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Emmett Dalton's career as an outlaw came to an abrupt end at Coffeyville, Kansas. Badly shot up, he was left in agony to fight for his life. No one expected him to survive. Four outlaws and four citizens had already died as the result of the raid.
On the morning of October 5, 1892, Bob, Grat and Emmett Dalton with Dick Broadwell and Bill Power rode into Coffeyville, Kansas, intending to rob the town’s two banks, the C.M. Condon and the First National. The raid has been recounted so many times and in so many places, I shall not go over it again. The best accounts of the events of the raid can be found in What Really Happened on October 5, 1892 by Lou Barndollar, The Last Raid of the Daltons by D.S. Elliott and the Coffeyville Journal Oct. 7, 1892. Also see, Dalton Gang’s Last Raid, 1892.
Mr. William Benefiel sent me the following short, but unique story of his great-grandfather, Richard Baker:
“Richard Baker was 16 years old & was working as a laborer digging a basement (with shovels) along with another young man, not far from the two banks. When the gunfire started, they both climbed out of the excavation to see what was going on. The first time a bullet whizzed by overhead, they jumped back into the hole & only occasionally poked out their heads after that. He said there were enough shots fired that the black powder smoke was very thick. After the gunfire died down, they (and all the other townspeople) ran up to see what happened. Baker said the outlaws were shot many times. He said when Mr. Isham (owner of Isham's Hardware) realized what was going on, he handed weapons & ammunition from his gun rack out to some of his customers, who did a lot of shooting from the vacinity of the hardware store. Baker said one of the local farmers crawled up inside a large cast iron wood burning stove that was on display out front of the hardware store & shot with a Winchester rifle from the ash dump port in the back. He said that farmer dropped 3 of the 4 outlaws.”
Star and Kansan, Oct. 7, 1892: … Emmet Dalton, still with the money from the First National bank, had mounted his horse and started to go; but seeing his brother Bob shot down he returned and in an attempt to help him onto his horse, was shot and so badly wounded that he was captured. … Emmet Dalton was taken to Dr. Well’s office, placed under guard, and his wounds dressed. He was shot through the muscle of the right arm, and the bone was crushed. Also in the back and a very seriously wound in the right hip.
Emmett was shot through the right arm, as described, below the shoulder, through left (right, in some accounts) hip and groin, and got 18-23 buckshot in the back.
Star and Kansan, Oct. 7, 1892: Through the kindness of Sheriff Callahan we were permitted to visit the office of Dr. Wells, when Emmet Dalton was under examination. We saw a young man lying on a bed who had just reached his majority. He had rather an attractive face, a mild, clear eye, good complexion, regular features, and a voice as smooth and pleasant as a man often possesses. There was nothing coarse, nor brutal, nor villianous looking about him. A man would indeed have been hard hearted, who could have witnessed the ordeal through which he went without feeling a pity in his heart.
All the bodies were carried before him for identification. The first corpse was of a tall young man, rawboned, with prominent features. As it was lifted to where Emmet could regonize it, he faltered, and in quivering voice said: “I identify that as my brother Bob Dalton.” The tears filled his eyes and for a moment it seemed as if he would give up to his feelings, but he soon recovered himself, and proceeded to answer questions.
He said Bob Dalton was 23 years old the 13th of last May. That he had not been with his brothers for a year and a half, until the 1st of October, when he met them south of Tulsa in the territory . Bob told him that he was in the Adair robbery, and also in the California robbery in January, 1890. Grat Dalton, Tom Evans and Jake Moore were in the Adair robbery with Bob.
The second corpse brought into the room was identified as Graton Dalton, and again he broke down. He said Bob told him that Graton was in the California robbery. He was 31 years of age.
The third corpse he identified as Tom Evans and the fourth as Jake Moore. He knew nothing about them. He first met them October 1st. He knew nothing about “Texas Jack” or whether he was the man called Jake Moore or not.
In an imperfect manner we noted down the following statement, as he made it, in regard to the Coffeyville bank robbery: “On the 1st of October I met the boys 20 miles south of Tulsa. They asked me how much money I had, I told them about $20. I asked them the amount they had, and they replied about $900. I asked them what they were going to do. They said this town of Coffeyville had been talking about them; and some of the people at Coffeyville had been trying to have them captured. I told them it was a lie; that they used to have lots of friends there. Bob said that he could discount the James’ boys record, and go up and rob both banks in one day. I told him that I didn’t want any of it in mine. They said I had better go along and help, and get some of the money and leave the country; that if I staid around here by myself I would be sure and get caught, or killed.
“On the morning of the 3d we were north of Tulsa, in Osage nation, and we rode twenty miles towards Coffeyville. We talked the bank robbery over as we came along that day. I tried to persuade them not to come, for the people here had never done us any harm. So they said all right, if I didn’t want to go along, that four of them would go and give them a round up. So I told them if that was the case I might as well go along; and I went for the love of my brothers. I knew the people would chase me just as hard if I was not along, and I had no money to get out of the country on.
We camped yesterday, the 4th, on a timbered hill on Hickory creek, about 12 miles from Coffeyville. During the night we saddled up and rode to Onion creek, and camped on Mr. Davis’ farm. This morning we fed the horses some corn, and I asked them if they were still in the notion of coming up here, and they said they were. I told them they had better not go; that it wouldn’t be treating the men right who had always defended us. I asked them how they were going to do it. Bob said we’d ride in here about 9:30 a.m. I asked him what his idea was for that, and he said there wouldn’t be so many people to hold up in the morning and we wouldn’t have to hurt anybody. He told me he would like to have me go with him because I was quick on foot, and he and I would go to the First National bank and let the other three go to other bank. So he said we would ride and hitch north of the lumber yard. We would hitch there as people wouldn’t see us until we were right in the bank.. When we got out to the lumber yard we saw there were no hitch racks, so we came around near the cooler.
“I am a full cousin of the Younger boys. My mother is a sister to Cole Younger’s father. They and the James boys are no relation. Five were all there were of us. I have not seen Allie Ogee for two years.
“Bob and I started to come out the front way of the First National bank. Bob stepped on the street and shot his Winchester south once. We then went back and went out of the back door to the alley. Met a man with a six-shooter. Bob killed him. We then went west went in back of Wells Bros. to our horses. Bob shot several times going up the street. I did not see Cubine. I know him. I could have got away, but saw Bob fall, and rode back to him. He held up his hand and I was endeavoring to get him on my horse, when I was disabled.”
He here showed signs of weakening under the questioning and murmuring something about his dead brothers, began to cry. The sheriff stopped the examination and cleared the room.
Emmet told the story several times during the day, and always the same way, except in some small details. Knowing that a man guilty of the acts he was that day could not be relied on, we heard his statements with many doubts as to the part he played in the tragedy. It seems to us, since considering it, that he was making a shrewd, careful talk for his life, as he evidently feared the mob.
When asked where the Dalton’s hiding place had been, he refused to answer, saying it would implicate others. He said Evans and Moore had been with his brothers about one year.
… The Daltons used to live at Coffeyville and wintered there as late as two years ago, and knew the kind of people they had to deal with and the desperate chances they were taking. Their recklessness can only be counted for on the theory as suggested by Emmet Dalton in his statement, that his brother was anxious to be the hero of an exploit that would excel Jesse James.
— Emmet said when first captured said to let the people finish him up; that he would not blame them if they did.
— He at first declared he was not a Dalton [he gave his name as Charley McLoughlin], but when so many identified him he weakened, and admitted it.
— The Dalton boys were very popular when first appointed deputy U.S. marshals in the territory, and they still have warm friends all through Southern Kansas and the territory. A lady now visiting in this city who lived at Tulsa at the time, says their visits were always welcome there during their official career. The people felt safer when they were around, and considered them reliable, brave and handsome young men, until their name became connected with various big steals and daring robberies.
— The relic hunters were on hand. Bob Dalton’s pants were cut off by piecemeal up to his knees; the dead horses tails were clipped off and shoes taken from their feet.
Kansas City Star. October 6, 1892: Last night Attorney Dooley went to the bedside of Emmet Dalton, the wounded desperado who is only 21 years old, and secured from him the following statement under oath: On the 1st day of October, 1892, I met the boys south of Tulsa and they asked me how much money I had…
Emmet also testified that Bob and Grat were concerned with the California robbery, and they were in the Adair robbery some weeks ago. He claimed that he has only been with the gang since October 1. He said they held a three hour consultation on the prairie south of town yesterday morning and he warned them of the result if they came in. Had they succeeded in getting to their horses they would have killed many more, as he said Bob and Grat wanted to kill many of the citizens.
The Daily Northwestern, Oct. 6, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kan., Oct. 6. - … The stairway leading to the room where Emmett Dalton lies, is surrounded by a crowd of men and women endeavoring to pursuade the guard to allow them to see him. He is very weak from loss of blood. His wounds were dressed this morning. In conversation with a reporter he said that Bob put up the job last Saturday, and prevailed upon the rest to take part in it, though they were opposed to it, believing it not feasible. They were short of funds and were preparing to leave the country as they were being closely pressed.
— Emmet Dalton made a sworn statement that Bob and Gratton were concerned in the California robbery, and also in the Adair robbery several weeks ago.
Sundusky Daily Register, Oct. 7, 1892: … The stairway leading to the room where Emmet Dalton lies is at all times surrounded by a crowd of men and women who do their utmost to persuade the guard to let them pass up the stairway to the presence of the wounded men. All sort of reasons are advanced by these people for their requests, but with few exceptions they are not complied with.
Through the courtesy of Sheriff Callahan a Star reporter was allowed to enter the room. Emmet was weak from the loss of blood and talked little. He said: “I met the boys last Saturday near Tulsa and in the course of their talk they asked me how much money I had. I replied, $20. They said they had $900 and then told me of their plan to rob both banks of Coffeyville in one day. Bob said he wanted to Lower Jesse James’ record. I tried to persuade him not to try it but did not succeed as he had a grudge against the town and wanted revenge for what he had heard the people here saying and trying to do about us. I had no money to leave the country and also did not think we could get away if we came. I finally consented. We knew the lay of the land thoroughly and it was agreed that Bob and I should take the First National and the other three boys the Condon’s bank. Bob thought he and I were better than any six of the others and knowing the First National to be the hardest to rob we selected that and assigned Condon’s to the others.”
He stated he was an own cousin of the Younger brothers and until he knew that the other boys were dead he refused to say anything, but when their dead bodies were carried up to him for inspection, he identified them as Bob and Grattan Dalton, Tom Evans and Jack Moore. He shed tears as he gazed on his dead brothers. The names he gave to the two latter men are not the names they were known by in this section, but they are not their real names. These are witheld from the public to day for good reasons, but their names are known.
— The money secured from the First National bank amounted to $20,240 and that from Condon’s $3,000. The amounts turned over to the banks exceeds this amount and serves to verify the statement by Emmet that they had $900 when they came to town.
Kansas Weekly Capital and Farm Journal, Oct. 13, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kan., October 5. - Emmett Dalton is being closely guarded by a company of citizens tonight under command of the deputy city marshal. Only newspaper correspondents are allowed to see him. An Associated Press representative saw him at 11 o’clock tonight and procured from him a statement of his life, particular attention being paid to the last two years of it. He confessed the gang were responsible for the Red Rock, Wharton, Adair and other train robberies in the territory which had been credited to them. The story of a hidden treasure, he said, was nonsense. “If there had been a hidden treasure,” he said, “we would all have been alive today. It was because we were all broke that we planned this Coffeyville raid. We were being hard pressed by the officers down in the territory, when Bob decided we would have to get out of the country. He planned the robbery about two weeks ago, while we were camped in the Osage country. He said he would outdo the James boys’ exploits and would go to Coffeyville and rob both banks at the same time. We tried to persuade him not to do it, and then he called us cowards. That settled it, and we started for the scene of the raid. We all met Monday night at Tulsa and proceeded by easy stages to Timber Hill, twelve miles north of here, where we stopped last night. We started for Coffeyville at 7 30 this morning. and arrived here about 9 30. You know the rest.”
It was with great difficulty that the bandit told his story, as he was suffering terribly from the wound in his side. The physician attending him says he cannot possibly survive.
Clipping: Emmett Dalton is not dead but he is slowly dying in a hotel here and death is expected at any moment.
—Indignation against the robbers was so intense this afternoon that the citizens wanted to lynch the dying bandit. To prevent this the coroner gave out the statement that he was already dead. Now people will wait for death to do the work they had planned should be done by lynch law.
The following day two warrants were issued for Emmett’s arrest; one, at Independence, for the murder of Lucius Baldwin and the other for the murder of George Cubine (see document pertaining to this arrest), although these were credited to Bob in the local paper.
Coffeyville Journal, Oct. 7, 1892: … As Bob and Emmett were going out at the back part of the lot in the rear of the National bank, they were met by the heroic Lucius M. Baldwin with a pistol in his hand. Bob called to him to stop, but as the young man stated in his dying moments, he mistook them for citizens trying to protect the bank and the fact that Teller Sheppard was walking in front of the robbers, led him to make his fatal mistake. Bob drew his Winchester and shot him through the left breast near the heart. When Bob and Emmett reached the east side of Union street the eye of the former fell on poor George Cubine, who was standing in a drug store with his face towards the front of the National bank, with a gun in his hand. Bob fired a ball into the back of a man who had been his acquaintance and friend in former years, and Cubine fell with the fatal bullet in his heart.
The Galveston Daily News, Oct. 7, 1892: GUTHRIE, Ok., Oct. 6. - William Dalton, brother of the three outlaws killed at Coffeyville yesterday, was in the city to-day en route to that place to claim the bodies of his brothers and take them to Hennessy, Ok., where the mother lives. In an interview he states that he is one of ten brothers and five sisters, all of whom were living until yesterday except Frank, the oldest brother, who was killed while serving as a deputy marshal some years ago. The mother of this family, who lives on a farm near Hennessy, is a sister of the notorious Younger brothers and has a young son at home who was named after Cole Younger. The oldest son was named after Frank James. William, the one who was here to-day, is short and stout, smooth shaven and does not appear to be over 25. He is an ex-member of the California legislature and was a man of prominence until his brothers robbed a Southern Pacific train in Tulane county and he was arrested as an accomplice. He was acquitted of the crime, but at once returned east.
Kansas Weekly Capital and Farm Journal, Oct. 13, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kan., Oct. 6. - Sheriff Callahan wants to take Emmet to Independence, but it will be hardly allowed, as the people are determined he shall not be taken away from this town.
— At 11 o’clock tonight Emmett Dalton was still alive. He suffers great agony from the wounds and the physician attending him does not think he will survive another day. William Dalton arrived this evening from his home in Oklahoma and is in constant attendance upon his brother’s bedside.
— At midnight Emmett is slowly sinking and there is no possibility of his recovering. His brother remains constantly at his bedside and attends him as faithfully and as tenderly as if the dying bandit were an innocent boy instead of a hardened ruffian.
Star and Kansan, Oct. 7, 1892: Just as we go to press we learn that Allie Ogee was in the gang, and his body was discovered yesterday in the territory six miles south of Coffeyville and brought back and identified by Emmet Dalton. We heard Emmet Dalton declare, in that innocent way of his, that he had not seen Ogee for 2 years, and that the majority of people believed there were but five.
Coffeyville Journal, Oct. 7, 1892: The Journal has a letter from Ally Ogee that will be published next week.
— Sheriff Callahan made preparations to remove Emmett Dalton to the jail at Independence this morning, but was compelled to abandon the attempt on the account of the manifest disposition of the people to resist anything of the kind. It is safe to say that Dalton would have been taken away from the sheriff and hung, if the sheriff had taken him out of the room where he is confined at the Farmer’s Hotel.
— Ben and Will Dalton, brothers of the desperadoes, accompanied by their mother and sister, Mrs. Whipple, arrived from Kingfisher, Oklahoma, on Friday morning.
New York Times, Oct. 8, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kan., Oct. 7. - … In conversation with a reporter to-day Ben said: “I was sick in bed at our home on our farm, four miles north of Kingfisher, when we received the news of this awful affair, but managed to come with mother and the others. We had not seen the boys for two years, and had no idea where they were or what they were doing. I never had much in common with the ones who lie here dead and dying, as I am a farmer and try to be a good citizen. I wish you would state that mother and I have no ill feeling against the people of Coffeyville and no words of censure. They simply did their duty, and while we naturally deplore the loss of our boys, we also sorrow for the citizens who gave up their lives in defense of the town. Emmett tells me he has been treated better than he hoped by your people, and we are feeling sad, but not angry.”
The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 10, 1892: KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 9. - A special from Coffeyville, Kan., says: Emmett Dalton’s condition is so greatly improved that it is probable he will recover.
Star and Kansan, Oct. 14, 1892: Our report last week in stating that the dead body of Allie Ogee had been found in the territory and brought back and identified was incorrect. Ogee was not with the gang, and has been living in Wichita for several months [more about Allie Ogee].
Young Robert Wells got caught up in the middle of the fight with the outlaws. Read his story.
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