Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Who Was The Kid In The Crack Behind The Dead Daltons?

April 19, 2022

   We just got this question from a reader:

   "Looking at the postmortem picture of the Dalton gang in Coffeyville, there is, as I'm sure you know, a small boy peeking through a hole in the wall just above Tom Evans' body.  The boy has been identified as Ray H. Clark.  Do you have any information of whatever became of Ray H. Clark?  That little fact would make a great addition to the story of the demise of the Daltons!

Thanks so much,

Steve Merrill
Fresno, California

Dead Daltons & The Kid In The Crack


Here is what a Coffeyville historian, told us about the Kid:

   "Ray H. Clark was born in Chanute on April 29, 1879 and he was 13 years old at the time of the Dalton Raid. In the 1900 Coffeyville Directory, Ray is listed as living at 502 W. 11th street. In the 1910 census Ray was listed as living with his older brother William and his wife Nellie. On September 12, 1918 Ray filled out a WWI registration card. He was 39 years old and by this time he was living in Portland, Oregon and employed by the NW Steel Co. as a shipfitter. He was married twice and died on September 22, 1949 in Portland, Oregon of a heart attack. His body was sent to Coffeyville, to be buried in Fairview Cemetery where both his parents are buried."

—Kris Cane, Coffeyville historian

    Thanks to Amy Dollar, who is the tourism director for Coffeyville, Kansas, for rounding up this fascinating information for us. This is what I love about my job. Getting to talk to the people who have spent their lives studying our amazing history. It doesn't get any better than this.

"A nation that disdains its past has no future."

—Paul Andrew Hutton


  1. The boy Ray H. Clark was nicknamed "Champ." His father is W.H. Clark, the photographer who took the iconic image of the dead Daltons. W.H. Clark also photographed members of the family of Joseph McJames, aka Joseph McAlister James, a 2nd cousin, once removed of Frank & Jesse James. A son of James, Daniel Ephraim James, was caught in the Condon Bank during the robbery. In March, 2019, the James family's website, Stray Leaves, published W.H. Clark's photo of Mary Ellen James, a half sister of Daniel Ephraim James. See the story "Dalton Gang Photographer Also Photographed the James." https://ericjames.org/wordpress/2019/03/18/sift-stray-leaves-march-2019/
    The story also has a link to the memoir written by the Condon Bank cashier that identifies Daniel Ephraim James in the bank at the time of the robbery.

  2. Anonymous11:12 AM

    My great grandfather was Frank Skinner who had a funeral home in Coffeyville. He laid out the Dalton’s bodies after the shootout. He then prepared their bodies with the rudimentary tools of morticians of that day. Frank Skinner is buried in the cemetery in Coffeyville.

  3. Anonymous6:48 PM

    My great grandfather, Charles A. Gentner, told our family that the little boy in the picture of the dead Daltons was him. He would have been 11 or 12 years old at the time. Was he teasing us?


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