Idaho History Sept 15, 2019

William Manson Troven “Six-Shooter Jack” Lobb

Altures (Blaine/Camas) County, Idaho

Six-Shooter Jack

One of the hallmarks of the old west is outlaws with colorful nicknames. Idaho had seen a few. One of them, Sixshooter Jack, met his end at the hands of a posse on Camas Prairie in present day Camas County.

The attached images contain the story from Hailey’s Wood River Times, June 16, 1883.

– Ben Rast

SixshooterJack-Headline

Wood River Times, June 16, 1883

General E. E. Cunningham arrived in town, late last evening, bringing the news of the killing of Sixshooter Jack, a noted highwayman and desperado, and the arrest of one of his accomplices.

For some days past H. G. Valiton, of Montana, who has had several horses stolen by highwaymen, has been on the trail of Sixshooter Jack, whom he suspected of stealing the animals. Last Wednesday Mr. Valiton applied to Sheriff Furey for a posse, saying that his man was on Willow Creek. As this information was corroborated by a letter from Mr. Hutchins, the Bellevue livery stable-keeper, Sheriff Furey at once organised a posse composed of Deputy Sheriffs Cunningham and McCurdy, and of H. G. Valiton, County Jailer Campbell, H. Stevenson, Frank King, George Dyer, Al. Theriot, Major Meusch, and a driver of an express wagon which was taken along.

The party left about 9 o’clock Thursday morning, going by way of Croy’s gulch to Willow Creek, where they arrived about noon. There they learned that the highwaymen had started from Willow Creek three and a half hours before, going west on the Boise road. The posse followed in haste. About 5 o’clock Jones’s was reached, where the posse got supper, and learned that the party was three-quarters of an hour ahead of them. The posse then sent Frank King, a cowboy, ahead, to fall in with the thieves, scan them closely and examine the brands on the horses, to make sure that the parties were those sought.

King overtook the highwaymen about six miles out, role with them four miles, and returned to report them camped near the next stage station west of Jones’s, and about 60 miles west of Hailey, close to Grave Creek.

The posse thereupon moved down the creek, and organized by electing General E. E. Cuuningham commander of the party. This gentleman at once directed that the posse proceed until near the point where King had left the men; there they were to leave the team, wagon and horses, and a reconnoitering party was to go forward to discover the camp.

Arrived at the place designated, Messrs. Cunningham, McCurdy and Theriot went afoot to Grave creek, about one mile away, and discovered the outlaws’ camp by moonlight, it being between 11 and 12 o’clock at night. The outlaws were in bed in the open air, in a small plot of ground half surrounded by brush, on the west side of the creek, and just above the Boise road. The stolen stock was found about half a mile up the creek.

The reconnoitering party returned to the posse, and adopted the following plan of operations: They were to surround the camp quietly, each man taking the position assigned to him, and to remain there until the sights of their guns could be seen clearly.

At daylight General Cunningham was to call upon the camp to surrender, and at this call each man of the posse was to spring forward, cock and level his gun on the thieves’ camp, and order the outlaws to throw up their hands. In case of resistance General Cunningham was to fire, and at this signal the posse were to discharge a volley into the camp.

Messrs. Cunningham, McCurdy and Stevenson took the east side of the creek, within ten steps of where the outlaws laid, while the remainder of the party completed a circle around the camp.

At daylight General Cunningham called upon the camp to surrender. McCurdy and Cunningham stood side by side, and Stevenson a few yards below them, on the creek. McCurdy and Cunningham leveled their guns upon the bed where Six-shooter Jack and Charley Warfield were lying. They were awake and had been talking a few minutes before. Each one of the posse sprang forward when Cunningham spoke, and yelled: “Throw up your hands!”

Warfield raised up first, and partly put up his hands. Jack raised immediately afterward, glanced at McCurdy and Cunningham and reached for his guns with both hands. Cunningham fired first, McCurdy following two seconds after, and the rest of the party discharged a volley into the camp. Jack was shot through, and as he fell back he had a pistol in his right hand and discharged it. The rest of the party – five men – thereupon threw up their hands and were handcuffed. As, with the exception of Warfield, they were evidently simply travelers who had joined the outlaws’ party, they were allowed to go.

McCurdy now went to Jack’s bed, where he found and possessed himself of six revolvers, and in about five minutes Jack drew his last breath.

The wagon was now brought up, a man sent half a mile after a team which Jack and Warfield had stolen in Montana, the other six horses feeding being claimed by the other members of the outlaws’ party, and the posse, after breakfasting, started on the back track, arriving here about 9 o’clock this morning.

Six-shooter Jack was from Butte, Montana, where he was known as Loeb. He killed a man there some years ago, and was sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary. After serving only 22 months he was pardoned, and since then he has been a horse-thief, brawler, and bad character generally, and at times, while laying around Butte, would discharge two guns at once, shooting the spots of two aces every time. He was a great lover of fancy arms, and always had three or four fine revolvers about him.

The Coroner’s Inquest

Coroner Wheeler held an inquest over the remains of the dead outlaw to-day, and the evidence being substantially as above, the verdict of the jury was that deceased was killed while resisting arrest. He will be buried in Hailey Cemetery.

source: Ben Rast, Hailey’s Wood River Times, June 16, 1883
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Wood River Times Newspaper, Hailey, Idaho

1913WoodRiverTimes-a

Wood River Times newspaper, next to it is the oldest building in Hailey. MT. Della is in the distance. July, 1913.

source: Idaho State Historical Society
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Hailey Cemetery

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William Manson Troven “Six-Shooter Jack” Lobb

Birth: 14 Nov 1849 Blue, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Death: 15 Jun 1883 (aged 33) Camas County, Idaho, USA
Burial: Hailey Cemetery Hailey, Blaine County, Idaho, USA
Plot: Buried in the old Blaine County cemetery part of Hailey. There are no Headstones in this section

Killed at Grave Creek, Camas (Blaine Co) Idaho

He was a great lover of fancy arms and always had three of four fine revolvers about him. It was said he could shoot two guns at once shooting the spots off two aces every time.

Family Members
Parents
Manson L Lobb 1824–1853
Elizabeth Ann Crump Fisher 1825–1891

Sibling
Fannie Ellen Lobb Prewitt 1852–1878

Half Sibling
Maud H. Fisher 1866–1885

source: Find a Grave
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‘Horse thief Six Shooter Jack killed out Croy Canyon’

In 1883, the weeks leading up to Hailey’s Fourth of July celebration were anything but quiet

By Tony Evans Express Staff Writer Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In late June of 1883, a deluxe railroad car carrying mining baron George Hearst stopped in the dusty frontier town of Hailey, Idaho. Hearst was one of the biggest mining men in the world and T.E. Picotte, publisher of the Wood River Times, knew his visit would put the town on the map.

“Mr. Hearst’s visit here will do us a great deal of good, as his movements are usually watched and when possible imitated by a number of smaller capitalists who have the utmost confidence in his judgement,” Picotte wrote. “When a district gets good enough for Hearst, they say, it is good enough for any mining town.”

During that summer, Hailey was trying out a “new-fangled electric light” for the first time. It frustrated citizens because “the dadgasted thing can’t be made to work when wanted.”

Along with Hailey’s rising fortunes as a silver-mining town came a certain amount of bad behavior. An 1881 newspaper notice for the Fourth of July Ball at a new Main Street hotel warned that “no objectionable characters will be admitted.”

Objectionable or not, the characters that populated Hailey during the silver boom of the 1880s often made it into the newspaper, and have now become part of the lore of the Wood River Valley. Miners, after toiling in the rocky hills and gulches around Hailey, came to town to drink and gamble on Main Street or patronize the brothels on River Street. William Kennedy shot and killed Hank Lufkin at the former Broad Gage Bar in 1889, the same year that Lem Chung, a Chinese cook, was fatally stabbed, following a quarrel over a $2 gambling debt. George Hailey, son of Hailey’s founding father, John Hailey, allegedly stabbed a man to death in front of the Hailey post office and fled, never to be captured.

As Hearst’s train approached town, two weeks before Independence Day in 1883, Hailey Sheriff C.H. Furey must have felt some pressure from the town fathers to do something about Six Shooter Jack.

Jack was from Butte, Mont., where he was also known as Loeb. He had killed a man there several years before and was sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary. After serving only 22 months, Jack was pardoned, and according to the Wood River Times, had become “a horse thief, brawler and bad character, generally, and at times, while laying around Butte, would discharge two guns at once shooting the spots off two aces every time.”

Picotte said Jack was “a great lover of fancy arms and always had three or four fine revolvers about him.” Furey wasn’t taking any chances going after the gunslinger, who had lately been implicated in a rash of horse-thieving on the road from Butte.

“This morning a calvacade of fierce looking men armed to the teeth and accompanied by a wagon filled with provisions, ammunition, and extra guns, carbines, cutlasses and revolvers, left the sheriff”s office for Camas Prairie, going via Croy Gulch,” Picotte reported on June 20.

Onlookers thought the posse had been mustered to suppress an Indian outbreak, or defend newly discovered gold fields to the west. In fact, Furey had made up his mind to do something about horse-thieving in Alturas County after receiving the following telegram from H.G. Valiton on June 10:

“Look out for Six Shooter Jack and Charles Warfield. They passed here Friday, on the road to Arco, horseback, riding chestnut sorrels and bay horses, carrying large rolls of blankets behind their saddles.”

Valiton had requested the well-armed posse from Furey after losing horses and a wagon to Six Shooter Jack. General E.E. Cunningham was elected leader of the posse after Jack was reported camped in Willow Creek west of Hailey on the road to Boise City.

It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon when the posse spotted Jack and several others in his band in the distance. A cowboy by the name of Frank King was sent to fall in with the thieves, identify the brands of the stolen horses and report back.

King found the desperados after riding six miles, rode with them for four miles and returned to Cunningham to report on the location of their camp, about 60 miles west of Hailey near Grave Creek.

Cunningham and two deputies approached the camp by moonlight and on foot. They found the outlaws sleeping in the open air in a clearing surrounded by brush. By daylight the entire posse had surrounded the men, and called on them to surrender.

Jack went for his guns and was shot through with a volley of bullets. His partner, Warfield, was arrested. Four others were let go as they were deemed innocent and had only ridden along with the criminals.

Deputy McCurdy went to Jack’s bed and took six revolvers. In about five minutes he watched as Jack drew his last breath.

The Fourth of July celebration in Hailey began two weeks later with an anvil salute at daylight that “awoke the country for miles around,” wrote Picotte. The Miner’s Union, 250 men strong, paraded through the streets of Bullion and into Hailey. Grand Marshal W.T. Riley joined the procession with the Ogden Brass band and a mile-long parade of vehicles of every description, “from the hay wagon to the family carriage.”

Some 3,000 people gathered at Dorsey’s Grove to hear E.O Wheeler, poet of the day, from Ketchum, read “Hail Columbia, Gem of the Ocean,” a song that, at the time, vied with “The Star-Spangled Banner” for national anthem status. The Red Stocking Nine baseball team of Hailey played the Gate City Nine of Bellevue. Picotte reported that the umpire made so many bad calls against Hailey that the team walked away rather than finish the game.

“The Red Stocking refused to continue, although they could readily have vanquished their opponents,” he wrote.

Just after 9 p.m., the fireworks began with a signal rocket sent up from the south end of the Chief of the Hill claim on Carbonate Mountain.

George Hearst would leave town that summer after inspecting his claims in Hailey, no doubt telling stories one day to his son, William, about the Wild West of Idaho.

Young William Randolph Hearst, perhaps enchanted by the stories of America, would one day found an empire of his own in journalism.

source: Tony Evans, Idaho Mountain Express Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.
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4th of July Parade Hailey, Idaho 1883

4th of July parade down Main Street in Hailey, headed by Miners’ Union.

shared by Bob Hartman
source: Copyright 2012 Idaho State Historical Society.
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link to: Wood River, Altures (Blaine) County, Idaho