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Category Archives: outlaws and crimes

Bonnie Parker’s Family

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Runnels County, Texas to Charles Robert Parker and the former Emma Krause. She was the third child born to Charles Robert and Emma. The first was a brother named Coley who was born and died in 1905, possibly of sudden infant death syndrome, while the couple was living in Young, Freestone County, Texas. Coley’s burial place is unknown.

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Frank James in Texas

Former bank robber Frank James lived in Dallas, Texas for a while. In an Associated Press newspaper article out of Dallas in The Indiana Gazette issue of April 26, 1957, it was reported that James’ former personal barber, an African American by the name of Johnny Dickson, had died at the age of 89. Dickson had said that James was a regular customer at his Dallas shop. A barber since the age of 14, when he started cutting hair, Dickson had to stand on a box or a stool to see the top of his customers’ heads. Dickson had come to Dallas in 1887 and began working at the Bird Cage Barber Shop. The barber shop got its name for the two caged canaries that were kept inside and sang for customers. Dickson said that Frank James would ride up to the shop on a handsome sorrel horse and just drop the reins, trusting the mount to wait for him. Dickson added that James was usually quiet and did not have much to say.

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Posted by on December 9, 2020 in biography, outlaws and crimes

 

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King Fisher, Outlaw and Lawman

John King Fisher was born in what is now Collin County in 1854 to Jobe Fisher and and the former Lucinda Warren who died when King was two years old. Jobe remarried Minerva Coffee in 1855 and she helped raise King and his brother and the three children born to her and Jobe. Minerva died in 1868 and Jobe followed her in death two years later in 1870, both in the Goliad, Texas area. In the 1870 census, King was 17 years old and was listed as living with a Anna Damron Fisher, his grandmother who was 70 years old, along with several of his siblings.

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Posted by on November 19, 2020 in biography, outlaws and crimes

 

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Charles Ponzi and His Connection to Texas

People may recognize the word Ponzi as part of the term “Ponzi Scheme” but may not know where it originates. Charles Ponzi was born Carlos Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi on March 3, 1882 in Lugo, Italy. Ponzi would say that his family once had a lot of money, but by the time he was born, they had fallen on hard times. For a while he worked as a postal worker, but was able to get accepted into University of Rome in Sapienza, though after four years, he had no funds and no degree. At that time Italians were emigrating to the United States sending back stories of a wealthy country where one could become financially successful. Ponzi decided to seek his fortune in America, arriving at Ellis Island with $2.50 in his pocket, he said.

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Posted by on November 5, 2020 in biography, outlaws and crimes

 

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The Younger Brothers

(Image credit: findagrave.com)

The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri) issue of June 20, 1897 carried the headline, “The Younger Brothers May Be Pardoned” and recounted events leading up  to their incarceration.  A Minnesota governor was said to be considering a pardon of Jim and Cole Younger for time served.  Some twenty-one years earlier, the James – Younger Gang had attempted to  rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota on September 7, 1876.  The Youngers (Jim, Cole and Bob) and their associates, Frank and Jesse James, along with four other individuals (Bill Stiles, Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts and Bill Chadwell (a/k/a Stiles)) had planned to meet to attempt to rob the bank.  They rode in and began the bank robbery with Jesse, Cole, and Pitts going inside the building and the other five standing guard outside.  The outlaws were discovered and citizens began to fire on them.  Cole was shot in the hip, Bob was shot in the elbow and Jim took a round to the jaw.  Miller and Chadwell/Stiles were killed outright along with one civilian, believed to have been shot by Cole, and one employee of the bank.  Pitts, Frank and Jesse were also wounded.  A posse caught up with the Youngers, the James and Pitts.  Frank and Jesse escaped, the Youngers were captured and Pitts was killed.  The Youngers pled guilty to the bank robbery attempt in order to avoid being executed.

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Posted by on September 17, 2020 in biography, civil war, outlaws and crimes

 

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