WHS Class of 73

Search This Blog

August 26, 2016

"Hoodoo Brown" Hyman G. Neill, Hopped a Train Behind 130 West Pine St to become the "Leader of the Dodge City Gang" Outlaw & Mayor of Las Vegas, New Mexico

Hoodoo Brown aka Hyman Neill 
Lived in Warrensburg, MO for a spell....working at the Standard-Herald newspaper office on West Pine street.


The Baddest Cowboy of them All......

His father was MAJOR HENRY NEILL Link who was born in Lee county, Virginia, April 8, 1828, and was the son of Stephen T. Neill, who was born and raised in the same county. His grandfather was of Revolutionary fame and his father in the War of 1812. His father moved to Missouri in 1837, settling in Lafayette grandfather was of revolutionary fame, and his father in the war of Henry was the third son of five brothers. Entered school at Sweet county. Was an extensive farmer and raiser of hemp. He died in 1861. afterward read law under Judge Ryland, of Lexington. After the war, in Spring when 19 years of age and remained two years. Went to clerking, afterward licensed by Judge McGoffey; continuing the practice up to this 1867, he commenced the practice of law, having been admitted to the bar of Johnson county, under Judge Conklin, of common pleas court, was Elliott, a prominent railroad man. She died in 1870, leaving three time. Was city attorney three terms, dating from 1874. Was married in 1853 to Miss F. Elliott, of Fayette, Howard county, daughter N.G. children: H.G., Anna, now Mrs. Todhunter, of Lafayette county, and son and daughter by this marriage: Harry and Lydia. Major and wife have Steven T. His second marriage was in 1872, to Mrs. Pennock, of Allegany City, Pennsylvania, a brother of whom is now mayor of that city. Has been members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church for 27 years. The which he lives. Major is quite jocularly inclined, and well esteemed in the community in which he lives. (Warrensburg, MO).H.G. Neill, Hyman Neill
Hoodoo Brown was a man from (Lexington, then later Warrensburg Missouri) who had left home on a freight train as a teenager (from the back side of the Standard Herald Newspaper (ink and rag building) at 130 West Pine Street in Warrensburg, Missouri. He led an adventurous life and was among other things, a buffalo hunter, gambler, con-artist and conjure-man. Following what seems to have been a mostly good time running an opera company in Mexico with a friend, he drifted to the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. He soon ruled the place, already notorious as the most lawless in the West. By 1879, by means natural and/or supernatural but none of them honest, Hoodoo was Justice of the Peace, Mayor and Coroner of the place.
He recruited the baddest of the bad and soon commanded a formidable band of outlaws who enforced law and committed crimes as they saw fit. The group, known as the Dodge City Gang, included men with some of the most colorful names in the West like "Mysterious Dave Mather" and "Dirty Dave" Rudebaugh. Acting as Hoodoo's Coroner’s Jury, they decided which murders, including ones they committed, were homicide and which self-defense. Rudebaugh later rode with Billy the Kid and is said to have been the only man he ever feared. Other gang member, Joshua Webb, owned a saloon with Doc Holiday at one time and rode with Bat Masterson.
They were obviously and rampantly corrupt. Not only that, but at least one of them turned to the 'black arts' when the broad range of other methods at his disposal failed. Hoodoo's trickery must have been fairly successful and fairly frequent, considering his nickname.
Ultimately, the gang was run out of town. Hoodoo left for Houston but was arrested and jailed upon arrival for the robbery and killing of a Vegas deputy. The deputy's widow came to see him soon after his arrest. "The meeting between the pair is said to have been affecting in the extreme, and rather more affectionate than would be expected under the circumstances." (Parsons Sun)
Another newspaper, the Parsons Eclipse, added "The offense committed at Las Vegas, as near as we can gather the facts relating to it, was murder and robbery, and the circumstances connected with the arrest here would indicate that the lesser crime of seduction and adultery was connected with it."
Hoodoo hired two local attorneys and was released. The Chicago Times soon reported, that Brown and the widow who had visited him "have been skylarking through some of the interior towns of Kansas ever since."
Descendants say the pair had one son and moved to Torreon, Mexico. When he died, relatives brought his son and his body back to Missouri.

Hyman G. Neill, better known as Hoodoo Brown, hailed from a good family Lexington, Missouri. A traditional southern family, Neill's father came from Lee County, Virginia in the 1830s. In Lexington, he practiced law and would have joined the confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil War; however, he said that he could not disavow his oath to support the Constitution and fought with the Union, eventually becoming a major. Due to this choice and his wife's death, he moved his family to Warrensburg, Missouri after the war. As a teenager, Hoodoo worked as a printer's devil on the Standard Herald newspaper in Warrensburg until one day, having been dispatched to get rags needed for printing, he jumped on a freight train going by the back door of the office,
Hoodoo Brown, Hyman Neill Hopped a Train from behind this building
and became the leader of the Dodge City Gang...West Pine Street,Warrensburg, MO
Hyman G. Neill AKA Hoodoo Brown Hopped a Freight Train out the back door of this building that contained the ink and rags for the Standard Herald Newspaper. circa 1867. stating he was leaving "to get your darn rags." and never came back.........He later became the leader of the Dodge City Gang, Terrorizing the West and his gang ran Las Vegas, New Mexico.
This building was a barbershop during the temperance movement years and was targeted by activists because it sold a lot of "hair tonic". But local resident at the time, Carrie A. Nation never axed since it was technically not a saloon. This was told by Professor Frank Moriarity, whose family owed the building from the early 1900's until about 1979. 

In 1872 he was hunting buffalo and hauling lumber from Russell, Kansas to Dodge City. Described as a tall, thin, with light hair, a small mustache, and a rakish look, he was also known to be a small-time gambler and confidence man. Before long, he drifted on to Colorado where he worked in the silver mines with a friend, then took off for Mexico where they formed a rag tag opera company for the edification of the villagers.
By the time that Hoodoo arrived in Las Vegas, New Mexico the town was quickly earning a reputation as a lawless place, filled with outlaws, bunko artists, murderers and thieves. In 1879, supported by other recent immigrants to the town, he was elected as Justice of the Peace for East Las Vegas. Also serving as coroner and mayor, he soon gathered several former gunfighters from Kansas a formed a police force. These new "peace officers,” called the Dodge City Gang, began to police new arrivals on the railroad. However, the members were actually as lawless as those they "policed.” The Dodge City Gang included J.J. Webbas the town marshal, "Mysterious Dave Mather," Joe Carson, and "Dirty Dave" Rudebaugh, among others.
From 1879 through 1880, Hoodoo would lead his "gang” in stagecoach and train robberies, murder, thievery, and municipal corruption. As Coroner, Hoodoo installed his gang on the "Coroner’s Jury,” which made the determination as to whether a killing was a homicide or self-defense, which became a convenient tool for covering up their crimes. 
By March, 1880, an article in the Chicago Times described Brown as "one of the worst class of low gamblers.” By the summer of 1880, Las Vegas had had enough, assembled a party of vigilantes and eventually drove Brown and the rest of his gang from the state. Hoodoo was said to have stolen money from a dead man before moving on to Houston, Texas. However, shortly after he arrived he was arrested and jailed. While, he was there he was visited by the widow of a former Las Vegas deputy who had been killed two months earlier.
The Parsons Sun reported, "The meeting between the pair is said to have been affecting in the extreme, and rather more affectionate than would be expected under the circumstances."
Another newspaper, the Parsons Eclipse, added "The offense committed at Las Vegas, as near as we can gather the facts relating to it, was murder and robbery, and the circumstances connected with the arrest here would indicate that the lesser crime of seduction and adultery was connected with it."
In the meantime, Hoodoo hired two local attorneys and was released when the Texas authorities were unable to establish charges against him. The Chicago Times soon reported, that Brown and the widow who had visited him "have been skylarking through some of the interior towns of Kansas ever since."


Hoodoo Brown, Town Marshal, Alamos, NM 1883 as reported by the Boston Globe
According to reports from a Hoodoo descendent, Hyman G. Neill died in Torreon, Mexico, where he left a common law wife and a son. Two of his brothers traveled to Mexico and brought back Hoodoo's remains, as well as his son, who was raised in Lexington, Missouri. Hoodoo was buried in the family plot in Lexington under the name of Henry G Neill.
Records list a Mrs. Hoodoo Brown living in Leadville, Colorado some years later. According to reports, Elizabeth Brown was a hard drinker and a well-known practitioner of the black arts. She was also said to have married a gambler named Hoodoo Brown, who was shot and killed in a gambling dispute. Was this Hoodoo's common law wife? We shall never know. 
"Hoodoo Brown" Hyman G. Neill, (Henry) Buried Lexington, Missouri 

Reports from a descendant of Hyman G. Neill indicate that Hoodoo died in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico, where he left a common-law wife and a son. Two of Hoodoo's brothers brought back his remains to Lexington. His son was also brought there, and was raised. Hoodoo Brown was buried at his family plot in Lexington under the name Henry G. Neill. (picture disputes otherwise)

Years later, records listed a woman named Elizabeth Brown who was living in Leadville, Colorado. A heavy drinker, she claimed to have been married to a gambler named Hoodoo Brown, who was shot and killed in a gambling dispute. She may have been Hoodoo's common law wife, but this was never proven.

Old West Outlaws: Hoodoo Brown


The Dodge City Gang, Lead by Hoodoo Brown aka Hyman Neill

Hoodoo Brown was a man from Missouri named Hyman Neill who had left home on a frieght train as a teenager. He led an adventureous life and was among other things, a buffalo hunter, gambler, con-artist and conjure-man. 

Following what seems to have been a mostly good time running an opera company in Mexico with a friend, he drifted to the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. He soon ruled the place, already notorious as the most lawless in the West. By 1879, by means natural and/or supernatural but none of them honest, Hoodoo was Justice of the Peace, Mayor and Coroner of the place. 

He recruited the baddest of the bad and soon commanded a formidable band of outlaws who enforced law and committed crimes as they saw fit. The group, known as the Dodge City Gang, included men with some of the most colorful names in the West like "Mysterious Dave Mather" and "Dirty Dave" Rudebaugh. Acting as Hoodoo's Coroner’s Jury, they decided which murders, including ones they committed, were homicide and which self-defense. Rudebaugh later rode with Billy the Kid and is said to have been the only man he ever feared. Other gang member, Joshua Webb, owned a saloon with Doc Holiday at one time and rode with Bat Masterson. 

They were obviously and rampantly corrupt. Not only that, but at least one of them turned to the 'black arts' when the broad range of other methods at his disposal failed. Hoodoo's trickery must have been fairly successful and fairly frequent, considering his nickname. 

Ultimately, the gang was run out of town. Hoodoo left for Houston but was arrested and jailed upon arrival for the robbery and killing of a Vegas deputy. The deputy's widow came to see him soon after his arrest. "The meeting between the pair is said to have been affecting in the extreme, and rather more affectionate than would be expected under the circumstances." (Parsons Sun) 

Another newspaper, the Parsons Eclipse, added "The offense committed at Las Vegas, as near as we can gather the facts relating to it, was murder and robbery, and the circumstances connected with the arrest here would indicate that the lesser crime of seduction and adultery was connected with it." 

Hoodoo hired two local attorneys and was released. The Chicago Times soon reported, that Brown and the widow who had visited him "have been skylarking through some of the interior towns of Kansas ever since." 

Descendants say the pair had one son and moved to Torreon, Mexico. When he died, relatives brought his son and his body back to Missouri.

MAJOR HENRY NEILL, was born in Lee county, Virginia, April 8, 1828, and was the son of Stephen T. Neill, who was born and raised in the same county. His grandfather was of revolutionary fame, and his father in the war of 1812. His father moved to Missouri in 1837, settling in Lafayette county. Was an extensive farmer and raiser of hemp. He died in 1861. Henry was the third son of five brothers. Entered school at Sweet Spring when 19 years of age and remained two years. Went to clerking, afterward read law under Judge Ryland, of Lexington. After the war, in 1867, he commenced the practice of law, having been admitted to the bar of Johnson county, under Judge Conklin, of common pleas court, was afterward licensed by Judge McGoffey; continuing the practice up to this time. Was city attorney three terms, dating from 1874. Was married in 1853 to Miss F. Elliott, of Fayette, Howard county, daughter N.G. Elliott, a prominent railroad man. She died in 1870, leaving three children: H.G., Anna, now Mrs. Todhunter, of Lafayette county, and Steven T. His second marriage was in 1872, to Mrs. Pennock, of Allegany City, Pennsylvania, a brother of whom is now mayor of that city. Has a son and daughter by this marriage: Harry and Lydia. Major and wife have been members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church for 27 years. The major is quite jocularly inclined, and well esteemed in the community in which he lives. 

Mary Dalton FULKERSON....27 Jul 1803 - 1 Apr 1871, b. in Patrick Co., VA, d. in Warrensburg, MO, m. Stephen Thomas NEILL, a brother of Rebecca NEILL who married Isaac FULKERSON

Major Henry Alexander NEILL....born in 1828 in Lee Co., VA. By profession an attorney, he led the Union force that pursued Quantrill after the raid on Lawrence, Kansas. Among Quantrill's "Confederate" raiders were three sons and a son-in-law of his first cousin, Virginia Fulkerson BERRY. After the war he was an attorney in Warrensburg, Johnson Co., MO, where his next-door neighbor was attorney (and former Confederate general) Francis Marion COCKRELL. Both are buried (in adjacent family plots) at the Sunset Hill Cemetery in Warrensburg. One of our Fulkerson cousins also reports this interesting information: "Mary Dalton Fulkerson, who married Stephen Neill of Lexington, had a grandson named Hyman Graham Neill. He was working as a teenager about 1880's and was sent to get rags, used then in print shops. He jumped on a train going behind the building (West Pine Street in Warrensburg, Missouri) and yelled : "I'm going to Tipton to get yer darned rags! Went to Colorado, worked in silver mines, then went to Mexico with a friend. They worked up a rag-tag opera company and toured Mexican villages. Must have been a dandy show. He later was a guide for journalist Charles Dudley Warner. 

At one time, he did something spectacular for Maximilian and was given a little bag of precious stones, which my grandmother, Lydia Neill, had. He went by the name of Santiago Graham, had a Mexican wife and son, died in 1910 and his uncles in Lexington went down to bring his body home for burial. In the late 1970's, I wrote the newspaper in Torreon to see if any info on the son. Got a lovely letter from a professor at the University of Chicago who told me 'I remember the gallant, dashing Santiago Graham..and Kathleen. you are getting quite close' ." 

HOWEVER, some of that story may have been just "the good stuff" told about Mr. Neill, and "Santiago Graham" was probably just one of his ALIASES. Kansas and New Mexico histories record that Hyman Graham Neill was better known as "Hoodoo Brown" - leader of the Dodge City Gang involved in stagecoach and train robberies, various murders and municipal corruption. From 1879 to 1881, Hoodoo led this gang while simultaneously serving as Mayor, Justice of the Peace and Coroner at Las Vegas, New Mexico. [The last-listed public office is seemingly insignificant. As Coroner, Hoodoo installed his gang on the "coroner's jury" - which made the determination whether a killing was homicide or self-defense. This became a convenient tool for covering up their crimes]

The Las Vegas community assembled a party of vigilantes and eventually drove Hoodoo and his gang from the state. Hoodoo went to Houston, Texas, where he was arrested and jailed. A newspaper, the Parsons Sun, reported he was visited by a recently-widowed young lady from Las Vegas and "The meeting between the pair is said to have been affecting in the extreme, and rather more affectionate than would be expected under the circumstances." Another newspaper, the Parsons Eclipse added, "The offense committed at Las Vegas, as near as we can gather the facts relating to it, was murder and robbery, and the circumstances connected with the arrest here would indicate that the lesser crime of seduction and adultery was connected with it." He was released when Texas authorities were unable to establish charges against him. The Chicago Times, writing of the affair in Las Vegas, said that the Justice of the Peace and the widow "have been skylarking through some of the interior towns of Kansas ever since." Records of Summit Co., Colorado, list a "Mrs. Hoodoo Brown" among its early residents. One of his Dodge City gang members, "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh, rode with Billy the Kid. Another, J.J. Webb, rode with Sheriff Bat Masterson in posses organized at Dodge City in 1877 and 1878. The first posse unsuccessfully chased the Sam Bass gang - whose members included Hoodoo's cousin Jim Berry - but the second captured a band of outlaws that included "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh. 

The Outlaw "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh 




“Dirty Dave” Rudabaugh was born in Fulton County, Illinois in July of 1854 with the surname Rodenbaugh. Historians and writers have referred to him as “Dirty Dave,” claiming he got the moniker because he seldom bathed. But, it’s questionable if he ever actually used the name. In any case, it’s nothing to raise a stink about.
Rudabaugh was a notorious cattle rustler, stagecoach and train robber during the 1870s and 80s. He was known to have ridden with the infamous “Billy the Kid” and some say, the only man Billy ever feared.

Not much is known about his early years except his father was killed in the Civil War and the family moved several times between Illinois, Ohio and Kansas. Some researchers believe Rudabaugh left Ohio in 1870 or 71 because he participated in a train robbery there.

Others hold his outlaw career began about 1873 when he joined up with Mysterious Dave Mather and others along the Arkansas and Texas border that were rustling cattle and robbing stages. But when the law got on their trail the gang split up. Rudabaugh headed for the Black Hills where he continued robbing stage coaches.

It was around 1876 when Dave drifted into Dodge City. There he found two other shady characters, Mike Roarke and Dan Dement. They formed a gang which became known as “the Trio.” The three specialized in holdups and cattle rustling.

Within a short time three others teamed up with them and the group became known as the "Rudabaugh-Roarke Gang." The gang decided to expand their operations to include train robbing. This apparently wasn’t their specialty. They bungled their first attempt in January 1878 at Kinsley, Kansas and were forced to flee empty handed. The following day a small posse headed by famed lawman Bat Masterson captured Rudabaugh and another gang member. The rest of the gang was soon rounded up as well.

Dave might not have been a good train robber but he wasn’t stupid. In order to avoid prosecution he snitched on the other gang members, telling who did what to whom. He walked away a free man. He later signed on as a hired gun in the Royal Gorge War.

The Royal Gorge Railroad War was a historic event lasting about two years between the Denver and Rio Grande, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads. Since only one railroad could lay tracks through the narrow gorge a battle ensued over who would get the rights.

It was then Dave ran into John J. Webb, a man who had been in the posse that had captured him earlier. However, now they became fast friends and following the rail war in July of 1879, the pair moved on to Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory.

Dirty Dave, had always been a crook and he wasn’t about to go legit now. He and Webb hooked up with another group of bad guys called the Dodge City Gang.http://jy3502.hubpages.com/hub/-Hoodoo-Browns-Dodge-City-Gang This gang of rogues who were more or less running the town had to “get out of Dodge,” so moved to greener pastures in Las Vegas.

Reputedly Dave's Head

The Dodge City Gang was still being headed up by Justice of the Peace Hyman G. Neill, also known as Hoodoo Brown. Once the gang became established in Vegas, Neill began appointing his guys as city officials and lawmen…including Dave and Webb.

When one of their gang was killed by three men, Dave and Webb, along with several other gang members retaliated by lynching the trio. After that it was back to business as usual robbing trains and stagecoaches. However, Webb’s criminal past caught up with him and he was arrested and sentenced to hang for the killing of a prominent cattleman in 1880.

Well, Dave wasn’t going to stand idly by while his pal got his neck stretched. He and gang member Jack Allen tried to bust Webb out of the Las Vegas jail. Unfortunately, Deputy Sheriff Antonio Valdez was shot and killed by Dave in the failed attempt. Dave later shot and killed Allen, who had a habit of talking too much and could have blown his cover.

Dave and fellow outlaw Tom Pickett left Las Vegas and made tracks for Fort Sumner where they ran into Billy the Kid and his mob of cattle rustlers. Their resume’s suited Billy just fine and he inducted the two into his outfit. In November of 1880, Dave, the Kid and another man named Billy Wilson, shot and killed Deputy James Carlyle at a ranch in the vicinity of White Oaks. That didn’t set well with newly elected Sheriff Pat Garrett.

In mid December Garrett got a crack at some of Billy’s crew as they were riding into town. Garrett had gotten wind Dave, Billy, Charlie Bowdre, Pickett, Wilson and Tom Folliard was heading into Fort Sumner. Garrett and a posse opened fire on them as they rode in. Folliard was killed in the opening volley. The rest high tailed it out of town.

However, a few days later, Garrett’s posse caught up with the desperados. Bowdre was killed and the rest captured. The news of their capture got back to Las Vegas before they did and the prisoners were greeted by a mob of angry citizens, intent on a lynching party. The posse was able to hold the rabble at bay while they were hustled into the jail. Shortly after Dave, the Kid, and Wilson were put on a train bound for Santa Fe to stand trial. As luck would have it, Dave’s old friend Webb was still languishing in the Santa Fe jail awaiting his fate.

In February 1881, Dave was sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison on several counts of robbing the U. S. mail committed during in the course of their stage holdups. He was also found guilty of murdering Deputy Sheriff Antonio Valdez and sentenced to death by hanging which would have made the other sentence a moot point.

But Dave wasn’t partial to that idea and he, along with Webb and a few others, managed to bust out. Once free, the pair headed in separate directions. Webb reportedly went to Arkansas and Dave headed towards Arizona. There were rumors he wound up in Tombstone and got mixed up in the Earp-Clanton feud.

Dave was next heard to be in Mexico where he had a gang of cattle rustlers and worked on several ranches. When he got caught rustling cattle from one of his employers in 1886 he was subsequently fired.

Rudabaugh next tried a different tactic, being a town bully. He moved into the quiet, peaceful town of Parral, Mexico and took it over unopposed. That was alright for the law abiding citizens of Parral…as long as he didn’t cause any trouble. But that wasn’t Dave’s nature. He was bound to cause a disturbance sooner or later.

It happened in February. Dave was playing cards in a cantina when one player accused another of cheating. In the next instance everybody had a gun in their hand. Dave shot and killed two men and wounded another. Dave walked out of the cantina unscathed planning to ride off into the sunset but his horse was nowhere to be found so he went back inside. But apparently the citizens of Parral had had their fill of Dave the bully. As he walked back inside he was shot several times. Dave sprawled dead on the floor. The outraged citizens also decapitated him. His head was then placed on a pole and paraded about town.

At least that’s what most historians have recorded. Some sources say Dave escaped, married, fathered three daughters and died an alcoholic in Oregon in 1928. 
The Dodge City Gang 

The Dodge City Gang were a group of Kansas gunfighters and gamblers who dominated the political and economic life of Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1879 and early 1880. It attracted a number of opportunists and outlaws. The gang was composed largely of fighters from the recent Railroad Wars of Raton, New Mexico, and Royal Gorge, Colorado. These included John Joshua Webb, "Dirty" Dave Rudabaugh, and Mysterious Dave Mather. The gang was a loose-knit association, and its putative leader was Hyman Neill, better known as Hoodoo Brown, who had secured the position of justice of the peace. Doc Holliday was in town and was friendly with gang members, though he is not generally listed as a member.

The gang managed to get members or friends into local law enforcement positions, with the idea being, for the most part, that their actions were to control the gambling establishments and rake in huge profits. Some members, notably Dave Rudabaugh, seemed unsatisfied with this and were suspected of several stagecoach robberies and other criminal acts. The town's rough reputation drew a number of lawless characters. Billy the Kid passed through in 1879, as did Jesse James, though neither was ever a part of the gang. A local legend has the two famous outlaws meeting for dinner in the Old Adobe Hotel in nearby Hot Springs, New Mexico. Supposedly Jesse invited Billy to come to Missouri and join his gang but the Kid declined. However, that is generally viewed as legend, and it is not confirmed that the two ever even met.

Mysterious Dave was rumored to have been a descendant of Cotton Mather. His sobriquet accurately describes the true extent of knowledge about his background and final years. It is known that by 1873 this native of Connecticut was involved with rustlers in Sharp County, Arkansas. A year later he was hunting buffalo, but after suffering a stomach slash in a Dodge City knife fight he went to New Mexico, where he consorted with horse thieves and stage robbers. While in Mobeetie, near Fort Elliott in the Texas Panhandle, Mather reputedly killed a man following a quarrel.

In 1879 Dave H. Mather and several other shady characters were arrested with the notorious outlaw Dutch Henry Born. Mather was soon released, but within months he was again arrested for complicity in a train robbery in the vicinity of Las Vegas. After trial he was acquitted, and almost immediately he secured an appointment as a constable in Las Vegas. For a few months he was quite active as a peace officer, but in the spring of 1880 he traveled with three other prospectors to the gold fields of Gunnison, Colorado.

By November Mather was back in Las Vegas. He helped some friends break from the city jail and then went to Texas. He was first in San Antonio, then went to Dallas and finally to Fort Worth, where he was arrested for stealing a gold ring and chain from a Negro woman.

In 1883 Mather moved to Dodge City and was appointed deputy city marshal and deputy sheriff of Ford County. There were complaints that Mysterious Dave was a bully and was too cooperative with criminals, and when he ran for city constable in February, 1884, he was defeated.

A few months later an old feud with Deputy Marshal Tom Nixon erupted into bloodshed. In June, Nixon wounded Mather in the streets of Dodge, and three days afterward Mysterious Dave shot Nixon to death. Mather eventually won acquittal and briefly turned to farming, but in May, 1885, he became involved in another fatal gunfight in Ashland, Kansas. While awaiting trial, Mather jumped bail and turned up as city marshal of New Kiowa, Kansas. In 1887 he rode into Long Pine, Nebraska, where he had occasionally worked at the depot hotel. But after a year Dave mysteriously and permanently faded into anonymity.

David Rudabaugh was a thorough scoundrel whose first notoriety came in the late 1870's as leader of a gang of thieves and rustlers in Texas. By 1878 he had shifted his activities to Kansas, where he led four men in a train holdup at Kinsley on Sunday, January 27. But a few days later Rudabaugh and Edgar West were caught in camp by Bat Masterson and a posse; Dave went for his gun, but was forced to surrender when John Joshua Webb threw down on him. Later, two of Dave's other accomplices were arrested, but Rudabaugh won release by giving evidence against his fellow thieves.

Rudabaugh piously pledged "to earn his living on the square," but he soon drifted to New Mexico and resumed his customary activities. In 1879 he was involved in stagecoach and train robberies in the vicinity of Las Vegas. In Las Vegas he was reunited with several Kansas associates who plagued the town for six months with thievery and confidence games. This "Dodge City gang" was supported by City Marshal John Joshua Webb, but when the marshal was arrested for murder in March, 1880, the gang dispersed.

Rudabaugh, who obviously had forgiven Webb for arresting him two years earlier, attempted to break the wayward lawman out of jail. Rudabaugh suc- ceeded only in killing a peace officer, however, and he then fled and joined Billy the Kid's band of outlaws. With the Kid he was involved in rustling and shooting scrapes. Following a dogged pursuit by Pat Garrett, Rudabaugh surrendered with the Kid in December, 1880. Convicted of murder and sentenced to be hanged, he was incarcerated in Las Vegas, where John Joshua Webb was serving time.

Rudabaugh, Webb, and two others tried to shoot their way out of jail in September, 1881, and two months later Rudabaugh, Webb, and five other prisoners successfully escaped by digging through the walls. Rudabaugh and Webb went to Texas and on to Mexico, where Webb disappeared. Rudabaugh became foreman of a ranch owned by the governor of Chihuahua, but following rustling difficulties he fled to Parral, where, after robbing and shooting incidents, he was beheaded in 1886.

Serving most of his adult life as a lawman, John Joshua Webb (J.J.) was also a hunter, teamster, surveyor, hired gun, and member of the notorious Dodge City Gang in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Born on February 14, 1847, in Keokuk County, Iowa, J.J. was the seventh of twelve children born to William Webb, III and Innocent Blue Brown Webb. Sometime between 1838 and 1840, the family moved to Sangamon County, Illinois, and in 1862, moved again to Nebraska. Webb traveled west in 1871, becoming a buffalo hunter and then a surveyor in Colorado. He then drifted from Deadwood, South Dakota to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Dodge City, Kansas.

The 1875 census of Ford County listed J.J. Webb as a 28 year old teamster. Later he would serve as a business owner, peace officer, and a leader of Ford County's mercenary force on the side of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad in their battle against the Denver & Rio Grande railroad for right-of-way through the Royal Gorge in Colorado.

Numerous news articles from the Dodge City papers showed Webb to be a well-respected member of the Dodge City community. J.J. Webb was a deputized to ride in several posses during his stay in Dodge. In September of 1877, Webb went to Lakin, Kansas, with Ford County Sheriff Charlie Bassett and Under-sheriff Bat Masterson in pursuit of the Sam Bass gang who were heading south toward Texas. Bass and his gang had recently robbed a Union Pacific train of $60,000 at Big Springs, Nebraska. Their expected route home would lead them through southwest Kansas. The search was unsuccessful; Bass eluded numerous posses to finally meet his death July 21, 1878, in Round Rock, Texas.

On Tuesday, January 29, 1878, Webb was deputized along with two other men by new Ford County Sheriff Bat Masterson to aid him in pursuit of a six-member gang who had robbed the westbound train at Kinsley, Kansas, two days earlier. He and his accomplice Edgar West were caught within days by Sheriff Bat Masterson and his posse, which included John Joshua Webb. When Rudabaugh went for his gun, Webb stopped him and forced him to surrender. The other four accomplices were arrested later. Rudabaugh then informed on his cohorts and promised to go "straight." Rudabaugh's accomplices were sent to prison, but Dirty Dave was soon released, drifting to New Mexico and returning to thievery once again.

In September of 1878, considerable fear and excitement swept through southwest Kansas as Cheyenne Chief Dull Knife and his band were heading for their ancestral home in the Black Hills. Reports of killing and pillaging perpetrated by the Indians were flooding into Dodge City daily. As only nineteen soldiers remained at nearby Fort Dodge, the rest were out hunting Dull Knife and his starving band, the citizens of Dodge City wired the governor to send them arms and ammunition. The requested weapons were sent at once. Colonel William H. Lewis, Commandant of Fort Dodge selected J.J. Webb; Bill Tilghman; A. J. Anthony; and Robert Wright, and other experienced plainsmen, to scout the area. They brought back a report that 200 warriors were in the area. As more reports of atrocities continued to pour into Dodge, Dull Knife's band quickly swept out of the area and things again returned to normal.

It was in 1879 that Webb worked with as a hired gun for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad in their battle against the Denver & Rio Grande railroad for right-of-way through the Royal Gorge in Colorado. Soon, John Joshua Webb moved on to again to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Though J.J. Webb had been counted among the leading citizens of Dodge City, in Las Vegas, matters would take an entirely different turn. When he arrived many of his acquaintances were there from Dodge including Henry "Doc" Holliday, David "Mysterious Dave" Mather, Wyatt Earp, and his old nemisis, Dave Rudabaugh.

March 20, 1880, Reward in New Mexico for Hoodoo Brown, AKA
Hyman G. Neill, Dodge City, KS newspaper
July 7, 1880, Shelbina, MO Newspaper
Shootout in Buena Vista, Colorado - Hoodoo Brown
April 5, 1883 Las Vegas, NM
In 1880, Webb accepted the position of City Marshal. While City Marshal, he joined the Dodge City Gang led by Justice of the Peace Hyman Neill, known as "Hoodoo Brown." The Dodge City Gang was firmly in control of a criminal cartel bent on thumbing their noses at the law. For two years, the members of the Dodge City Gang participated in several stage coach and train robberies, organized cattle rustling, and were said to have been responsible for multiple murders and lynchings.
Justice of Peace Hoodoo Brown imposes fine for not drinking enough 1884
1884 Justice of the Peace Hoodoo Imposes Fine on Young Man
for not saying he would drink more alcohol
The Dodge City Gang was comprised of a judge, a group of peace officers, and several known outlaws with ties to Dodge City who were tormenting the citizens in and around Las Vegas at the time. The "gang" consisted of Justice of the Peace Hyman G. "Hoodoo Brown" Neill, City Marshal Joe Carson, Deputy U. S. Marshal and later Las Vegas marshal "Mysterious Dave" Mather, policeman John Joshua (J.J.) Webb, hard cases "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh, Selim K. "Frank" Cady, William P. "Slap Jack Bill" Nicholson, John "Bull Shit Jack" Pierce, Jordan L. Webb (no relation to J.J.), and various other notorious gunmen. While Rudabaugh, Cady, Nicholson, Pierce, Jordan Webb, and the rest would commit acts of thievery, Neill, Carson, Mather and J.J. Webb, in their official capacities, were suspected of helping cover their tracks.

On March 2, 1880, Hyman Neill learned that a freighter by the name of Mike Kelliher was carrying about $1900 on his person. The Ford County Globe of March 9, 1880, reprinted the report from Las Vegas Daily Optic: About four o'clock this morning, Michael Kelliher, in company with William Brickley and another man, entered Goodlet [a member of the Dodge City Gang] & Roberts' Saloon and called for drinks. Michael Kelliher appeared to be the leader of the party and he, in violation of the law, had a pistol on his person. This was noticed by the officers, who came through a rear door, and they requested that Kelliher lay aside his revolver. But he refused to do so, remarking, "I won't be disarmed - everything goes," immediately placing his hand on his pistol, no doubt intending to shoot. But officer Webb was too quick for him. The man was shot before he had time to use his weapon. He was shot three times-once in each breast and once in the head ... Kelliher had $1,090 [$1,900] on his person when killed.

Regardless of his status as a City Marshal, Webb was convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. On April 30th, Rudabaugh, along with a man named John Allen burst through the Sheriff's office to free Webb. Though the jail break was unsuccessful, Rudabaugh murdered jailer Antonio Lino in the process. Webb's sentence was appealed and commuted to life in prison. Rudabaugh soon fled Las Vegas along with a Dodge City Gang member, hooking up with Billy the Kid and his gang. However, Rudabaugh, along with Billy the Kid were captured on December 23, 1880.

After Dirty Dave's conviction, he found himself in jail with J.J. Webb. Rudabaugh, Webb, and two other men by the names of Thomas Duffy and H.S. Wilson tried unsuccessfully to shoot their way out of jail on September 19, 1881. Duffy was mortally wounded and their attempt was unsuccessful. However, Webb, facing life in prison, and Rudabaugh, the threat of hanging, were determined.
1892 Hoodoo Brown living in Southern Mexico
1892 Justice of the Peace, Hoodoo Brown Lived in Southern Mexico
Two months later, Webb and Rudabaugh, along with five other men, chipped a stone out of the jail wall and escaped out of a 7"x19" hole. Rudabaugh and Webb raced to Texas and then to Mexico where Webb disappeared and Rudabaugh was later killed. Later Webb returned to Kansas, where he took the name "Samuel King," and worked as a teamster. Somewhere along the line he moved on to Winslow, Arkansas working for the railroad. In 1882 he died of smallpox in Arkansas. John Joshua Webb never married.