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 James Dolan

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Novalee Meadow



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PostSubject: James Dolan   Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:39 pm

Can anyone tell me about Dolan's background and what made him come to Lincoln? I know he was of Irish decent and I know that he took over Murphy's store but that is all I know. I would appreciate any information anyone can supply. Thanks Very Happy
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:13 pm

James 'Jimmy" Dolan born Loughrea Co Galway Ireland 1848,family emigrated to US 1854,was drummer boy with NY Zouaves and did another 3 with Army in Kansas where he saw action against tribes.Mustered out Ft Sumner age 21 and joined L G Murphy and Co where he rapidly rose to partnership with LG.
Killed Hiraldo Jaramilla House employee,claimed self defence but Lily Casey says he did a favor for friend George 'Dad' Peppin who was romancing Mrs Jaramillo;George subsequently married the pretty widow.They had five kids.

Jesse Evans called Dolan a 'damn good friend' ;Jimmy did break him out of the Ft Sumner clink after the Chapman killing and gave him his pretty mare to ride off to Texas on.A good man to have on your side but a deadly enemy.

More later
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:53 pm

...slightly later....

WhenTunstall first came to Lincoln, Dolan and Murphy were friendly to him;knowing he was in the market for property they tried to interest him in Murphy's 20 square mile Fairview Ranch with its comfortably furnished ranch house complete with carpets,a library and grand piano.McSween,who had his own plans for Tunstall,persuaded JHT the title was defective and got him to buy land on the Feliz.As Tunstall was not a US citizen, this was purchased thro' nominees.Tunstall's estate never recovered a red cent on this property following the redoubtable Mrs McSween's administration of his estate.

Fairview later sold to English interests for 140 000.

By falsely claiming Dolan and Major Brady had embezzled County taxes in an open letter to the Mesilla News ,written at McSween's prompting,Tunstall effectively signed his own death warrant.Dolan twice challenged him to a shootout,once on the street in La Mesilla and shortly after at Shedd's Ranch.'I tried in every way to see if he was a man', Dolan later said,tho' failing to mention he had the drop on Tunstall with his Winchester at Shedd's when he challenged him there.Tunstall declined tho' he openly wore a Colt .45 and carried a hideout Deringer in his coat pocket.He was also a crack rifle shot.

There can be little doubt Tunstall was killed on Dolan's orders on the trail from the Feliz as he rode to Lincoln to head up a small army he and McSween had raised.Dolan knew this was afoot and had him killed before he could arrive.When the posse that killed Tunstall showed up ashooting Bonney,Middleton ,Henry Brown (all killers themselves ) Widenmann and Brewer fled ,leaving their boss to his lonely fate on the hillside.They did'nt even go back to check on him when the posse left.Nice guys....

....to be continued.....
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:32 pm

,,,continued.....

Dolan married Lina Fritz and took a three month honeymoon tho' awaiting trial for involvement in the killing of Huston Chapman,Sue McSween's intemperate lawyer who was busy stoking the fires of a dying Lincoln County War.He was'nt overly concerned at the charges ,tho' it does seem he fired a bullet into the downed lawyer for good measure after Campbell shot him down on the street.Sure enough his friend D A Rynerson had the charges dropped.Thro' Lina he acquired the Tunstall store when Mrs McSween settled her husband's indebtedness to the Emil Fritz estate for embezzling the insurance money. George Peppin ,whose love life he had sorted out with his pistol,built him that nice house across the street from the store (regrettably off limits to visitors last time I was in town) and he carried on business there secure in the knowledge that the men who came to Lincoln to challenge his hegemony were mouldering away in unmarked graves back of the rear corral wall.Frank McNab and Huston Chapman kept them company.Thro' Lina he acquired a piece of the profitable Homestake Mine during Whiteoaks short but hectic life as a boomtown.

Its likely he was the instigator of the request to Col Dudley for the loan of a howitzer during the five day battle;he probably knew well how to use one.Dudley regretfully refused but later showed up with the requested artillery himself,which he used with effect to flush the McSween gunmen out of Lincoln,thus sealing McSween's fate.At the Dudley Court of Inquiry Dolan said with obvious regret he could'nt get close to the real action as he was recuperating from a broken leg.He omitted to mention he had acquired the fracture while attempting to dismount before his horse came to a halt as he simultaneously tried to shoot a man on the street.Detractors claimed the (unknown) man was unarmed and that Jimmy was drunk.
When historian Maurice Fulton was asked why Jimmy had fallen off his horse he wittily replied 'He fell off the wagon first'.

Yep,arguably the most dangerous man in the West,shrewd,devious,afraid of no one,equally at home with the movers and shaker at Santa Fe and the hard drinking gunmenof the plains,.'popular Jimmy Dolan' as Garret described him, was a man for his time in history.McSween and Tunstall made the fatal mistake of underestimating him.

After the shooting stopped went on to live a useful life in the community.
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:32 am

,,,the good ,the bad and the ugly....

Jimmy D was all of these long before Clint Eastwood showed up.

He was on good terms with the Mescaleros;his altercation at Ft Stanton with Capt Randlett,Sam Bushnell and a man called Riley when Dolan fired at one of them while shouting 'I'll kill you right here' led to L G Murphy and Co being expelled from the Fort.Bushnell was a Government appointed Agent trying to supplant the older firm and JD was having none of it.Randlett later complained that Dolan had 'threatened to don a breechcloth and lead the Apaches against me'.The Apache were about the only fighters Jimmy did'nt call upon in the 5 day battle.

Dolan settled his dying patron at Santa Fe and had a fine gravestone engraved with a Masonic emblem erected over it,still to be seen in the National Cemetery there,He settled his murdered friend Sheriff Brady's estate in the best interests of the widow and her 9 kids;he felt guilty about Brady's death as his machinations in the Tunstall killing indirectly brought it about.

He made good a 10 000 dollar deficit out of his own funds when his business associate Frank Lesnett (Eve Ball's dad) could'nt find the money.When Tunstall's clerk Sam Corbett was broke later on he wrote Jimmy, who sent him money.

He signed the (successful) petition to the Governor to pardon Kid sidekick Billie Wilson who had escaped following the Stinking Springs surrender and was found 9 years later living under a false name in Texas.Wilson had once passed a forged 100 dollar bill at the Dolan Store but Jimmy was content to let bygones be bygones.

Sue McSween perceptively compared him to Bonney: neither of them did'nt think it much to take a man's life,she said.
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:54 am

...and that's the story of James J.Dolan,a complex man who became a US citizen and faithfully served his adopted country for six years before the age of twentyone in the hard school of the United States Army .Loyal to his friends and implacable to his enemies, he fully subscribed to the Western ethos of 'I'll fight before I'll run'.Accurately perceiving the threat posed by Tunstall.McSween (and Chisum) to his interests he encompassed the downfall of the first two by a mixture of strategy and violence,surely the essence of successful politics.His role has been overshadowed by the later rise of the Kid in popular mythology, but he fought and won the Lincoln County War.He responded to the Kid's peace overtures in Feb 1879 by signing a truce with the other side( which Bonney broke before the ink was dry).

After the War he bore no grudges and got on with the business of living in peace ,including a stint as County Treasurer.John Riley named one of his sons after him.Tho' he seems to have quit the heady gunslinging habits of earlier times I suspect he carried his trusty pocket pistol with him to his dying day just in case...........
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:27 am

Paul O'Brien aka paulo wrote:
...slightly later....

WhenTunstall first came to Lincoln, Dolan and Murphy were friendly to him;knowing he was in the market for property they tried to interest him in Murphy's 20 square mile Fairview Ranch with its comfortably furnished ranch house complete with carpets,a library and grand piano.McSween,who had his own plans for Tunstall,persuaded JHT the title was defective and got him to buy land on the Feliz.As Tunstall was not a US citizen, this was purchased thro' nominees.Tunstall's estate never recovered a red cent on this property following the redoubtable Mrs McSween's administration of his estate.

Fairview later sold to English interests for 140 000.

By falsely claiming Dolan and Major Brady had embezzled County taxes in an open letter to the Mesilla News ,written at McSween's prompting,Tunstall effectively signed his own death warrant.Dolan twice challenged him to a shootout,once on the street in La Mesilla and shortly after at Shedd's Ranch.'I tried in every way to see if he was a man', Dolan later said,tho' failing to mention he had the drop on Tunstall with his Winchester at Shedd's when he challenged him there.Tunstall declined tho' he openly wore a Colt .45 and carried a hideout Deringer in his coat pocket.He was also a crack rifle shot.

There can be little doubt Tunstall was killed on Dolan's orders on the trail from the Feliz as he rode to Lincoln to head up a small army he and McSween had raised.Dolan knew this was afoot and had him killed before he could arrive.When the posse that killed Tunstall showed up ashooting Bonney,Middleton ,Henry Brown (all killers themselves ) Widenmann and Brewer fled ,leaving their boss to his lonely fate on the hillside.They did'nt even go back to check on him when the posse left.Nice guys....

....to be continued.....

John Middleton was calling for Tunstall to come with them and Tunstall was riding around in circles saying what john what john then he rode towards his killers and yeah the regulators fled i mean what would you do in an exposed position outnumbered 5 to 1.

And maybe they didn,t go back and cheak on him because they didn,t know if the force that was five times there size was still in the area.
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:27 pm

Paul O’Brien,

Thanks for what you have shared. It’s one of the best, accurate, most complete and evenly balanced versions of Jimmy Dolan I have ever read. The interpretation of Dolan as purely the villain is to some degree unfair, as you point out. I have always believed that the ledger was more balanced that usually portrayed. But, I lean towards placing more blame on Dolan as he resorted to murder (first) and Tunstall (and McScween) were more guilty of being inept and inexperienced in the ways of the west but were not murderers.

Although I have to agree to some extent with your comment that Dolan won the LCW it was not without cost. True, he put Tunstall and McSween away for good (and ultimately Billy) and broke up their ring. The body count, as I recall, was around 20 dead for the “House” versus 12 dead for the Regulators (and 4 bystanders). Admittedly the true body count was likely well over 100…perhaps closer to 200.

You make one other very interesting point that I have always agreed with….that Billy stole center stage in spite of his somewhat minor role in the LCW. His fame rose later, but overshadowed the deeds of others
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Russell Burrows
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:58 pm

Cliff Caldwell wrote:
Paul O’Brien,

Thanks for what you have shared. It’s one of the best, accurate, most complete and evenly balanced versions of Jimmy Dolan I have ever read. The interpretation of Dolan as purely the villain is to some degree unfair, as you point out. I have always believed that the ledger was more balanced that usually portrayed. But, I lean towards placing more blame on Dolan as he resorted to murder (first) and Tunstall (and McScween) were more guilty of being inept and inexperienced in the ways of the west but were not murderers.

Although I have to agree to some extent with your comment that Dolan won the LCW it was not without cost. True, he put Tunstall and McSween away for good (and ultimately Billy) and broke up their ring. The body count, as I recall, was around 20 dead for the “House” versus 12 dead for the Regulators (and 4 bystanders). Admittedly the true body count was likely well over 100…perhaps closer to 200.

You make one other very interesting point that I have always agreed with….that Billy stole center stage in spite of his somewhat minor role in the LCW. His fame rose later, but overshadowed the deeds of others

Good points but we must also remember that, had Burns not written his book, we in all likelyhood would not know of Billy the Kid today.

Russ
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:58 pm

Cliff Caldwell wrote:
Paul O’Brien,

Thanks for what you have shared. It’s one of the best, accurate, most complete and evenly balanced versions of Jimmy Dolan I have ever read. The interpretation of Dolan as purely the villain is to some degree unfair, as you point out. I have always believed that the ledger was more balanced that usually portrayed. But, I lean towards placing more blame on Dolan as he resorted to murder (first) and Tunstall (and McScween) were more guilty of being inept and inexperienced in the ways of the west but were not murderers.

Although I have to agree to some extent with your comment that Dolan won the LCW it was not without cost. True, he put Tunstall and McSween away for good (and ultimately Billy) and broke up their ring. The body count, as I recall, was around 20 dead for the “House” versus 12 dead for the Regulators (and 4 bystanders). Admittedly the true body count was likely well over 100…perhaps closer to 200.

You make one other very interesting point that I have always agreed with….that Billy stole center stage in spite of his somewhat minor role in the LCW. His fame rose later, but overshadowed the deeds of others

I have never really agreed with the coment that Billy played a minor role he played as big a role as anyone else he was in the fight from the start to the finish involved in every shootout the regulaters were in from the killing of tunstall right through to the killing of Morris Bernstein and he could have been killed anytime and the Murphy Dolan faction certainly had him on there radar.

The fact is there was no one man that stood heads above the crowd in the lincoln county war it was an all out gang war with large groups involved on both sides.
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:03 pm

Paul O'Brien aka paulo wrote:
...and that's the story of James J.Dolan,a complex man who became a US citizen and faithfully served his adopted country for six years before the age of twentyone in the hard school of the United States Army .Loyal to his friends and implacable to his enemies, he fully subscribed to the Western ethos of 'I'll fight before I'll run'.Accurately perceiving the threat posed by Tunstall.McSween (and Chisum) to his interests he encompassed the downfall of the first two by a mixture of strategy and violence,surely the essence of successful politics.His role has been overshadowed by the later rise of the Kid in popular mythology, but he fought and won the Lincoln County War.He responded to the Kid's peace overtures in Feb 1879 by signing a truce with the other side( which Bonney broke before the ink was dry).

After the War he bore no grudges and got on with the business of living in peace ,including a stint as County Treasurer.John Riley named one of his sons after him.Tho' he seems to have quit the heady gunslinging habits of earlier times I suspect he carried his trusty pocket pistol with him to his dying day just in case...........

The kid was a criminal and so was Dolan he was a gangster who ruled Lincoln and didn,t believe in competition and was prepared to murder the competion.
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Fri May 01, 2009 4:37 am

Thanks guys...we've really got things going after a period of inertia..Jimmy Dolan is a character that deserves more attention than has been given him.From his standpoint the LCW assumes a different dimension.He epitomises that great old West philosophy 'I'll fight before I'll run'.

I'm doing a bit on the mysterious Dummy for the WWHA,previously shared with this website members;it's a fun thing and speculative .Those of you who are members of this great organization please kick in with your valued insights.

I think Billy and Jimmy Dolan had mutual respect for each other.Kid said about the truce 'I went to meet Mr Dolan ,to meet as friends ....'

John Middleton was the only one of the Regulators who threatened Dolan.
Nobody wanted to take him on.

I believe JD tried to recruit Billy to spring Jesse Evans from jail in Texas after he got in trouble with the Rangers following his Fort Stanton breakout.The Kid had too much on his mind at the time as Garrett was closing in.

Vaya con Dios amigos.............Paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Fri May 01, 2009 2:42 pm

Stevenz,

I appreciate your point of view on Billy, but I remain of the opinion that Billy’s star did not rise until after the War. You are correct, he was involved in almost all of the major fights (except the Ambush at the Fritz Ranch). He was well liked, and loyal. By all reports he was a good gun hand and an accomplished thief. I have always believed that he had a good relationship (to some degree) with many of the men on the Dolan side from his earlier association with Jesse Evans. But he emerged as a leader after the LCW was over. It was then that he rose to legendary fame.

There are any number of men who participated in the LCW who had as much or more grit than Billy, and who performed admirable….on both sides of the war. It was hard to stand out in such a crowd. Among them are:

1. Richard M. “Dick“ Brewer – Undoubtedly the most level headed, hard working and loyal of the bunch. First leader of the Regulators. Tried desperately to capture and prosecute the killers and not just execute them. A man I would have trusted and wanted on my side.
2. Frank McNab – A hard man, a former Cattle Detective and a deadly killer.
3. Charlie M. Bowdre – Another dangerous man, and one who was loyal to Billy to the end. Strong character.
4. John Middleton - By all accounts he was likely the most dangerous man in the LCW. A tough looking character and an accomplished and fearless killer. Even Jesse Evans and James Dolan feared him.
5. Jim “Big Jim” French – Much like Middleton.
6. Jose Chavez y Chavez - A man who fit the mold of a New Mexican outlaw, and has been largely ignored by historians. He bested Bob Ford in a gunfight and lived to be one of the most dangerous outlaws the State ever produced.
7. Andrew “Buckshot” Robert (Andrew “Bill” Williams) – One of my favorites. If you believe that he was truly Bill Williams from Texas (as I do) he was with John Ringo and Scott Cooley at the start of the Mason County War. A former Texas Ranger and Confederate Vet he was as tough and fearless of a man as the west produced.
8. Jesse Evans – A career criminal, from his youth and from his breeding. Evans played on both sides of the line and was, for a man reportedly of average intellect, a very clever man and a good leader. He was a deadly killer, and managed to squeeze out of more tight scrapes than all the rest of them combined.

Cliff
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Fri May 01, 2009 10:16 pm

Great stuff Cliff.

As Leon Metz put it so well in his introduction to Robert Barron's invaluable transcription of the Dudley Court of Inquiry proceedings put into book form by Donna Tatting,so providing the most invaluable resource for all and everyone interested in the LCW, 'the zoo was too small for the tigers'.

Donna,a million thanks to your Dad and yourself for producing this work.
The immediacy of the evidence given by many first hand participants less than a year after the culminating five day battle is breathtaking.I never pick it up without learning something new, or gaining a fresh insight in to the whole staggeringly intriguing affair and the incredible cast of characters involved.

Paul
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Sun May 03, 2009 3:45 am

ps....has anyone done the same for the Angel Reports?
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Mon May 04, 2009 7:50 am

Cliff Caldwell wrote:
Stevenz,

I appreciate your point of view on Billy, but I remain of the opinion that Billy’s star did not rise until after the War. You are correct, he was involved in almost all of the major fights (except the Ambush at the Fritz Ranch). He was well liked, and loyal. By all reports he was a good gun hand and an accomplished thief. I have always believed that he had a good relationship (to some degree) with many of the men on the Dolan side from his earlier association with Jesse Evans. But he emerged as a leader after the LCW was over. It was then that he rose to legendary fame.

There are any number of men who participated in the LCW who had as much or more grit than Billy, and who performed admirable….on both sides of the war. It was hard to stand out in such a crowd. Among them are:

1. Richard M. “Dick“ Brewer – Undoubtedly the most level headed, hard working and loyal of the bunch. First leader of the Regulators. Tried desperately to capture and prosecute the killers and not just execute them. A man I would have trusted and wanted on my side.
2. Frank McNab – A hard man, a former Cattle Detective and a deadly killer.
3. Charlie M. Bowdre – Another dangerous man, and one who was loyal to Billy to the end. Strong character.
4. John Middleton - By all accounts he was likely the most dangerous man in the LCW. A tough looking character and an accomplished and fearless killer. Even Jesse Evans and James Dolan feared him.
5. Jim “Big Jim” French – Much like Middleton.
6. Jose Chavez y Chavez - A man who fit the mold of a New Mexican outlaw, and has been largely ignored by historians. He bested Bob Ford in a gunfight and lived to be one of the most dangerous outlaws the State ever produced.
7. Andrew “Buckshot” Robert (Andrew “Bill” Williams) – One of my favorites. If you believe that he was truly Bill Williams from Texas (as I do) he was with John Ringo and Scott Cooley at the start of the Mason County War. A former Texas Ranger and Confederate Vet he was as tough and fearless of a man as the west produced.
8. Jesse Evans – A career criminal, from his youth and from his breeding. Evans played on both sides of the line and was, for a man reportedly of average intellect, a very clever man and a good leader. He was a deadly killer, and managed to squeeze out of more tight scrapes than all the rest of them combined.

Cliff

You are right he had good relations with the long brothers and when John Long was killed by Bob Ollinger it caused friction between him and Billy and from what i understand he also got on well with one of the murphy Dolan faction Gus Gildia who i think knew him from Arizona.

Buck shot Roberts was one tough SOB.

Jessie Evan i agree was a very compentant outlaw who dodged the bullet and the rope.

Has anyone ever found out what happened to him.
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PostSubject: Re: James Dolan   Mon May 04, 2009 12:59 pm

Stevenz,

There is a guy working on a book on Evans now who claims to have more information regarding his ultimate fate. He has not shared his finding with anyone yet, so we will have to see if it's facts or conjecture. All I know is this:

After the events of the Lincoln County War Evans would be one of about two hundred men to be indicted for their deeds, but like all the rest (except Bonney), nothing would come of the indictment. He left New Mexico for Texas and got involved in supplying stolen cattle to his old friend John Selman who was running a butcher shop in Fort Davis. Eventually he would wind up in trouble again, when on 19 May 1880 he and some of his colleagues helped themselves to several hundred dollars in cash and firearms from the Siebenborn Store in Fort Davis, Texas. A local judge and district attorney telegraphed the Texas Governor for help in rounding up Evans and his gang. A force of Texas Rangers arrived in Fort Davis on 6 June 1880 and immediately set about tracking down Evans. He was tracked down to the Chinati Mountains, about eighteen miles north of Presidio, Texas, where Texas Ranger Sergeant L.B. Caruthers and his men cornered the gang in a running gunfight that covered about a mile in distance. During the fight Evans shot and killed Texas Ranger George Bingham, shooting him down in cold blood when Bingham’s Winchester had jammed during the shootout. Evans had spent a year robbing and stealing his way across west Texas. It took the Texas Rangers four short weeks to round he and his gang up and bring them to justice. Evans spent some time in the Fort Davis, Texas jail while awaiting trial. He was subsequently convicted of robbery and manslaughter in connection with the killing of George Bingham and sentenced to a total of twenty years in prison. Jesse Evans, prisoner number 9078, served about a year and a half of that sentence at the State Prison in Huntsville, Texas. He escaped in 1882 and disappeared from history entirely. Some believe he returned to his outlaw ways and was killed shortly after his escape. Others believe he went straight, and lived out his years somewhere in Texas. In 1927 Texas Ranger Captain James B. Gillett, who was living in Fort Davis at the time, was trying to correct some of the report errors that had occurred over time. Gillett’s report claims that Evans had been killed while attempting to escape from the Hunstville prison. It is unlikely that we will ever be certain of his fate.
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