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Dalton Gang member may be buried in Hutch

by Ray Hemman

Possibly buried amid the upper crust of earl-day Hutchinson society is one of the desperadoes that made Coffeyville famous.

Dick Broadwell, a Dalton Gang member who died Oct. 5, 1892, is thought to be buried in Hutchinson’s Eastside Cemetery, though no one is exactly sure where.

Coffeyville residents are celebrating the centennial of the raid during activities that begin Thursday and extend through Monday, the actual anniversary.  On Saturday, descendants of both the desperados and the city defenders will have reunions in Coffeyville.

The gang rode into Coffeyville shortly before 10 a.m. on Oct. 5, 1892, and attempted the rare feat of holding up two banks at one time.  Four in the gang died; four Coffeyville residents, too, were gunned down.

Mary Broadwell, Dick’s sister, was married to E. B. “Burt” Wilcox of Hutchinson, according to marriage records in Reno County.  Broadwell has been described as “tall, handsome, well-dressed, filled with a jovial spirit of deviltry, he was popular and welcomed everywhere,” according to an article that appeared in the Feb. 10, 1952, Salina Journal.

Broadwell’s parents moved to Hutchinson from Meade, where they had a cattle operation, according to the story, leaving their son to operate it.  Broadwell was supposed to have done very well in cattle.

Meade also was the site of the Daltons’ hideout.  Broadwell joined the Daltons for several train robberies in the 1890’s.

Though critically wounded in the bank robberies at Coffeyville, Broadwell survived the initial gunfire and mounted his house for an escape.  He was found dead two miles out of town, however.

Word of the Dalton raid arrived back in the Salt city with William Tell Jones, a bricklayer who had been in Coffeyville on business.  Jones, upon seeing Broadwell, is said to have blurted out, “Great jumpin’ catfish!  That’s Dick Broadwell!  Why, he’s from Hutchinson – same as me.”  Because of his comments, Jones was temporarily detained in the Coffeyville jail because he was suspected of being a member of the gang.

Broadwell was buried in a pauper’s grave in Coffeyville, but not for long, according to information collected by officials at Johnson & Sons Funeral Home.  For 75years, Johnson & Sons was located in the old Wilcox home at 134 East Sherman, moving to its current location on East 30th avenue earlier this year.

According to funeral director’s records from Skinner-Hamlin Funeral Home in Coffeyville, Broadwell died on Oct. 5, 1892, and was buried Oct. 6.  The records then show that a G. R. Broadwell and an E. B. Wilcox paid $10 for Broadwell’s body.

Edward and Burt Wilcox, Mary Broadwell Wilcox’s husband, are thought to have gone to Coffeyville a few days after the robbery, had Broadwell’s body exhumed and quietly returned to Hutchinson.

No one knows exactly what happened to Broadwell’s body after it was brought back to Hutchinson.  There are two theories;  The first is that Braodwell was buried under an assumed named in an unmarked grave in the Eastside Cemetery.

The other school is that Broadwell was buried in the Wilcox family plot, which is just west of the cemetery office and near the graves of Hutchinsons, Conklins, Rayls, Harshas and others who were early-day leaders in Hutchinson.

(photo) – This photo taken at Coffeyville in 1892 shows, from left, the bodies of Dalton gang members Bill Posers, Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton and Dick Broadwell.  A fifth gang member, Emmett Dalton, survived 21 bullet wounds during the gang’s attempted bank heist.  He served a prison term and later was paroled.


Hutchinson News
Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas
Wednesday, September 30, 1992
page – 3 *** columns – 2,3,4 & 5

Submitted by
Rose Stout on November 10, 2006.

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