On September 4, 1881, Isaac “Ike” Stockton turned in a member of his own gang for the murder of a Colorado lawman and collected a sizeable reward for the back-stabbing betrayal.
That’s how the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, September 3 through Tuesday, September 9 starts off. But to find out how the story of the Stockton brothers ends, you will have to read it in your local newspaper or with a private email subscription available on this web site.
A colorful old character went to his grave in HIco, Texas on December 27, 1950 swearing to the end he was none other than “Billy The Kid.”
In the 63 years since Brushy Bill Roberts bit the dust, Hico has turned a modest profit on his preposterous claim as have a few authors. There is something about Old West outlaws that makes many people want to believe they cheated death at least for a little while longer be they Jesse James, Bill Longley, Butch Cassidy or, in this case, Billy The Kid.
Sam Bass and his associates rode into Round Rock on July 19, 1878 and right into a trap. The Texas Rangers were ready and waiting because a member of the gang had tipped them off.
Four train robberies that spring in the Dallas area had put the state lawmen on Bass’ trail. Mortally wounded in the ambush, he died two days later on his twenty-seventh birthday.
John Larn, recently resigned sheriff of Shackleford County, surrendered to vigilantes who had him dead to rights on charges of rustling cattle. That night, June 22, 1878, a mob stormed the Albany jail and with a single volley shot Larn to death in his cell.
Lucky for him, John Selman, Larn’s sidekick who also worked both sides of the law, had made himself scarce on that fateful occasion. He, in fact, lived long enough to murder John Welsey Hardin in an El Paso saloon in 1895.