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Bonnie and Clyde Posse: Hinton, Oakley, Alcorn and Jordan

posse

(Image credit: Corsicana Daily Sun)

Front row: Bob Alcorn, Henderson Jordan and Frank Hamer, back row: Ted Hinton, Prentiss (not Presley) Oakley and B.M. “Maney” Gault

The Associated Press headline read “Two Former Rangers and Deputies Trail Couple to Hideout – Desperadoes Die Without Firing Shot.”  Special Texas Ranger Frank Hamer was quoted as saying, “The job is done.”

Robert Franklin Alcorn was known as “Fitz” or “Bob” and was born August 14, 1897 in Dallas to William T. and Linnie Hobbs Alcorn.  When Bob was born, his father’s occupation was listed as farmer.  By the time Bob was twelve, his father’s occupation was shown to be a wagon driver for an oil company.  The family was living on Grand Avenue on the East side of Dallas.  Bob was raised in Dallas and graduated from the old Bryan High School.  By 1920, Bob had married the former Elizabeth Norma Whitlow.

Alcorn joined the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department in 1925 and was serving as a deputy when he was assigned to the group of law officers that stopped Bonnie and Clyde on May 23, 1934 in Louisiana.  Bob eventually retired from the Sheriff’s Department.  He died of a heart attack at Baylor Hospital on May 23, 1964, on the thirtieth anniversary of the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde.  At the time of his death, Bob was serving as a bailiff for Dallas County and was living on Mt. Auburn Avenue, about two blocks from Tennison Golf Course on East Grand.  He is buried in Grove Hill Cemetery, not far from there.  A few days before he passed away, Alcorn had given an interview about the event.  He was quoted in a newspaper article as saying, “When the shooting stopped, I jumped down to look in the car.  Somebody started shooting again and I had to shout to stop him.  Bonnie was slumped over the seat with a 45-caliber pistol on her lap.  Barrow also was dead.”

Louisiana Sheriff Henderson Jordan was born October 11, 1896 to James Rogers and Viola Bailey Jordan in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.  He was the oldest of eleven children.  According to the Federal Census records, the Jordans were farmers and later stock dealers while Henderson was growing up.  He served in World War I with the 83rd Infantry.  In late 1922, he married the former Annie Lesba Gloer and the couple had two children.  At the time of his marriage, Jordan was serving as a deputy sheriff in Bienville Parish under Sheriff J. E. Currie who had served as Sheriff since 1908.  Jordan was elected to succeed Currie in 1932.

Jordan is said to be the person who learned from Ivy Methvin that the Barrow Gang was planning to rob the First National Bank of Arcadia and relayed the information to the FBI.  He was the senior Louisiana officer who was part of the ambush posse.  There are some reports that Jordan had expressed regret that the officers were not able to arrest the outlaws Barrow and Parker.

Jordan later addressed a rumor that the gang had buried some of their stolen money on the Methvin farm, dispelling the rumor.  He said that just over five hundred dollars was found in Barrow’s clothing after the shootings and that these funds were turned over to Barrow’s father Henry when he came to retrieve the outlaw’s remains.  A newspaper article about a month after the shootings said that neither Jordan nor the other Louisiana officer, Prentiss Oakley, had applied for any part of the reward that had been offered for the apprehension of the Barrow gang leaders.  For a time, Jordan and Bienville Parish held on to the so-called death car, but it was eventually returned to the Warren family from whom it had been stolen after the Warrens reimbursed the Parish for storage charges.

On June 13, 1958, Sheriff Jordan was killed in a late night head-on collision on Highway 80 in Choudrant, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana.  Jordan was alone in his vehicle and is believed to have been killed instantly.  The occupants of the other vehicle included several members of a vacationing Shreveport family named Fullilove, two of whom were also killed.  The accident was investigated by the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department and the Louisiana State Police.  No explanation was offered for the cause of the crash and speed were estimated to be at or near the legal speed limit.  Jordan was buried two days later in Arcadia Cemetery, Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Jordan was succeeded as sheriff of Bienville Parish by former deputy Prentiss Oakley.

Prentiss Morel Oakley was born in 1905 in Louisiana to Edward and Effie Mae Swint Oakley.  Less is known about Prentiss Oakley than any of the four.  His family was a farming family as of 1910 and Prentiss was the oldest of at least six children.  As of the 1930 census, Prentiss had married, but apparently had not yet begun to work in law enforcement.  After Jordan retired, Prentiss remained in law enforcement and succeeded Sheriff Jordan in that position.  Oakley served as sheriff until 1952 when he announced that he would not seek reelection.  He died of cardiovascular disease in 1957.  In a 1990 interview, his brother Homer said that both Prentiss and Sheriff Jordan were deeply affected by the Barrow ambush.  In the same article, another resident said, referring to Jordan and Oakley, “They were never the same.”  Oakley was buried in the Arcadia, Louisiana cemetery.

Ted Cass Hinton was one of the younger deputies working under Dallas County Sheriff “Smoot” Schmid when the assignment came to help track down Bonnie and Clyde.  Ted Hinton was possibly born October 5, 1904 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (some records say Dallas, Texas) to Luke and Jessie Cass Hinton.  Ted’s grandparents had moved to Bosque County, Texas from Tennessee and were farmers.  Ted appears to be the only child of the union of Luke and Jessie before the couple divorced prior to 1910.  Ted remained with his mother when she moved to Dallas.  According to the 1920 census, Ted and Jessie lived on Wall Street, in or near The Cedars, an area just east of downtown.  Ted was working as a messenger and Jennie was working as a clerk for a telegraph company.

In a newspaper interview a few years before he died, Ted said that he had been working at the post office when he took the job as deputy sheriff under “Smoot” Schmid.  Ted was assigned to the Barrow case along with fellow deputy Bob Alcorn.  Ted had personally known Clyde Barrow when he was younger and become acquainted with his family along the way.  Ted participated in the previous unsuccessful attempt to capture Barrow and Parker on November 22, 1933 in what is now Grapevine, Texas.

Hinton remained with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department until 1939 when he took a position as a deputy United States Marshal still working out of Dallas.  He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and after the war operated a trucking company and owned a motel in Irving.  Ted passed away on October 27, 1977 at the age of seventy-three.  He is buried at Sparkman-Hillcrest Cemetery in Dallas.

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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.

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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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Hoodoo War

The Hoodoo War was the common name for the Mason County War, which took place in the middle 1870s in the area and arose over the killing and rustling of cattle.  This was typified by attacks from vigilantes wearing masks to conceal their identities and to generate terror.  These vigilantes essentially took the law into their own hands in an effort to defend against the alleged perpetrators.

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Posted by on August 1, 2019 in outlaws and crimes, texas rangers

 

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