductor,
pleaded guilty to train robbery on the Chicago, Burlington
and Quincy R. R. in 1894, about which time there were a
number of attempts upon trains in the vicinity of St. Joseph,
Mo. Crowe was supposed to have the Taylor brothers of
St. Joseph associated with him.
After these robberies we located Crowe in the Milwau-
kee Work-house, and had him held, charged with a diamond
robbery in Denver, Col. Before the extradition papers
arrived he sent for the officials of the Chicago, Burlington
and Quincy R. R. and stated that he was concerned in the
robberies near St. Joseph. Certain parts of his story ap-
peared very improbable to me and I went to Denver, made
arrangements with the poHce authorities to permit him to
plead to these train robberies in Missouri. The night the
arrangements w^ere completed, Crowe escaped from the jail.
Crowe, after his escape, wrote me that all the statements
made by him were falsehoods. Later we caused his arrest
in Cincinnati. He was taken to St. Joseph, Mo., where he
pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in the Mis-
souri States Prison at Jefferson City, from which he wrote
letters to the railroad officials and myself, threatening to
kill all who had to do with his prosecution.
When his sentence expired in Missouri, Crowe was re-
turned to Denver for the diamond robbery, but through
friends it is claimed he compromised the matter.
Crowe has lately written a book telling how he com-
mitted some of his crimes. He claims he now intends to
atone for all the crimes he ever committed by demonstrat-
ing to the young the folly of criminal life.
He was lately tried for robbery in Council Bluffs, but
One of the most notorious bands of train robbers and
bank "hold-ups" who operated in the West and Southwest,
from Wyoming to Texas from 1895 to 1902, was known
as ''the Wild Bunch." After each robbery they would
hide in the "Hole in the Wall" country of Wyoming, and
after the excitement had blown over would return to then
headquarters in small cities of Texas.
This band from time to time included Tom Ketcham,
alias "Black Jack," leader, wlio was lianged at Clayton, New
^ "\ 5
Mexico, April 26, 1901, for killing Sheriff Edward Farr, of
Whalensburg, New ]\Iexico, who was attempting to arrest
him for a train ''hold-up."
William Carver, alias ''Bill" Carver, second leader,
killed April 2, 1901, while resisting arrest in Texas for a
murder committed at Sonora.
Sam Ketcham died June 24, 1900, in the Sante Fe, New
Mexico, penitentiary, of a wound inflicted by a posse of
officers attempting to arrest him for the robbery of the
Colorado Southern R. R. Co. at Cimarron, New Mexico.
Elza Lay, alias McGuinness, is now serving a life sen-
tence in the Sante Fe, New Mexico, penitentiary for par-
ticipation with "Black Jack" Ketcham in the Cimarron train
Lonny Logan and Harvey Logan, alias ''Curry broth-
ers." Lonny was killed at Dodson, Mo., February 28, 1900,
while resisting arrest.
George Curry, alias "Flat Nose George," third leader,
killed near Thompson, Utah, April 15, 1900, resisting ar-
rest by a Sheriff's posse.
Bob Lee, alias Bob Curry, now serving a ten-years'"
sentence in the Rawlins, Wyoming, State Penitentiary, for
the robbery of the Union Pacific train at Wilcox, June 2,
Among the bank and train robberies committed by the
"Wild Bunch" in recent years were : Butte County Bank,
member American Bankers' Association, Belle FourchCj
South Dakota, June 28th, 1897.
Union Pacific Express train "hold-up." Wilcox, Wyom-
ing, January 2d, 1899.
Union Pacific Express train "hold-up," Tipton, Wyo-
ming, August 29th, 1900. About 1900, after these robberies^
under the leadership of Harvey Lv:)gan, alias ''Kid" Curry,
the band included O. C. Hanks, alias "Camila" Hanks, alias
"Deaf Charlie;" George Parker, alias ''Butch" Cassidy;
Harry Longbaugh, alias "Sundance Kid;" and Ben Kil-
Patrick alias "The Tall Texan." A part of this band on
September 19, 1900, at the noon hour, "holding-up" the
officials with rifles and revolvers, robbed the First National
Bank, Winnemucca, Nev., a member of the American
Bankers' Association, of $32,640 in gold.
July 3, 1901, Logan, Cassidy, Longbaugh, "Will" Carver,.
Ben Kilpatrick, "Deaf Charlie Jones," alias Hanks, at Wag-
ner, Montana, "held-up" a Great Northern Express train,
securing $40,500 of unsigned bills of the National Bank
of Montana, and the American National Bank of Helena,.
Mont., and for which Ben Kilpatrick, alias "The Tall
Texan," was arrested by the police in St. Louis, Mo., No-
vember 5, 1901, with a number of the unsigned stolen bills
in his possession. He was sentenced to fifteen years in the
Columbus, Ohio, penitentiary, since transferred to the
United States Penitentiary at Atlanta, Ga. In Kilpatrick's
room of the Laclede Hotel, the police arrested Laura Bul-
lion, a companion of Kilpatrick, as she was leaving with a
satchel containing several of the unsigned bills. She was
convicted of being an accomplice and sentenced to two years
and 'six months in the Missouri Penitentiary, at Jefferson.
December 13, 1901, at Knoxville, Tennessee, two police-
men who attempted to quiet a pistol fight over a game of
pool were shot by one of the participants, a stranger who
afterward ''held-up" the occupants of the saloon, backed
out of the rear door and jumped thirty feet into a railroad
cut, but was eventually traced and arrested in an exhausted
condition from cold, exposure and injury from his jump.
We subsequently identified this man as Harvey Currey,
alias Harvey Logan. Logan was convicted and sentenced to
a term of twenty years in the United States Penitentiary at
Columbus, Ohio, for uttering bank notes stolen at Wagner
on which notes the signatures had been forged. On Novem-
ber 29, 1902, while awaiting transfer to that institution, he
made his escape by ''holding-up" the guards in the Knox-
ville jail; fleeing to the mountains on horseback. He has
not been recaptured.
O. C. Hanks, alias ^'Camila'' Hanks, of Texas, another
one of this band, in Nashville, Tenn., on October 2.y, 190T,
offered a merchant one of these notes, circulars describing
which had been sent by us broadcast throughout the United
States. The merchant became suspicious and telephoned the
police who responded quickly, but Hanks, noting what oc-
curred, quickly drew a revolver, ''held-up" the officer tem-
porarily, jumped into an ice wagon and forcing out the
driver drove rapidly down the street ; abandoned the wagon
and at the point of his revolver captured a buggy and in
this escaped through the marshes to the Cumberland River,
where he forced two negroes to row him across in a boaJ:
and was lost trace of.
On April 17, 1902, he was killed by officers in the streets
of San Antonio, Texas, while resisting arrest. In 1892,
Hanks and Harry Longbaugh ''held-up" a Northern Pacific
train in Big Timber, AFontana, for which Hanks was ar-
Mrs, Kid Longbough.
rested, convicted and sentenced to ten years in the Deer
Lodge Penitentiary, from which institution he was released
April 30, 1901, rejoining his old companions in "hold-up'*
"Butch" Gassidy with Harry Longbaugh and Etta Place,
a clever horsewoman and rifle shot, fled to Argentine Re-
public, South America, where they, it is said, have been
joined by Logan. Being expert ranch men they engaged
in cattle raising on a ranch they had acquired, located on
a piece of high table land from which they commanded a
view of 25 miles in various directions, making their capture
practically impossible. During the past two years, they
committed several "hold-up" bank robberies in Argentina
in which Etta Place, the alleged wife of Harry Longbaugh,
it is said, operated with the band in male attire. We advised
the Argentina authorities of their presence and location, but
they became suspicious of preparations for their arrest, fled
from Argentine Republic and were last heard from on the
Southwest Coast of Chili, living in the wild open country.
Edward Estelle, alias "Conn. Eddie," George Gordon,
alias "Brooklyn Blacky," William Browning, alias
"Browney," Thomas Clark, alias "Pa. Butch" and Johnny
Bull, all "yegg" men, on August 5, 1902, "held-up" a train
of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy R. R., near Marcus,
Ills., after subduing the engineer, fireman and conductor,
and shooting up and down the railroad track to intimidate
the passengers, secured three thousand dollars from the
Adams Express Company's safe in the baggage car.
George Gordon, alia- ' I '.r(>< )klyn Blacky," approaching:
from the front of the locomotive was mistaken for a rail-
road man and shot in the thigh by Estelle, who, when he
discovered he had woinided a member of the gang, en-
deavored to have Gordan flee with him, but on the latter
pleading that he was too badly wounded, Estelle, uttering
an oath and telling him that he would not be left to squeal
on anybody, blew Gordon's brains out and then wanted to
burn Gordon's bQdy in the fire box of the engine, which
We identified Gordon's body, found on the railroad?
tracks and this materially aided us in establishing the iden-
tity of the others of the ''hold-ups." We located the gang:
at Memphis, where, acting with the police, we arrested
Fstelle and Clark. Browning, alias "Browney," was shot
and killed at McCloud, Texas, while attempting to rob a
bank, the owner of which took Browning's pistol from him,
killing him with it. Clark and Estelle were sentenced to life
imprisonment in the Joliet, 111., States Prison.
A gang of ''yegg" nun "lield-up" a through train of the
Illinois Central Railroad near Harvey, 111., on the night of
August I, 1904, with revolvers, compelling the passenger^
to deliver their money and valuables. These "hold-ups"
were traced to a St. Louis lodging house by St. Louis and
Kansas City police detectives, who arrested one man as he
left the house. The detectives on entering the house to
arrest William Bruce Morris and Albert Rosenauer were
attacked by these criminals and a fierce battle ensued. Both
rrimliinU were killed hnt nr)t before they killed Detective
Yegg Ivxpress "Mold ujj."
John J. Shea and Special Officers Thomas F. Dwyer an.l
James A. McCluskey. Morris in an ante morten statement
confessed to the IlHnois Central "hold-up" ; also to an at-
tempted "hold-up" of a Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific
train near Leets, Iowa, July 29, 1904.
Although the "hold-up" men have usually been successful
in their "holding-up" of stages, trains and banks, there have
been occasional instances where the "tables were turned" on
One of these was near Gilliam, Missouri, shortly afte:
midnight, Sunday, December 26, 1906, when a lone robber,
who had boarded the train at Slater, Mo., compelled the
sleeping car porter and the train conductor to accompany
him through the cars, the porter awakening the passengers
in the Pullman sleepers, collecting their valuables and hand-
ing them over to the robber. As the train reached Glasgow,
Mo., the next stop for the train, the robber disappeared, but
while the conductor was reporting the robbery to a tele-
graph operator, the "hold-up" by signal to the engineer
started the train, although the conductor succeeded in having
it stopped and informing the engineer of what had occurred
started through the train, when he met the porter, the flag-
man and the "hold-up" man, who under the "hold-ups"
direction were continuing to relieve the passengers of their
valuables. The robber agaiji forced the conductor to be-
come a member of the "hold-up" party. On reaching the
last car, the "hold-up" locked the flagman and porter in the
ladies* toilet and started to take the plunder fn^ii the ilag-
man's hat. Elias B. Haywood, the conductor, watching
what was occurring, found the ''hold-up" robber off his
guard, grappled with him and both wrestled about the car
floor, but finally the robber released himself from the con-
ductor's grasp and disappeared out of the door on the plat-
form, the conductor firing several shots after him with the
robber's revolver which the conductor had captured during
the struggle. The conductor believed the robber had jumped
or fallen from the train which was running at forty miles
an hour, but on going on the car platform, found the ''hold-
up" man crouching on the lower steps, gave him a severe
beating, pulled him back into the car and held him until the
train pulled in at Armstrong, Mo., where the police, having
been notified by the Glasgow operator, were in waiting.
The robber gave his name as Jesse Clyde Rumsey, and
claimed that his brother "held-up" the Chicago passenger
train near Glasgow, Mo., on November 8, 1906, at which
time a similar robbery was committed, and from whom he
received his instructions how to operate.
What I have maintained that no crime pays and that 95
per cent of criminals die in debt and frequently in want is
most aptly illustrated by the history of the "Hold-up" Rob-
I know of few train robbers or "hold-ups" alive and out
of prison to-day. Only in a very limited number of in-
stances are these in comfortable circumstances and from
honest means only after giving up their lives of crime.
Crime does not pay!