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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Famous outlaws

BY BECCY TANNER
The Wichita Eagle

Billy the Kid

Henry McCarty, later known as Billy the Kid, arrived in Wichita in 1870 with his mother, Catherine McCarty, and his younger brother, Joe.

He was 11. By the time his family left Wichita a year later, he and his mother had developed reputations — he as "a street urchin" and she as a business leader.

McCarty's mother was one of 124 people who signed a petition on July 21, 1870, that helped incorporate Wichita. The owner of a downtown laundry, she was the only female entrepreneur to sign the document.

Dalton Gang

On Oct. 5, 1892, the Dalton gang made up of the Dalton boys and two other men rode into Coffeyville and simultaneously held up the Condon and First National banks in broad daylight, then attempted to flee with more than $40,000.

When they emerged from the banks, the Daltons were met by a group of townspeople who had recognized them as they rode into town.

The townsfolk opened fire, and at the end of the 12-minute shoot-out, four members of the Dalton gang and four locals had been killed.

The only gang member to survive was Emmett Dalton. Shot and captured, he served 15 years in the Kansas State Penitentiary before being paroled and moving to California. He starred in the movie "The Famous Dalton Raid On Coffeyville" in 1912.

Henry Brown

There was plenty about Henry Brown's past that could be considered unsavory: He rode with Billy the Kid, stole horses and fled New Mexico to avoid murder charges.

But Brown didn't disclose his past to residents of Caldwell looking for a lawman in June 1882.

He was hired as Caldwell's assistant marshal, then promoted to marshal. But in late April 1884, Brown left Caldwell, telling townsfolk he was headed to Oklahoma.

Instead, he rode to Medicine Lodge and robbed a bank and shot the bank president. Brown and his men surrendered two hours later, and were hanged by a vigilante group in Medicine Lodge.

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