Adair, Oklahoma

Historic Dalton Gang Robbery

category : History
The Dalton Gang Train Robbery at Adair, I.T.

It was their most daring deed to date, on Thursday July 14, 1892, eight members of the Dalton held up the Missouri, Kansas, & Texas train at Adair, I.T.

As the train approached, four men approached the night operator at the station and ordered him to "flag down" the train. As the train pulled to a stand-still two members of the gang bordered the engine while the others covered the conductor and train men. The station operator was taken to the express car, were he ordered the messenger inside to open up. When the messenger refused, the train's fireman was ordered to break open the door with his pick. Once inside the bandits were quick in rifling the safe of its contents.

Unknown to the gang was the special detachment of eight railroad guards that was on the train. In command was J. J. Kinney, chief of railroad detectives and Capt. J. H. LaFore, chief of the Cherokee Indian police. Upon seeing that the robbery was happening the guards unloaded from the train on the east side of the train - the opposite side of the depot. Several of the bandits had been positioned on that side and a brief gun battle took place.

With their work in the train finished and the gun battle insignia, the bandits proceeded to make their get-away. With bullets whistling about, the bandits made their way down through town. Doctors W. L. Goff and Youngblood had been sitting on the porch of the drug store near the depot. Both men were hit by stray shots several times. Dr Goff's wound proved to be fatal.

Also wounded were Capt. Kinney and Capt. LaFlore. Their wounds were not serious and both men recovered.

The railroad and express company promptly offered rewards "for the capture and conviction" of $5,000 for each participant in the robbery.

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