William Todd (Bill) Power :: Dalton Gang Outlaw

17Sep09

The other day I was reading an article in the Springfield News-Leader about a family researching their family history.  The wife mentioned that in looking for our old ancestors everyone should remember that you’re bound to find that bad egg, the family member that no one wanted to talk about.  I hate to admit this but without thinking too much in-depth about my own tree I sort of felt left out.  I’ve done a lot of research over the years but honestly, I’ve never devoted too much time to any one person, with the exception of my German Kramer ancestors.  I’ve been too engrossed in just filling in my branches.  I’ve never just picked a name and researched that person to exhaustion.  This is of course a goal, to fill in all those little branches with personal stories and biographies, but at this point, even after 5 years, my tree is still sparse.

I don’t have any outlaws I thought!  But ah, I do!  Not that this is a bragging point but it makes for a good story.

William Todd Power, better known as Bill, was the son of my gggg-grandfather, James Richard Powers.  He was born in 1869 in the county in which I currently live and he was a famed member of the Dalton Gang.

{Check that fella out!}

The Dalton Gang is basically famous for a failed robbery of not one, but two banks.  The members of the community surrounded and shot most of the gang members after the heist went bad and thus, they live on in Wild West history.  Bill was shot and killed when the townspeople took up arms and was buried, along with Gratton and Robert Dalton, in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Originally, no tombstone was allowed to be placed on the graves but later, one of the Dalton brothers placed a stone on the graves of the three.

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13 Responses to “William Todd (Bill) Power :: Dalton Gang Outlaw”

  1. 1 Darrin Kellogg

    Great story, and the first person I’ve ran into that claims a heritage with Bill Power. Can you divulge the names from your gggg grandfather to yourself? I am descended from Power/Powers and would like to see if Bill fits in. Is he descended from the John Power/Mary Holloway line? Thanks, Darrin

  2. 2 scot seahorn

    My grandmother was married to a bill powers her name was carol ann powers directly related to william todd [ bill ] powers !

  3. Hi Darin :).

    From my research, I find that Bill was the son of James Richard Power (b. 1832, Shelby, TN) and Sarah Isabella Ray. James and Sarah lived in Ozark, Missouri for quite a while before their deaths. Bill’s brother, James Benjamin, was my ggg-grandfather.

    Hope that offers some insight!

    • 4 Jay L Powers

      JAMES RICHARD POWER WHO IS BURIED IN LOFTIS CEMETARY, OZARK COUNTY, MO WAS MY GGGRANDFATHER. HE HAD ONE SON BY HIS FIRST WIFE (NAME UNKNOWN), JAMES BENJAMIN POWERS WHO WAS MY GREAT GRANDFATHER. HE IS BURIED AT THE IDUMA CEMETARY NEXT TO THE IDUMA BAPTIST CHURCH NEAR LAQUEY, MO. JAMES BENJAMIN WAS A HALF BROTHER TO WILLIAM (BILL) POWER OF THE DALTON GANG.JAMES BENJAMIN SON CHARLEY POWERS WAS CONSTABLE, CITY MARSHALL AND DEPUTY SHERIFF IN RICHLAND, PULASKI, COUNTY, MO FOR 40 YEARS. I WOULD LIKE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THESE FAMILY MEMBERS.

  4. As a sidenote Darrin, I did a little research and I see you also posted on Sanders message boards. Struck me as odd because my great-grandfather was a Powers and my mother is a Sanders :).

  5. 6 Mary

    Hi. I’m descended from Eli Madison Powers and Mary Talitha Jones.
    We were told that our family is related to Bill Powers as a half brother,
    but to whom I’m not sure. Eli’s dad was Joseph Powers. I don’t know
    of any of their brother’s names.
    All lived in the vicinity of Neosho, Missouri and Indian Territory
    Oklahoma.

  6. 7 Tiger

    Interesting comments. Bill Power was my grandfather’s brother. The traditional history states that little is known about him. Our family has been inclined to keep it that way. One of my cousins is a dead ringer for Bill. Amazing.

  7. Just an update, all: My aunt says there is an article about our mysterious Bill in the latest issue of Wild West magazine (I believe). I haven’t seen it but if it should give any new information, I’ll fill everyone in…

  8. 9 Toni

    James Power was my gg grandfather. He had a son by his 1st wife who died in Kentucky. He then married Sarah Ray before signing up with his brother Francis for the union. Francis was married to Mary Willard “Mean Mary” they divorced. When Sarah died shortly after the birh of my ggrandfather, Thomas, James then married “Mean Mary” it is said that one of the older boys and Bill, in their teens, ran away because of the way they were treated. James and Mary are buried at the Loftis Cemetery, Ozark County, Missouri.

  9. 10 Mary

    Can you give us more info.? My family has always said that Bill Powers (of the Dalton Gang) was the son of Joseph T. Powers and a wife of the last name of Broadwell, born in 1862 in the Newton County, Missouri, making him a half brother to my great grandfather.

  10. 11 Toni

    I’m not sure what you want to know. The Missouri, Pulaski County, Roubideaux Township, Census of 1880 shows that James R. Power was born in Kentucky. He was married to Sarah Isabelle (Ray) Power. The children born in Shelby County, Indiana are: Nathan, Francis B.,Rosa, William Tod(d), Alfred, Emily, and Lilly. My gg grandfather Thomas Richard was born in Missouri. James R. Power married Mary after the death of Sarah. James and Mary”s children together were, George, Charles, and Winfield born in Missouri. Mary had other children from previous marriages. I’m not certain of their names. This information matched the census and the copy of The Department of Interior when James’ war pension was applied for. Let me know if your question wasn’t answered or if you have other questions I might be able to answer.

  11. 12 Toni

    I’m sorry I read wrong. James R. was born in Indiana. After mustering out James and Sarah settled in Pulaski County, MO. From other family members I have been told that Bill was born Sept. 25, 1869 in Pulaski Co., MO

  12. 13 Noah Keehl

    Im also related to Bill Powers


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