October 5, 1892 The Daltons had grown up around Coffeyville. They had not always been outlaws. At first, Grat, Bob, and Emmett Dalton had been lawmen in the Indian territory of Oklahoma just south of Coffeyville. Their brother Frank had been a US Marshall. He was killed in a gunfight in Arkansas while trying to arrest some horse thieves. The three Daltons were deputized by Judge Parker, aka “The Hanging Judge” to catch the outlaws that had killed their brother. The Daltons soon found that being lawmen didn’t pay very well, at least not as well as rustling cattle, driving them to Baxter Springs Kansas and selling them. Their taste for money and gold soon lead to robbing trains and banks. They practiced their new trade from Kansas to California, becoming one of the most notorious gangs in Western History.
Robbing two banks at once was particularly appealing to the gang because this robbery was supposed to have been their last. The gang had plans to head to Mexico with the loot and retire. Nearly every lawman and railroad detective in the country was after the Daltons.
Three Daltons, Bob, Grat and Emmet, along with Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers wanted to do what no one had ever done before - rob two banks at the same time. After camping on Onion Creek, west of Coffeyville, they rode into town on horseback heading east on Eighth Street early on the morning of October 5, 1892. The Dalton brothers, being former residents of Coffeyville, wore disguises. They had planned to tie their horses between the two banks, but because Eighth Street was torn up, they tied them in the alley close to the jail. That was their first mistake.
Three of the bandits - Grat Dalton, Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell - went into the Condon Bank; Bob and Emmet entered the First National. When the gang demanded money from the safe at the Condon (the vault contained about $40,000), the quick thinking bank employee told him that the safe would not open until 9:30. Grat asked, “What time is it now?” The bank teller told Grat it was 9:20 when in actuality it was 9:40. Grat said, "I’ll wait," which was their second mistake. That ten minutes gave the townspeople the time they needed to get to Isham Hardware, grab some guns and ammunition and begin defending the town. When the raid was over, which lasted 12 minutes, four of the Dalton gang were dead and four of Coffeyville’s citizens were killed. Three of the citizens - George Cubine, Charles Brown and Lucius Baldwin - were killed near Isham Hardware, Marshall Connelly died in what is today known as Death Alley. Bob and Grat Dalton and Bill Powers were killed in Death Alley and are buried in Coffeyville’s Elmwood Cemetery. Dick Broadwell escaped the on horseback and died about a half mile from the downtown. He was buried at Hutchinson.
Emmett Dalton was the lone survivor of the raid. A doctor treated young Emmett’s wounds, removing twenty-three slugs from his body. He was tried for murder, received a life sentence, but served only fifteen years in the Lansing Kansas State Prison. After his parole, He moved to California and became a real estate agent, author and actor, dying at the age of 66.
The Daltons were "laid out" in the city jail following their death prior to burial. There were souvenir hunters even in the Dalton’s days. Portions of the manes and tails of the Dalton’s horses were cut off and all the strings from the saddles. In addition, pieces of clothing from the gang members were cut off.
The banks were robbed of approximately $25,000. After the day’s banking business was completed and the books were balanced, the Condon came up $20 short and First National was $1.98 over, so fortunately for the banks most of the money was recovered.
The Defenders of Coffeyville
George Cubine, a young boot-maker apprentice that worked for his uncle at the Cubine Boot & Shoe Shop next to the First National Bank. He was firing at gang members inside the Condon Bank when a single bullet hit him in the back, punctured his heart, killing him instantly.
Charles Brown, an older boot-maker at the Cubine Shop, came to the aid of the young George Cubine. He was shot by the bandits before he could get a shot fired. He died three days later from his wounds.
Lucius Baldwin, shot by Bob Dalton as he and Emmett Dalton exited the back entrance of the First National Bank. Baldwin was pulled inside Isham’s Hardware store where he died from a chest wound to the heart.
Marshall Charles T. Connelly was a school teacher and Coffeyville City Marshall. Connelly was killed in Death Alley, just to the West of the Condon Bank. He had stepped out into the alley, unknowingly he was between the robbers and their horses at the far west end of the alley. Marshall Connelly was shot in the back by Grat Dalton who lay wounded on the ground.
Dalton Defenders Days
October 2 & 3, 2009
more information to follow