Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Dodge City Gang of Las Vegas, NM

Las Vegas, NM Hanging Windmill

In the summer of 1879, a gang of desperados known as the Dodge City Gang made their first appearance in Las Vegas, New Mexico. As the first Santa Fe trains steamed into the territory that summer, it brought with it a whole host of gamblers, ruffians and unsavory characters. 

Before long, a group formed called the "Dodge City Gang,” since so many of them had earned reputations for violent behavior in the western cow towns of Kansas.

The Dodge City Gang was firmly in control of a criminal cartel bent on thumbing their noses at the law. For the next two years, the Dodge City Gang participated in several stage coach and train robberies, organized cattle rustling, and were said to have been responsible for multiple murders and lynchings.

Two stage robberies in August of 1879, and one train robbery in October occurred in the Las Vegas, New Mexico area. Many suspected that the perpetrators were members of the Dodge City Gang.

On August 18, 1879 a Barlow & Sanderson stagecoach was robbed by three men near the village of Tecolote, New Mexico . John Clancy, Jim Dunagan, and Antonio Lopez were arrested for the robbery, however they were not convicted.

Just a few weeks later on August 30, 1879, another Barlow and Sanderson stagecoach was held up. "Frank" Cady, "Slap Jack Bill", "Bull Shit Jack", and Jordan L. Webb, all with ties to the Dodge City Gang, were arrested and charged with the second holdup. However, they too, escaped conviction. Dave Rudabaugh would later confess to this crime in cahoots with Las Vegas Marshal Joe Carson and a man named Joseph Martin. 

...The town was getting a bad name in the rest of the county due to the violence and thievery that prevailed. "Shooting scrapes are of frequent occurrence in that remote region." reported the Dodge City Times. Miquel Otero, later governor of New Mexico wrote that in one month twenty–nine men were killed in the Las Vegas vicinity. It seemed as if every low-life from Kansas, Texas, and Colorado had congregated in Las Vegas

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