THE DALTON GANG
by Betsy Wood
GRAT DALTON, THE TWO MEN IN THE CENTER,
LAY DEAD AFTER A SHOOTOUT IN COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS IN 1892
The Dalton's Rode" was a book written by Emmett Dalton, the
youngest member of the Dalton Gang. Members of the gang were Henry Coleman Dalton; Gratton "Grat"
Dalton; Robert "Bob" Dalton; William "Bill"
Dalton and Emmett.
were cousins to the "Younger Gang" as their mother was
Adeline Lee Younger. Her nephews had formed the Younger Gang in
Missouri. Adeline was
born in Missouri and died in 1925 in Kingfisher OK and is buried
there. She was married to James Lewis Dalton in Missouri and 14 of
their 15 children were born there, Grat was born in Kansas.
Their sons started out as deputy marshals on the Missouri and
Kansas border and in Arkansas and Oklahoma known at that time as
Indian Territory. Somewhere along the line they crossed over from.
Adeline and James had 10 boys and 5 girls.
Their son Frank was shot and killed in Ft. Smith Indian
Territory (Arkansas) while performing his duty as deputy marshal.
Sometime after this the Dalton Gang was formed.
Dalton was supposed to have a ranch or hide-out in Cholame.
He married Jane Bliven, daughter of Cyrus Bliven, in Merced
County and was suppose to also hide out at her father's ranch in
Merced. Bill was considered very good looking and the life of the
party. He could play
the piano and sing and liked being the center of attention. Bill was
shot and killed in Ardmore OK, and his wife had him buried in Merced
and Bob were shot in an attempt to rob a bank in Coffeyville KS, and
Emmett was wounded in the same gun fight. Emmett was sent to the Kansas State Pen, where he served 14
yrs. He was given a full pardon in 1907 and went to Los Angeles
where he is listed on the census as a producer of motion pictures. It was here that he wrote the above mentioned book.
It was not made into a movie until after his death in 1937.
The movie starred Broderick Crawford and Randolph Scott.
the article below it says that "Cole Dalton" was arrested
in Estrella, 12 miles from Paso Robles for the Alila Train robbery
but I have not been able to find out if he was found guilty and sent
to prison in CA. I did
find him on the 1900 census in Glenn Co. CA and his brother
Littleton "Lit" Dalton is on the 1900 census for Tehama
Co. Red Bluff CA. I
can't find either of these boys in any more gang activity. Lit never
was part of the gang and neither was the oldest boy, Charles
Benjamin Dalton or the youngest boy, Simeon. Another brother, Louis,
died as a child. Four
of the boys came to California before 1880 as they are on the 1880
census for Colusa Co. CA working for a Mr. Hoag - C.B.Dalton-28; F.P.
Dalton-20; A Lit Dalton-22; G. Dalton-19.
excerpts from the Salinas
-March 5, 1891 Salinas, Monterey, California
Alila Train Robbers -- An officer passed north on Tuesday’s train
with Cole DALTON, arrested on the Estrella, about 12 miles from Paso
Robles, as one of the Alila train robbers. His brother, Grat DALTON,
was taken up last week, having been arrested as an accessory after
the fact, he being in Fresno on the night of the robbery. It is
stated that the DALTON’s are cousins of the notorious YOUNGER
brother. After the attempted robbery of the train at Alila, it is
reported that the robbers were traced to Cholame, where all track of
them was lost. They were provided with nippers with which they cut
the wire fences when they found
it necessary to go through fields in making their escape.
Alila is east of the southern end of Tulare lake, and about 75 miles
from Cholame by road through the Paledonia pass. The officers claim
to have evidence that will convict.
- April 2 1891
Train Robbers -- Grattan DALTON and William DALTON, an account of
whose arrest and transportation to Tulare county was published not
long ago, have been indicted by the grand jury of Tulare county on 2
charges of murder and robbery, and it is fair to presume that the
jury had sufficient evidence to find true bills against them.
The range of these noted outlaws, who are said to be cousins
of the YOUNGER brothers, has been along the borders of this county,
and some account of their depredations and the history of their
capture cannot fail to be of local interest.
27, 1889, the Pixley robbery occurred about 8pm. The robbers, a
large and a small man, stopped the train just as it had moved out
from the station, making the train men march through the car with
them. They got about $500 and 15 or 20 watches, and killed a United
States Marshal who was on the train, and a boy 16 years old. On Feb.
22nd, 2 men, believed to be the same, stopped the train near Goshen,
got about $6000 from the express car, and murdered an
tramp who was riding the brake bars. On the 6th of last February 2
men, not believed to be the same as perpetrated the former
robberies, appeared at Alila and marched the engineer and fireman,
as in former instances, up to the express car, but, instead of
opening the door, the messenger opened fire for about 25 minutes.
Unfortunately the fireman was killed, it is generally
supposed by a shot from the messenger’s rifle. The robbers were
beaten off, rode to the westward, and a hot pursuit followed. They
were tracked as far as Cholame, where they vanished utterly.
O’NEAL of San Luis Obispo county and Will SMITH, a Wells-Fargo
detective, went to work on the case. Starting with the assumption
that since the robbers took refuge in the neighborhood of Cholame,
and probably started from there, they first scoured all the passes
of the mountains to find out who had traveled them eastward during
the week or so prior to the robbery. They presently learned of a
party of 3 horsemen who closely answered the required description.
They secured a minute description of them, found out who they were,
tracked them from point to point, up to the very telegraph post to
which the horses of 2 of them were tied at the time of the robbery,
and finally landed 2 of the number within the clutches of the law.
is a station on the Southern Pacific, where the branch road to
Visalia leaves the main line. Pixley is 27 miles south of Goshen,
and Alila 6 miles south of Pixley. These places are all of them not
far from Cholame by a road leading through Templar Polonia pass. It
is believed that the officers have the right parties, and that hemp
in this instance will not be cheated of robbing the State of 2
desperate and dangerous outlaws.
16, 1891 Salinas, Monterey, California
Whole Gang Arrested -- The arrest of the entire band of the Alila
train robbers was completed on the 8th inst by the arrest of Robert
and Emmet DALTON. This robbery occurred on Feb. 6th, and officers
and detectives have been on their trail ever since. On March 2nd the
2 men last arrested purchased horses in San Luis Obispo. Their trail
was soon struck, and the pursuit was so lively that they were
obliged to take to the mountains. The description of themselves and
horses was sent to all parts of the State. On March 8th they sold
their horses at Ludlow, a station on the Atlantic & Pacific
about 100 miles east of Mojave. One day last week the agent at Indio
was somewhat taken by surprise upon beholding Bob and Emmet DALTON,
the 2 men wanted, climbing into a refrigerator car of an out-going
train. Not being armed the agent did not care about tackling the men
single handed, but immediately telegraphed the conductor at the next
station. The conductor upon receiving the message said nothing, but
when his train stopped at a water tank he very quietly secured the
door, and then telegraphed to the Sheriff at Yuma to be on hand with
sufficient force of men to capture the outlaws.
Weekly Index -
April 30, 1891 Salinas, Monterey, California
DALTON brothers will be tried in the Superior Court of Tulare on May
18th on the Alila train robbery charge. Attorney [illegible -- might
be AHREN] of Bakersfield, and LARKINS of Visalia, will defend them.
18, 1891 CA
escaped from jail and returned to OK to join up with his brothers.
Weekly Index -
October 22 1891
of the DALTONS -- Will DALTON, who has been under arrest at Visalia
as an accessory to the
Alila train robbery, and who was recently acquitted, passed through
Salinas Tuesday on his way to
his home in Cholame, east of Paso Robles. He is under indictment
for burglary and is out on bail. He left the train as it
stopped here to greet 2 or 3 acquaintances on the platform, and
stood talking until the train had got under pretty good motion, and
then swung himself on to the rear steps with all the ease of an old
railroader. In appearance DALTON is a well dressed and rather
good-looking man, apparently
above the average in intelligence. He is said to be a good political manipulator and a successful sporting man.
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