Fort Worth, Texas, 1900
January 5, 1874|
Coleman County, Texas, United States
|Died||March 12, 1912
Sanderson, Texas, United States
|Cause of death||Gunshot|
|Other names||The Tall Texan|
|Criminal penalty||15 years|
|Allegiance||Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch|
Ben Kilpatrick (January 5, 1874 – March 12, 1912) was an American outlaw during the closing days of the American Old West. He was a member of the Wild Bunch gang led by Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay. He was arrested for robbery and served about 10 years of his 15-year sentence. Upon his release from prison, he returned to crime and was killed by a hostage during a train robbery.
Kilpatrick was born in Coleman County, Texas, in 1874, the third of nine children of a Tennessee-born farmer, George Washington Kilpatrick (or "Killpatrick"), by his wife, Mary, a native of South Carolina, according to the 1880 Federal Census.
After Cassidy's release from prison, Lay and he organized the Wild Bunch gang, and the gang began the most successful train-robbing career in history. Kilpatrick is thought to have been a friend of Lay, but he may have had minimal or no involvement with crimes involving Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid. Kilpatrick became involved with Kid Curry, but where or how they met is uncertain.
As was their trait, the gang would commit their robberies, then break up heading in several different directions, meeting up some time later in the Hole in the Wall hideout in Wyoming. Bullion and he made their way to Nashville, Tennessee, where they met with Kid Curry and his girlfriend Della Moore. Moore was arrested shortly thereafter for passing money traced back to one of the gang's robberies.
Kilpatrick was captured on November 5, 1901, in St. Louis, Missouri, and received a 15-year sentence.
He was released from prison in June 1911. On March 12, 1912, Kilpatrick and outlaw Ole Hobek were killed while robbing a train near Sanderson, Texas. The duo is thought to have participated in several train robberies outside of Memphis in November 1911 and February 1912, as well as other small robberies in West Texas.
- 1880 Federal Census for Precinct 11, Coleman County Texas (Coleman County Enumeration District 45, Sheet 6, Lines 1-8) shows "Benjamen A. Killpatrick" as a six-year-old native of Texas
Soule, Arthur, The Tall Texan - The Story of Ben Kilpatrick, Deer Lodge, Montana: TrailDust Publishing Inc., 1995