Commentary

Robinson saga ends with a rope and tree branch

Editor’s note: This is, obviously, the end of the story of William Robinson. James Williams, co- author of a book on Robinson, will appear at Tejas Fest on Saturday. N ews of the Medicine

Lodge, Kansas, robbery and catching the robbers traveled fast and brought a restless crowd to the jail.

Town attorney Bradley gave his word of a fair trial. The mob took Bradley handcuffed and locked him in a room.

About dark, the howling mob formed in front of the jail and demanded the keys to the cell. The crowd began shooting their guns in the air to make their point.

In spite of his promise to protect the prisoners, Sheriff Riggs had no choice.

Unknown to the mob, the prisoners had feed themselves. As the door opened the mob demanded the prisoners.

Brown darted out the door. He got 25 feet when bullets dropped him to the ground.

Wheeler immediately followed behind Brown and was shot, setting fire to his clothing. Another shot fired took off fingers on his right hand; he continued to run and was finally captured.

The mob took the three men to the banks of Elm Creek. Wheeler pleaded for mercy to no avail. The three men were hung with one rope, Wheeler on one end and Wesley and Smith back to back on the other end.

There were seven men dead in Medicine Lodge that fateful night, two bankers, four bandits and a citizen who dropped dead from a heart attack.

William Sherod Robinson Alias Ben Wheeler” took years of research for the three authors who diligently worked to uncover primary source information from newspapers.

Co-author James Williams of Milano is a professional researcher, and graduate of Mary Hardin Baylor, spent seven years to gather Part One, William Robinson in Texas

Len Gratteri, retired businessman owns and runs an antique store in Sisters Oregon specializing in old West memorabilia

He wrote: Transition: Ben Burton in Nebraska.

Rod Cook, graduate of Cowley College in Wichita, Kansas, a retired design engineer and author of two books: George and Maggie and the Red Light Saloon and the Legend Accounts has long been a student of Caldwell’s history and of the Chisholm Trail. He wrote Part Two: Ben Wheeler in Kansas.

Gratteri found the assistant marshal’s badge worn by Ben Wheeler and his Colt six-gun. Both were reunited on November 23, 1998, after 104 years. In Gratteri’s research, he contacted Lynna Kay Shuffield of Houston, for the William Robinson ancestry. Through that contact he learned she was able to track down William Sherod Robinson’s family history. Shuffield recommended Williams to research Robinson’s early history.

maryjoygraham99@yahoo.com


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2012-03-01 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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