He Rode with Butch and Sundance: The Story of Harvey (Kid Curry) Logan

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University of North Texas Press, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 440 pages
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Pinned down by a posse, the wounded outlaw's companions urged him to escape through the gulch. “Don't wait for me,” he replied, “I'm all in and might as well end it right here.” Placing his revolver to his right temple, he pulled the trigger for the last time, thus ending the life of the notorious “Kid Curry” of the Wild Bunch.

It is long past time for the publication of a well-researched, definitive biography of the infamous western outlaw Harvey Alexander Logan, better known by his alias Kid Curry. He spent his formative years near Kansas City, Missouri, and came west with his older brother to become a cowboy. A violent conflict with a ranching neighbor in Montana caused him to flee to the Hole-in-the-Wall valley in Wyoming, where he became involved in rustling and eventually graduated to bank and train robbing as a member—and soon leader—of the Wild Bunch. This outlaw group was a melding of the best of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang and Butch Cassidy's Powder Springs gang, from the area where the borders of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming meet. The core members of the gang came to be Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, George “Flatnose” Currie, Elzy Lay, Ben “the Tall Texan” Kilpatrick, Will Carver, and Kid Curry.

Kid Curry has been portrayed as a cold-blooded killer, without any compassion or conscience and possessed of limited intelligence. Curry indeed was a dangerous man with a violent temperament, which was aggravated by alcoholic drink. When he felt taken advantage of or was threatened with losing his freedom, he didn't hesitate to use force to defend himself by ambushing a posse or shooting at policemen. However, Mark T. Smokov shows that Curry's record of kills is highly exaggerated, and that he was not the bloodthirsty killer that many have claimed. In fact, when he was brought to trial, he was charged (and convicted) with forging and passing stolen banknotes, instead of murder or even train robbery, due to lack of evidence for the many murders attributed to him.

Smokov has researched extensively in areas significant to Curry's story (Hole-in-the-Wall, Brown's Park, the Little Rockies), talking to local ranchers and townspeople, visiting museums, and collecting pertinent material and photographs. He corrects the many false statements that have been written about Curry in the past, presenting a much more accurate and balanced account of his life. Curry was a cunning outlaw who planned and executed robberies on par with anything Butch Cassidy is reported to have pulled off. Smokov contends that Curry was the actual train robbing leader of the Wild Bunch—there is no concrete evidence that Cassidy ever robbed a train. He also presents new evidence that is virtually conclusive in resolving whether or not Curry was the “unknown bandit” who killed himself after robbing a train near Parachute, Colorado, in 1904.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1
1
Chapter 2
5
Chapter 3
17
Chapter 4
31
Chapter 5
36
Chapter 6
49
Chapter 7
53
Chapter 8
59
Chapter 18
166
Chapter 19
186
Chapter 20
201
Chapter 21
208
Chapter 22
223
Chapter 23
236
Chapter 24
247
Chapter 25
257

Chapter 9
67
Chapter 10
72
Chapter 11
78
Chapter 12
92
Chapter 13
114
Chapter 14
120
Chapter 15
134
Chapter 16
143
Chapter 17
151
Chapter 26
265
Chapter 27
278
Chapter 28
286
Chapter 29
297
Chapter 30
312
Endnotes
323
Bibliography
410
Index
423
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

MARK T. SMOKOV is the author of several articles on Kid Curry and other western outlaws. He has written for the WWHA Journal, the NOLA Quarterly, the WOLA Journal, Wild West magazine, and the Tombstone Epitaph. He is a life-long resident of Seattle, Washington, and a graduate of the University of Washington.

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