Comments about ‘Was Duchesne farmer the Sundance Kid?’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 17 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

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Dora du Fran

Boys, Boys, Boys! Rather than sowing more seeds of confusion, why not sow a few more wild oats?

As you all very well know I am the first person in history to franchaise Sporting Houses. I had three in 1897, one of which was used to case the bank in Belle Fourche and one of which staged the October 31, 1897, jail break, in Deadwood.

On the jail break, horses were held behind the jail. Five jail inmates escaped: Thomas Jones, Frank Jones, Tom O'Day, Walt Punteney, and ....

O'Day and Punteney weren't given horses to use for an escape and they were captured, on foot in Spearfish Canyon near Bridal Veil Falls.

The Jones Boys and ..... made a clean escape on the horses provided by "the two" David Gillespie wrote to his mother about.

The name of the 5th prisoner was William C. Moore. Governor Heber M. Wells believed Moore and the others hid out at Waterhole Flat after escaping. Moore was the surname of the man in SA who wrote to Tom Nichols about the BA Dentist, Newberry, in 1887. But William C. Moore was the name of a very important figure for us. Who?

Jerry Nickle

Dura du Fran writes:
The name of the 5th prisoner was William C. Moore. Governor Heber M. Wells believed Moore and the others hid out at Waterhole Flat after escaping. Moore was the surname of the man in SA who wrote to Tom Nichols about the BA Dentist, Newberry, in 1887. But William C. Moore was the name of a very important figure for us. Who?

That is very significant. Can you give more details?

Dora du Fran

Jerry Nickle:

You will want to read, carefully, the letter Governor Wells wrote to your illustrious ancestor, "C. W. Allred Esq., Sheriff, Price, Utah" dated April, 18th, 1898. The letter will be found in the Governor's papers in the Salt Lake City archieve in the Old Depot building. In the letter Governor Wells is asking Sheriff Allred to form a posse with Joe Bush, then at Loa, to attack the Wild Bunch. Governor Wells pinpointed the point of attack by saying the gang he wanted apprehended had just crossed at Dandy Crossing. He goes on to say:

"...the outlaws, among whom it is said there are Joe Walker, Jack Moore, a negro (sic)supposed to be Moore from Dakota, and perhaps the Jones brothers, also from Dakota...."

If you carefully look at the newspaper reports of the October 31, 1897, Deadwood jail break, you will see that William C. Moore was a "light skinned Negro" (sic) being held on a murder charge. Moore had been previously employed by the Swan ranch. The three men who escaped from Deadwood were Thomas Jones, Frank Jones, and William C. Moore.


Dora du Fran

Governor Wells, in his letter, went on to link "Jack Moore" with the "Buhr Ranch". Separate from the letter Governor Wells also authorized a reward for Jack Moore: "$500 for Jack Moore: Height 5' 11"; spare made: 35 or 36 years of age; has one shoulder broken: dark sallow complexion; looks like a Spaniard...."

Go back to 1887 and the letter from the outlaw in Argentina to Tom Nichols. The surname of the outlaw was Moore.

The third incidence of "Moore" was William C. Moore, the identical name of Dakota escapee Moore who rode into the Texas Panhandle in 1878 on, according to Charlie Siringo, "a worn out pony." That William C. Moore, a/k/a "Outlaw Bill Moore" claimed to have been a former range boss for the Swan ranch and who killed "the Negro(sic) coachman" at Swan.

The Swan operated on the same range at the same time as Tom Nichols was foreman at the Keeline.

My advice to you is to continue to look very carefully at "William C. Moore/Jack Moore" and Thomas and Frank Jones. Is 1887 Harry Longabaugh the 1897 Harry Longabaugh?

Continued ....

Dora du Fran

Is it possible that there is the 1887 Harry Longabaugh who went to SA, an 1897 person who appropriated the alias "Harry Longabaugh", and a third person who was confused with Harry Longabaugh?

If there are three different William C. Moores, why can't there be three different Harry Longabaughs?

Ben "Tall Texan" Kilpatrick was arrested under the name of "Harry Longabaugh". According to Ms Ernst's new book, Kilpatrick had the name "Harry Longabaugh" written inside one of his possessions at the time of his arrest. Was Kilpatrick the Harry Longabaugh of the 1901 Pinkerton report placing him in Price, Utah, while another Harry Longabaugh is in SA?

Perhaps both you and Butch are correct. Butch said that Bill Long is not the 1887 Harry. You maintain that Bill Long is Harry Longabaugh. If there are multiple Harry Longabaughs, could you both be right?

Butch called me on a mistake. He was quite right. I was first to announce Butch has a book in the works. I shouldn't have done that.

Kid Montana

Dora du Fran:

I think Governor Wells calling the Jones boys "brothers" is good evidence that they are Harvey and Lonny Logan, who were in fact brothers, and not Harvey Logan and Harry Longabaugh, who were not related. That would mean that the guys locked up in jail didn't include Longabaugh. It also means that the Gillespie letter has no impact on Bill Long being one of the Longabaughs. He could have been in Fremont when the bank got robbed, and still be one of the Longabaughs.

What do you think?

Not Butch

Butch- Your comment yesterday evening concerning the possibility of the photo of Harve Logan (UP RR photo taken after arrest in Montana) being Loney Logan and possibly the larger Jones being Harvey Logan is a little absurb. Whether or not you were serious I don't know but the description of the larger Jones brother was not indicative of either Harve or Loney Logan. The reason that Harve Ray comes into play is because he was arrested in Dakota in 1895 and placed in jail in Natrona Co., Wyoming for stealing 50 head of neat cattle from J.L. McCoy along with Lew Henderson. Ray jumped bail and was never heard from again but was a suspect in the Belle Fourche robbery because of this. Ray was not Harve Logan as his description does not match that of Harve! You, Sir, might have started a train wreck by you statement!


Not Butch:

We're talking about two different photos. Larry Pointer, so far as I know, was first to dub the Deadwood, South Dakota, photo of a Logan taken at the Locke Photography Studio the "Hobo Photo". When Bob Lee was interviewed in prison he said that the Locke Photo was a photo of Harve Logan. I don't believe the UP RR photo is generally known as the Logan "Hobo" Photo. The UP RR photo is not a photo of a single person. The Locke photo is of a single person.

As noted, correctly, Kirby on page 35 claims that Harvey Logan was "listed" as Harve Rae. For that reason, Harvey Logan was indicted in absentia. If the Locke Photo is of Harvey Logan as Lee claims, then Harvey Logan was indicted as Thomas Jones and present in court when he heard himself indicted under his correct name in absentia.

Harve Rae was a named suspect in the Belle Fourche Robbery because the four robbers did not wear masks, and Harve, a local to Belle Fourche and Sundance, was identified.



Frank Murray, reponding to a letter from Marshall Hadsell, said that Harve Rae and George "Flatnose" Currie had attended school together at Sundance. Hadsell wrote to the Pinkertons about Rae because Rae became a prime suspect in the Wilcox robbery after Tom Horn "questioned" witnesses. Pointer claims Rae was wounded in the Wilcox Robbers shootout that resulted in the death of Sheriff Josiah Hazen. On the run, the escaping robbers sheltered at the Muddy Creek Road Ranch where Rae died of his wounds and was buried above the cave at the Roadranch. So said Pointer.

Never-the-less, Not Butch, you are quite right that I might have started another train wreck. I didn't specify which presumed Logan photo I was speaking about and I didn't elaborate about what Kirby said about Harve Logan "listed" as Harve Rae. I'm guilty as charged. I'll do my best to mend my ways.

Thanks for your comment.


Not Butch:

I forgot to mention that Harve Rae was the cousin of Nick Rae who died at the side of Nate Champion during the Johnson County Invasion. There is an unconfirmed report floating around that both Nick and Harve are enumerated on an early census in the Ten Sleep area. Yep. I think "train wreck" is an accurate description.


Are we seeing the birth of a new, genuine foremost authority(ies)? Very interesting, informative, without putting others down. Bravo to all 99.9% of you.


Not Butch

Butch- I had long suspected that Harve Rae was related to Nick Rae. Is there any proof of the fact they were cousins. Very little is known about either as far as I know. Nick was supposedly working for Billy Irvine and was hurt. Irvine ran him off, which was unusual back then.

Ghosttown Bob

Some Observations:

Butch Mentions that Gillespie did not name the incarcerated person in his Oct 12, 1897 letter, that is correct. However the Rawlins Journal/People's Voice article of Oct. 10, 1897 does specifically mention "Harry Alonzo" as one who was arrested as one of the Belle Fourche robbers. It also mentions that Harry Alonzo was working for Al Reader at the time of the robbery, and that he had written and requested for some friends to come and identify him. It mentions that J. Galloway and E. Lahey were the ones who went to identify him, but that the authorities did not let them make the identification as the rewards had already been paid. This is pretty clear evidence that it was "Harry Alonzo" that was arrested under the name of Frank Jones. This also confirms the Gillespie letter. As cited before, many in the Little Snake River area later said that the person they knew as Harry Alonzo was the same person as Harry Longabaugh.

Ghosttown Bob

As has already been mentioned before, miss-identification of the Wild Bunch was commonplace. The Ben Kilpatrick affair in St. Louis in Nov 1901 after the Wagner train robbery is a good example. Butch Cassidy was declared dead after the gun-battle in the aftermath of the Castle Gate Robbery, A. G. Francis, mistook Harry Longabaugh (Sundance Kid) for Harvey Logan (Kid Curry) in 1908 at the time of the San Vicente shooting. These are just a few examples.

As for the 1897 Harry Longabaugh, If Harry Alonzo and Harry Longabaugh were the same person, then Harry Longabaugh could not have been the same as William Henry Long in Fremont at the same time.

Lastly, having read through the previous entries here, I still see no evidence, other than speculation that the Harry Longabaugh of 1887 was any different than the Harry Longabaugh of 1897. This whole SA thing in 1887 is still all very nebulous and ephemeral.


Ghosttown Bob:

I have no disagreement with anything you said. If you are satisfied that all of the evidence fairly examined leads to the conclusion beyond a reasonable
doubt that there is one and only one person who is Harry Longabaugh/Harry Alonzo/Frank Jones/ Frank Scramble then by all means Bill Long can not possibly be Harry Longabaugh et al.

That being the case, what is your opinion of William D. "Billy" Smith's behavior of allowing Harry Longabaugh to be indicted for the Belle Fourche Bank robbery under the false name of Frank Jones? I'll keep in mind that Billy Smith played a role in Joe LeFors' frame up of Tom Horn.

Second, I'd like to have your thoughts on why Thomas and Frank Jones, along with William C. Smith were provided escape horses to allow them to make it to Dandy Crossing, while Walt Punteney and Tom O'Day were not provided horses and were caught, on foot, at Bridal Veil Falls.

Finally, is it your reccomendation that we not make further inquiry into the Keeline or 1887 on the grounds that it would be a waste of time?


Not Butch:

I suppose it depends on one's definition of "proof". I did some "boots on the ground" work on the Rae boys. Here's what I have:

1.) Rueben H. "Nick" Rae was born in 1861, Missouri, Father: "J. H. Rae"; Mother "L. B. Rae". See the 1880 Federal Census for Miami, Saline County, Missouri. Nick, of course died April 9, 1892 at KC. I haven't found him for certain on the 1870 Census. Confusion might be in the spelling of the surname "Rae" as opposed to "Ray". I got the lead Rueben H. Rae, birthplace Missouri, from an old-timer at Gillette. Both leads --name and birthplace -- coincide with the Wyoming Tales and Trails website, see "Johnson County War/Invasion".

2.) Harvey G. Rae, born 1858, Missouri, Father: Matthias Rae; Mother: Sarah Rae. I worked backward from Pinkerton Assistant Superintendant Frank Murray's letter to U. S. Marshall Frank Hadsell, dated June 7, 1900. There is a fair amount of discussion regarding the Horn letter to Fraser of January 15, 1900. Because of the Horn letter, Murray and Hadsell met at Cheyenne on June, 6, 1900.



As soon as Murray got back to his Denver office he wrote to Hadsell and, in part, said: "There is a Harve Ray (sic), who would now be a man about 30. He went to school with George Curry (sic)and was raised at Sundance." Hadsell, of course, knew that Currie, a Canadian, landed first in Nebraska and didn't show up in Wyoming until sometime in 1887-1890, well past school age. Working from the Reward poster for Belle Fourche giving "Harve Ray"'s age as 42, I came up with Harvey G. Rae, born 1858 in Missouri. The 1870 Federal Census lists Harvey Ray at Flat Creek, Pettis County, Missouri. Pettis county neighbors Saline County.

Finally, I would direct you to Tom Horn's letter of January 15, 1900 to E. C. Harris. Both the Murray and Horn letters are in the Frank Hadsell files on microfiche at the Wyoming Cultural Resources Center in Cheyenne.

If you have a copy of Pointer just follow the index, paying particular attention to the Wilcox escape route.

I can't think of anything else right at the moment. If I do, I'll let you know right away.



1. hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused: a nebulous recollection of the meeting; a nebulous distinction between pride and conceit.
2. cloudy or cloudlike.
3. of or resembling a nebula or nebulae; nebular.


1 : lasting one day only 2 : lasting a very short time


R. L.:

I'm not sure if you intended to include me in the other 99.9 Foremost Authorities, but if you did, well, I'm afraid I'll have to decline. I really don't want the mantle of Foremost Authority draped on me. Foremost Authorities have gravitas and with the title and gravitas people expect Foremost Authorities to be right.

If a Foremost Authority is wrong about something he is expected to defend his error to the death because Foremost Authorities are always right and never wrong. Defending the indefensible puts a lot of stress on a guy, and quite frankly, I don't believe I could handle the pressure of being a Foremost Authority.

My goal is to perform as well as a stopped clock, which, of course, is right twice a day. When I have an unusually good day I'm right once that day. I never count the number of times I am wrong each day because I don't want to become depressed.

On the other hand, if you have the position of Foremost Authority on Lutefisk, and Lefsa with Lingonberries, then, sir, we really need to discuss the matter further.


1. hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused: a nebulous recollection of the meeting; a nebulous distinction between pride and conceit.
2. cloudy or cloudlike.

How did we get from Bill and Harry to Nancy Pelosi?

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