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Train Robbery

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In the evening of March 13, 1912, as passenger train number 109 pulled into Dryden, two men boarded it. One entered the engine and the other the passenger car. They were 'TRAIN ROBBERS.' The one in front took charge of the engine crew and ordered them to drive to Baxters Curve.

Here lies...The other one came to the baggage car bringing the brakeman with him and forced him at gun point to break the train in half. The passenger cars were left on the bridge, while the train robbers took the engine crew and Express Messenger (Doug Trousdale) and proceeded to a point one mile ahead where horses were waiting. Here the mail & express was robbed of about $60,000.

While the robber from the rear was gathering the loot and preparing to leave with it in a bag, the express messenger struck him on the head with an ice mallet, killing him. The one in the engine waited an hour for a signal, but it never came. He grew impatient and forced the engine crew to promise to keep the engine still while he investigated. He reached the baggage car and called out - no one answered. He looked inside and was shot by the Wells Fargo messenger who had used the gun belonging to the dead robber.

The robbers were Ben Kilpatrick and Ole "Frank" Holbeck.

Written Dorothy Marquart; image courtesy of Dorothy Marquart.

The information was taken from the book "Terrell County - Its past, its people" by Alice Downie.
Published by Terrell County Heritage Commission, Sanderson, TX 1978

Page updated: March 21, 2005