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Daniel Buck
Re: Fred Dodge
Sun Aug 6, 2017 11:56

For what it's worth, Pinkerton Detective James McParland's opinion of Fred Dodge, from my 2016 post (below) at Old West Rogues. Dan


Wells Fargo detective Fred Dodge wrote the Pinkertons 6 March 1909, per a 22 March 1909 Pinkertons letter from Chicago manager E.S. Gaylor to Denver manager James McParland. Dodge asked for "a history of Butch Cassidy also a photo if you have one," which suggests that he didn't seem to know much about him nor have a photo.

In a 25 March 1909 letter to Gaylor, McParland wrote, "I have no use for a man who has lived on hot air the number of years that Captain Dodge has done." McParland's letter, three pages long, takes swipes at Dodge right and left, e.g. "Dodge "has a happy faculty of drawing on his imagination as to who possibly committed the crime and invariably accuses some three or four men who he cannot locate," and so on.

Of course, McParland's remark could as well apply to the Pinkertons. Dan

  • Fred DodgeJohn Boessenecker, Wed Aug 2 17:31
    Casey and I have discussed this issue many times during the past 20 plus years. I would love to be proven wrong. The problem for me is that Dodge makes so many false statements in his narrative --... more
    • Re: Fred Dodge — Daniel Buck, Sun Aug 6 11:56
    • Honest FredCasey Tefertiller, Fri Aug 4 16:21
      John, A problem I found with Dodge is one that is common with many folks. Dodge often repeats stories he was told and gives them far more credence than they merit. In other words, he sometimes... more
      • Honest Fred Dodge??John Boessenecker, Fri Aug 4 22:37
        There is no question that Dodge was a well known figure in Tombstone and friend of the Earp boys, etc. But by the time writers started contacting him in the 1920s he had a young son from his second... more
        • Interesting conceptCasey Tefertiller, Tue Aug 8 11:19
          John, Interesting concept. So, the theory is that Dodge was trying to cover up his entirely legal activities by telling a big whopper to Wyatt Earp, John Clum and Stuart Lake? That would not be good... more
          • Fred Dodge in TombstoneJohn Boessenecker, Tue Aug 8 21:05
            Fred Dodge was clearly in Tombstone as a gambler and was a friend of the Earps and lived through all those exciting events. There is no doubt about that. I just find it totally unbelievable that he... more
            • undercoverbfrey, Thu Aug 10 08:24
              The police use undercover people all the time, they are paid by the department for their info, so technically they could say they are employed by a specific agency. I think when Dodge began doing... more
            • The WF station is a comin', comin' Casey Tefertiller, Wed Aug 9 17:53
              John, Not sure why it would matter that the WF office had not yet opened. Wouldn’t you think that WF would want eyes in Cochise County before they would establish their office? That way they would... more
              • Wells FargoJohn Boessenecker, Wed Aug 9 18:23
                But there were way more stage robberies in California's Mother Lode country in 1879-1882 than ever took place in Southern Arizona during those years. And no one ever suggested that Wells Fargo... more
                • Thinking like ValentineCasey Tefertiller, Wed Aug 9 20:38
                  John, WF had “friends” and friendly law officers throughout the Motherlode. I read in this great book that Bob Paul was involved with WF long before his move to Arizona. By 1880, WF knew the area,... more
                  • Wells FargoJohn Boessenecker, Wed Aug 9 20:59
                    I agree that Wells Fargo was way more established in California than in Southern Arizona, and the company surely realized how important a mining center Tombstone was becoming in 1879, but it still... more
                    • Reading Valentine's mindCasey Tefertiller, Thu Aug 10 10:30
                      John, That is the key point. How can we read Valentine’s mind? How can we know what he was thinking? Because something is usually done in one certain way does not mean it is always done in that way.... more
        • Re: Honest Fred Dodge??Bob cash, Sat Aug 5 13:21
          That's an excellent surmise as to why Dodge might have wanted to appear as an undercover man for WF to his wife and son rather than a gambler. I find the same kind of thing in my research on Texas... more
          • Re: Honest Fred Dodge??Bob Cash, Sat Aug 5 13:32
            On further reflection, while I believe John Bossenecker's supposition that Fred Dodge, in the 1920's may have wanted his new wife and their son to believe he was a secreyt agent for WF in Tombstone... more
            • Fred Dodge Ranger applicationJohn Boessenecker, Sat Aug 5 14:06
              In Fred Dodge's Special Ranger application dated 1900, he states his experience as "20 years, Special Officer Wells Fargo & Co." This is technically true because of his posse duty for Wells Fargo in... more
    • Dodge's assertionsbfrey, Thu Aug 3 11:00
      Fred Dodge in his recollections has connected the dots to some of the Earp story in Tombstone, if his statements are truthful. The statements he makes does nothing to prop him up to be more important ... more
    • Re: Fred DodgeJim Dunham, Thu Aug 3 05:54
      Casey & John, Consider the possibility of a WWHA Roundup talk at Springfield, MO next July on "Fred Dodge: Wells Fargo or Not?" I would love to hear it. (Maybe we can even find some "Fake" Fred Dodge ... more
      • Fred DodgeRonald F. Woggon, Sun Aug 6 09:07
        Casey & John, I agree with Jim Dunham. The WWHA Roundup next year in Springfield, MO, would be a great place for you guys to share your thoughts on "WF Agent" Fred Dodge. Also, why not share your... more
      • Be careful what you wish forCasey Tefertiller, Fri Aug 4 16:28
        Jim, Be careful what you wish for. I think you have been around when John and I went on for hours. There was a time when John and I would visit Jack Burrows, and it would go on and on. I can envision ... more
        • Springfield RoundupRoy B Young, Thu Aug 10 14:32
          One or both of you fellows, send me a written (e-mail) proposal for Springfield and we'll give it every consideration for an evening session. Roy
        • Jack BurrowsJohn Boessenecker, Fri Aug 4 22:28
          And when Jack was 80 he could drink us both under the table!!
      • Thanks, Jimpaul j, Thu Aug 3 06:36
        I hope Casey and John seriously consider taking on a debate about Fred Dodge. I have questions about his Tombstone narrative that I would look forward to posing to either or both of these experts!
        • AgeeBob Paul, Thu Aug 3 09:20
          Paul j., good idea. I would also like some Jeffrey Burton perspective.
          • Burton's bookLarry Dean, Sat Aug 5 14:58
            As I recall Burton pretty well destroyed Dodge and proved that he was a prevaricator in his book, didn't he Bob Paul?
            • A little overstated, IMHO.Bob Paul, Sat Aug 5 17:22
              I don't think would have made such judgment. While I do have "a dog in this fight" through family history research---much of it original entries---I have concentrated more on period law enforcement... more
          • Understanding Kenny.....B.J., Thu Aug 3 16:51
            Hey y'all, I wouldn't take Kenny too seriously. He is actually a pretty good guy in person. At least I have never heard him insult others in person. Possibly there is a clinical rationale for that?... more
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