J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Colorado Desperadoes (Part 4) – Kid Curry, The Wildest of the Wild Bunch

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Harvey Alexander Logan (1867 – June 17, 1904) had a rough beginning, and things never really improved for him. He was born in Tama County, Iowa, and his mother died in 1876. Logan’s three brothers went to Missouri, but he ended up in Texas breaking horses. He met George “Flat Nose” Curry there, and took his last name, as did his brothers. All of the Curry boys were heavy drinkers, and Kid loved to spend his paychecks on booze and prostitutes. After Kid became famous, prostitutes claimed that their babies were his, and these children came to be known as “Curry Kids.” Rumor has it that he fathered 85 kids, but in reality, he probably fathered less than five.

In 1883, Kid rode on a cattle drive to Pueblo, Colorado, got involved in a saloon brawl, and fled to Wyoming. His brothers went to Montana and established a ranch there. Kid got in a fight with a neighbor, Landusky, and ended up killing the man. He hooked up with outlaw and train robber “Black Jack” Ketchum, and started riding with his gang. In 1896, Landusky’s brother came after him to claim the bounty, but Kid and two of his brothers confronted him. One of his brothers was killed in the shootout.

Kid and his brothers went to work on a ranch near Sand Gulch, Colorado. While there, they established their own gang. They robbed a bank in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, but a posse chased after them, and Kid was captured, along with his brother and another member of their gang. The men were held in the Deadwood, South Dakota jail briefly before they attacked the jailer and escaped. They went back to Montana and held up two post offices.

Kid started riding with the Wild Bunch gang under Butch Cassidy. He acquired the nickname, “the fastest gun in the West.” (The Sundance Kid, as portrayed in the movies, was not a gunman, and that character was actually based on Kid Curry.) On June 2, 1899, the gang held up the Union Pacific Railroad near Wilcox, Wyoming and escaped. The Pinkerton agents were on their trail, but the gang escaped to their hideout, the Hole-in-the-Wall. Curry went to Utah, and then Alma, New Mexico. After robbing another train, members of the gang were captured and killed. Kid, Butch Cassidy, and other members escaped and went to San Antonio.

In February 1900, Kid’s only surviving brother was killed. Kid went on a vendetta shooting spree through Arizona and Utah before returning to Montana to reconnect with the Wild Bunch gang. They robbed a Great Northern train in Wyoming. In 1901, many members were captured in Tennessee. Kid returned to Montana, and killed a rancher who he held responsible for one of his brothers’ deaths. In 1902, Kid went to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was captured. He was convicted of robbery and sentenced to 20 years of hard labor, but on June 27, 1903, he escaped prison. A year later, on Jun 7, 1904, Kid was tracked down by a posse to Parachute, Colorado. A member of the posse shot him, and to avoid capture, Kid shot himself in the head.

Rumors spread that Kid Curry was not actually killed in Parachute, and that it was another gang member. Supposedly, Kid escaped to South America with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Charlie Siringo, one of the Pinkerton’s, resigned after believing that they had killed the wrong man. Curry is buried in Linwood Cemetery in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. (Doc Holliday is also buried there.) Kid Curry’s sad life never had a happy ending. If the rumors are false, he died as violently as he lived.

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