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People - Notable People - Brown, Henry, 1857-1884

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Bank robbers in Medicine Lodge, Kansas

Bank robbers in Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Date: 1884
This photograph shows a group of robbers from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. The men in shackles are identified from left to right as: John Wesley, Henry Newton Brown, Billy Smith, and Ben Wheeler the would be robbers of the Medicine Valley Bank in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Brown, a former member of Billy the Kid's Gang, and Wheeler a former outlaw and friend of Brown's, found themselves on the other side of the law with their appointments as marshals of Caldwell, Kansas. However, on April 30, 1884, Brown, Wheeler, Smith, and Wesley attempted to rob the Medicine Valley Bank. The robbery was unsuccessful and the robbers were eventually apprehended and brought back to Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Their time in jail was brief when pandemonium erupted over their capture, creating a diversion for escape. In a hail of bullets, Henry Brown was shot dead while an injured Wheeler was captured and hanged beside Wesley and Smith.


Henry Newton Brown and Ben Wheeler

Henry Newton Brown and Ben Wheeler
Creator: Siringo, Charlie
Date: Between 1882 and 1884
This sepia colored post card shows the portraits of Henry Newton Brown and Ben Wheeler. Brown, a former member of Billy the Kid's Gang, and Wheeler, a former outlaw and friend of Brown's, found themselves on the other side of the law with their appointments as marshals of Caldwell, Kansas. In this south central Kansas community Brown and Wheeler, with their quick draw on the gun, turned the once lawless cowtown into a safe and peaceful place to live. They were trusted as lawmen until the unthinkable happened on April 30, 1884, when Brown and Wheeler and two of their outlaw friends John Wesley and Billy Smith attempted to rob the Medicine Valley Bank. The robbery was unsuccessful, and the robbers were eventually apprehended and brought back to Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Their time in jail was brief when pandemonium erupted over their capture creating a diversion for escape. In a hail of bullets Henry Brown was shot dead while an injured Wheeler was captured and hung beside Wesley and Smith.


Posse in Medicine Lodge, Kansas

Posse in Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Date: 1884
This photograph shows the Medicine Lodge posse from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. This group of men were responsible for capturing marshal Henry Newton Brown of Caldwell, Kansas, and the would be robbers of the Medicine Valley Bank. The members are identified from the top row: Tom Doran, Barney O' Connor, Alex McKinney, Vernon Lytle. Middle row: Lee Bradley, Roland Clark, Wayne McKinney. Front row: George Friedly, and John Fleming.


Site of Henry Newton Brown arrest, Medicine Lodge, Kansas

Site of Henry Newton Brown arrest, Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Date: August 1957
This black and white photograph was taken in 1957 at the site of a historic 1880s arrest. The photo shows a view east into the canyon where Marshal Henry Newton Brown of Caldwell, Kansas and his fellow bank robbers were cornered by authorities. On April 30, 1884, the group of outlaws had robbed the Medicine Valley Bank in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. After two hours in the canyon, the men surrendered and were taken back to the Medicine Lodge jail. While attempting to escape jail, Henry Newton Brown was shot dead in a hail of bullets. The fate for the remaining bank robbers was death by hanging.


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