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 Samuel “Sam” Bass

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Samuel “Sam” Bass

Western Outlaw. Born on a farm near Mitchell, Indiana, he was orphaned before he was thirteen and spent five years at the home of an uncle. In 1870, he arrived in Denton, Texas, handled horses in the stables and became interested in horse racing. Acquiring a fleet mount, he won most of his races when he with Joel Collins gathered a small herd of longhorn cattle, drove them north and sold them in Deadwood, South Dakota. There Bass and Collins tried working in freighting and without success, then recruited several hard characters to rob stagecoaches. In search of bigger loot, with a band of six, led by Collins and Bass, they rode south to Big Springs, Nebraska. On September 18, 1877 they held up an eastbound Union Pacific passenger train taking $60,000 in twenty-dollar gold pieces plus $1,300 in cash. After dividing the loot the bandits decided to split up but a few weeks Collins and two others were killed while resisting arrest. Bass managed to make it back to Texas, where he formed a new outlaw band. In the spring of 1878, he with his brigands held up two stagecoaches and robbed four trains within twenty-five miles of Dallas. He and the bandits were the object of a chase across North Texas by posses and a special company of Texas Rangers headed by Junius Peak. Bass eluded his pursuers until his band rode in Round Rock, Texas, intending to rob a small bank. There on July 19, 1878, Bass and his men became engaged in a gun battle with Texas Rangers led by Major John B. Jones. Wounded in the gun fight, Bass was found lying helpless in a pasture north of town and died two days later on his 27th birthday.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1517
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Samuel “Sam” Bass (21 Jul 1851–21 Jul 1878), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1517, citing Round Rock Cemetery, Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .