60 Slices
Medium 9781574414769

Chapter 21: Caught in the Act

Mark T. Smokov University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 21

Caught in the Act

Kid Curry didn’t waste any time getting to Mena, Arkansas, to meet his girlfriend Annie Rogers. The short time they were there, they rented a frame house using the names Mr. and Mrs. Bob Nevilles.1 On September 18 they left for Shreveport, Louisiana, registering for a week’s stay at the Serwich Hotel.2 Their hurried departure from Mena may have had something to do with the imminent arrival of a Pinkerton operative. He may have picked up Curry’s trail in San Antonio, or had possibly been alerted to the appearance of Montana bills that the couple was spending. Nevertheless, within a few days the agent was in Mena, canvassing the neighborhood for any leads. One neighbor recognized a photo of Curry as the man he knew to be Bob Nevilles.3

During their stay in Shreveport, the couple played cards and drank in various saloons. Curry was generous with his worthless money, and gave Annie a number of ten-dollar bills to spend. Tiring of Shreveport, they traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, and found lodging for a few days near the state capitol. They generally had a good time making the rounds of the saloons.4 Next, they took the train to Memphis, Tennessee, arriving in late September or early October, according to a Miss Corrine Lewis. She was the proprietress of a red light district “resort” that the couple stayed at for nearly two weeks.5 They registered as R. T. Moore and wife of St. Joseph, Missouri.6

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574414769

Chapter 11: Various Endeavors

Mark T. Smokov University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 11

Various Endeavors

The tri-state area, which included Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, was experiencing increasing activity from rustlers who found sanctuary in hideouts such as Robbers Roost, Brown’s Hole, Powder Springs, and Hole-in-the-Wall. Owing to the rising price of cattle, the problem became so great, it was reported that “The gangs have almost depopulated the ranges within 200 miles of their retreats,” with raids netting one hundred to five hundred head at a time.1 A meeting of cattlemen was held on February 15, 1898, in Rawlins, to discuss a plan of action. It was suggested that stock detectives should be hired and a reward or bounty placed on the rustlers.2

It is difficult to trace the whereabouts and activities (criminal or otherwise) of the various outlaws that rode with the Wild Bunch in 1898. The Pinkertons reported that Sundance spent the winter of 1897/1898 employed at the Frank Kelsey ranch, a neighbor of A. R. Reader, in the Little Snake River Valley.3 Within the January to March 1898 time frame, it has been stated that Kid Curry robbed a bank in Clifton, Arizona, in the company of Texas outlaw Ben Kilpatrick, and then to have taken a solo trip to Paris, France, with the proceeds.4 Both incidents would have to be considered as hearsay, since they cannot be backed up by contemporary news reports or any other tangible evidence. It is not known if Curry was acquainted with Kilpatrick at this time, and it also seems quite out of character for him to travel to Europe, especially at this time of his life.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574414769

Chapter 22: Kid Curry Captured

Mark T. Smokov University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 22

Kid Curry Captured

Kid Curry continued to travel through the South, hiding out for a time in late November 1901 in the Unaka Mountains, a rugged region where western North Carolina’s border meets southeastern Tennessee. He was accompanied by a native of the area named Sam Adkins (or Atkins), who was wanted for murder in Texas. The two fugitives had become acquainted during the time Curry had been in Texas.1 Curry also spent some time in early December in Asheville, North Carolina, northeast of the Unakas. He was seen in the company of two men, Luther Brady and Jim Boley.2 All three of these men would figure importantly in Curry’s future during his sojourn in Knoxville, Tennessee.

On Monday, December 9, Curry arrived at the Southern Railway Station in Knoxville from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Two pieces of his baggage were to be sent later on Train No. 36, actually arriving on Thursday the 12th.3 By Tuesday he had checked into a room at the Central Hotel where he kept two grips, but he made his headquarters for the week at Ike Jones’ saloon (known as the Old Central Bar) in the red-light district called the Bowery. Going by the name William Wilson, he was soon seen in the company of two of the better-looking prostitutes in the Bowery, Mayme Edington and Lillian Sartin (or Sartain). He was especially fond of Lillian, spending the nights in her room upstairs over the bar at Ike’s place on Central Avenue and Commerce Street. He ate many of his meals at a nearby restaurant run by the wife of Edwin Jackson “Uncle Jack” Harrison.4

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574414769

Chapter 14: The Law Closes In

Mark T. Smokov University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 14

The Law Closes In

A reward poster issued by the Union Pacific Railroad and Pacific Express companies, dated January 12, 1900, and a Pinkerton National Detective Agency poster dated February 23, 1900, stated there was “satisfactory evidence” and it had been “definitely ascertained” that three of the robbers were Kid Curry, his brother Lonie, and their cousin Bob Lee, with the $18,000 reward still in effect. By this time the Pinkertons were publicly vacillating on the issue of whether there were more than three involved. Their poster stated there may have been five or six men in the robbery.1

“In the files of the Union Pacific Railroad,” one writer states, “Harvey Logan was listed as the leader of the gang at Wilcox. What proof the UP officials had of this fact isn’t known, though it may have been because they considered him the most callous and dangerous of the Wild Bunch.”2 Kid Curry’s leadership role should more likely be attributed to his possessing the intelligence to plan and carry out a successful train robbery.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574414707

Chapter 19

Mark T. Smokov University of North Texas Press PDF

186

Chapter 19

the leader of the gang. In late June, two men were seen riding through

Lewistown, Montana, and camped outside of town. Among the horses in their possession were three later described by witnesses at the train robbery, a bay, a white, and a buckskin. Brown Waller states that the gang was furnished getaway horses from the Truax and Walsh ranches near

Hinsdale, some forty miles east of Malta.5 However, at the first relay after the robbery, the outlaws traded exhausted horses with the Thornhill

7UP brand for ones from a remuda on the Coburn Circle C ranch.6

It is not certain how, when, or where Kid Curry came to know O. C.

Hanks, a native of DeWitt County, Texas, but he was quoted as saying he recruited “Deaf Charley” into the ranks of the Wild Bunch, “because he was a good man to handle the outside of the train and was an expert pistol shot.” He added that “Hanks came well recommended.”7 Hanks had worked on various cattle ranches in Montana from 1889 to 1893.

In 1892 he started work at the John T. Murphy Cattle Company, where

See All Chapters

See All Slices