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He Rode with Butch and Sundance

The Story of Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan

Mark T. Smokov

Publication Year: 2012

Pinned down by a posse, the wounded outlaw’s companions urged him to escape through the gulch. “Don’t wait for me,” he replied, “I’m all in and might as well end it right here.” Placing his revolver to his right temple, he pulled the trigger for the last time, thus ending the life of the notorious “Kid Curry” of the Wild Bunch. It is long past time for the publication of a well-researched, definitive biography of the infamous western outlaw Harvey Alexander Logan, better known by his alias Kid Curry. In Wyoming he became involved in rustling and eventually graduated to bank and train robbing as a member—and soon leader—of the Wild Bunch. The core members of the gang came to be Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, George “Flatnose” Currie, Elzy Lay, Ben “the Tall Texan” Kilpatrick, Will Carver, and Kid Curry. Kid Curry has been portrayed as a cold-blooded killer, without any compassion or conscience and possessed of limited intelligence. Curry indeed was a dangerous man with a violent temperament, which was aggravated by alcoholic drink. However, Smokov shows that Curry’s record of kills is highly exaggerated, and that he was not the blood-thirsty killer as many have claimed. Mark Smokov has researched extensively in areas significant to Curry’s story and corrects the many false statements that have been written about him in the past. Curry was a cunning outlaw who planned and executed robberies on par with anything Butch Cassidy is reported to have pulled off. Smokov contends that Curry was the actual train robbing leader of the Wild Bunch—there is no concrete evidence that Cassidy ever robbed a train. He also presents new evidence that is virtually conclusive in resolving whether or not Curry was the “unknown bandit” who was killed after robbing a train near Parachute, Colorado, in 1904.

Published by: University of North Texas Press

He Rode with Butch and Sundance : The Story of Harvey (Kid Curry)

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Map - The West of the Wild Bunch - Late 1890's

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He Rode with Butch and Sundance by Mark T. Smokov

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Copyright Page

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Dedication

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

Harvey Logan, better known by his alias, “Kid Curry,” has generally been portrayed as a cold-blooded killer, without any compassion or conscience, possessed of limited intelligence. The 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid depicts Cassidy outsmarting a huge dull-witted Harvey Logan in a knife fight...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

It would be impossible for me to recall and thank every person and institution that contributed information in the writing of this book. However, this does not mean that I appreciate all of their help and efforts any less. A short list of a few that have impressed themselves on my mind should suffice for my intents and purposes. In no...

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1. Family Matters

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pp. 1-4

Harvey Alexander Logan was born to William Henry Neville and Eliza Jane (Johnson) Logan in Richland Township, Tama County, Iowa (not Rowan County, Kentucky, as written by some) in 1867, according to 1870 U.S. census records.¹ The Logan ancestors have been traced back to Harvey’s great-grandparents James and...

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2. Cowboys in Montana

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pp. 5-16

Whether they came up the trails from Kansas City, Missouri, a starting point for the Westward Movement, or by trailing a herd from Texas, to New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming, the brothers were in north-central Montana Territory by early fall of 1884.¹ It is really just conjecture as to the route they took, since...

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3. The Man from Pike County, MO

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pp. 17-30

Powell “Pike” Landusky and family owned a ranch on Rock Creek a few miles from the Curry brothers’ ranch. His nickname was derived from the county he hailed from in Missouri. Landusky, of Polish- French descent, was a lanky six feet tall with exceptionally long arms. His nearly 200-pound frame possessed...

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4. Pay Back

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pp. 31-35

There was a light snowfall the morning of December 27, 1894, and the cold was keeping several men inside the Clothing Store and Saloon run by Jake Harris. Harris’ left leg had been amputated close to the hip after a gun battle with City Marshal George Treat of Great Falls in November 1891.¹ He used a shotgun for a crutch...

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5. Hiding Out and Future Associates

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pp. 36-48

The Kid had many friends all over northeastern Montana who were loyal to him and he could turn to for help. In fact, in order to grubstake his departure from the Little Rockies, the Coburns of the Circle C bought Kid Curry’s cattle and his 4T brand, and delivered the money to the hideaway.¹ Curry may have been...

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6. Kid Curry Loses Another Brother

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pp. 49-52

Little Rockies pioneer Charles W. Duvall wrote that the four Curry brothers had each homesteaded their own piece of land. “The Curry ranches extended from the east boundary of the Tressler ranch down Rock Creek which swung south, just east of the Tressler homestead. As 160 acres was all one could homestead at that time...

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7. Brave Billy Deane Dies

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pp. 53-58

The killing of Johnson County Deputy Sheriff William “Billy” Deane was called murder by many people, but at least one called it self-defense. “Bill Deane was a hired assassin,” wrote May (or Mae) Gardner, “shooting at the Curry gang at every chance… He was as coldblooded a murderer as Tom Horn. It was kill...

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8. Belle Fourche Fiasco

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pp. 59-66

The Castle Gate exploit was sensationalized in many newspapers of the time, and the Hole-in-the-Wall contingent was duly impressed with Butch Cassidy’s handling of the robbery. Reasoning that they should be able to do just as well as a Mormon cowboy, they decided to rob a bank. Their first choice was the bank...

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9. Red Lodge and Capture

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pp. 67-71

It is not certain whether the Belle Fourche bank robbers were in the Hole-in-the-Wall when the famous fight occurred there between the rustlers and some invading cattlemen on July 22, 1897. The latter party consisted of twelve men, which included two Montana livestock inspectors, and was there to round up all the...

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10. Deadwood and Escape

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pp. 72-77

The Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times of September 30, 1897, reported the robbers’ arrival. Although Kid Curry and the Sundance Kid had given their names as Tom and Frank Jones in Billings, and also at their arraignment in Deadwood, the newspaper referred to them parenthetically as “the notorious Roberts...

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11. Various Endeavors

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pp. 78-91

The tri-state area, which included Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, was experiencing increasing activity from rustlers who found sanctuary in hideouts such as Robbers Roost, Brown’s Hole, Powder Springs, and Hole-in-the-Wall. Owing to the rising price of cattle, the problem became so great, it was reported...

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12. Train Robbers Syndicate

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pp. 92-113

In March 1899, the trio reunited at Brown’s Hole and again traveled to northern Nevada, ending up in Elko.¹ They checked into Johnny Craig’s rooming house under the names Frank Bozeman, John Hunter, and Joe Stewart. For about a week they frequented the saloons along Railroad Street, flourishing large...

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13. Finis of the Ketchum Gang

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pp. 114-119

About early May 1899, during the time Kid Curry was preparing for his strike at the Union Pacific near Wilcox, Elzy Lay gave notice to manager William French of his intention to quit his horse-breaking job at the WS Ranch near Alma, New Mexico.¹ He was going to join Sam Ketchum and Will Carver in Cimarron for their...

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14. The Law Closes In

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pp. 120-133

A reward poster issued by the Union Pacific Railroad and Pacific Express companies, dated January 12, 1900, and a Pinkerton National Detective Agency poster dated February 23, 1900, stated there was “satisfactory evidence” and it had been “definitely ascertained” that three of the robbers were Kid Curry, his brother...

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15. Arizona Rampage

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pp. 134-142

The Pinkerton’s Denver office sent detective Frank Murray to Alma in about early March to investigate some Wilcox money that had been deposited in the Silver City bank by the storekeeper in Alma. Murray, who was later promoted to the assistant superintendent of the Denver office, came to the WS and questioned...

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16. Death of the Rustler King

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pp. 143-150

Flatnose George Currie did not accompany Sundance and Kid Curry to southern Colorado after the Wilcox train robbery, but it was too risky to remain in the area of Hole-in-the-Wall. By December 1899 he was rustling cattle in the Green River country of Utah, and had thrown in with rustler Tom Dilley. While working for...

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17. The Tipton Train Robbery

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pp. 151-165

In August 1900, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were sighted in the region of Baggs and Dixon, Wyoming.¹ They and other Wild Bunch members had many friends among the residents in the Little Snake River Valley area of southern Wyoming and northern Colorado. These included Mike Dunbar, John...

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18. Hiding in Plain Sight

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pp. 166-184

Will Carver may have been in a hurry to get to Texas because he wanted to see his girlfriend, Laura Bullion, whom he had promised to marry. Laura was born in Washington County, Arkansas, in October 1876. When her father died in 1881, Laura’s mother moved her three children to their maternal...

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19. Robbery of the Great Northern

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pp. 185-200

On April 26, 1901, while Kid Curry and Ben Kilpatrick were making their way north, Tom Ketchum literally lost his head in a botched hanging in Clayton, New Mexico, for the crime of train robbery. Four days later, April 30, Orlando Camillo “Deaf Charley” Hanks, alias Charles Jones, was released from the...

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20. Winters’ End

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pp. 201-207

Kid Curry and his cohorts most likely hid out in the badlands between the Little Rockies and the Missouri River until the majority of manhunters left the area after mid-July 1901. This would have been the most opportune time for Curry to leave his hideaway for a visit to his friend Jim Thornhill and Jim’s...

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21. Caught in the Act

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pp. 208-222

Kid Curry didn’t waste any time getting to Mena, Arkansas, to meet his girlfriend Annie Rogers. The short time they were there, they rented a frame house using the names Mr. and Mrs. Bob Nevilles. On September 18 they left for Shreveport, Louisiana, registering for a week’s stay at the Serwich Hotel. Their hurried...

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22. Kid Curry Captured

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pp. 223-235

Kid Curry continued to travel through the South, hiding out for a time in late November 1901 in the Unaka Mountains, a rugged region where western North Carolina’s border meets southeastern Tennessee. He was accompanied by a native of the area named Sam Adkins (or Atkins), who was wanted for murder...

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23. Reward and Jurisdiction Squabbles

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pp. 236-246

On the train that carried Curry to Knoxville, W. B. Carey and Walter Padgett, with their attorney Frank Parks (or Park), struck up a deal with Lieutenant McIntyre concerning the reward. They agreed that the men of the Jefferson City posse would split the reward with McIntyre and the other three policemen. When...

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24. A Violent Affray at Flo’s

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pp. 247-256

After his miraculous escape from Nashville authorities in late October 1901, Orlando Camillo Hanks headed to his native state of Texas. On the way, he stopped long enough in Little Rock, Arkansas, to buy a pair of spectacles. Hanks was probably the mysterious visitor that Fannie Porter received in her room one...

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25. “Manny a Vote He Would Lose”

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pp. 257-264

Jim Thornhill received several letters from Curry’s attorneys over the next few weeks. The September term of court was approaching, and they were insisting on payment for their fees. Thornhill, angered at being continually badgered for money, wrote Reuben Cates telling “him to keep his shirt on as he was dealing...

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26. “He’s gone!”

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pp. 265-277

Ever since his capture, Curry had been planning and preparing for the eventuality of his escape. The first night, as he gripped the bars of his cell, he was alert to every move that went on in the jail. The following day, he asked for a special brand of shoes and socks made of materials that could aid an...

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27. Back in the West

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pp. 278-285

A westbound Great Northern train was stopped by three men near Malta, Montana, on August 28, 1903. The bandits were frustrated in their holdup attempt when guards on the train prevented them from boarding the engine. Giving it up as a bad job, they rode away toward the Bear Paw Mountains. The railroad said it was...

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28. Parachute

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pp. 286-296

The first week of June 1904 found three men, obviously not used to hard labor, working on sections 8 and 9 between Parachute and DeBeque, Colorado, for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Hired under the names J. H. Ross, Charles Stubbs, and John Emmerling, they worked just a few...

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29. Kid Curry in His Grave?

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pp. 297-311

A great crowd came to view Curry’s body when it arrived at Glenwood Springs Thursday evening, June 9, 1904. Several people recognized the dead man, including Globe Express Company agent Otto Barton. It was the same man who gave his name as J. H. Ross on Tuesday morning, and asked to have his...

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30. South American “Sightings”

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pp. 312-322

Lowell Spence’s statement is true in that there were never any more official sightings of Kid Curry, at least nothing that could be proven, after the suicide in Colorado. But many people could not accept the fact that the infamous outlaw was gone, and continued to attribute later bank robberies to the...

End Notes

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pp. 323-409

Bibliography

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pp. 410-421

Index

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pp. 422-440


E-ISBN-13: 9781574414769
Print-ISBN-13: 9781574414707

Page Count: 464
Illustrations: 50 b&w illus. 1 map.
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: A. C. Greene Series

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Subject Headings

  • Logan, Harvey, ca. 1867-ca. 1910.
  • Outlaws -- West (U.S.) -- Biography.
  • Train robberies -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.
  • Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.).
  • Crime -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.
  • West (U.S.) -- Biography.
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