Road Trip: Coffeyville, KS

Coffeyville was the third stop on our day trip.  The only time I have been in Coffeyville was when a friend of mine from high school had a party at her parent’s house in Coffeyville. It stormed terribly that night, flash floods, lightning and torrential rain.  We were watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on my LaserDisc player.  It was after midnight, the doorbell rang.  We all kind of jumped.  It was our friend Alix. He had driven three hours through the storm to get to the party.  Was he insane?  Not really we were college aged, nothing scared us.

So back to the road trip.  

We will start with Coffeyville’s greatest claim to fame… the Dalton Gang’s Final Stand.  October 5, 1892 tries to match Jesse James’ famous move by robbing two banks in broad daylight.  The town fought back and when it was all over, Grat and Bob Dalton, Dick Broadwell, and Bill Powers were all dead.  The town marshal, Charles Connelly was also dead, along with Lucius Baldwin, George Cubine and Charles Brown.  Emmet Dalton survived being shot 23 times.  He would receive life in prison for the attempted robbery.  We walked through the alley reading the story of the Dalton-Doolin gang. 

At the end of the alley is the old prison.  This is the site where the famous picture of the infamous gang was taken.   If you look through the window there are mannequins posed to match the picture.  A box on the wall will play a narration of the events.  But it was way too loud and the speaker was in bad shape. 

Nearby is a small monument dedicated to Marshall Connelley. In the nearby square is another monument dedicated to the people that defended the city during the raid.

The town square is home to the Perkins building which was once the home of the Condon Bank.

A small monument is dedicated to the time President William Taft visited the city of Coffeyville in 1911.  According to the plaque more than 30,000 people listened to his speech.

Our next stop was another miniature Statue of Liberty.  The Coffeyville “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty.”  This one was somewhat unique as it’s crown was intact and it was painted white. You can learn more about the Coffeyville Liberty here.

Next stop the Walter Johnson memorial.  A baseball legend, Johnson played 21 seasons for the Washington Senators.  As a right handed pitcher he had 113 shutouts.

One last stop before we head north to Independence.  The Dalton Gang burial site is hidden towards the back of Elmwood Cemetery.  There are signs to direct you to the site.  The marker is for Bob and Grat Dalton plus Bill Power.  Dick Broadwell is buried in Hutchinson.  There is a metal pipe next to the grave. There are two stories: one it was thought to be the hitching post the gang used in death alley (but  picture from the day debunks that),the other notes it  was a piece of pipe found in death alley and used as a grave marker and a sign of disrespect.  For years it was the only marker on the grave.  Brother Emmet would purchase the gravestone.  Emmett served 14 years of his life sentence before being released from Lansing Prison.  He wrote two books about the Dalton Gang and died in 1937.

Just a short distance away is the grave of John W. Cubine, who invented the left and right cowboy boot.  I could not find the marker, but I still think it is worth noting his claim to fame.

Leave a Reply