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Vince Garcia
Cute Logan anecdote
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:31pm

A few years previous to the opening of this story, at the time when I was on the line of promotion on the police force of St. Louis, I had a personal encounter with Logan.

At that time I had just captured Crafton Dreauxford, a most skillful counterfeiter, the one-time confederate of the notorious form of Poole & Martin, counterfeiters of United State bonds. I was deputized and provided with a warrant for the arrest of Logan for a recent robbery committed under aggravating circumstances.

This was at a time when Logan had not gained much celebrity. He was still “learning,” and even at that early period in his career, he had taken advantage of the Hole-in-the-Wall.

It was near the “Hole” country at a place called Pierce, to which point I thought I traced Logan, that I came across a quaint old sign in front of an old-fashion tavern, which read:


There were few houses in that part of the country, and, as I reined in my horse to read the sign, I was filled with delight.

The sun had just disappeared behind the hills, and the shadows of night were creeping up from the darker recesses of the ravines. Each rock and shadow as I rode along seemed to conceal a bandit, and no wonder I gave vent to a sigh of relief when I beheld the roadside inn.

I sprang from my somewhat jaded steed, tethered him to the hitch-rack, and entered the front door, which opened into a barroom.

In the babble of noise, created by the quarrelsome gamesters and maudlin inebriates, my entrance was unnoticed.

I glanced quickly and searchingly about the room. The smoke-clouded atmosphere concealed the quiver of satisfaction and interest as my eyes rested at three men seated at a table nearby--so near that my arm almost brushed the back of one who sat on a stool watching the others play a game of poker.

Fate or chance--call it what you will--had brought me face to face with the redoubtable Harvey Logan, for he it was who sat so intently watching the others playing poker.

I was aroused from my astonishment from the bartender demanding, in a rough voice:

“What d’ye want?”

“I want lodging for myself and horse,” I replied.

I soon had my supper and a bait for my horse.

The next morning, before entering the kitchen where the table was set for breakfast, Harvey Logan, who had entered in the meantime, approached me with a warrant in his hand.

“I have a warrant for your arrest,” he said, addressing himself to me, “and I demand your assistance,” he added, turning solemnly to the proprietor.

Then he read the paper over solemnly, and picture my surprise when he read the very warrant I had thought safe in my pocket!

I made for my pistol, but they too had been abstracted.

“Seize him, Tom,” he said to the landlord. “That man is Harvey Logan, the notorious outlaw, who, as an officer of the Law, I’m commissioned by this warrant to arrest on sight,”

“I am not the man,” I expostulated, “and the arrest warrant has been stolen from my possession since I came here--and you are the man, Harvey Logan, whose apprehension it directs!”

Of course, my words were received with a sneer.

“It is time this farce ended,” said Logan, drawing a pistol, and, adding, with a stern glance at the host, “I’ve asked you to assist me in the name of the Law. Get a rope and tie his hands. Meantime, Mr. Harvey Logan, I’ll keep you quiet with this, tapping his revolver in a significant ,manner.

The landlord brought some rope and I was securely bound.

“Now bring his horse,” ordered Logan.

The order was obeyed, and I was hoisted into the saddle, after which my feet were fastened by a stout cord passed under the animal's body.

My captor next relieved me of my money. He paid the landlord’s bill and pocketed the balance. Mounting his own steed, which stood at the door, and taking mine by the rein, he hurried off at a brisk trot up the road.

A little later, after my eyes had been securely bandaged, so that my chance of taking bearings had been prevented, I left it to Logan to speak first.

“Don’t you think it a little cheeky,” he finally asked, “for you to come out here in Hole-in-the-wall country beard the lion in his den?”

“But for the unfair advantage you took of me,” I replied, with irritation, “I don’t think you’d have much to boast about.”

“Unfair advantage,” he returned with a laugh, “there’s nothing unfair in a game like this. I saw you enter the house and at once ‘spotted’ you as a detective. This morning, seeing where you hung your coat, I ventured on a little private investigation, resulting in your being my prisoner instead of I being yours. However, have no fear, you will only be kept under close guard for the present--until myself and friends--for whom this ‘Hole’ country is getting rather warm, have completed our arrangements for making a getaway. After we’ve made a fair start, you’ll be sent your way rejoicing or otherwise, depending on how you behave yourself.”

I was conducted to Logan's stronghold in a particular section of “Hole-in-the-Wall,” where I remained for a week.

When I regained my liberty, the man I wanted had vanished as completely as if the earth had opened and swallowed him. I never succeeded in capturing him.

As I have said, it remained for a couple of Tennessee boys to nab the notorious Logan during his wanderings to Knoxville.

Being of a sporting disposition, he entered a pool game with a couple of men. He flashed a big roll, and the men with whom he was playing attacked him and tried to get the money. They beat him with a billiard cue and he used a gun on them.

About that time Logan was crazy with the thought of arrest and imprisonment, and when he saw all that good money slipping away from him, he began to get the best of the fight. Finally, two big policemen, who had been attracted by the noise of the fight, came in and tried to arrest him.

Logan shot both policemen, made his escape from the police by the rear door, and landed in a creek. He was half dead from the beating he had received, but he was game, and determined to get away.

Logan knew they would have dogs on him within an hour, and, despite the freezing temperature, he walked in the creek bed for several miles to throw the dogs off the scent.

Then going east, he tried to make a getaway. All the country was watching for him, however, and at Jefferson City, Tennessee, a posse, led by the boys I have mentioned, found Logan hiding in a ravine.

The boys, Al Rhoton and “Humpy” McElveen--both of whom later became well-known baseball professionals--were in front of other members of the posse.

Before their fellow townsmen knew what was happening, they had the drop on Logan, who was numb from the cold, suffering from injuries received in the fight, and without ammunition for his revolver.

About $10,000 of the $50,000 stolen from the express company in the train robbery was found in Logan’s suitcase in a railway station.

That ended the hunt for Logan, but it didn’t end Logan’s career. He was put in jail in Knoxville, and he and his friends spend thousands and thousands of dollars to effect his release.

After many Court procedures he was found guilty of about a half dozen charges--shooting officers with intent to kill and bringing stolen money into the state being among them--and was sentenced to 99 years in the penitentiary.

It looked pretty bad for Logan, but he kept on thinking and planning. He appealed to another court.

No one knew just how it happened, but one morning Logan had broken jail at Knoxville, and was said to be on his way to Chicago. Of course, no one knew which way he was heading, but he was on his way at any rate.

It appears he secured a long piece of wire which he thrust through the bars of his cage and lassoed a shoe box into which the jail guard kept his revolver.

With the pistol hidden in his clothes, Logan called the guard and asked him for as drink of water. The guard complied and handed the tin of water through the bars of the cage.

Logan caught the guard’s hand and covered him with the pistol.

Before the guard was aware, Logan had tied him to the grating of the cell. Then Logan got the jailer’s keys and went out the back door of the jail and into the Sheriff’s stable in the rear.

We detectives looked for Logan in Chicago until our eyes gave out, but, so far he never came this way. Logan decided to hide for a time and then vanish.

It wasn’t long after he made his escape from the Knoxville jail that the newspapers began to chronicle train robberies in Logan’s old district, and no one who knew Logan doubted that he was in his old diggings, operating with the same old nerve.

Personally, I may hazard the deduction he is there now--perhaps very near the vicinity in which I had the “pleasure” of making his acquaintance at the time he successfully circumvented me. I draw this conclusion from the fact that every once in a while I see a record of a robbery which bears his marks.
--account by a Chicago detective, 1912.

    • Re: Cute Logan anecdoteDaniel Buck, Sat Nov 11 11:06am
      Vince, Would it be possible, when you post something like this, to give a citation? Where & when was it published. Dan
      • Re: Cute Logan anecdoteVince Garcia, Sat Nov 11 11:34am
        i could but i didn't because i wanted to know if anyone was paying attention...
        • Re: Cute Logan anecdoteDaniel Buck, Sat Nov 11 11:44am
          Vince, ??? So do it now. Dan
          • Washington DC Post, Jan 21, 1912. (nm)Vince Garcia, Sat Nov 11 11:51am
            • Re: Washington DC Post, Jan 21, 1912. Daniel Buck, Sat Nov 11 1:35pm
              Vince, Thanks. That is one strange tale, "Bandit Captured the Sleuth: Detective Who Had Run the Notorious Harvey Logan to Earth Had Thrilling Experience." No byline, but reprinted from the Railroad... more
              • Re: Washington DC Post, Jan 21, 1912. Vince Garcia, Sat Nov 11 5:17pm
                no no--not after wagner. He says it was before logan was famous, and it seems to be for something Logan did in St louis. My best guess is that would date it to 1896 when there is some anecdotal... more
                • Re: Washington DC Post, Jan 21, 1912. Daniel Buck, Sat Nov 11 6:11pm
                  Vince, You are correct. I misread it. In the second column, after introducing Harvey Logan as a famous bandit he goes back in time, to a "few years previous to the opening of this story." That's as... more
      • I found a FORT Pierce, WyVince Garcia, Sat Nov 11 10:54am
        Or it could have been an unincorporated place like Navalencia, where my grandmother lived. Small township never on any map but it existed 30 miles or so east of here. I dunno otherwise
        • NopePat, Sat Nov 11 12:27pm
          Ft Pierce is in Florida. Not in Wyoming. There is nothing with this name in or near the HIW. It was made up story.
          • Re: NopeVince Garcia, Sat Nov 11 5:14pm
            Well, I I found a newspaper references to it from 1908. Maybe a misprint or not. But I won't argue over it. Not a big issue to me
            • Vince Pat, Sat Nov 11 6:28pm
              What you found was Fort Pierce in Wyoming County, Florida.
              • Re: Vince Vince Garcia, Sun Nov 12 2:06am
                The word "county" wasn't there. "Joe Smith from Fort Pierce, Wy, returned home today..." That's how it was written. But I'm done with this
                • Re: Vince Vince Garcia, Sun Nov 12 2:23am
                  That's a paraphrase, not precise wording, but it makes the point of how it was written, No word or anything that would imply Florida. Not my job to explain why if you're right
                  • Re: Vince Daniel Buck, Sun Nov 12 7:51am
                    Vince, The unnamed detective said that he encountered Logan "near the 'Hole' country, at a place called Pierce." Given that this is a "just so," story, we probably need to get too caught up in... more
      • Pierce (nm)Pat, Sat Nov 11 10:35am
    • Great find Vince. Good story. (nm)Mark, Sat Nov 11 7:21am
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