Frank Jackson (outlaw)


Frank Jackson (outlaw)

Frank Jackson (c. June 18, 1856–1930?) was a 19th century cowboy and later outlaw who became a close associate of bank robber Sam Bass while a member of his gang during its final years. He was the sole surviving member of the gang after being ambushed at Round Rock, Texas in July 1878.

Biography

Born Llano County, Texas, Jackson was orphaned at a young age and, by 1874, he was working as a tinner for Jim Murphy in Denton, Texas when he became acquainted with Sam Bass. Two years later, Jackson killed horse thief Henry Goodall. The following year, Jackson reluctantly joined Bass and his gang in a number of bank robberies holding up a stage near Fort Worth on December 22 and again on January 28, 1878. Within several weeks, Jackson and the others began robbing trains stopping a Houston & Texas Central express near Allen, Texas on February 22 and near Hutchins, Texas on March 18. He became a close associate of Bass over the course of the next year and, at one point, he was able to intervene on behalf Jim Murphy when he was suspected of being an informant saving his life when Bass and the others had wanted Murphy killed.

Leaving Denton, Texas in July, Jackson and the others were camped outside Round Rock, Texas several days later preparing to rob the local bank the following morning. One of the gang members, Jim Murphy, informed the authorities of the robbery and the area was by then under heavy surveillance by local police. On July 19, Jackson and the others rode into town to take a look at the bank one last time. Murphy slipped away making an excuse of buying corn for the horses while he continued with Seaborn Barnes and Bass to buy some tobacco to the Koppel general store.

While in the store, the three were approached by deputy sheriff Ellis Grimes and Morris Moore. When Grimes put his hand on Barnes and asked if he were armed, the outlaws panicked turning around and gunning both men down. Forced to fight their way through Texas Rangers and local residents, they managed to get to their horses but not before Seaborn Barnes was killed by Texas Ranger Dick Ware and Bass being shot several times by Texas Ranger George Harrell. Bass managed to ride only a hundred yards before falling off and Jackson went back to rescue him. Although escaping their pursuers as night approached, Bass was unable to ride and Jackson bandaged Bass's wounds and left him under a tree outside of town. Bass was picked up by a posse the next morning but refused to reveal any information about Jackson and died the next day.

According to Murphy in a letter to Texas Ranger John B. Jones, he was contacted by Jackson soon after the incident at Round Rock. He asked, if he were to surrender himself, for a reprieve in exchange for hunting down former gang member and wanted outlaw Henry Underwood. However, Murphy apparently lost contact with Jackson and the deal never went any further. Although Jackson was reportedly seen in Denton County for a brief time, claims of his whereabouts placed him in various places including Texas, New Mexico, California and, according to Sheriff Charlie Siringo, as far away as Montana.

An extensive search for Jackson was made and, according to a Canadian newspaper in Winnipeg, Manitoba, two Texas officers were searching the area "for the renouned bandits, Jackson and Underwood" during the summer of 1879. Other reports placed him in other parts of Canada and Brazil.

Subsequently, his whereabouts and activities after this time are unrecorded and, as writer Jack Davis wrote, Jackson seemed to "vanish from the face of the Earth". As late as the 1960s, New York-based "Wild West" magazines claimed that the Texas Rangers "continue to maintain an open file on the Sam Bass gang - Jackson has never been caught". During the 1980s, it was also incorrectly claimed by these same magazines that Jackson's file was still open in the Texas Department of Public Safety however this file was officially closed by Texas Ranger Captain Frank Hamer.

Around 1920, the Texas Rangers began receiving tentitive contacts including writer Eugene Manlove Rhodes on behalf of "an old bandit" who "wanted to get square with the law" during his last years. Interviewed by Hamer, the man was reportedly a highly successful rancher and businessman living in New Mexico. By this time, he was considered a folk hero by Texans for his rescue of Sam Bass and, while urged by Texas law enforcement officials to clear his name, he refused to return to Texas. As late as 1927 however, attempts had been made to convince authorities in Williamson County to drop the criminal charges against him for the murders of the two deputy sheriffs in Round Rock.

Further reading

*Walters, Lorenzo D. "Tombstone's Yesterday". Glorieta, New Mexico: Rio Grande Press, 1968.

References

*Eckhardt, C.F. "Tales of Badmen, Bad Women, and Bad Places: Four Centuries of Texas Outlawry". Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-89672-420-4
*Neal, Bill. "Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters". Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8061-2335-4
*Thrapp, Dan L. "Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography: In Three Volumes, Volume III (P-Z)". Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8032-9418-2


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black Bart (outlaw) — This article is about the American Old West outlaw. For other uses, see Black Bart (disambiguation). Black Bart Born Charles Earl Bowles 1829 Norfolk, England Died after February 28, 1888 …   Wikipedia

  • J. Frank Dalton — The mysterious man widely known as J. Frank Dalton is generally believed to have been born on March 8, 1848 at Goliad, Goliad County, Texas, and he is generally believed to have died on August 15, 1951 at Granbury, Hood County, Texas. J. Frank… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Ford (outlaw) — This article is about an American outlaw. For other people named Robert Ford, see Robert Ford (disambiguation). Robert Newton Ford Robert Ford, undated. Born January 31, 1862(1862 01 31) …   Wikipedia

  • Monster (Michael Jackson song) — Monster Song by Michael Jackson featuring 50 Cent from the album Michael Released December 10, 2010 Format CD, digital download Recorded 2007 …   Wikipedia

  • List of Old West gunfighters — See also: Outlaw (stock character) This is a list of known Old West gunfighters, referring to outlaws or lawmen, of the American frontier who gained fame or notoriety during the American Wild West or Old West. The term gunslinger is a modern,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of 1632 characters (fictional) — This section is maintained alphabetically, lastname, firstname, but individuals of particular note may have their own section as a link to point from other articles. See main article: List of 1632 characters Contents 1 Balthazar Abrabanel 2… …   Wikipedia

  • List of American Old West outlaws — This is a list of known outlaws and others of the American frontier popularly known as the Wild West . Because many of those listed have been wanted by authorities at one time or another such as former horse thief Wyatt Earp, or Marshal turned… …   Wikipedia

  • Liste de hors-la-loi dans le Far West — Article connexe : Hors la loi. Voici une liste de hors la loi célèbres de l Ouest américain. Opposés à la figure du marshal, garant de la loi à l échelle de la ville, ou du shérif, faisant autorité dans un comté, ils sont souvent devenus des …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of American Football League players — The following is a list of men who played for the American Football League (AFL, 1960 1969), as well as AFL coaches, administrators, and contributors. Players A*Bud Abell *Ray Abruzzese *Ken Adamson *Tom Addison (Born 1936 4 year All Star… …   Wikipedia

  • The Getaway (1972 film) — Infobox Film | name = The Getaway caption =Original U.S. Poster director = Sam Peckinpah producer = writer = Novel: Jim Thompson Screenplay: Walter Hill starring =Steve McQueen Ali MacGraw Ben Johnson Al Lettieri Sally Struthers Richard Bright… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.