On November 30, 1902–Kid Curry Logan–part of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch Gang–was captured and sentenced.
Author’s Note: I needed to write about this topic because I have distant ties to the outlaw Butch Cassidy–with whom Kid Curry Logan was associated. Butch Cassidy was a rough, salty, vicious outlaw and played a huge part in the Wild West and its legacy. Some people might cringe at the thought of such a venerated criminal in their family tree. I simply feel like we all have “that one relative” anyway–and ours just happens to have made all the history books!
Who was Kid Curry Logan?
Kid Curry Logan was born Harvey Alexander Logan in 1867. He was born in Iowa, but shortly after his birth, his mother died and he was sent–along with his siblings–to live with their aunt Lee Logan in Missouri.
According to the Wikipedia article on Harvey Logan, he earned a living by breaking horses on the Cross L Ranch in Texas until 1883.
Logan changed his last name to Curry after he befriended a man named George Curry (“Flat Nose” Curry).
The article also details how Kid Curry would get drunk and rowdy when he had money. His first altercation was when he lived at a ranch in Rock Creek (Montana). A dispute about someone’s daughter led to a brawl, an arrest, and a later fatal confrontation. In that final confrontation, Kid Curry shot a man–Powell Landusky–fatally. Landusky had accused Curry of being romantically involved with his daughter. It turns out that Landusky’s daughter later clarified that it wasn’t Curry she was involved with, but his brother. But the clarification was too late. The damage was done.
In 1885 and 1886, Kid Curry began “riding with” Black Jack Ketchum–an outlaw. It didn’t last long. The group had robbed a train, and Curry supposedly had a falling out over the spoils of that robbery. He and his brother “left the gang and joined the circus.”–link to Wikipedia article
What was Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch Gang?
Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch Gang was a group of outlaws that roamed and robbed the Old West. “The gang was led by Butch Cassidy, and it included his closest friend Elzy Lay, the Sundance Kid, Tall Texan, News Carver, Camila “Deaf Charlie” Hanks,Laura Bullion, Flat-Nose Curry, Kid Curry and Bob Meeks. They would become the most successful train-robbing gang in history.”––link to Wikipedia article
Supposedly, Cassidy claimed that they never killed when they pulled off their robberies. But many of the gang members are tied to many different murders. Kid Curry was the one that had the most tied to his name at 9–which apparently made him the most feared of the bunch.
What Did They Do?
Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch Gang was involved in so many outlaw activities that it blew my mind! I knew they were busy outlawing. I just don’t think I had any clue just how much outlawing they were doing!
“On June 2, 1899, the gang robbed the Union Pacific Railroad Overland Flyer near Wilcox, Wyoming, a robbery that became famous. Many notable lawmen of the day took part in the hunt for the robbers, but they were not captured.” –link to Wikipedia article
The group was involved in many different shootouts and robberies. So many, in fact, that I can’t really list all of them out or this post will read like a novella instead of a blog post. Here is just one small sampling of what Curry was doing:
“On July 11, 1899, while working at the W.S. Ranch, Curry robbed a Colorado and Southern Railroad train near Folsom, New Mexico, with gang members Elzy Lay and Sam Ketchum. A posse led by Huerfano County (Colorado) Sheriff Ed Farr cornered the gang near an area called Turkey Creek, which resulted in two gun battles over a period of four days. Lay and Ketchum were both wounded and later captured, with Lay killing the sheriff and wounding Colfax County Deputy Henry Love in the process. He received a life sentence for the murders.
Ketchum died from his wounds days later while in custody, and deputy Love died from wounds he received. Curry escaped, but he, Cassidy, and other members of the gang were forced to leave New Mexico. Sam Ketchum was the brother of Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum. Curry traveled to San Antonio, where he stayed briefly. While there he met prostitute Della Moore (also known as Annie Rogers or Maude Williams), with whom he became romantically involved. At the time of their meeting, she was working in Madame Fannie Porter‘s brothel, which was a regular hideout for the Wild Bunch gang.”–link to Wikipedia article
What did Kid Curry Logan Do?
Kid Curry Logan is one of the least known members of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch Gang. However, according to Wikipedia, he was supposedly the most wild. Accoring to an earlier section of this post, he was responsible for the most murders in the group and was therefore the most feared. I hope to do his wildness justice with this post.
One of the things Curry did specifically was take part in “the Wilcox robbery “(the train robbery mentioned above). He was actually caught using the money taken in this robbery and was tracked by a sheriff and his posse in Arizona. Curry and the partner accompanying him–Bill Carver–were involved in a shootout with this posse. The shootout resulted in two deputies being killed (Deputy Andrew Gibbons and Deputy Frank LeSeuer).
“On May 26, Kid Curry rode into Utah and killed Grand County, Utah Sheriff Jesse Tyler and Deputy Sam Jenkins in a brazen shootout in Moab. Both killings were in retaliation for them killing George Curry and his brother Lonny.
Curry then returned with the Wild Bunch. On August 29 they robbed Union Pacific train No. 3 near Tipton, Wyoming, which newspaper stories claiming the gang got more than $55,000. The gang again split up, with Kid Curry and Ben Kilpatrick heading south to Fort Worth, Texas, while Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and Bill Carver immediately pulled off another robbery in Winnemucca, Nevada.”–Wikipedia
If there was one thing I learned about Kid Curry through my research, it was that he never forgot. He was intent upon exacting revenge. All of his brothers had been killed at various times and in various circumstances. Kid Curry shot and killed several in revenge for his brothers’ deaths–including the shooting death of James Winters who had been responsible for his brother Johnny’s death.
“He reputedly killed at least nine law enforcement officers in five different shootings, and another two men in other instances, and was involved in several shootouts with posses and civilians during his outlaw days.”–link to Wikipedia article
The Capture & Sentence
The Pinkerton gang and several different groups of Sheriffs’ posses had tracked and attempted to arrest Curry on many difference occasions–to no avail. However, it was going to happen eventually. It was inevitable.
“In a pool hall on November 30, 1902, Curry was captured after a lengthy physical fight with lawmen.”–Wikipedia article
He was not–in fact–charged with murder for any of the various murders with which he was involved! Apparently, there were no witnesses. At least none that dared come forward… So, the lawmen could only charge Kid Curry with robbery. He received a 20 year “hard labor” sentence and was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
He would escape several months later–in June of 1903. It is rumored that a guard was paid to help him escape.
“On June 7, 1904, Kid Curry was tracked down by a posse outside of Parachute, Colorado.
Curry and two others had robbed a Denver and Rio Grande train outside Parachute. As they escaped, they stole fresh horses owned by Roll Gardner and a neighbor.
The next morning, when they discovered their horses had been stolen, Gardner and the neighbor set out in pursuit of the gang. They joined up with a posse and continued tracking the outlaws.
The gang shot Gardner’s and his neighbor’s horses from under them. Gardner found cover while his neighbor started running. Kid Curry took aim at the neighbor and Gardner shot Curry.
The wounded Curry decided to end it at that time, and fatally shot himself in the head to avoid capture.
The other two robbers escaped.” –Wikipedia article
Appearances in Pop Culture
I have really come to love learning about outlaws and celebrities’ appearances in pop culture (songs, books, TV, movies, etc.). Kid Curry Logan is no exception.
The following list comes from Wikipedia:
- Curry appears as a character in Mr American by George MacDonald Fraser. The novel, set in 1909, uses the controversy surrounding Curry’s death to portray him as surviving the shootout near Parachute and later tracking the novel’s protagonist, Mark Franklin, to England, where Curry attempts to kill Franklin.
- Ted Cassidy played Kid Curry / Harvey Logan in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- Ben Murphy portrayed a fictionalized Kid Curry in the 1970s television show Alias Smith and Jones.
- The Mythbusters tested the claim that Logan could drop a silver dollar off his hand and then draw and fire five shots from his revolver before it hit the ground. They found the claim to be highly unlikely.
- Appears in the video game Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and is a boss level duel opponent.
Kid Curry Logan was famous for being infamous. In fact, he wasn’t that famous after all–because most of us have never heard of him at all! He was overshadowed by the bigger characters of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The quintessential characters of the Wild, Wild West. Kid Curry left his legacy of crime and outlaw acts behind, just the same. I am not one to admire or praise criminals. I hope I’m not doing that. I hope I am only painting a picture of history–and all of history includes crime!