Lawmen & Outlaws
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SLAUGHTER KID AND JIM FRENCH SHOT DOWN WHILE RAIDING A STORE
Submitted by: Mollie Stehno
|SLAUGHTER KID AND JIM FRENCH SHOT DOWN WHILE RAIDING A STORE|
|The Cherokee Advocate|
|February 6, 1895|
February 8, 1895-The Cherokee Advocate-Claremore, I. T. February 7-Last night Jim French and Slaughter Kid undertook to rob the general merchandize store of W. E. Patton, at Catoosa, about twelve miles south of here. The bandits were recognized as they rode into town. They dismounted before the store of W. E. Patton, when a Texas cowboy from within opened fire on them, instantly killing Slaughter Kid with his second shot. He fired a third shot at Jim French but missed. Having no more cartridges, he secreted his revolver. French entered the store, and accused the cowboy of killing his partner in crime, but the cowboy protested that he had no gun hence he was not the one. French turned and shot manager Irwin chief clerk of the store, through the body. Irwin drew a revolver and returned the fire shooting French through the body and through the right eye. French managed to reach his horse and mounting, rode to a house a short distance away. The man informed the town officers of French's whereabouts and a crowd assembled to capture the dying bandit, who, hearing them approaching, raised up and look out of the window, and at that instant received a load of buckshot in the face, almost tearing his head off. Mr. Irwin's death is expected hourly, as the Winchester ball ploughed through his body from side to side, just below the waist. The death of these two outlaws entirely wipes out the Cook gang; with the exception of Bill Doolin.
Jim French is a half-breed Cherokee, his mother being a white woman. He showed few traces of his Indian blood. He graduated with honors at the Male Seminary at Tahlequah, and his conduct was irreproachable while at school. He learned the saddler's trade: Several years ago, in an altercation, he killed a Negro at Fort Gibson. From that time on he stole horses and sold whiskey until after the big Indian payment, when he joined Bill Cook. He is implicated in the Red Fork, Chouteau, Carroll and Pryor Creek train robberies, and also in the holdups at Lenapah, Watonga, Fort Gibson (three times) and Checotah. These robberies following one after another so rapidly, often two in the same week, seem like fiction, but now the Territory has been ridden of this gang.
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