Lawmen & Outlaws
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Bank Robber Killed
Submitted by: Mollie Stehno


The Cherokee Advocate
August 5, 1893

August 5, 1893-The Cherokee Advocate-Deputy United States Marshal Heck Bruner and a posse, consisting of Wood Bruner and D. Douthit had a lively fight Saturday, near White Oak, a small station on Wolf creek in the neighborhood of Vinita, with two of the band of desperadoes, who are anxious to succeed Henry Starr as the terrors of the trains and banks of the Indian Territory and on its borders.
For a week, Bruner and his party have been after the gang that robbed a Congdon & Co's bank at Mound Valley, Kan., about a month ago, of $500. Shortly after the robbing of the bank, the officers secured a number of clues that made them almost positive that part of the band was the Rogers boys, who live in the Indian Territory not far from Caney, Kansas.
A posse of citizens followed the band down into the Territory and located them near Lenapah in the river bottom, but the outlaws gave their pursuers he slip and were next heard from in the neighborhood of Pryor Creek. Here Bruner and his posse took up the trail and followed it closely until they located their men near White Oak. They gained information that the men they were after would be at a certain house Saturday night, so they went by a roundabout way to the place and hid in a log crib that stood out in the yard not a great way from the house.
About dusk two men rode up and hitched their horses and started into the house. Bruner, and his party let the men get some distance away from their horses and then came out on them and demanded their surrender. The older of the two attempted to use his Winchester and a lively little fight took place during which the older one of the two outlaws was killed, the younger one shot through the hip and both their horses killed. The avenue of escape being shut off the boy surrendered. The dead man was identified as Ralph Hedrick and the captured one gave his name as Sam Rogers.
While the fight was in progress two men were seen to come in sight on the prairie, stop, watch the fight a short while and then turn and flee as fast as their horses could carry them. There were two others in the gang.
The wounded man was taken to Vinita where his wounds were dressed, and Heck Brunner brought him in this morning and placed him in jail. Dr. Vance, the jail physician, says that Rogers is suffering considerable but is not dangerously wounded.
Rogers talked quite freely with the deputies and claimed that he had not been engaged in any of the robberies, as he had been with the gang only about two weeks.
He admitted that they were planning some bank and train robberies.
Hedrick was shot through the breast and right hip was shattered. He lived only a short while after he was shot. His home is in Rudolph, Kansas, where his relatives live. He was one of the five men engaged in the Mound Valley bank robbery and one of the two who robbed the depot at Chelsea, I. T. The latter robbery was committed the Friday before Henry Starr was captured, and was charged to him, but the deputies say that they have positive proof that Hedrick and a companion were the robbers. Fort Smith Daily Times

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