Jerry, Jeff Dunbar and as well William "Mike" Dunbar, reportedly his brother, who might have been linked to the Winnamucca holdup, are mentioned briefly in Ernst (2009), Burton (2012). Patterson (1998), etc.
Jeff Dunbar seems to have first made his mark, using the word "mark" loosely, in 1887, when he was "acquitted of the charge of shooting" in Sheridan, Wyoming, though fined for carrying "a concealed deadly weapon." He upped the ante in 1892, when he killed a man in a bar room brawl in Casper, Wyoming. He was tried for murder & acquitted.
In 1894, he stole $15 in a Silverton, Colorado, faro game, and relieved at gun point a fellow sporting man of $200 at "Mid's Hell," a Fort Duchesne, Utah, gambling den. (His accomplice in the latter crime, one William Hughes, was killed the following year in yet another bar room fight.)
In the mid-1890s, Dunbar was said to be terrorizing the citizens of Dixon, Wyoming. (Will Kane must have been out of town.) Both Jeff and his brother were in the saloon business there. From the tone of the articles, Jeff Dunbar was one mean drunk.
In 1897, the same year he marries and settles in Dixon, Jeff Dunbar's name surfaces in the national press, Boston Globe, November 5, 1897, as an associate of Butch Cassidy. The story is accompanied by a sketch an Alfred E. Neuman looking Butch Cassidy. From there on out, Dunbar enjoys a brief national notoriety as a mass murderer and leader of a gang of upwards of 500 outlaws.
In July 1898, a drunk and ornery Dunbar is shot dead in a bar room fight in Dixon.
Best I can tell: Notches on Dunbar's gun, 1; total take from his crimes, $215.
Jack Stroud undoubtedly can tell us more, as well as correct the errors in my account. Dan
PS Most of the above info from the usual digitized newspaper vaults.
Jack, Thanks for posting this article. I wish there was more of this kind of post on the subject on this board and less childish sniping. If this article is legit and credible it seems to imply that... more
Jerry & Dan, The Jeff Dunbar articles were probably all penned by Willis George Emerson, who was known for sensationalizing. I’ve heard a lot of stories about Jeff Dunbar, none were positive. As far... more
August 1897 George R. Caldwell correspondent of the Denver News wrote Bandits of the Border. Similar versions same article, November 1897 The Idaho Daily Statesman, Organized Highwaymen Terrorize... more
Thanks, Jack. Helpful information. Willis George Emerson rewriting George R. Caldwell sounds like Baron von Munchausen borrowing from Marco Polo. By the way, I ran Emerson's name thru a two more... more
Jack, Thanks, good summary. I'd forgotten about Emerson. His byline, "Willis George Emerson, Grand Encampment, Wyo, Aug. 6, 1898," is barely readable on a splotchy, microfilm copy of his August 7,... more
William “Mid” Nichols saloon partner of John “Jack” Ryan Baggs, Wyoming. Vernal Express 1894-08-16 Sheriff Geo. Searle received a telephone message from Fort Duchesne, Tuesday morning stating that... more
THE CARBON COUNTY JOURNAL SATURADAY JULY 30, 1898 DIED WITH HIS BOOTS ON. Jeff Dunbar Falls From Bullets Fired By Jim Davis. DIXON THE BLOODY SCENE. Davis Full of Wounds But Will Probably Recover --- ... more
Thanks, Jack. By the way, years later, December 23, 1915, the Encampment Record ran a short recollection on Dunbar and Davis, describing Dunbar as a "noted highwayman" who along with "his associates... more
He got his rep the same way Butch did. The propaganda machine in WY.Wy Stock Growers, RR, Pinks and yellow journalists. Not to mention Col Jay L Torrey who had a personal vendetta. Here is a story... more