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 • Hidalgo County
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Ed "Shoot-Em-Up Dick" Cullen
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Birth: unknown
Death: Dec. 9, 1897
Hidalgo County
New Mexico, USA

On the evening of Dec 9, 1897 three hardened criminals, Sam Ketchum, Ed Cullen and Dave Atkins perpetrated a robbery at Steins, New Mexico. They burglarized the U.S. Post Office and at gun point forced the station agent, Charles St. John, to surrender a small amount of cash from the strongbox.

At 8:30pm the southern Pacific No. 20, chugged into the train station. The three robbers boarded the train and at gunpoint ordered the engineer to proceed down the tracks and stop between two bonfires which had been torched by accomplices, Tom Ketchum and Will Carver. The train screeched to a stop, but unknown to the robbers, there was trouble waiting for them in the Express Car. Charles J. Adair, C.H. Jennings and nineteen year old Eugene Thacker were tasked to guard the valuables.

With six-shooters and Winchesters the robbers riddled the boxcar with bullets. The guards returned fire, with their shotguns, sending multiple loads of buckshot down range. A raging gun battle continued for a half hour but the guards suffered no injuries from their fortified position. All the robbers were wounded, being perforated by at least one pellet of buckshot.

Ed Cullen was lying low, and foolishly raised his head to retrieve more rifle cartridges from his pocket. Jennings let loose with another heavy load of buckshot. Some of the pellets found their mark, and split Cullen's skull wide open.

Realizing their plan for easy cash had aborted into but a hopelessly bloody mess, the remaining robbers gathered up their string of six stolen horses made their getaway. Tom Ketchum dropped his blood-stained handkerchief which was embroidered with his initials, "T.K."

Ed Cullen's lifeless form was fitted with a bandage around his head to keep his brains from leaking out. The cadaver was taken to San Simon, Arizona Territory, but the very next day it was rightly removed to Lordsburg, New Mexico which was the proper jurisdiction for an official coroners inquest. Well known photographer J.C. Burge, who traveled throughout the Southwest's border country, took a picture of outlaw Cullen lying in a narrow pine box. 'Shoot-'Em-Up Dick' Cullen was later buried in the local Shakespeare cemetery near Lordsburg.

Note: Source: Lawmen, Outlaws, And S.O.Bs. Vol II, By, Bob Alexander.
Shakespeare Cemetery
Hidalgo County
New Mexico, USA
Plot: Unmarked grave
Created by: C. Fahey
Record added: Dec 04, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45111161
Ed Shoot-Em-Up Dick Cullen
Added by: Ed Barnhart
Ed Shoot-Em-Up Dick Cullen
Cemetery Photo
Added by: The Ancestor Hunter
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Sarah Quinn
 Added: Jul. 31, 2012

- C. Fahey
 Added: Dec. 5, 2009

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