Lawmen & Outlaws
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William "Bill" Doolin

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The Notorious Outlaw Run Down at Last
All Hail To Deputy Tilghman
Captured at Eureka Springs Yesterday End of a Year's Chase-Marshal Nix's Determined Stand-Bound to Bring Him to Justice-Lived at Barden, Kansas, for Months-Found at Last and Very Quickly Nabbed
Transcribed by: Mollie Stehno

January 16. 1896-The Oklahoma Leader-Eureka Springs, Ark. Jan 5, '95-U. S. Marshal Nix, Guthrie, Ok.
I have him. Will be there tomorrow.
The above dispatch received by United States marshal Nix at 5 o'clock last evening looks very commonplace and would ordinarily attract little attention, but when it is known that the "him" mentioned in the dispatch is Bill Doolin the outlaw, the dispatch becomes one of interest to every citizen of Oklahoma; for Bill Doolin was the last of the territory outlaws, a race of men who knew no fear, recognizing no law and ready at all times to fight, rob, kill or run as the occasion might require but never ready to give up unless death claimed them as his own or an officer had an unqualified drop on them. With Doolin gone the last vestige of a one-time reign of terror passes away and bank officer's breath easier, trains and the traveling public are at rest and officers feel that much of the vocation is gone.
Quick Time
Doolin was undoubtedly taken peaceable, as the dispatch makes no mention of trouble and Deputy Marshal Tilghman must have found him and fitted the bracelets in short order after his arrival at the Springs, for it was only Tuesday evening at 5 o'clock that he left here-less than 24 hours before the receipt of the dispatch announcing the capture
Glad News To all
Marshal Nix felt greatly rejoiced over the receipt of the news as well he might be, for the capture was just the climax of a continuously unsuccessful campaign against outlawry, inaugurated at the time of his advent into the marshal's office.
A long line of Doolin's competitors had preceded him to the grave or the prison cell and now most fittingly does he come last and greatest to fall.
A Long Search
Ever since Doolin stopped his active depredations a year ago and attempted to seek seclusion and Marshal Nix has been hot after him.
Every possible clue was run down, every rumor investigated and again and again was the most trusted deputies sent upon long journeys in quest of clues or information. At no time was there any cessation of vigilance and no expense was spared. Mr. Nix having expended well up toward $2,000 of his own money in carrying on the search
On The Trail
Several months ago Bill Tilghman, one of the most active deputies camped on the outlaws trail with the determination of running him down. Previous to this he had been heard of first in Texas, then in the Indian Territory, then at some remote point in Oklahoma, only, however, to disappear before he could be definitely and positively located. Tilghman inaugurated a hunt and went at the affair in a systematic and thorough manner, ably backed and liberally supplied with funds by his chief.
Located At Last
Finally he struck a clue in the movements of the members of the family of Doolin's wife and after following their covered wagon in a weary trip over most of Oklahoma and sage nation, finally brought up at Barden, Kansas, several week ago, where Doolin was staying with his wife and child.
The Outlaw At Home
He was living in a tent pitched near a fine spring a short distance from town and had been there for fully three months. Mrs. Doolin had been sick and the relatives whom Tilghman and his assistants had followed so long had come to visit them and care for the sick woman.
Doolin would drive into the little town of Barden every day with a dilapidated old team and wagon dressed in ragged clothes and looking the typical played out Oklahoma farmer, which he pretended to be.
He gave the name of Thomas Wilson and affected poverty somewhat and on one occasion about the Christmas season a number of the charitable ladies of Barden went about soliciting and raised a purse of money and a goodly supply of provisions for that poor suffern' family out there in the tent and presented them to the astonished Mrs. Doolin one day.
Disappears Again
It took deputy Tilghman sometime to finally locate his man and when he got his preparations all made and was about to swoop down on him, the crafty outlaw seemed to scent danger in the air and one night picked up and left, tent, wagon, baby, wife and all, gone slick and clean and no clues of any kind left behind.
After a number of days spent in fruitless search Tilghman again got a clue and at once followed it up with vigor. Several times he thought he had his man located, but each time his theories proved false.
Found At Last
Finally he got on the right track and with the help of Marshal Nix and all the influence of the office to bear on the case succeed in locating Doolin in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Sunday last. Making sure that everything was right and armed with the necessary papers, Tilghman left here Tuesday evening at 5 o'clock and arrived in Eureka Spring 10:31 yesterday morning.
The dispatch given at the head of this article tells the tale of what followed as far as it is known here.
Doolin was one of the most notorious outlaws of the present decade, no man since the most palmy days of Jesse James's career having attained so great a notoriety or so long eluded capture.
For six or eight years he has been a terror to a large scope of country and though often pressed close and several time wounded he has managed to remain free until all his comrades and competitors of crime had been gather in. For months he has been alone, however, with no one to aid or back him, hunted on every side and with certain or death awaiting him. He felt that Marshal Nix's determined efforts could have but one result and tried in vain to extricate himself. Three times during the past six months has he communicated with the marshal and with attorneys offering to surrender if promised immunity to the extent of being allowed to plead guilty to some charge of robbery and given a short penitentiary sentence, but his offer was rejected.
"He had laid low three of my best men," said Marshal Nix, when approached by Doolin's attorney, "I propose to capture him and make him pay the penalty of his crimes."
This was all the answer he would give and each time the efforts to locate the hiding outlaw were redoubled until success came at last.
Doolin has been mixed up in all manor of crime; bank robbery, train robber, highway robber, arson and murder.
Several times he has robbed both Santa Fe and Rock Island trains, the bank at Caney, Kansas and several in the Territory he robbed and he was with Bill Dalton on his last Texas bank raid, also with Wyatt in that wild flight through western Oklahoma when inoffensive settlers were slaughtered. The most noted of his escapes however, was the Ingalls battle when three brave deputy marshals were slain. This is the crime for which he will first be tired. The rewards offered by railway companies, territory and the United States aggregate nearly $5,000, which will go to the valiant deputy Tilghman leaving him quite a nest egg after he pays his expenses and his assistants.
He will arrive at 12:30 today with his prisoner and will be greeted at the depot of hundreds of citizens serious to catch a glimpse of this king of outlaws who has been so long eluding the clutches of the officers of the law.

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Updated: Wednesday, 06-Aug-2008 06:46:46 CDT

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