Genealogy Trails




Submitted by Matt Wingo and transcribed by A. Newell
Kansas City, September 14--A times special from Paris, Tex., says:  A telegram from Deming, N. M., states that four of the members f the notorious Dalton gang were captured last night.  Those captured were Bob Dalton, leader of the gang, Grant Dalton, Sam Wingo and "Three Fingered Jack."
Deputy Marshal Williams did not give the details of the capture.  He has been following on the trail of the desperadoes since the last robbery in July.  He followed them into Kansas, Colorado, and finally into New Mexico, where the capture was made.  The gang is wanted in the Indian Territory, Kansas, New Mexico and California on charges of train robbery, and the rewards offered aggregate $22,000.

Little Doubt That Marshal Williams Has Been Killed by the Daltons
Paris, Tex., Sept. 22--There is little doubt here now that the dispatch sent from Deming, N. M., to Marshal Nickerson, signed Sam Williams, saying that he had arrested five of the Dalton Gang and was after three others, was sent by Sam Wingo, one of the most desperate outlaws in the country.
After the telegrams were sent Sam disappeared from Deming and nothing could be heard from him.  A description of Sam Williams was asked for, which was sent.  This did not correspond with the description of the man who claimed to be Williams at Deming.  Parties arriving here yesterday who knew Sam Wingo say the description suits him exactly.  The man had two white handled pistols, whereas Williams always carried only one, which had a black handle.

            I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR and believe, from reliable information in my possession, that
        Sam Wingo & Lyner Hughes white men

        did in the Indian Country, Western District of Arkansas, on or about the 4th day of
    February, 1887, ?feloniously wilfully premeditated
    by & of their malice aforethought kill & murder one
    Long George & Slack Tiger with guns & pistols

    against the peace and dignity of the United States, and I pray a writ.

                                                                [s] W. W. Harris
        Subscribed and sworn to before me this 11th day of February, 1887.

                                                                            James ?Bbzzikara
                                                                                                T. S. Commissioner.


                John Heobry & Landy Walker
                Sammy Onaha            Mrs. John Thomas and
               One Leader                Three others
                One Berries               Bell Mcleett        Little Aresley

Parsons, Kansas                                                                            July 15, 1892  
$5000 REWARD!

The Express car on the north bound
train of the MO, KS &TX RY was
robbed by masked men at Adair Indian Territory Thursday night July 15th.  
A Reward of Five Thousand Dollars will be
paid by the undersigned for the Arrest
and conviction of each of the men engaged in
this Robbery to an amount not exceeding
Forty Thousand Dollars.

                        Signed:  MO, KS & TX RR
                    by ?Chas. Family
                            Senior Vice President
                    Pacific Express
                    by L. A. Fuller,
                    Vice President   


James B. "Killer" Miller was also known as Deacon Jim because he regularly attended the Methodist Church and because he did not smoke or drink.  He was an outlaw and assassin of the American Old West who was lynched by a mob of angry citizens over his assassination of former Deputy U. S. Marshall Allen Augustus Bobbitt of Ada, Oklahoma.

Miller was born in 1861 in Van Buren, Arkansas.  Miller's father, Jacob Miller, was born in Pennsylvania in 1801, was a stone mason, and helped build the first capitol building in Austin, Texas.  Miller's mother, Cynthia Basham, was born in Tennessee in 1827.  Frequently circulated storeis that both of Miller's parents died when he was very young, and that he killed both his grandparents when he was eight years old are untrue.  The 1880 census finds him at age nineteen, living in Coryell County, Texas with his siblings and widowed mother.  In 1884, at age twenty-three, Miller was arrested for the murder of his sister's husband, John Coop, who had been killed by a shotgun blast while he was sleeping.  Miller was convicted and sentenced to life in prison; however, the conviction was appealed, and he was acquitted for lack of evidence.

After his release, Miller traveled to San Saba County and embarked on a career as a hired gun, loudly proclaiming that he would murder anyone for money (accounts of his price vary between $150 and $2,000).  Between the late-1880s and early 1890s until his death Miller was alleged to have been involved in at least eight murders for hire, and another six killings as a result of saloon altercations or gambling disputes.  Legend spread that he killed more than fifty men in his lifetime, though this number is likely exaggerated.  He had a reputation for getting the job done quickly and efficiently, usually by means of a shotgun ambush at night, and for always wearing a large, black frock coat.

On April 12, 1894 in Pecos, Texas, Miller was confronted by Sheriff Bud Frazer about his involvement in the murder of cattleman Con Gibson.  Frazer did not wait for Miller to go for his shotgun, and he shot the assassin five times.  Miller sustained only a small injury to his right arm.  While Miller was attempting to fire his gun with his left hand, Frazer fired again, hitting Miller in the side, which finally put him down.  After Miller's friends had rushed him to a doctor, his frock coat was removed to reveal the large steel plate that Miller wore under his clothes, which resisted most of the bullets from Frazer's gun, saving the assassin's life.

In 1896 Miller killed Frazer, who was no longer a sheriff and was working as a stablehand in Toyah, Texas, with a shotgun blast to the face.
On August 1, 1906 Miller killed the Bureau of Indian Affairs Lawman Ben C. Collins in Oklahoma as retribution from the friends of an outlaw shot and killed by Collins that same year.  Miller was reportedly paid $2,000 to do so by unknown persons for that murder, which he carried out in front of Collin's home in front of Collin's wife.  Miller was arrested for the murder, but he was never convicted and was eventually released.

On Feburary 28, 1908, ex-lawman and killer Billy The Kid, Pat Garrett, was killed near Las Cruces, New Mexico, ostensibly because of a land dispute.  Miller was alleged to have committed the murder and had been paid to do so, but this is unlikely since Jesse Wayne Brazel later confessed to the crime.  Brazel was tried and released on the grounds of self defense.  Carl Adamson, who was married to a cousin of Miller's wife, was also with Garrett when he was killed, which most likely led to the rumors that Miller was involved.  Historians still disagree over the ultimate facts of Garrett's murder, but the consensus is that it happened without Miller's involvement.  Despite this, Carl Adamson reportedly told a family member that it was Jim Miller who murdered Pat Garrett.  Carl's widow confirmed this again years later.

Miller was contracted by local ranchers Jesse West and Joe Allen through middleman Berry B. Burell (though there is controversy over the spelling of the man's name) for the murder of Oklahoma cattle rancher and ex-sheriff A. A. "Gus" Bobbitt, either to acquire his land after his death or because of a personal grudge against the man (accounts vary.)  The fee was $1,700.  On February 27, 1909, Miller shot Bobbitt with his shotgun, though the man reportedly survived long enough to return home to identify his killer to his wife.  The murder was also witnessed by Oscar Peeler, the 19-year-old cowhand who accepted $50 to lead Miller to Bobbitt.  Miller was arrested in Texas by a Texas Ranger and extradited to Oklahoma to stand trial alongside Jesse West, Joe Allen and Berry Burrell.

The evidence against the four suspects, however, was not considered strong, leaving open the chance for an acquittal.  Only weeks earlier a man named Stephenson, a suspect in the November 3, 1907, murder of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, town Marshal Rudolph Cathey, had been acquitted on murder charges, which possibly led citizens to carry out the events that followed.

A mob--reported by The Daily Ardmoreite as 200, and by Associated Press as "estimated from 30 to 40 in number"--broke into the jail "between two and three o'clock" on the morning of April 19, 1909.  The mob dragged the four men outside to an abandoned livery stable behind the jail.  Miller remained stoic while the other three reportedly begged for their lives.  Miller made two final requests:  that his diamond ring be given to his wife, and that he be permitted to wear his black hat while being hanged.   Both requests were granted.  Miller is reported to have shouted "Let 'er rip!" and stepped voluntarily off his box.  Ironically two prisoners who had killed an Allen, Oklahoma Town Marshall were not lynched.

The bodies of all four mean were left hanging for several hours while a photographer could be brought in to immortalize the moment.  These photos were sold to tourists in Ada for many years.

Source:  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, transcribed by A. Newell.

Contributed by Matt Wingo and transcribed by A. Newell

Van Buren, Ark., March 17--Deputy United States Marshal Sam Wingo arrived here from Hockett City, Sebastian County, with a warrant for the arrest of John Lyons, who is wanted over there for absconding with funds.  Wingo placed Lyons under arrest, but he broke loose and ran.  Wingo fired four shots at Lyons, who fell.  One shot in the back, entered under the right shoulder blade, coming out over the nipple, and one in the left arm.  The prisoner is in jail, and his recovery is doubtful.  Wingo has given himself up.

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