Today, the Liberty Head (Barber) Dime Coin remembers when most of the Dalton gang were killed during their robbery attempts at two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas, on October 5, 1892.
The next day, the Indianapolis Journal provided details of the attempted robbery and the shoot-out on the streets:
Five Members of the Dalton Gang and Four Citizens of Coffeyville, Kan., Killed.
Coffeyville, Kan., Oct 5.
The notorious Dalton gang of highway robbers, murderers and general desperadoes was virtually wiped out to-day, but not until four citizens of this place yielded up their lives in the work of extermination.
Six of the gang rode into the town this morning and robbed the two banks of the place. Their raid had become known to the officers of the law, and when the bandits attempted to escape they were attacked by the marshal’s posse.
In the battle which ensued four of the desperadoes were killed outright, and one was so badly wounded that he has since died. The other escaped, but is being hotly pursued.
Of the attacking party four were killed, one was fatally and two were seriously wounded.
It had been rumored a month ago that the Dalton gang was contemplating an immediate raid on the banks of the city.
Arrangements were made to give them a warm reception, and for over a week a patrol was maintained night and day to give warning of the gang’s approach.
The raid did not take place, and then came the report from Deming, N. M., that United States officers had had a battle with the band in the Indian Territory and that three of the bandits had been killed.
This report was believed here to have been circulated by the Daltons themselves, the intention being to divert attention from their real intentions and to lull the people of the town into a sense of security.
The people, however, were not so easily deceived, and when the report of the disaster to the gang in New Mexico was denied vigilance was renewed.
Still the expected raid was not made. Finally the patrol was withdrawn last Saturday, although every stranger was carefully scrutinized as soon as he appeared on the streets.
ARRIVAL OF THE BANDITS
It was 9 o’clock this morning when the Dalton gang rode into town. The bandits came in two squads of three each, and, passing through unfrequented streets, all rendezvoused in the alley in the rear of the First National Bank.
They quickly tied their horses and, without losing a moment’s time, proceeded to the attack on the banks.
Robert Dalton, the notorious leader of the gang, and Emmett, his brother, went to the First National Dank, the other four, under the leadership of “Texas Jack,” or John Moore, going to the private bank of C. M. Condon & Co.
In the meantime the alarm had already been given. The Dalton boys were born and bred in this vicinity and were well known to nearly every man, woman and child in town.
In their progress through the town they had been recognized. City Marshal Connelly was quickly notified of their arrival, and, almost before the bandits had entered the bank, he was collecting a posse to capture them if possible; to kill them if necessary, he ran first to the livery-stable of James Spears, a dead shot with a Winchester and a valuable man in any fight.
Then he summoned George Cubine, a merchant; Charles Brown, a shoemaker; John Cox, express agent, and other citizens, who could be conveniently reached.
Stationing them about the square which both of the banks faced, he hastened to augment his posse by summoning other citizens for impromptu police duty.
While the marshal was collecting his forces the bandits, all ignorant of the trap that was being laid for them, were proceeding deliberately with their work of robbing the banks. “Texas Jack’s” band had entered Condon’s back and with their Winchesters leveled at Cashier Ball and Teller Carpenter, had ordered them to throw up their hands.
Then “Texas Jack” searched them for weapons while the other three desperadoes kept them covered with their rifles.
Finding them to be unarmed, Cashier Ball was ordered to open the safe. The cashier explained that the safe’s door was controlled by a time lock and that it could not by any means, short of dynamite, be opened before its time was up, which would be 10 o’clock, or in about twenty minutes.
“We’ll wait,” said the leader, and he sat down at the cashier’s desk. “How about the money-drawers!” he asked.
Then he jumped from his seat, walked to the desks of the paying and receiving tellers, and, taking the money, amounting in all to less than $300, dumped it into a flour-sack, with which he was supplied, and again sat down while the time-lock slowly ticked off the seconds and the hands of the clock tardily moved toward the hour of 10.
Bob and Emmett Dalton, in the meantime, were having better luck at the First National Bank. When they entered the bank they found within Cashier Ayers, his son, Robert Ayers, and Teller W. H. Shepherd.
None of them was armed, and, with leveled revolvers, the brother bandits easily intimidated them. Albert Ayers and Teller Shepherd were kept under the muzzle of Emmett Dalton’s revolver while Bob Dalton forced Cashier Ayers to strip the safe vault and cash-drawers of all money contained in them and place it in a sack which had been brought along for that purpose.
Fearing to leave them behind, lest they should give the alarm before the bandits should be able to mount their horses and escape, the desperadoes marched the officers of the bank out of the door, with the intention of keeping them under guard while they made their escape.
The party made its appearance at the door of the bank just as liveryman Spears and his companions of the marshal’s posse took their positions in the square.
When the Dalton brothers saw the armed men on the square they appreciated their peril on the instant and, leaving the bank officers on the steps of the building, ran for their horses.
As soon as they reached the sidewalk Spears’s rifle came to position. An instant later it spoke, and Bob Dalton, the notorious leader of the gang, fell in his tracks dead.
There was not a quiver of a muscle after he fell. The bullet had struck him in the right temple and ploughed through his brain and passed out just above the left eye.
Emmett Dalton had the start of his brother, and before Spears could draw a bead on him he had dodged behind a corner of the bank and was making time in the direction of the alley in which the bandits bad tied their horses.
The shot which dropped Bob Dalton aroused “Texas Jack’s” band in Condon’s bank, who were patiently waiting for the time-lock of the safe to be sprung with the hour of 10.
Running to the windows of the bank, they saw their leader prostrate on the ground. Raising their rifles to their shoulders, they fired one volley out of the windows.
Two men fell at the crack of the guns. Cashier Ayers fell on the steps of his bank, shot through the groin.
Shoemaker Brown, of the attacking party in the square, was shot through the body. He was quickly removed to his shop, but died just as he was carried in.
The firing attracted the attention of Marshal Connelly, who, with the men he had collected, ran hurriedly to the scene of the conflict.
After firing the volley from the windows of the hank, the bandits, appreciating that their only safety lay in flight, attempted to escape.
They ran from the door of the bank, firing as they fled. The marshal’s posse in the square, without organization of any kind, fired at the fleeing bandits, each man for himself.
Spears’s trusty Winchester spoke twice more in quick succession before the others of the posse could take aim, and Joseph Evans and “Texas Jack” fell dead, both shot through the head, making three dead bandits to his credit.
In the general fusillade Grant Dalton, one of the surviving members of “Texas Jack’s” squad, Marshal Connelly, George Cubine and L. M. Baldwin, one of Condon’s clerks, who was out collecting when the attack was made, were mortally shot and died on the field.
Allie Ogee, the only survivor of the band, succeeded in escaping to the alley where the horses were tied, and, mounting the swiftest animal of the lot, fled south in the direction of the Indian Territory.
Emmett Dalton, who had escaped from the First National Bank, had already reached the alley in safety, but he had some trouble in getting mounted, and Allie Ogee had already made his escape before Emmett got fairly started.
Several of the posse, anticipating that horses would be required, were already mounted, and quickly pursued the escaping bandits.
Emmett Dalton’s horse was no match for the fresher animals of his pursuers. As his pursuers closed on him he turned suddenly in his saddle and fired upon his would-be captors.
The latter answered with a volley, and Emmett toppled from his horse hard hit. He was brought back to town and died late this afternoon.
He made an ante-mortem statement confessing to the various crimes committed by the gang of which he was a member.
Allie Ogee had about ten minutes’ start of his pursuers and was mounted on a swift horse. At 5 o’clock this evening be had not been captured.
After the battle was over search was made for the money which the bandits had secured from the two banks. It was found in the sacks where it had been placed by the robbers.
One sack was found under the body of Bob Dalton. who had fallen dead upon it while he was escaping from the First National Bank.
The other was found tightly clenched in “Texas Jack’s” hand. The money was restored to its rightful owners.
The bodies of those of the attacking party who were killed were removed to their respective homes, while the bodies of the dead bandits were allowed to remain where they had fallen until the arrival of the coroner from Independence, who ordered them removed to the court-house.
There he held an inquest, the jury returning a verdict in accordance with the facts.
The inquest over the bodies of the dead citizens will be postponed until the result of the pursuit of Allie Ogee is known.
During the time the bodies remained in the square they were viewed by hundreds of people of this and surrounding towns.
The excitement was of the most intense character and the fate of Allie Ogee, should he be captured, was determined by universal consent. He will be hanged by the people.
The other topics which attracted universal comment were the fulfillment of the prophecy that the Daltons would “Die with their boots on,” the peculiar fate which had decreed that they should die by the hands of their old friends in the vicinity of their place of birth, and the excellent marksmanship of liveryman Spears, who with three shots sent death to as many bandits.
Up to 10 o’clock to-night Allie Ogee had not been captured; at least, it is not known that he has been.
The pursuing party is still out, and, it is believed, they are still on the bandit’s trail.
Ogee had such a short start that it is not believed he will be able to escape. He, however, is well acquainted with the Wind country, south of here, in the Indian Territory, where the bandits have their headquarters.
It may be that he can thus elude his pursuers. The capture of Ogee is particularly desirable, because he, being the only surviving member of the gang, is believed to be the only person who knows the hiding-place of the great treasure which they have accumulated during the years of their outlawry.
They could not have spent all their ill-gotten money even if they had lived among the luxuries of civilization. As it was, they were in hiding the greater part of their criminal career, and have had no opportunity to spend money.
The location of the treasure is therefore a matter of great interest, and it is believed Ogee can be made to reveal it if he is caught.
This phase of the case has only just now presented itself to the people, and it doubtless has not occurred to Ogee’s pursuers at all.
It is feared that in the excitement and indignation they will take summary vengeance upon him before ascertaining from him where the treasure is hidden.
It was ascertained late to-night that Emmett Dalton is not dead. He is slowly dying in a room at the hotel here, and his death is expected at any moment.
The indignation against the robbers became 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.
That allayed the excitement, and now the people will wait for death to do the work that they had planned should be done by lynch law.
The Associated Press representative saw him (Emmett Dalton) at 11 o’clock to-night and procured from him a statement of his life, particular attention being paid to the last two years of it.
The story of a hidden treasure, he says, is nonsense. “If there had been a hidden treasure,” he says, “we would all have been alive. It was because we are all broke we planned the Coffeyville raid. We were being hard pressed by the officers down in the Territory, and Bob decided that we would have to get out of the country.”
Rewards for the capture of the Daltons, or the delivery of their bodies to the officers of the law are standing to the amount of $12,000, offered by the Southern Pacific, the Missouri Pacific, the Frisco, the Mexican and the Texas & Santa Fe.
If the rewards are collected it is hoped it will be turned over to the family of the citizens who lost their lives in today’s battle.
The Liberty Head (Barber) Dime Coin shows with a panoramic view of Coffeyville, Kansas, circa 1909.