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Law Officers Killed by the Barrow Gang: Henry D. Humphrey (Victim Number 5)

The fifth law officer to be killed by the Barrow Gang was Town Marshal Henry D. Humphrey on June 22, 1933.  On July 30, 1933, the Sedalia (Missouri) Democrat and Capital ran an Associated Press article that began as follows, “Hubert Bleigh, 26, alias Herbert Blythe, of Tulsa, faced murder charges at Van Buren, Ark, five miles from here, tonight after he was brought to Van Buren by Sheriff Albert Maxey of Crawford County, from Oklahoma City.  Bleigh waived extradition.”  Bleigh was charged with the slaying of town marshal Henry G. Humphrey of Alma, Arkansas on the night of June 23, 1933.

The incident began on the night of June 22, 1933 when Marshal Humphrey was walking his beat.  As he passed outside the Commercial Bank Building in Alma, he was captured by two men who tied him up with baling wire, stole his handgun and flashlight and broke into the bank to steal the safe.  The burglary of the bank resulted in the theft of a large safe, later recovered intact with all the money still inside.  The identity of the two burglars was never known.

The following day, Marshal Humphrey took a call reporting a grocery store that had been robbed in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  A vehicle had been stolen and they were given the description and license number.  At the time, Humphrey was with Deputy Sheriff Ansel Salyers of Crawford County, Arkansas.  The two officers left in the deputy’s car for the scene of the accident.  As they neared the location, a Ford sedan passed them in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed.  A few moments later they heard the sound of a wreck over the crest of a just hill behind them.  The officers turned around and headed for the wreck.

When they arrived, they realized that the Ford matched the description of the stolen vehicle in the Fort Smith robbery.  The officers blocked the road with Salyer’s car and got out with their weapons drawn.  Humphrey was using a borrowed revolver, his own weapon having been stolen the night before during the bank job.  Right away, Humphrey was shot in the chest with a shotgun.  The shooter was later assumed to be Buck Barrow.  Before Buck passed away in Iowa on July 21, 1933 from wounds he received in a gunfight in Dexfield Park, Iowa, Buck had confessed to a sheriff that he and another man (at the  time, presumed to be Bleigh) had shot and killed the marshal on the rural road out of  Alma.  It was determined that Clyde Barrow was not with them at the time of the Arkansas incident.  Clyde had been spotted in another state around the time that the shooting occurred.

The incident played out with the two outlaws escaping after more gunfire was exchanged.  They took Salyer’s vehicle and left the scene.  Marshal Humphrey was transported to St. Johns Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  He survived several days before finally succumbing to his wounds on June 26, 1933.  The suspect Bleigh was given a preliminary hearing on August 10, 1933.  Eventually it was determined that it was not Bleigh who was one of the shooters, but rather was W. D. Jones who may have also used Bleigh’s name as an alias from time to time.  Blanche Barrow is said to have also given the authorities the name of Hubert Blythe or Bleigh rather than to name Jones as the other shooter.  Also, Bleigh is said to have somewhat resembled Jones.  While Bleigh was not tried for the murder of Humphrey, he was eventually tried for other crimes.  It is unclear whether Bleigh had ever been closely associated with the Barrow Gang, but one would assume so, since they knew his name.

Humphrey’s service revolver was not found, but his borrowed weapon was located with the Barrow Gang’s materials after they left Dexfield Park in the later incident.  Jones would later state that it was the deceased Buck Barrow who actually killed Humphrey, so at this point, the various accounts conflict.

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(Image credit: Findagrave.com)

Marshal Humphrey was born in 1882, making him 51 years old at the time of his death.  He was a farmer and handyman in Alma and had just been elected city marshal of the town on May 1, 1933, a few weeks before he was killed.  Marshal Humphrey was survived by his wife and children and was buried in Alma City Cemetery in Alma, Arkansas.

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Posted by on October 17, 2019 in bonnie and clyde, outlaws and crimes

 

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Frank Buck

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(Image credit – findagrave.com)

Frank Howard Buck was born March 17, 1884 in Gainesville, Texas to Howard Dewitt and Ada J. Sites Buck.  By the time Frank was a teenager, his parents had moved to Dallas, Texas.  He attended school through the seventh grade and was not considered to be a particularly good student, perhaps because he had many other varied interests.  As a young adult he held a number of different jobs, including working as a cowboy.  He also is said to have traveled as a hobo for a while.  Buck moved to Chicago and began working at a hotel around 1900.  There he met and married his first wife, Lillie West, some 29 years his senior.

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Posted by on October 10, 2019 in biography

 

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Doc Goodnight and the Goodnight Gang

The Goodnight Gang was a name given to a group of outlaws operating in East and Central Texas headed up by William E. “Doc” Goodnight.  Members of the group included Goodnight, Hugh Merrick, J. R. Willis and J. H. Johnson according to various newspaper accounts.  They were by reputation robbers and the crimes mostly attributed to them involved the theft of cash from local individuals.  There was a legend that William E. Goodnight was somehow related to rancher Charles Goodnight of North Texas, but we can find no obvious connection after looking into Charles Goodnight’s extended family.  Perhaps coincidentally, Charles Goodnight had a number of relatives in Illinois and the State of Illinois appears to also figure into Doc Goodnight’s early history.

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Posted by on October 3, 2019 in outlaws and crimes, unsolved mystery

 

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Lt. Col. William E. Dyess

Lt. Col. William Edward “Ed” Dyess was born August 9, 1916 to Richard T. Dyess, a judge, and Hallie Graham-Dyess in Albany, Texas.  Dyess grew up working on the family farm and also held a number of odd jobs.  He was a Boy Scout, but had trouble attending meetings while he was also working.  The story is told of him that one week, a carnival had performed in Albany about the same time as he brought home a poor report card from school.  He is said to have told his parents that it was all right, he was going to join the carnival anyway when he got older.

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Posted by on September 26, 2019 in aviation, biography, world war 2

 

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Why Are The Karankawa Indians Remembered as Savage Cannibals?

By Tim Seiter

In 1767, Fray Gaspar José de Solís toured the faltering missions of Texas. When he visited the mission of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which the Spanish built to convert the Karankawa Indians to Christianity, he wrote a lengthy report on their cannibalism in his journal: “Dancing and leaping and with sharp knives in their hands, they draw near to the victim, cut off a piece of their flesh, come to the fire and half roast it, and, within sight of the victim himself devour it most ravenously.”[1] Despite captivating readers for generations, Padre Solís’s account of the Karankawas’ cannibalism has a major problem—it is almost certainly fictitious. Although the Karankawas did, in fact, practice a rare exo-cannibalism, this disgruntled priest likely fabricated an exaggerated version of the custom. He has tarnished the image of the Karankawas for the past two-hundred and fifty years. This article explains why Fray Solis’s account, a source utilized by numerous scholars, should be used selectively and with caution.

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Posted by on September 24, 2019 in tribes and tribal leaders

 

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Ann Miller

Ann Miller was the stage name of Johnnie Lucille Collier, born April 12, 1923 in Chireno, Nacogdoches County, Texas.  Her father was John A. Collier, a criminal defense lawyer known for representing clients such as Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and the Barrow Gang. Her mother was the former Clara Emma Birdwell.  As a young girl, Johnnie suffered from rickets and took dance classes to help strengthen her legs.  She also studied piano and violin.  The family moved to Houston, Texas where she lived until she was nine years old.  Eventually her parents divorced and she moved with her mother to Los Angeles.

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Posted by on September 19, 2019 in biography, entertainers, texas women

 

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Law Officers Killed By The Barrow Gang: Moore, Davis, McGinnis and Harryman (Victims 1 Through 4)

The Barrow Gang is reported to have been involved in the deaths of a total of nine law officers during the two year period that they were at large.  This post concerns the first four individuals and we hope to cover the remainder of them as time permits.

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Posted by on September 12, 2019 in bonnie and clyde

 

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