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 Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum

Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum

China Creek, San Saba County, Texas, USA
Death 26 Apr 1901 (aged 37)
Clayton, Union County, New Mexico, USA
Burial Clayton, Union County, New Mexico, USA
Memorial ID 2435 · View Source
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Western Outlaw. Born San Saba County, Texas, his father died when he was 5 and mother was blind several years before she died in 1873. He had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. The oldest brother, Berry Jr., became a wealthy and noted cowman and horse breeder. Tom and Sam were both cowboys working on ranches throughout west Texas and northern and eastern New Mexico. Tom commited his first murder on Dec. 12, 1895, killing John N. "Jap" Powers and was hired to do it. He later rode with butch Cassidy's 'Hole in the Wall' Posse. Will Christian was known as 'Black Jack' and when he was killed in 1879 someone mistakenly identified Tom as 'Black Jack' and people started calling him that. Later at a gun battle at Turkey Creek his brother Sam was mortally wounded and later died in the Sante Fe penitentiary and was buried in the Odd Fellows cemetary. Tom tried holding up a train by himself but the conducter shot him in the left arm. He was later found at a water hole and surrendered peacefully and taken to a hospitol in Santa Fe where his arm was amputated. He was then tried and sentenced to be hanged. It would be the first such event for the town of Clayton and tickets were sold to view the event that drew people from surrounding towns, little dolls of Tom hanging from a stick were sold in the crowd. When he was finally hung, either the rope had been stretched from testing, or they misjudged his weight...the rope yanked his head from its body, and he was decapitated during the hanging.

Bio by: Phantomht


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2435
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum (31 Oct 1863–26 Apr 1901), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2435, citing Clayton Cemetery, Clayton, Union County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .