At Independence

October 1892 – December 1892

* * * * *

On October 11, 1892, Emmett Dalton was carried on a cot and taken to jail at Independence, Kansas, without any trouble from the citizens of Coffeyville. He would remain in bed until December. City Attorney Fritch, who earlier had filed a murder charge against him, became his legal advisor.



St. Louis Republic, Oct. 11, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kas., Oct. 11. - Emmett Dalton was taken to Independence to jail this morning by Sheriff Callahan without any objection by the citizens. William Dalton went along. Now that he is gone, the citizens believe that his presence here kept the town full of undesirable visitors who were apt to cause trouble. He is better, and it is now thought he will recover. The officers investigating the raid claim to have found a relay of horses left by the Daltons at a friend's at Double Creek [About 20 miles north of Tulsa] to aid in their escape.


Star and Kansan, Oct. 14, 1892: Emmet Dalton was brought to this city on Wednesday morning and placed in the county jail. The warrant on which he was arrested charged him with murder. His brother, Will Dalton, came up with him. The latter is a heavy set man, smooth shaven and does not appear to be over 25. He at one time lived in California and is said to have stood high in the state until his brother robbed a Southern Pacific train in Tulare county, and he was arrested as an accomplish, but was acquitted. He is a pleasant, fine appearing young man. Emmet’s sister was also here on Tuesday, having come over from Cherryvale. She was on her way home, but there had been considerable talk about lynching her brother, if removed, and when she heard he was on his way to this city, with true sisterly devotion, she hastened to learn if he arrived safely.

All that talk about Coffeyville citizens refusing to permit him to be removed, was the merest bosh. Coffeyville citizens are brave, law-abiding men. Necessity compelled them in self defense to take the law in their hands, when they shot the robbers down. Each did his duty manfully. Such men are above resorting to unnecessary mob violence, that would leave a stigma upon the fair reputation of their city; and Emmet Dalton was removed without any demonstrations. Indeed, the manner in which that outraged people acted throughout the whole affair is deserving of the highest praise.

Of the horses taken, one of them belonged to Broadwell, two of them were attached for debt, and one of them was identified as a horse stolen from a man living near Tulsa. Emmet says, however, that this one was his horse, and that he paid for it.

— The mother of Emmet Dalton arrived in the city yesterday.

— Yesterday morning Sheriff Callahan received the following dispatch:
COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS, Oct.13 -- See the following message just received by me, and look out.
T.H. Brooks, Agent. WHARTON, I.T. - T.H. BROOKS, Agent:
Heck Thomas and I leave here to-night trying to get balance of party. I have reliable information that these outlaws we are now after are trying to rescue Emmet. I think that I can with my outfit kill them before they reach there. Tell the committee that I am afraid of Emmet’s release, but I will try to outride these men, and if I do I will try to kill them before they reach Coffeyville. It is possible I may have to come into your town. If so I will come in alone.Please ask your people not to mistake us for outlaws until I can confer with them, for our party has the appearance of being outlaws themselves, see that we are not mistaken.
F.J. DODGE

The F.J. Dodge referred to is the chief detective of Wells, Fargo express company, and such report coming from him created great excitement at Coffeyville. A gentleman from there last night said the banks at once closed their sales, and every man in the city armed himself. A telegram was sent to Parsons for 25 armed men, and one to Kansas City for ten more winchesters. It caused a cessation of most all business, and the war-like preparations were such as to make strangers feel safer in some other locality.

Sheriff Callahan does not anticipate any disturbance. He thinks that Dalton’s friends might have come to his rescue at Coffeyville, but they will hardly undertake the dangerous task of taking him from the jail here. In the first place, he is unable to be removed; and in the next, there is such a warm reception prepared for any crowd that will tackle the county jail as to make it decidedly unhealthy.

A telegram went over the wires last night that 100 men were camped near Coffeyville, but it probably was only a wild rumor. Sheriff Callahan received a telegram this morning that 16 armed men got off the train at Deering.

Mr. Wm. Brown came in from Coffeyville this morning. He says that the outlaws have not put in an appearance there yet, but that there is no doubt but that 25 or more of them are coming this way. He thinks they mean business and will make an attempt to rescue Dalton even though it causes his death.


Bill Dalton wanted to be the administrator of the estates of Bob and Grat. He needed to raise money for it and went to see Deputy U.S. Marshal Bud Heady (he had worked as a posseman for Frank Dalton) at Watova. He wrote the following letter to his wife:

Watova, I.T. Oct. 17, 1892

My Dear Wife & Babes,

I left Independence Saturday night and came down here yesterday (Sunday). I left Emmett getting along nice and going to get well I think [illegible word]. I am going to administer on Grat and Bobs personal property amounting to about $1300. Bob had $900 in money and the people just robbed their bodies in a scandalous manner and I will have It all to hunt up. I came down here to see Bud Heady and get him to help me to get my bond for administering on the estate. I have to give Bonds for double the amt $2600. As soon as I get back to Coffeyville I will send you the money and let you know where and when to come. Mother Eva and Ben have gone home and I am Dam glad of It. I am in a hurry so answer me at Independence Kas. and write a long letter.

Lovingly Will

(from The Dalton Gang Story by Samuelson)

Obviously Bill could not raise the money as one John Callahan did the administering on the estates. Bill went on to try and recover the belongings of Bob and Grat. The way he went about things certainly did not endear him to the citizenry of Coffeyville. It might have been better all around if he had managed to be a bit more diplomatic.


Star and Kansan, Oct. 21, 1892: There has not yet been any attempt to rescue Emmet Dalton from jail or to make a raid on Coffeyville, as was indicated in the dispatch from Detective Dodge, as published last week.


Sandusky Daily Register, Oct. 27, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kans., Oct. 26 - Bill Dalton, brother of the exterminated outlaws, is here and says he is going to bring suit against the city of Coffeyville for $10,000 damages because the pockets of the dead bandits were rifled after they were shot down. He claims they had $900 of their own money and that he knows who got it. It is believed that Attorney Luther Perkins, of this place, has put this idea into Bill Dalton’s head and that he will take the case on a contingent fee. Emmet Dalton is on the road to rapid recovery and will soon be in a condition to be arraigned.


Indian Chieftain, Oct. 27, 1892: Coffeyville, Kan. - A new feature in the Dalton affair is promised, and a most unique one it is. Will Dalton is contenplating suing the city for damages, alleging as a cause of action that while the bodies of the dead bandits were in the charge of the city, unauthorized persons were allowed to rifle the pockets and abstract money and valuables, which have not been turned over to William or the family.

…William is not very popular here as it is, and such a move as this and statements like he made yesterday when he said: “The boys were wrong in trying to rob the banks, but were right when they shot the men who were trying to kill them,” are calculated to make him less so.

…Emmet is still improving and will undoubtedly recover. His cell is brightened by bouquets of beautiful flowers sent him by foolish women and he is having what many people think an easy time of it when it is considered that three widows and one poor old mother mourn their husbands and son by reason of the Dalton raid. William declares that there will be no danger of Emmet's conviction and that there will be plenty of money for his defense is certain.

…Will is pretty smooth individual with cards, and it is said by knowing ones that Sunday night was a time which will be remembered by Independence sports on account of William walking away with $500 of their cash which they had wagered in a poker game.

In speaking of Ben, the elder brother Will says: “He is too chicken hearted and easy. Why he was scared half to death when he was here and kept begging me to keep still, but they can't bluff me, I say what I please.” The statement of Ben being frightened is hard to believe, for in addition to his impressing one with a belief in his coolness and grit his actions here were quiet and gentlemanly and he was well treated by everyone. All the citizens believe in his honesty and credit him being a good citizen, so there was no reason for his being frightened even if he were inclined to be a coward. After the conversation with the reporter Will entered the hotel office and stated he came “very near shooting a newspaper man just now and the next one that braced him would be shot.”


Star and Kansan, Oct. 28, 1892: The Coffeyville correspondent of the Kansas City Times evidently has a great many rents in the top of his hat. In Wednesday's issue he publishes an article telling about foolish women of Independence sending Emmett Dalton boquets; and that Will Dalton is about to commence a suit against Coffeyville; and that he had been in Independence last Sunday night and at the card table won $500 from Independence sports. Will Dalton has not commenced a suit against Coffeyville; nor did he win $500 from Independence sports last Sunday night, and if he had he could not have found any sports with that amount of money. Nor are Independence ladies sending Emmett boquets. Indeed, but very few have seen him as Sheriff Callahan has prevented demonstrations of any kind. The few ladies that have seen the young man lying there seriously wounded as a result of his criminal folly, were among the best ladies of this city, and they only expressed their regret that he had chosen such a life. He is a young man with an attractive face; and no man or woman in the world would believe him a criminal did they know nothing of his career. But in spite of this the sheriff’s care in excluding visitors has prevented the usual [illegible word] expressions of sympathy in such cases. Emmett is treated as any prisoner in his condition should be treated; and in no other way.

Deputy Marshal Chapman had gone to Coffeyville claiming that Emmett had stolen his horse, which Emmett denied. Having recovered things belonging to Bob and Grat, Bill was now after Emmett’s horse and guns.

The St. Louis Republic, Nov. 3, 1892: MUSKOGEE, I. T., Nov. 2. - William Dalton, brother of the notorious Dalton boys, is in town, and has introduced replevin proceedings against Deputy United States Marshal Chapman of the Fort Smith court for a valuable horse. Dalton claims his brother Emmet bought the horse from Chapman when Grant and Bob Dalton were killed at Coffeyville, Kan. It is claimed that Chapman went to Coffeyville and recovered the animal as stolen property.


Star and Kansan, Nov. 18, 1892: County Attorney Charlton has been down to Coffeyville gathering evidence in the case of the State against Emmett Dalton. It is now thought that this case will be tried at the latter end of this term of court.


There was also friction developing between the newspapers of Independence and Coffeyville.

Star and Kansan, Nov. 25, 1892: Goodygoontz and Elliott, the editorial Dromios of Coffeyville, endeavor to have it appear that any person that fails to admire them is a Dalton sympathizer. They make themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the people by endeavoring to use this unfortunate affair, which brought sorrow to so many homes in their city, to advance their personal interests.


The Daily Northeastern, Nov. 29, 1892: ST. LOUIS, Mo., Nov. 29 - A report received from the Deep Fork country in the Indian Territory says William Dalton, brother of the notorious bandits, shot and seriously wounded Deputy Marshal Chapman yesterday. They quarreled over a horse Chapman sold Emmet Dalton before the Coffeyville raid.


Kansas City Times, Nov. 30, 1892:COFFEYVILLE, KAN., Nov. 29. - The reported killing of Deputy Marshal Chapman by William Dalton is not believed here, as William was here last night and went south from here this morning. It is, however, learned that he was in the territory last week for the purpose of getting the house referred to in the Muskogee dispatch and he came up from there Saturday night. Last night he presented an order signed “Emmet Dalton, his mark,” for Emmet's pistols, to Colonel Elliott, editor of the Journal of this city, but Elliott did not give them to him, as the officials desire them for evidence. He was under the influence of liquor to some extent, but did not appear nervous, as might be expected had he committed the murder reported.


The Daily Inter Ocean, Nov. 30, 1892: KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 29. - Special Telegram - John Joseph Kloehr, of Coffeyville, Kan., the man who used his Winchester so effectively and fatally upon the Dalton gang, who raided the banks of that place a few months ago, is in the city. Asked about the probable fate of Emmett Dalton, the survivor of the gang, who lies in the Montgomery County Jail with a bullet in his body, Mr. Kloehr said there was no danger of any lynching, as the excitement had about died out. The prisoner, he said, would be brought to trial as soon as he had sufficiently recovered.


Star and Kansan, Dec. 2, 1892: A great many of our country readers have sent us inquiries as to the time Emmett Dalton will be tried. He is still confined to his bed, and it is not probable that he will be able to walk or to be taken to the court room at this term of court. There has been reports that he would be put on trial at an adjourned term of court during the last of this month, and that senator Vest of Missouri, would be here to defend him; but the proper officials will not confirm this report; and are of the opinion that the prisoner's condition will necessitate the postponement of the trial until the March term.

— The report sent out of Muskogee last Monday that Wm. Dalton had shot Deputy Marshal Chapman on the day previous in the Deep Fork country, over Emmett Dalton’s horse, is undoubtedly false. On the day referred to Dalton was in this city, (Independence,KS) and remained until Monday.


Coffeyville Journal, Dec. 2, 1892: From the Daily Telegram. The sequel to the demand of Bill Dalton on the editor of The Journal, for Emmet’s pistols came out this morning when constable H. C. Jewett of Independence came down and served a writ of replevin on the editor for the guns. The writ was issued on behalf of that exemplary candidate for heaven, Col. Emmet Dalton who is now visiting with Major Thos. Callahan, sheriff of Montgomery county, occupying the chamber of state in the county hotel and receiving the deferential and obsequious attentions of the many good people of Independence who deeply symphatize with him over the very unfortunate circumstance of his being charged with assisting in the murder of four of the citizens of Coffeyville and attempting in a joking way to abstract the money belonging to those robber institutions, the banks of this city.

In his hour of trouble he is greatly comforted by the hearty sympathy and assistance offered him by Col. Charles Ehret of the Star and Kansan, and other scalawags too numerous to mention. …In this replevin action it was necessary for even such a distinguished and noble citizen, as Col. Dalton to give bond. Although for several years having been in open rebellion against the unjust laws of the country which, owing to carelessness on the part of lawmakers, did not give him the right to levy tribute on express companies and banks and to use his “God given right of self defense” (according to his brother, General William Dalton, of California fame) in depriving any who might object, of their lives, he in this instance had to conform to the laws which he so justly despises. This was no doubt a hard pill to swallow but Dr. Mc Cullagh and Major Grant sugar coated it by going on the bond.

The guns were given up by the editor who it must be confessed acted something nearly akin to a champ in letting this outfit take any advantage of laws meant for the protection of decent people and which have numerous clauses providing for the care of such roosters, in a thickly populated settlement, not far from Leavenworth. It is surmised, by the way, that the reason part of this gang have not long since joined the population of that busy community, is due to a hesitancy on the part of the managers, who dislike the danger of corrupting the morals of their wards.

One thing however must be taken into consideration and that is, a probable desire on the part of Callahan’s distinguished guest, to pay a visit to his friends in the Territory and help his brother “Billious” search for some of the wealth which Billious and the other members of the tribe concealed at various times and places. When the time comes for him to go on this visit these revolvers will come in good play, for it may be possible some ignorant guards, (waiters, Emmet likes to consider them and it must be confessed this seems to be the right name) might object to his leaving on such short notice and these “persuaders” would help him overcome their objections.

That he will have these in his possession is certain, for the writ directs the constable to turn them over to him and when it comes to serving him the officers will of course do their whole duty.


Star and Kansan, Dec. 9, 1892: “Yours for Law and Order,” the late manager of the Humphrey forces, Col. D. Stewart Elliott, was this week forced to give up the revolvers in his possession, belonging to the Dalton gang. Constable Jewett went down with a writ of replevin, and after protesting, cursing and swearing the doughty Colonel surrendered the weapons. He at times became dramatic, and with the tragic force of a “Leab, The Forsaken,” called down curses on Independence. Although he predicted that the revolvers would kill somebody before they reached Independence, the constable brought them up, and they are now in Sheriff Callahan’s possession. The best thing Elliott can do is to cool off, and understand he had no right to those weapons, whether he got them from dead or wounded bandits.

Emmett Dalton's gun

One of the revolvers taken from Emmett at Coffeyville, now at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles.

— Joe Goodygoontz, the mental as well as physical deformity that presides over the destinies of the insignificant sheet called the Coffeyville Telegram, continues to make himself ridiculous by attempting to furnish the public sensational articles in regard to the “Dalton Raid.” The best display of editorial hysterics was on the occasion when his master, Col. D. Stewart Elliott, (the author of that defunct historical work “The Last Raid of Daltons,” which can now be procured without price in most any stable or out house) was forced to surrender the revolvers taken from the dead and crippled bandits. In an ungrammatical and awkward production, Goodygoontz stamped named citizens of Independence as Dalton symphatizers and associates, and bestowed on several, including the editor of this paper, military titles. It was never our misfortune to have been near a battle or to shoot a bank robber, but we have no doubt that we are as justly entitled to be called “Colonel” as the editor of the Coffeyville Journal, in whose defence and at whose dictation Goodygoontz prepared the article referred to. Brave men, and men who have won military distinction on the field of battle, were never guilty of stealing from the dead and wounded or retaining in their possession property belonging to another, not even if it was a robber’s.

— Emmet Dalton’s Winchester was found in the possession of an Independence citizen this week, who surrendered it as reluctantly as did the Coffeyville Journal editor the revolvers. Every shot was discharged, and the man who had it claims it was in that condition when it came into his possession.


D. Stewart Elliott and his book


Star and Kansan, Dec. 16, 1892: Emmett Dalton’s case is set for next week Monday. His physical condition has improved considerably in the past two weeks.


Kansas City Times, Dec. 21, 1892: ...Rumors are about to the effect that Emmet is willing to plead guilty to the charge of robbery, but will fight a charge of murder. These rumors, however, can not be verified and are generally disbelieved.


Star and Kansan, Dec. 23, 1892: On last Monday morning district courts reconvened and the first case called was that of Emmett Dalton, charged with murder. He was taken from the county jail in a chair, fastened on two polls, and carried by Deputy Sheriff Morgan and Bailiff Hamilton. Tom Earnest and Harrison Fairleigh marched in front with Sheriff Callahan and Marshal Griffey behind. Out side of the jurors and lawyers there were but few in the court room at the time; but about 200 afterwards came up. When Dalton was placed in position he looked weary and worn. The judge asked him if he was ready for trial, and he said he was not. He was then asked if he was ready to enter a plea in regard to the information charging him with murder, and he said he was not. He was then asked if he had a lawyer, and he replied no. He said that he had consulted with City Attorney Fritch some, but it was more in regard to other matters. Mr. Fritch then arose and stated to the court that he had to leave the city on the morning train, and would be unable to look after the matter. When asked if he had money to employ an attorney, Dalton said he could raise some, perhaps. After these preliminaries, Judge McCue said, owing to the weak condition of his wife, he was unable to hold court this week; but instructed Dalton to be ready for trial at nine o’clock next Monday morning. It was the work of but a few minutes and Dalton was taken back to jail, and court adjourned until the time above mentioned.

This was canceled due to the worsening condition of the judge’s wife, who was terminally ill. A new date was set for Monday, January 16, 1893.


Coffeyville Journal, Dec. 23, 1892: The latest farce in the dealing out of justice is the appointment of Bill Dalton as deputy United States Marshal, his commission being issued from the office of Col. Yoe at Ft. Smith. there have, for several days, been rumors to the effect that this was the case, but not until yesterday were we able to ascertain definitely the facts in the case.

The commission is a special one, issued with a warrant for the arrest of Ed Chapman who has possession of the horse Emmet rode into Coffeyville. It would seem that there are enough good men to enforce the laws of the land without calling on the Dalton gang.


The State, Dec. 26, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kans., Dec. 25. - Christmas in this lively town is bristling with excitement over the appointment of William Dalton as a deputy United States marshal. It is said that Dalton has declared now that he will square himself with some of his old enemies, under the quise of law, and there are many such here.

Among others Dalton has it in for are newspaper correspondents. He is hard after one Chapman, who is charged with horse stealing. Accompanying Dalton’s commission was a warrant for the arrest of Chapman. The horse alleged to have been stolen is the one Emmett Dalton rode into Coffeyville of October 6, and the warrant was issued at the instance of the survivors of the Dalton gang.

The appointment will give Dalton a chance to kill Chapman. That he will arrest him no one believes, for Chapman is considered a brave man, and would be a dangerous person for William to tackle.


Bismarck Daily Tribune, Dec. 27, 1892: KANSAS CITY, Dec. 26. - Bill Dalton, a brother of the outlaws killed in the Coffeyville raid, holds a special commission as deputy marshal from Colonel Yoe, marshal for the Indian Territory, with headquarters at Fort Smith, Ark. This was rumored several days ago, but until Friday lacked confirmation. Accompanying the commission was a warrant for the arrest of Ed Chapman for horse stealing. Chapman is the man Bill was reported to have killed some days ago. The horse alleged to have been stolen is the one Emmet Dalton rode into Coffeyville, and the warrant was issued at the instance of survivors of the Dalton gang. The appointment will give Dalton a chance to kill Chapman. That he will arrest him no one believes, for Chapman is considered a brave man and would be a dangerous person for William to tackle. William likes to parade his pistols where he thinks there is no danger.


Kansas City Star, Dec. 28, 1892: WASHINGTON, Dec. 28. - Attorney General Miller has sent letters to the United States marshals of Kansas and the Indian Territory expressing vigorous disapproval of the appointment of Bill Dalton, brother of the notorious desperadoes, as a deputy marshal. No further action will be taken until the marshals have been heard from.


The Washington Post, Dec. 29, 1892: COFFEYVILLE, Kans., Dec. 28. - Emmett Dalton, although having recovered from the wounds which he received at the time the citizens of this town repelled the attack upon the banks of this town by the Dalton gang and killed four members of the band, has not yet been brought to trial. He has been indicted for murder, but the county attorneys have had the case postponed until spring.

It now seems Emmett Dalton cannot be tried. The state, of course, cannot take a change of venue to another county, and Dalton will not. In this county it will be impossible to get an unprejudiced jury, and Dalton will probably escape trial in the same way as did James Brennan, who killed Smallwood in Stevens county, and for whose trial an impartial jury could not be obtained.

— FORT SMITH, Ark., Dec. 28. - Jacob Yoes, United States marshal for the western district of Arkansas, has sent a word to various news agencies that there is no truth in the report recently sent out from Kansas City that Bill Dalton, brother of the outlaws recently killed in the Coffeyville raid, has been commissioned a United States deputy marshal. The marshal says that there never was any intention of giving Bill Dalton the position in question, and there is none now. He characterizes the whole thing as pure fabrication.


Idaho Daily Statesman, Dec. 30, 1892: WASHINGTON, Dec. 29. - Attorney General Miller today received a letter from United States Marshal Walker, at Topeka, Kan., saying: “William Dalton does not now nor has ever held a commission as deputy United States marshal for this district under me. Bob and Emmett Dalton were deputies under Col. Jones when I came into office and I retained them for a few months, but removed them in the fall of 1889.”

Emmett was never a deputy, and possibly the Daltons left Walker when Bob did not get his pay from him. Jones had not been paying him either.

Bill managed to reclaim Emmett’s horse without killing Chapman.Bill Dalton

Bill Dalton


Robert Barr Smith in his very confusing book Daltons! has his own version of the story of Emmett’s horse. In the first place he writes: “According to Emmett, he paid one hundred dollars for the horse, although after the raid Chapman alleged that Daltons had stolen the animal. The truth of this curious business has never been sorted out. Emmett’s version sounds like another of his inventions.”

Later he writes: “…both Bob's and Powers’s mounts had been killed in the cross fire.” This statement is actually correct.

Still later he writes: “…Bill then sued to recover the horse his brother Bob had ridden. A man from the Indian Territory had claimed the animal after the raid, alleging it had been stolen from him.”

Such trouble over a dead horse! I guess it must have been too much for him to swallow that a United States deputy marshal lied and a hoodlum Dalton told the truth.




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Last modified: 16 January 2012