The Dalton Gang


The Dalton Gang, which had been terrorizing the Indian Territory with its daring train robberies, set out in early October of 1892 from their hideout near Tulsa in an attempt to make outlaw history. It was Bob Dalton’s plan to rob two bank in the same town at the same time. If they could accomplish this they would be able to do what no other outlaw gang had done, including the James-Younger Gang. The Dalton Gang, which was composed of Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton, Emmett Dalton, Dick Broadwell and Bill Power, arrived on the evening of October 4 at the P.L. Davis farm 4 miles west of Coffeyville, Ks. on Onion Creek. They made camp for the night and prepared for the next day.

The five outlaws arrived in Coffeyville the next morning shortly after 9:00 A.M. to find the cities streets filled with people. As the townsfolk went about their normal activities they paid no attention to the strangers as they rode in slow and quietly. The stranger reined their horse into the alley across from the downtown plaza where the banks were located. There they dismounted and hitched their horses at the rear of a lot owned by Police Judge Munn. At about the same time an oil tank of the Consolidated Company pulled by two horses was also hitched in the same area.

They marched down the alley the same way they rode in , three in front and two in the rear. The three men in the front, Grat, Powers and Broadwell entered the C. M. Condon & Co. Bank. Bob and Emmett crossed the plaza and entered the FirstrnNational Bank.

Being from Coffeyville, and well known in the area, the Daltons tried to disguise themselves by wearing false beards. However as they left the alley and crossed over and enter the banks they was noticed by on of the townspeople. When he saw arnWinchester pointed at the banks cashier he sounded the alarm that the banks were being robbed.

The citizens quickly secured firearms from the two hardware stores in town, and position themselves about the plaza in an effort to defend the town.

Inside the Condon Bank were C.T. Carpenter, one of the owners; Tom C. Babb, bookkeeper; and Charles M. Ball, cashier. They were quickly taken hostage by the outlaws and ordered to surrender the money. But quick thinking cashier Ball told them there was a time lock on the vault and that it could not be opened for another 10 minutes. The bandits were fooled into waiting, in the meantime the citizens had secured weapons and position themselves. They opened fired, and the gun battle was on.

It was easier going at the First National Bank, Bob and Emmett captured Thomas G. Ayers, cashier; W.H. Shepard, another employee; and forced B.S. Ayers, bookkeeper to collected the money for the bandits. The boys then attempted to escape out the front door using the three banker as a shield, but as they appeared at the door the citizens started shooting at them. They decided it was better to use the rear door.

The first citizen wounded in the gun battle was Charles T. Gump, he ran into Isham Bros. & Mansur hardware store and armed himself and was wounded in the hand by a shot from Bob Dalton. He was pulled back into the store. The next to fall was Lucuis M. Baldwin, a clerk at Read Bros. General Merchandise. He had crossed the street to Isham’s and got a pistol. He started walking toward Bob and Emmett. Bob ordered him to stop, but the brave clerk keep coming. Bob shot him and fatally wounded him. He’d died three hours later.

The next man to be shot was George Clubine who had positioned himself in front of Rammel Bros. Drug Store. He was spotted by Bob who shot him through the heart. Charles Brown grabbed up Clubine’s weapon and started to fire at the bandits. He too was quickly shot down.

Thomas Ayers, the cashier from the First National Bank, left the bank and ran to Isham’s were he seized a Winchester and joined in the gun battle. Bob shot and wounded him in the face. He would latter recovered from his wounds. Both Lewis A. Dietz and T. Arthur Reynolds who were customers in Isham’s when the battle started participated in the gun battle. Reynolds was wounded in the foot. M.N. Anderson, Charles K. Smith, and Henry H. Isham also participated in the battle from inside and around Isham’s.

Meanwhile inside the Condon Bank Grat, Broadwell. Power were coming under fire from the guns at Isham’s. Grat was wounded as he left the bank and found cover behind the oil tank, from there he fired several wild shots. Power received mortalrnwounds and fell at the feet of his horse in the alley.

As the bandit now on the streets and running for the alley and the safety of their horse, they came under a murderous gunfire from the townsfolk. John J. Kloehr, Carey Seamen, and Marshall Connelly started advancing upon the bandits in the alley. Grat shot and killed Marshal Connelly. Broadwell was able to make it to his horse, he mounted and started to ride away when he was shot by both Kloehr and Seamen. He was able to ride off, but only made it about a half a mile outside of town when he fell dead from his horse.

Bob and Emmett had made into the alley by way of 8th street. Once there Bob was hit from the gunfire from the hardware store. Although he was wounded he continued to keep shooting. He was then shot by Kloehr. Kloehr then shot Grat as he tried to mount his horse.

Emmett who was carrying the money bag had reached the alley in one piece. As he mount his horse he was wounded in the right arm, left hip, and groin. He then rode back for his brother Bob, as he reached down for Bob, Carey Seamen unloaded both barrels of his shotgun into Emmett’s back and Emmett dropped to the alley.

Emmett then held up his uninjured hand and surrendered. He was taken to Dr. Well’s office and given medical care and for awhile it was touch-and-go as to whether he would lived.

In all the gun battle had lasted less than fifteen minutes after the robbers had entered the banks. Eight men were dead and three were wounded. The money was safe. One man was on his way to the Kansas State Prison.

– Credits to:


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