Bill Dalton (co-leader of the Wild Bunch)

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Bill Dalton (co-leader of the Wild Bunch)'s Geni Profile

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About Bill Dalton (co-leader of the Wild Bunch)

William M. Dalton, called Bill Dalton, (1866–June 8, 1894, age 27–28) was an Old West outlaw, co-leader of the Wild Bunch gang which was also called the Doolin-Dalton gang, and was a brother to those forming the Dalton Gang.

Bill Dalton was born William Marion Dalton, in Kansas. For a time, he was one of the two success stories of the Dalton family, for a time being a member of the California legislature. His older brother Frank Dalton was a highly respected Deputy US Marshal. However, by 1890 he was tired of politics, and joined his brothers in a train robbery outside Los Angeles, California. He and his brother Grat Dalton were captured, but later escaped. When his brothers were killed in the infamous 1892 raid on Coffeyville, Kansas, Dalton moved to Oklahoma, where he met Bill Doolin, and the two formed their own gang. They called the gang by two names, the Doolin Dalton Gang and the Oklahombres, but it became best known as the Wild Bunch.

Bill Dalton became obsessed with becoming more famous than his brothers, and he and Doolin went to great efforts to see that happen. For three years they committed bank robbery, stagecoach robbery, and train robbery in various places around Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas. On September 1, 1893, they were trailed to Ingalls, Oklahoma and became involved in the Battle of Ingalls, during which he shot and killed Deputy US Marshal Lafeyette Shadley. Bill Dalton decided to leave the Doolin Dalton gang and form his own Dalton Gang. On May 23, 1894, Dalton and his new gang robbed the First National Bank at Longview, Texas. This was the only job by the gang. Various posses would kill three of the members and send the last one to life in prison. On June 8th, 1894, a posse tracked Dalton to his home in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He leaped from a window with a pistol in his hand and charged the posse, ignoring orders to halt; the posse opened fire, killing him. His wife identified his body, and had him shipped back to California for burial.

The song Doolin Dalton, a hit for the Eagles, was inspired by the gang.

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Bill Dalton (co-leader of the Wild Bunch)'s Timeline

Cass Co., Missouri
June 8, 1894
Age 29
Ardmore, Oklahoma