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One of Dalton Gang from Here

One of Dalton Gang from Here


Dick Broadwell Recalled by Old-Timers

“When the Daltons Rode” is a movie which has a local appeal to Hutchinson citizens who knew the Broadwell family in the ‘90’s.

Probably few local residents remember Dick Broadwell, a respected son of a respected Hutchinson family by day, and train robber with the Daltons by night.

Barney Lee, Pharmacist at the Bert Moore drug, remembers Broadwell vividly.

“He was a nice young fellow,” says Lee, who was a small boy at the time.  “Everyone thought a lot of him.  He was good looking, tall, and a pretty good horseman.”

Lee doesn’t remember whether Broadwell lived with his father of his grandfather, but he knows the Broadwell home was on East Third in the vicinity of the Richards-Scheble Candy Co.

At that time there was a row of trees down the center of the street and Broadwell tethered his horse to one in front of his home.

Ready For Get-Away

“I Guess he always left his horse there in order to make a quick getaway,” explains Lee, “and one time I unhitched the horse because it was nibbling the bark off the tree trunk and Dick had to come out and get it.”

Apparently Broadwell was a frontier edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Although his family was among the best in the city, several righteous citizens frowned upon young Dick’s gambling and sporting habits.  And there was guarded talk about his rough companions.  Otherwise he was accepted as a nice youth who had been given too much money to spend.

Not until that fateful day in 1892 when the infuriated citizenry of Coffeyville wiped out the dreaded Dalton gang with blasts of shot gun and rifle fire, did Hutchinson folk know that one of the feared outlaws had lived in their midst for years.

For days after the killing of Braodwell Hutchinson streets buzzed with his name.

Comprehensible now were his moody spells, his unexpected disappearances from home for several days, his habit of hitching his revolver holder around in front of his hip, and his mirthless eyes which never twinkled when he laughed.

A Mythical Character

“Not a person in town,” emphasized Lee, “knew what kind of man he was until after his death.  But he was a nice boy until he got to running with that gambling set, and then got in with the Daltons.”

Just how many of his secrets Broadwell could have revealed will never be known for he was slain instantly by the furious hail of Bullets in the narrow Coffeyville alley.

And from that day Dick Broadwell has been a mysterious, almost a mythical character, whom oldsters mention occasionally as they gather around the bank corners.  But the whole complex equation of Dick Braodwell was never solved.

(photo) – They Died With Their Boots On – But souvenir hunting Coffeyville citizens ripped the boots from these slain members of the Dalton gang following the ill-starred bank robbery.  The man at the right is Dick Broadwell, son of a respected Hutchinson family.


The Hutchinson Kansas News-Herald
Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas
Sunday Morning, September 15, 1940
page – 31 *** column – 1

Submitted by
Rose Stout on November 10, 2006.

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