This is the continuation of Message #30976.
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MY ADVENTURES WITH JESSE JAMES
By FRANK DALTON
In looking back on the stirring days of the Civil War and the hectic times of reconstruction immediately following, my memory oft times plays curious pranks, and some of the most tragic and vital occurrences are forgotten entirely, while other and more trivial happenings stand out as if of recent occurrence. However, this is not a narrative of the Civil War or even my part in it, as that has all been told over and over, and by abler pens, perhaps, than mine. There are lots of incidents of those days, however, that have never been told at all or greatly misrepresented. This was unavoidable, as we, who knew the truth, were necessarily silent and for obvious reasons, while the chroniclers of that time took the few facts they could muster and let their imagination do the rest. As a whole the men of Quantrell were a secretive bunch and would tell nothing. But the need of secrecy has passed as to the things I shall tell about here, to-wit: Who and what was Quantrell? Why was Jesse James killed? Why was it thought by many that the man killed by Bob Ford was not Jesse James? Why did Aunt Zerelda ( Jesse's mother ) at first deny that the murdered man was her boy? These things have never been told at all, or grossly misrepresented in the telling.
Quantrell's right name was Charles Hart, and he was engaged in teaching school at Lawrence, Kan., when the war started. Being a mild and tolerant man, he counseled moderation in the treatment of people suspected of being Southern sympathizers, who were often either shot or hung, if they should not swear the oath of allegiance to the northern cause. This would not do in Lawrence, however, which was an unreasonable hotbed of abolition. So Hart was tied to a tree and horsewhipped.
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Some there were who wanted to "hang the damn rebel sympathiser." Milder counsel prevailed and after the whipping he was turned loose and told to get out of the county, which he did, coming to Missouri, where he organized "Quantrell's Militia," a band of boys too young to enlist in the Southern armies for the most part, but big enough to ride and shoot, as the Yankees often found out to their sorrow. Our duties were to patrol the country and guard our homes. I enlisted at Blackwater, Mo., March 8th, 1863, the day I was 15 years old. There were several though, that were younger than I was. In the summer of '63 a band of 322 of us rode into the town of Lawrence and burned the town. That is everything except Bowersock's Mill which we left standing, as we thought it wouldn't be long till Price or some of them would capture Kansas, and if they did a good grist mill might come in handy.
I don't know why the real reason for the killing of Jesse James was never made public for Bob Ford told it to the Sheriff and others of us when we were in the room where Jesse lay dead. I had been sent for, among others, to identify him, but the facts were never told and I am giving them here for the first time.
Jesse owned a string of running horses and under the name of "Thomas Howard" made fairs and race meetings.
He had Bob Ford riding for him until he got too heavy when he went to taking care of the horses and his brother, Charley, who was younger and lighter than Bob, went to riding. Of course, Bob knew who "Tom Howard" was, which was unavoidable in their close association. The rewards for Jesse were steadily mounting as trains and banks were being robbed in various parts of the country and Jesse was watching and suspecting everybody, nearly, who knew who he was, and thinking that perhaps they were out to betray or kill him. He, with his family, consisting of his wife, Johnny ( or Young Jesse, as he was to be known later ), aged 7 and a girl, Mary, aged 5, were living in a small house in the eastern part of St. Joseph, Mo. There was to be a race meeting from the 20th to the 26th of April that year, 1882, and Jesse concluded to take four of his horses and go, so he told Bob Ford to get them ready and he and Bob would each ride one and lead another, thereby getting into Excelsior Springs where the meeting was to be held, with fresh and well conditioned horses, which would probably not be the case if they shipped them by train.
Bob told us there in the house where Jesse lay dead ( shot down by his hand ) the reason for the killing: "I knew that if ever he and I started on that 70 mile trip that I would never get there; that Jesse intended to kill me on the way. I could see it in his eyes as he was talking to me. He suspected me of intending to betray him, so the first chance I got, I shot him, as I knew it was either
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him or me." Bob's chance came on the 3rd of April, 1882. He, Jesse and Charlie had been out to the barn currying and watering the horses and returned to the house, and the day being warm for that time of the year, Jesse took off his coat ( a Prince Albert ) and unbuckling his belt with two pistols, lay them on the bed. He and Bob sat on the bed and Charlie sat in a chair near the door. Mary had been cleaning house and scrubbing, the day before, and in hanging the pictures back on the wall, had hung one of them, a cheap chromo, in a gilt frame, a little crooked. Jesse, noticing that the picture was hanging crooked, got up on a chair to straighten it. The chance that Bob had been waiting for had come.
Taking up one of Jesse's heavy pistols, he fired twice. Either shot would have been fatal. One in the base of the brain, and the other near the shoulder blade and through the lung.
Of course, the first thing to do was to identify the dead man, so Aunt Zerelda ( Jesse's mother who lived on the old home place near Kearney, Mo. ) was sent for. She looked at the dead man and turning to the Sheriff and the others in the room, said: "Gentlemen, you have made a mistake; that is not my son." She afterwards broke down and wept bitter tears of anguish. Although she had been expecting it for years, the blow, when it did come, was almost greater than she could bear.
Jesse James was dead, and buried in his mother's front yard near the little town of Kearney, Mo. Frank James, his brother and supposed associate in all the robberies that Jesse was accused of, surrendered in October,'82, and was in jail nearly four years and tried for every crime that he and Jesse were accused of, and came clear on every count, often assuming the burden of proof, himself.
Draw your own conclusions as to the guilt or innocence of Jesse - I could tell what I know, but you would doubtless say I was lying to save a comrade of Civil War days.
Of course, Jesse has been seen alive from time to time by cheap notoriety seekers. Once a cowboy came up from the Argentine and said that Jesse was ranching and doing well down there. When this report was sifted down, it was found that the man taken for Jesse was a younger son of an English lord.
A few years ago a banker in a West Texas town died, and the report was spread that he was Jesse James. More recently a fellow popped up claiming to be Jesse! How the heck do they get that way, loco weed, or what?
No! Jesse James was killed by Bob Ford on the 3rd of April, 1882, in St. Joseph, Mo., there were too many people who knew him well and came to identify him for there to be any possible doubt, so that is that. Frank died on February 19, 1915. Cole Younger died at his home in Lees Summit, Mo., March 21, 1917, just before
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we went to war with Germany. Had he lived, he intended to raise a regiment and go over. These are facts. No difference HOW I know, that I DO KNOW is sufficient.
By FRANK DALTON
When the Civil War was ended the soldiers of the Confederate armies were told to lay down their arms and go home. Not so, however, with the men who had fought with Quantrell. We had not been regularly enrolled as Confederate soldiers, and although we had fought vigorously for the Southern cause, we had fought independent and were not recognized as regular Southern soldiers, hence we were outlawed and hunted down as common criminals. The Younger brothers, who lived in southern Missouri, were not allowed to come home, but had to hide away as best they could to keep from being caught and either sent to prison or executed. They, of course, sneaked in occasionally to visit their mother and sisters. ( Their father, Col. Henry Younger, had been assassinated by Yankees near the beginning of the war. ) It was on one of these visits that John Younger was reported to have been killed, March 17th, 1874.
Here is how it was ( I'm telling it for the first time ):
John had come home to be with his mother who was confined to her bed with malaria fever. The sheriff on being informed that he was home, came out from the county seat with two deputies to arrest him, and when the smoke cleared away he found himself with a broken arm caused by a pistol ball having passed through it.
The two deputies had gone yonder. John stayed at home as there was no one else on the place to do the chores and bring up the cows from the pasture; his two sisters being busy in the house with their sick mother. Allan Pinkerton's detective agency had undertaken to look for us as the rewards were rather tempting, and on the sheriff's arrival back in town he ran across four of these fellows and told them that John Younger was at home and what he had done to him and his deputies. Well, as it was their job to capture the Youngers, they got on their horses and started out. The Younger place was about 12 miles from town and as the detectives got a late start, evening was approaching when at last they came in sight of the house. They saw a young fellow over to the right of them about 200 yards or so, driving up a bunch of milk cows and decided that it might be a good idea to question him before going any further, so they left the road and started in that direction. ( The pistols of that time were of the cap and ball variety and took quite a while to load, so we usually carried plenty of loaded ones - "just in case," you know. A man caught with
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an empty pistol when he needed a loaded one was usually out of luck. So from six to eight pistols were considered a fairish amount to tote if you were expecting to meet up with trouble. ) Well, that part was all right, but instead of awaiting their approach as became a decent country boy when approached by the majesty of the law, this young rascal broke all precedents by charging full tilt in their direction with a gun in each hand and shooting like the dickens. Nothing in Pinkerton's book of rules to tell them what to do in a case of that kind, so they let nature take its course and turned tail and run like hell. When they got back to the timber one of them perhaps a little more brave than the rest, turned in the saddle and fired a single shot. The one shot was enough. The boy, who had not tried to hit them, although he could have killed all four of them if he had wanted to, fell from the saddle from the force of the heavy bullet.
There happened to be two other witnesses to this little play. The two were Cole and Bob Younger, who were coming home on a visit, and they arrived just in time to see John shot from his horse. Speaking to Bob as they rushed forward, Cole said, "Stop and see how bad John is hurt, Bob, and I'll ride on and attend to these fellows." John was, as Bob soon saw, shot in the left shoulder and not dangerously hurt, but the shock of the bullet had knocked him from his horse. He was carried into the house and put to bed by Bob and the two girls, where he stayed till he was able to travel. When he left he came to Texas where he had plenty of friends. The report was given out that he had been killed, which, as it was substantiated by the two Pinkerton men who got away from Cole ( he shot and killed two of the four ), was generally accepted as the truth. John came to Texas where he was for several years a peace officer under another name of course, and has led an honest and respected life. Little do the people think or realize that the erect, clear-eyed old man who is seen so often on the streets of various Texas towns is the former noted John Younger of Quantrell's band of Civil War days. He would have a hard time proving his identity, even should he wish to at this late day, as all the people who ever knew him as "John Younger" are long since dead and gone.
The leading papers of that day and time came out with various comments on his death, among the milder being ( after stating the manner of his killing which they had all wrong, of course ), "He was a perfect type of the genuine border desperado, and despite his age was the leader and guiding spirit of as ruthless a band of outlaws as the country has ever known." Another account had this to say about it: "John Younger, noted leader of the James and Younger band of outlaws and bandits, is laid low in death by the gallant forces of Allan Pinkerton. Now that the leader is gone the rest of the outlaw pack will shortly follow."
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But here is a paper that tells a different story. Needless to say, it was a paper printed in our own Southland. "John Younger, a boy still in his teens, is shot down and cruelly murdered by Pinkerton detectives while on a visit home to see his sick mother. Younger belonged to Quantrell's militia during the war, who are being hunted down and shot by organized bands of reward hungry brutes, for protecting their homes during the war."
And so it went on and on. The newspapers made the most of the chance they had to tell of the first one of Quantrell's men to be shot down by the forces of "law and order" since the war had closed. Later they were to have another chance to strut their stuff - much later - when Jesse James was killed. In the meantime the "life history" of John Younger was to be printed. It had about as much truth in it as had the account and manner of his death. Even his age, as well as the place of his birth were wrong.
We of Quantrell's militia have ever been a secretive bunch, and would tell nothing, so the writers of tales about us have had very little to go on in the way of facts, so they had to fall back on their imagination, but as that was usually in good working order they didn't need facts. Facts are sometimes bothersome things anyway in the making of a good story, so why use them? Or at least, such seemed to be the case with our biographers.
WRITER ANSWERS "TIMES" READER REGARDING JESSE JAMES' DEATH
FRANK DALTON DECLARES HE IDENTIFIED BODY OF NOTORIOUS SLAIN BANDIT
Proof Sheet of a Story I Wrote Two Years Ago in Reply to a Story About Jess in the Denver "Post."
A Longview reader of the Gladewater "Times" recently wrote a letter to the editor questionong the accuracy of the account of the death of Jesse James written by Frank Dalton and published in last week's issue of the "Times." Mr. Dalton was given the letter and his reply to the writer is printed below:
JESSE JAMES - DEAD OR ALIVE?
So Jesse James is alive again and is living in a small town in Nebraska this time, according to the Denver "Post." Let's see, how many times has Jesse been discovered since Bob Ford killed him in April, 1882. First he was reported to be ranching in the Argentine, and next we hear of him in Old Mexico where he is manager of a silver mine. Both times the person recognizing him is sworn to secrecy. Next he is found in a small western town where he is running
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a private bank, presumably started on the proceeds of his many bank and train robberies. He dies there and that ought to put an end to his activities, but instead of doing so it only seems to accelerate matters for in a short time - a very short time at that - he dies again and leaves a letter to his business partner to be opened and read at his grave in which he confesses to being Jesse James. Next he bobs up alive and well and proves his identity by an old negro woman who was the family nurse when Jesse was a baby.
I was in Fort Riley, Kan., when Bob Ford shot him on April 3, 1882, and as it was known that I had soldiered with him under Quantrell during the latter part of the Civil War, I was sent for to identify him and did so to the best of my ability and have always been positive ( and am yet for that matter ) that the man killed by Ford was Jesse James.
If the man in Nebraska is Jesse, why has he been silent for all these years? It seems unnecessary for Frank, after his surrender in the fall of '82, was tried for all the crimes that he and Jess were accused of and acquitted on every one, thus making it unnecessary for Jesse to longer remain in hiding, that is, if he was still living.
Frank and I were working in Ed Butler's theater ( The Standard ) in St. Louis when the report was given out that Frank had said that he could produce Jesse at any time under certain conditions, but Frank vigorously denied having made this statement and I am convinced that he did not. Aunt Zerelda ( Jesse's mother ) started all the trouble and doubt over the dead man being Jesse when she denied the identity of the man, saying, "Gentlemen, you have made a mistake; that is not my son."
She afterwards broke down, however, and in bitter tears of anguish admitted that it was him and gave as her reason for denial her desire to protect Frank, her other outlawed boy. She took the body to the little town of Kearney, Mo., with her and buried it in the front yard where it remained for several years, but was finally taken up and buried in the family lot in the cemetery at Liberty, the county seat of Clay county.
The Kansas City "Star" came out with a Bible quotation at the death of Jesse, "The name of the wicked shall rot." Following up with, "Already the name of James is offensive to the ears of all honest men, soon it will perish from the earth and be heard no more." It seems, however, that they were mistaken for as the years roll on and time passes his name is constantly brought before the public in one way or another, and greater becomes the opportunity for cheap notoriety seekers to strut their stuff.
Of the claims of this man in Nebraska, or others for that matter, I will say nothing. Let them go their way and get whatever satisfaction they may as they can harm no one by so doing. However, for
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me the Civil War with all the horrors of its aftermath is over, I hope, never to return.
I am, as far as I know, the last living man who soldiered under the "Black Flag" of Quantrell, but if Jesse James is alive I would like to see him for I knew him well and used to call him "friend."
By FRANK DALTON
In 1859 a young lawyer by the name of Nathaniel Hart, came to Lawrence, Kansas, and, opening an office, began the practice of his profession. The town of Lawrence was located on the Kaw, or Kansas River as it was called later, in what was then Kansas Territory, and about forty miles from the western line of Missouri. Young Hart had a brother who was attending a military school back home. He wrote and advised him to come to Lawrence, as it would be a good location in which to open up a school, for, of course, there were no public schools in that part of the country at that time.
So, upon his graduation, in the summer of 1860, young Charles came to Lawrence and opened a school. He was a mild-mannered and gentlemanly young fellow, liked by the scholars and respected by all who knew him. He continued his activities as teacher until 1862, although Nathaniel, his brother, left Lawrence in 1861, when war was declared, and went back to his Southern home where he joined the Confederate Army.
Lawrence was a hotbed of abolition and all who did not openly and vigorously espouse the Northern cause were looked on with suspicion. Indeed, so rabid was the stand taken by Jim Lane and other leaders that men suspected of being Southern sympathizers were often either taken out and shot or hung, or horse-whipped and told to get out of the country.
One evening in the spring of 1862, after school was out for the day, Jim Lane and some others of the leaders of the town, six altogether, came to the house where Hart was boarding and called him outside to question him. "Well, Hart, you know our stand on the slavery question as well as the rest of the things that brought on this war, and as you have never been heard to express your sentiments either way, we have come here tonight to find out how you stand, and to get you to take the oath of allegiance to the Northern cause."
Hart told them that he would like to remain neutral, and keep on teaching, as an education for the children was, in his opinion, of more importance than the war. "And as for the oath of allegiance to the Northern cause, my people are all in the South and a good many of
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them in the Confederate Army; so I cannot, and will not take your oath."
Hart was put in jail that night, and the next day he was taken out and tied to a tree in the center of the town's business street, where he was publicly whipped, after which he was told to leave the country. He then came to Missouri where, under the name of Wm. Quantrell, he organized "Quantrell's Militia." His military training came in handy now, as it made it possible for him to take a bunch of boys and build up the most perfect fighting organization that the Civil War produced on either side, and the "Black Flag" of Quantrell was more feared and dreaded by the "Yankees" along the Missouri and Kansas border than any other organization.
It was said that General Lee once made the remark that, given a half-dozen leaders like Quantrell, he could whip the North in less than six months. We took no prisoners; neither did any of us surrender, no difference what the odds were against us, although we paroled lots of prisoners on their promise to go home and quit the war. Our mode of attack whenever possible was to charge through the enemy lines, shooting as rapidly as possible and yelling like a lot of wild Indians. Yankee nerve, as a usual thing, couldn't stand much of that, and the battle was most always over before it got started. When a charge was not advisable, we usually harassed the enemy from ambush, shooting into their ranks until we got them demoralized, then we would charge in and either put them to rout or finish them. Sometimes though, they would be too many for us; then, after doing what damage we could, we would, ourselves, retreat.
Many are the stories told of cruelty practiced on both sides. Some of these stories are true, but the most are not. For instance, it was reported after the Battle of Bowers Mill that Cole Younger, in order to try out a new rifle that we had captured, lined up twelve of the twenty-two prisoners we had captured, and taking careful aim, fired, killing two of them and stunning the third. This was even printed in a supposed "history" of the Younger brothers. There is not a word of truth in it. I was there and know all that took place, and as the twenty-two men were all executed, it was done because they belonged to "Jennison's Jayhawkers," a bunch of rabid Kansas abolitionists ( "red legs," as we called them ), and our bitterest enemies. Jennison, however, retaliated by visiting the home of the James brothers and taking the women ( Aunt Zerelda, the mother of Frank and Jesse James, their sister, and my mother and sisters ), and after stripping them to the waist they tied them to trees and taking a blacksnake whip that they found in the stable they whipped them until they got tired and then they rode away, leaving the women and girls to be cut down and carried into the house by our negro slaves, who washed and bandaged their bleeding backs and bodies and put them
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to bed. Yes, sometimes the war was rather cruel! That we afterward exacted a terrible revenge for this inhuman treatment of our mothers and sisters goes without saying. We surrounded Jennison's men when they were in camp one night shortly after that and shot into them from the brush until we ran out of ammunition.
It was said afterwards that we killed or disabled over two-thirds of them. And so it went. First one side being the aggressor and then the other.
The Northern troops burned our town of Lexington, Mo., to the ground, and we retaliated by burning Lawrence, Kansas. They raided a mule-breeder's farm near Bowling Green, Mo., and got away with over 200 valuable mules. We raided the picket line of Fort Leavenworth, and after killing the soldiers on guard, stole over 400 cavalry horses and had to swim the Missouri River with them to get away, which we did under fire from nearly half the soldiers in the fort. The only thing that saved us from getting killed was that it was an exceptionally dark night and drizzling rain. As it was we lost seven men out of the twenty-five that we had when we took to the water. We got into Quantrell's camp, near Weston, Mo., a little after daylight, with 396 head of good cavalry horses; besides we had lost several in crossing the river.
In the spring of 1864 we decided to go South and after taking our women-folks to Westport, four miles south of Kansas City, for safety, we headed toward Southern Missouri, and after the Battle of Belmont, crossed over into Kentucky, where Quantrell was reported to have died of fever, caused from wounds he received in battle. The report was even believed by our friends for a time, until most of them learned different. What really did become of him has never been told, as he, being the leader of our organization during the war, would have been specially sought after had it been known that he was alive. However, not long after the war ended, a man, accompanied by his wife and little daughter, opened up a school in a small town in Central Texas, where he remained for several years. It was known that he had been with Quantrell during the war, for several of us visited him from time to time, but who he was has always remained a mystery. It was known, however, that Quantrell was married in Lawrence, Kansas, near the beginning of the war and that he had one child, a girl. Add to this the fact that Quantrell - or to use his right name, Charles Hart - was a school teacher, and lots of the people living in the small Texas town believed the mild-mannered and gentlemanly teacher to have been the once feared and dreaded "Quantrell" of Civil War days.
(Signed) FRANK DALTON
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March 6th, 1935.
MY DEAR MR. CRITTENDEN:
I received your letter and card this morning and was glad to hear that your Mss. has been turned over to the printers. It don't take long to get them out if the printer knows his stuff and of course most of them do. I have had several small books printed myself. Texas and Frontier History mostly. The picture of Mrs. Samuels is, I guess, the same one you have, taken full length and does not show her features very well. In my story about John Younger I did not mention the date of his supposed killing. ( I never mention dates or locations if it can be avoided. ) The rest of the story is substantially correct. He was killed on the 17th of March, 1874, in St. Clair county, Mo., not far from the little town of Roscoe. Cole died March 21st, 1917, at Lees Summit, Mo. Frank James died Feb. 15th or 19th, 1915. Jess, as you know, was killed in St. Jo on April 3,'82. Jim Cummins died in the spring ( I don't know the date ) 1929, at the Confederate Home near Higginsville, Mo. Bill Anderson ( supposed to be killed in Ray Co., Mo., during the war ) died about six years ago in Brown Co., Texas, where he had a small ranch, and had been living since shortly after the war. Quantrell was supposed to be killed in Kentucky on our raid through that state in 1865. I believe I sent you a pamphlet about Quantrell. It is correct in every detail, but I omitted to state his age or place of his birth. He was born April 27th, 1836, at Lexington, KY. His father was a Baptist preacher, as was also Robt. James, the father of Frank and Jess. By the way, Crittenden, there is a fellow knocking around the country claiming to be Jess. The Denver "Post" of Sunday, Feb. 24th, had an article about him, but so far I have not been able to get a copy so I am going to send to Denver for one. I usually pay no attention to these stories, but this fellow is exhibiting himself as Jesse James and I believe it would be a good idea to stop him. I may be up there in a few weeks as we have some more business in K. C., and when I come I will call and see you. We ( Dr. Travis and I ) are in the oil game a little down here and it keeps us on the jump, but we always have time to write or visit. Anything I can tell you about the "old days" I gladly will, and I think I am as well posted as any one can be, for I am 87 years old and joined Quantrell at Blackwater, Mo., on March 8,'63, the day I was 15.
Story about "Q" in "All Western Mag." of April. No good, but read it! H - ain't it. Why don't they let us alone?
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THE "JAMES GANG"
DEAR MR. CRITTENDEN:
Your letter out of the office and in reply to your questions, will tell you, "Yes, Bob Ford was killed in Crede, Colorado. The how of it was this - Your father had pardoned and restored to citizenship a fellow by the name of Dick Liddle ( or Little ) so he could appear as a witness at one of Frank James' trials. Dick and Bob Ford went to Crede and opened a saloon and gambling house. What became of Liddle, I don't know and is of no importance. One night a drunk by the name of Kelly was ejected from Ford's place by a bouncer for abusing one of the females of the dance hall ( of Ford's place ). He went to his shack and got his six shooter, came back and killed Ford. He was tried and given a sentence of 85 years in the Colorado penitentiary, but Governor Waite (?) the populist Governor pardoned him. I will say here that Frank and I stopped one night at the Blossom House in Kansas City ( across from the old depot ) and Ford was in the third room from us, but Frank did not try, although we talked about it, and you know the incentive was strong to injure him in any way. As for Charlie Ford, I heard that he had killed himself at their home near Richmond (?), Missouri. Another report has it that he died some place in Arizona.* Which is correct, I do not know as I have paid no attention to him. What year Bob was killed,** I have forgotten but think it was in the latter 80s or early 90s, not later than 1892, I know and think it was earlier. Anyway, Kelly, who killed Bob, was himself killed in Oklahoma City in 1893 (?) by a policeman by the name of Joe Burnette. Joe went to Pawhuska in the Osage nation and was killed by an Indian policeman by name of Bud Thurston. Bud was killed by Jim Courtright of Fort Worth, Texas. Luke Short killed Courtright, and there you have it all - one killing followed another. I would go into details but it would take too long, but these are the abbreviated facts, most of which I know of personally and the rest from reliable sources.
* - Bob Ford was killed by a drunken Irishman by name of Kelly in his, Ford's saloon, June 8th, 1892. - H.H.C.
** - The writer's recollection is, Charlie Ford died in Arizona of consumption. - H.H.C.
P. S. - In regard to the killings I speak of, there is nothing strange about it, for they were "gun fighters all," and with the exception of Kelly, were killed in drunken brawls. Kelly, after he was released from prison, came to Oklahoma City, where he was engaged in dealing
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faro in one of the gambling houses. Early one morning about 2 or 3 o'clock, he had closed the game and was on his way to where he was staying - bank roll in one overcoat pocket and six-shooter in the other, when Joe Burnette, who had but recently been put on the police force and didn't know Kelly, stopped him to question him. Kelly, thinking perhaps that he was a highwayman, as the police wore no uniforms, shot through his overcoat pocket and hit Burnette in the leg, breaking it. As Burnette was falling he shot Kelly through the heart, killing him instantly. Joe Burnette afterwards attended an Indian pageant at Pawhusky in the Osage nation where he got into a drunken fight with some other grafters, and Bud Thurston, an Indian policeman, killed him in the line of duty. And so it went. Yes, things were rather primitive in those days. Sorry I can't give you date of Ford's killing,* but I have forgotten it.
* - It is not surprising that Frank Dalton, 87 years of age, should not carry these dates in his head. - H.H.C.
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