The Day Coffeyville Bled - The Dalton Johnson Gang


Chapter XI - Curiosity

         Curiosity is the driving force behind the act of looking deeper and searching further in the vast array of research information compiled from the surface material contained within the development of any historical project. By not stopping and accepting what is merely given at the onset, the researcher is often provided with more fragments of what the true picture was at the time of his chosen subject’s highlighted era.
         In the process of looking around the next corner or beneath the shallow surface or through the fogged image of what was given as fact, one could find fact. This is not always the case and should by no means be used to create something from which there is nothing. Therefore, curiosity, like the other tools available to the researcher, can be misused and by this misuse distort what was found to create a given scenario of events.
         Careful consideration must be given to all subparts and tiny bits of information discovered. Some will be implemented in their proper sequence, and others will be discarded as useless matter. In the pile of non-usable relics from the efforts of continued investigation, interesting yet pointless profiles of information are often found. These references have their place too, although not among the viable materials of subject documentation. They should remain in a special classification of their own and be seen for what they are and discounted for what they are not.
         Three such relics will be examined here. They were located along the path of information gathering and subjected to the strictest scrutiny. Subsequently, they were released to be placed in this non-informational section. They had performed their duty at the time of their inception.
         The first instance will be seen as an attempt to gain a small amount of notoriety at a given moment in history. For its purpose during its time, it was held in regard as a truism without further verification. The second storyline will be noted as an ongoing try at creating a connection between two items that are not to be joined by any stretch of the imagination. The continuing effort to create something from nothing is as mystifying as its creator’s intentions. The third item for consideration is among the most alluring and magical moments ever to be recorded in the pages of modern history. The depiction is that two events seemingly connected by intricate strings of fact are in reality pure coincidence. The fascination with the last segment is that it comes very close to supplying answers to questions that have gnawed at the fabric of the Dalton/Johnson Gang’s legend for years.
         On October 5, 1892, the Dalton Gang attempted to rob two banks in the town of Coffeyville, Kansas, at the same time. The results were disastrous...(click here for more chapter previews)


Mark S. Pannill
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