Burt Alvord

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Burt Alvord
Burt Alvord Arizona.jpg
Born 1866
Died After 1910
Nationality American
Occupation Deputy Sheriff and outlaw
Criminal charge
Armed robbery

Burt Alvord (1866-after 1910), or Burton Alvord, was a little-known lawman and later outlaw of the Old West, who witnessed the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral at age 15. He began working as a deputy under Cochise County Sheriff John Slaughter in 1886 but later turned to train robbery around the start of the 20th century.


Mugshot of Burt Alvord at the Yuma Territorial Prison in 1904.

Alvord was an able lawman and tracker, assisting in the capture and or killing of several rustlers and outlaws between 1886 and 1889. However, his reputation soon began to suffer when he became an alcoholic. He frequented saloons in and around Tombstone, and began to keep company with outlaws and gamblers. When Sheriff Slaughter reprimanded him, he quit.

During the 1890s, Alvord worked as a lawman in several towns, including Fairbank, Arizona and Pearce, Arizona. In the late 1890s, Alvord formed a gang with outlaw Billy Stiles and "Three Fingered Jack" Dunlop. They began committing armed robberies in Cochise County, Arizona. Both Alvord and Stiles were captured in 1899, but they managed to escape. On February 15, 1900, Dunlop was killed by lawman Jeff Milton during a train robbery attempt in Fairbank, Arizona. Gang member Bravo Juan Yoas was also wounded. Alvord was captured later that year, and taken to Tombstone. Stiles went to see Alvord, and wounded the deputy on duty, allowing Alvord and 24 others to escape.

In 1902, Alvord assisted Arizona Rangers Captain Burton C. Mossman in capturing the Mexican bandit Augustine Chacon in exchange for the reward money and a reduced sentence. Chacon was hung at Solomonville, but Alvord changed his mind and never surrendered.[1][2]

Alvord and Stiles returned to crime, now pursued by the Arizona Rangers. In December, 1903, both were captured, but again made their escape. Alvord decided fake their deaths using the bodies of two Mexican men. They sent the bodies into Tombstone, with the news that they had been killed. However, an examination of the bodies revealed it was not the wanted men.

The Rangers followed them into Mexico, trapping them near Naco in February, 1904. Both outlaws resisted, but were captured after they had been wounded. Alvord spent the next two years in prison. After his release, he sailed traveled for South America. He was last seen in 1910 working as a canal employee. His life after that is unknown.

In 1955, Alvord and Stiles were portrayed by Chris Drake and Paul Sorensen in an episode of the syndicated television series, Stories of the Century, starring by Jim Davis.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Raine, pg. 74-77
  2. ^ Wilson, pg. 45
  3. ^ "Stories of the Century: "Burt Alvord", January 2, 1955". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  • Sifakis, Carl. Encyclopedia of American Crime, New York, Facts on File Inc., 1982
  • Burton Alvord, lawman and outlaw
  • Wilson, R. Michael (2005). Legal Executions in the Western Territories, 1847-1911: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4825-8. 
  • Raine, William MacLeod (1905). Pearson's magazine: Carrying Law into the Mesquite. Pearson Publishing Co.