FRONTIERADO IS FRIDAY, AUGUST 4th!
BLACK JACK KETCHUM – Black Jack was one of the leaders of the many outlaws who made their home in Hole In The Wall, Wyoming, all of them roughly lumped together under the general name the Hole In The Wall Gang. Though Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch faction of the gang is by far the most famous grouping, Ketchum and his followers deserve a much bigger reputation than they currently enjoy.
Ketchum was born in 1866 in San Angelo, TX, and by 1887 he was working as an actual cowboy at various ranches in the Lone Star State. In 1890, after a cattle drive to Clayton, NM, Black Jack and his brother Sam were involved in a train robbery and would spend the rest of their lives as outlaws, vowing never to work as miserable cowhands ever again.
By 1892 Ketchum’s Hole In The Wall gang included his brother Sam, Will “Noose” Carver, Bronco Bill Walters and Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan. The Gang began alternating its time between launching train and bank robberies from their Hole In The Wall headquarters and running a shady saloon and gambling hall back in San Angelo.
By 1895 Kid Curry and his brother Flatnose Curry were briefly in Black Jack’s orbit, but eventually gravitated to Butch Cassidy’s faction. That defection happened following Ketchum’s gang being forced to abandon their saloon and gambling front after Black Jack gunned down an inquisitive townsman.
In 1896 came the final rupture between Jack and Kid Curry over an argument regarding Ketchum’s division of the loot following a train robbery. Black Jack and the outlaws loyal to him continued robbing banks, payroll convoys and trains, raiding general stores and engaging in firefights with pursuing posses for three more years.
In August 1899 Ketchum and two accomplices were captured during an attempted train robbery. Jack himself was shot and wounded, losing an arm to amputation while awaiting trial. Black Jack Ketchum was found guilty and was hanged on April 26th, 1901, after losing his appeal. Legend has it his last words to his executioners were “Let ‘er rip, boys! I want to be in Hell before breakfast.”
FOR A LOOK AT POKER ALICE, BEAR RIVER TOM, KID CURRY AND RATTLESNAKE DICK CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2012/07/15/four-forgotten-gunslingers-with-cool-nicknames-2/
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.