Railroad Stories: Dalton Gang Train Robbery

My grandmother and grandfather made the Oklahoma Land Run in April 1889 with their three small boys. In the spring of 1890, Grandmother returned to her father’s farm in Kansas, with her three boys, to collect some household items. On their return to Guthrie, Okla., they boarded the Santa Fe train. On June 1, 1890, while traveling through Red Rock, Okla., the train was stopped and held up by the Dalton gang.

The outlaws went through the passenger car and collected money and other valuables from all of the passengers. When they got to my grandmother and her sons, one of the gang members said, “Ma’am, we don’t want anything from you.”

About three months later, my grandmother’s 5-year-old son came running into the house and said, “Ma, those men who robbed the train just watered their horses here.” She went to the door and saw the Dalton gang headed toward the Cimarron River.

Jane c. Waldroop
Norman, Okla.

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.