The Coffeyville, Kansas historic plaza was the scene of the defeat of the Dalton Gang on October 5, 1892. The Daltons were accomplished train robbers, but met their fate when they tried to rob two banks (C.M. Condon Bank & First National Bank) in Coffeyville at the same time. The gang was made up of Grat Dalton, Bob Dalton, Emmett Dalton, Bill Power; and Dick Broadwell.
The Dalton Gang arrived early in the morning, expecting to tie their horses up next to one of the banks, but the hitching post had been removed. Instead of leaving one of their members to hold the horses, they decided to hitch the horses down an alley at the far side of the plaza.
The Daltons were from the area and were wearing false beards to disguise themselves, but someone recognized one of them as they crossed the square to enter the banks. Citizens armed themselves with weapons from adjacent Isham hardware and other stores and were ready for the gang when they left the banks.
There was a running gun battle in which eight men died and four were wounded. All of the gang except for Emmett Dalton were killed. Four of the defenders of Coffeyville (Lucius Baldwin, Charles Brown, Marshal C.T. Connelly, and George Cubine) were also killed. Although Emmett was severely wounded and not expected to live, he recovered and served 14 years in jail before being pardoned. He lived until July 13, 1937.
The story of that day is told in the Dalton Defenders Museum which opened in 1963. The museum also has exhibits relating to Coffeyville history, Wended Willie, and baseball Hall of Fame Walter Johnson. I recommend calling to confirm hours rather than relying on the museum's web site which may not be current.
Dalton Defenders Museum
copyright 2006-2010 by Keith Stokes