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Dalton gang following the 1892 Coffeyville, Kansas raid. Left to right: Bill Powers; Bob Dalton; Grat Dalton, Dick Broadwell
|Founded||March 21, 1890|
|Founding location||Pawhuska, Indian Territory|
|Years active||March 21, 1890 - October 5, 1892|
|Activities||Bank and train robberies|
The Dalton Gang was a group of outlaws in the American Old West during 1890–1892. It was also known as The Dalton Brothers because four of its members were brothers. The gang specialized in bank and train robberies. During an attempted double bank robbery in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1892, two of the brothers and two other gang members were killed; Emmett survived and was captured, tried, and convicted. He was paroled after serving 14 years in prison.
Bob, Gratton "Grat", and Emmett had first worked as lawmen for the federal court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and then for the Osage Nation. They started stealing horses to make more money and then fled the area. They decided to form a gang, and started robbing banks, stagecoaches, and trains. While their middle brother "Bill" Dalton never joined any heists, he served as their spy and informant.
Due to the sensationalism that surrounded the Dalton Gang's exploits, they were accused of several different robberies all over the country, but operated chiefly in Kansas and Oklahoma Territory. Numerous myths were published about the gang.
Their father was Lewis Dalton from Jackson County, Missouri and Kentucky. He was a saloon keeper in Kansas City, Missouri, when he married Adeline Lee Younger. Through her brother, she was an aunt of Cole and Jim Younger, who also became outlaws.
The Dalton children were:
- Charles Benjamin "Ben" Dalton (1852–1936)
- Henry Coleman "Cole" Dalton (1853–1920)
- Littleton "Lit" Lee Dalton (1857–1942)
- Franklin "Frank" Dalton (1859–1887)
- Gratton Hanley "Grat" Dalton (1861–1892)
- William Marion "Bill" Dalton (1863–1894)
- Eva May Dalton (1867–1939)
- Robert Rennick "Bob" Dalton (1869–1892)
- Emmett Dalton (1871–1937)
- Leona Randolph Dalton (1875–1964)
- Nancy May Dalton (1876–1901)
- Simon Noel "Si" Dalton (1878–1928)
The brothers who were members of the Dalton Gang were: Bob, Grat, Emmett, and Bill.
Their father Lewis Dalton spent much of his time unsuccessfully gambling on his own race horses. As early as 1870, he would travel to California to enter in the circuits, sometimes being gone for months at a time. Starting with his oldest, he would eventually bring all his sons along with him. In 1877, while their father was running horses in Visalia, California, the oldest sons were offered steady work but refused. After returning home from the races, Ben, Lit, and Frank, decided to take up the offer and traveled back to California to work as muleskinners.
Cole and Grat followed in 1880. Grat quickly made a reputation as a bar fighter in saloons up and down the San Joaquin Valley. That same year Frank was offered a job in the Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma, as a Deputy U.S. Marshall based at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and decided to take it. The job would result in his being closer to home.
Going in the opposite direction, Bill joined his brothers in California in 1884. He married and started a family, and leased a ranch in San Luis Obispo County.
The father Lewis Dalton eventually gambled away the family home in Belton, Missouri. In 1890 their mother Adeline acquired a piece of land near Kingfisher, when the Oklahoma Territory was opened for white settlement. Their father Lewis died shortly after, before any of his sons became outlaws.
On Nov 27, 1887, Frank Dalton and another deputy marshal, Jim Cole, went across the river from Fort Smith to arrest three whiskey bootleggers. As they approached the camp the bootleggers began to fire on them. Frank shot and killed two, but his gun jammed and he was killed by the remaining bootlegger. His deputy abandoned him after being wounded. Frank is buried in Coffeyville, Kansas.
After Frank's death, brothers Grat and Bob took over his job as Deputy U.S. Marshal at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Bob soon hired Emmett under him to guard prisoners. The trouble started when Bob killed a man in the line of duty, which he claimed was in self defense. He became restless and began to drink heavily. Afterwards Bob was given the job of organizing a police force in the Osage Nation, and took Emmett along as a deputy. Grat, meanwhile, stayed at Fort Smith. Emmett and Bob kept good reputations in the Osage Nation until July 1890, when they began stealing horses. Eventually, stockmen organized a posse to capture them, and forced Bob and Emmett to flee. They hid out on the bluffs of the Canadian River about seventy miles southwest of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, there they sent to Grat for help. Grat tried to send them food, horses, and ammunition but was caught and thrown in jail at Fort Smith, where he had formerly placed prisoners. After two weeks, Grat was released in the hopes he would lead the law to his brothers. Bob and Emmett, however, were able to take a train to California where they would begin to work at their brother Bill's ranch near San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California.
Discredited as lawmen, the Daltons would soon form their gang.
Grat Dalton returned to California to meet Emmett and Bob at Bill's ranch in January 1891. They worked there for about a month while they played poker and got in bar fights at saloons throughout San Luis Obispo County. Here they spent most of the money they had made from horse stealing. Around this time Bob Dalton began making plans to rob a train with the help of Emmett and Grat. Their brothers Cole, Lit, and Bill unsuccessfully tried to dissuade them. Emmett was initially against the idea, but agreed to follow Bob.
On the night of February 6, 1891, a Southern Pacific Railroad passenger train was held up by two masked men who carried only 44-calibre revolvers, near the town of Alila (present day Earlimart, California). No money was successfully taken, but during the crossfire with the outlaws the fireman had accidentally been killed by the expressman. The outlaws had worn masks during the Alila robbery, concealing their identities. It was asserted many years later by Lit Dalton, however, that Bob and Emmett had told him many times that they robbed the train. Grat was unable to join the heist after spending all his money on drinking and gambling in Tulare, California, therefore unable to secure a horse. Sheriff Eugene Kay of Tulare County, California and his posse tracked the outlaws to a ranch in San Luis Obispo County, near Cholame. They decided to see if they could spend the night at the ranch and continue their search in the morning. The ranch was owned by Bill Dalton. Early the next morning, as Sheriff Kay prepared to leave, he found the remnants of a saddle in a haystack near Bill’s barn. The saddle was missing a leather strap, the same strap that Kay had found at the scene of the hold up. Unknown to Kay, Bill had hid Bob and Emmett in his barn and they had barely escaped discovery. Sheriff Kay then spent the day in Paso Robles and learned what he could about Bill. He discovered that Bill's brothers had a reputation as horse thieves in Oklahoma, and had spent the past few months working at Bill’s ranch. He then received a telegram from Tulare and learned that Bob, Emmett and Grat had spent the past few days heavily drinking, gambling and following the Southern Pacific pay car as it made its monthly journey down the San Joaquin Valley.
Sheriff Kay was met in Paso Robles by Southern Pacific Railway detective Will Smith and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff O’Neal, where he told them what he had learned. Unknown to Kay, Smith and O'Neal then made their own trip to Bill Dalton’s ranch later that same day, expecting to surprise and arrest Bill, Bob, and Emmett. Sheriff Kay had been preparing his own posse to arrest the Daltons at Bill’s ranch, but after learning that Smith and O’Neal had already left, decided it was useless and waited for Smith to return with the Daltons. When Smith and O’Neal arrived at Bill’s, Bob and Emmett hid in a closet through a trapdoor that Bill had built in the attic. Bill invited the lawmen in but argued with Smith over his brother's guilt. He became angry with Smith but was calmed down by O’Neal and reluctantly allowed the lawmen to stay the night. They left the next morning empty handed and Kay was furious with Smith.
On March 17, 1891, the Tulare County Grand Jury indicted brothers Bob, Emmett, Grat, and Bill Dalton for the Alila robbery. A few days later Grat and Bill were arrested and placed in the Tulare County jail. A $3000 bounty was placed for the capture of Bob and Emmett. Bill however had already helped them escape California before he was arrested, and Bob and Emmett were on their way back to Oklahoma territory. Bill was soon able to secure bondsmen and was released. He quickly hired attorneys to defend Grat. While Grat sat in jail in Visalia, California, Bob and Emmett began making their way to Oklahoma. They borrowed money and supplies from their brothers, Cole and Lit, and made their way east across the Mojave Desert. After their horses were discovered at Ludlow, California, Sheriff Kay decided to pursue them with his deputy, Jim Ford. He discovered that the brothers had actually made their way to Utah to throw him off, and tracked them to the town of Ogden, Utah. After some close encounters, Bob and Emmett escaped capture by train. Sheriff Kay continued to track them throughout the Southwest for several months, even at one point entering Mexico, but with no success. Eventually they ended up at the Dalton home near Kingfisher, Oklahoma. The Daltons had many friends in Oklahoma willing to hide them and Sheriff Kay was forced to give up the chase in order to return to California for Grat's trial. After they realized they were no longer being pursued, Bob and Emmett robbed a train at Whorton, now Perry, Oklahoma, in May 1891. They then began to form what would be known as the Dalton Gang.
Even though much of the evidence showed that Grat was in Fresno, California the night of the Alila robbery, including the testimony of several witnesses, the influence of the powerful Southern Pacific Railroad led him to receive an unfair trial. The lawyer the Dalton's had hired for Grat was corrupt and it was not mentioned by the defense, nor the prosecution, that the fireman had been accidentally killed by the expressman. This was unknown to Grat, since the Dalton brothers had all assumed that Emmett had killed the fireman. While Grat awaited his sentence, a train robbery occurred near Ceres, California on September 3, 1891, but was unsuccessful with no money being taken. Sheriff Kay suspected Bill Dalton, and arrested him, as well a man joining Bill named Riley Dean. Kay found Bill and Dean at an abandoned overland stage station where they looked as if they were either planning a robbery, or to break Grat from jail. Both Bill and Dean established a clear alibi, but Bill was held in Tulare County Jail to await trial for his part in the Alila robbery.
On the night of September 20, Grat and two other men escaped from the Tulare County Jail in Visalia while Sheriff Kay was busy in San Francisco, California. Grat and the other two men had been slipped a saw from someone on the outside and were able to saw a hole in the bars. Bill had remained in his cell, and was found in the morning playing a popular song on the guitar that he set his own words to and titled, "You'll Never Miss My Brother Till He's Gone", and joked about how the boys had left him. Bill was acquitted and released on October 15. He then sold the lease to his ranch in San Luis Obispo County, moved his family to his wife's parents in Livingston, California, and left for Kingfisher, Oklahoma. After arresting the two other men who had escaped with Grat, Sheriff Kay learned that Grat was assisted by Riley Dean, and that they were both hiding on the summit of a steep mountain close to the Kings River, near Sanger, California. This would later be known as Dalton Mountain. On Christmas Eve, 1891, the posses of both Sheriff Kay of Tulare County, and Sheriff Hensley of Fresno County, ascended the mountain to Daltons camp. They ambushed the outlaws on their way back from a boar hunt. Riley Dean was captured, but Grat managed to escape, firing at the lawmen with his Winchester rifle, and stealing a horse from the nearby Elwood ranch. Grat then rode to a friends near Livingston, California, and stayed for several weeks before he escaped back to Oklahoma with the help of his brother Cole.
Bob and Emmett had meanwhile been busy in Oklahoma forming their gang. After their unsuccessful career in California they decided they could do much better in their home country and, unlike their first attempts, they began carefully planning their robberies. With Bob as the leader they recruited mostly men who had grown up with them in Oklahoma. First recruited were George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb and "Blackfaced" Charlie Bryant, Bryant received his nickname because of a gunpowder burn on one cheek. This resulted in the first robbery at Whorton, May 1891, where the gang stole $1200. Joined afterwards were Bill Doolin, Dick Broadwell, Bill Powers, and Charley Pierce. The gang was also assisted by Bob's lover Eugenia Moore, known by her aliases "Tom King" and "Miss Mundays", who acted as their informant but was also a notorious horse thief and outlaw.
In August 1891, Bryant was spotted in Hennessey, Oklahoma, after leaving the gangs hideout to visit his mother. The locals who identified him notified a Deputy Marshal named Ed Short. He arrested Bryant and took him on a train to be committed to the jail at Wichita, Kansas, without a guard or notifying Marshal Grimes at Fort Smith. After the train left Hennessey and was approaching the stop at Waukomis, Oklahoma, Short noticed a group of mounted men that looked as if they were trying to beat the train, and feared it was the Dalton Gang coming to free Bryant. Short put the baggage man in charge of Bryant, giving him his revolver, while he went to the rear platform with his rifle. The baggageman carelessly stuck the revolver into a Pigeon-hole messagebox and went to work at the other end of the car. Bryant secured the revolver and ordered the baggageman to go back to work. He opened the door to the rear platform and, while Short had his attention to the mounted men, shot him in the back. Short then turned and they both shot each other to death.
The second train robbery by the Dalton Gang in Oklahoma was at a small station called Lelietta on September 15, 1891, about four miles north of Wagoner, Oklahoma. Here they secured $19,000, which Bob spent mostly on women and gambling. Many members of the gang, including Emmett, complained that the $3500 each was not enough to meet their needs. Bill Doolin complained that Bob was not dividing the money fairly, and quit the gang, along with Newcomb and Pierce. Grat returned to Oklahoma in the spring of 1892. Some time later, the three dissatisfied members also returned and new plans began to formulate. Bill had returned to Oklahoma several months earlier, living at his mothers near Kingsfisher. Even though he did not participate in any of the hold ups with his brothers, he acted as their spy and advisor.
On June 1, 1892, the gang robbed the Sante Fe train at Red Rock, Oklahoma, securing about $50,000. Here the Santa Fe had found out about the Daltons plans and attempted to set up a trap for the gang, filling the train with heavily armed officers. However, they made the mistake of leaving the train dark which made Bob suspicious, and the gang allowed the train to go by. They then robbed the next train a few minutes later. The $50,000 however came out to only $1800 after draft and securities had been thrown out. After splitting the money amongst themselves it was soon necessary to rob another train.
The next robbery was on July 14, at Adair, Oklahoma, near the Arkansas border. At the station the gang took what they could find in the express and baggage rooms. They sat to wait for the next train on a bench on the platform, talking and smoking, with their Winchester rifles across their knees. When the train came in at 9:45 p.m., they backed a wagon up to the express car and unloaded all the contents. The eight armed guards on the train all happened to be at the back of the train when it pulled in. They fired at the bandits through the car windows and from behind the train. In the gun fight, 200 shots were fired. None of the Dalton gang was hit. Doctors W. L. Goff and Youngblood were sitting on the porch of the drug store near the depot. Both men were hit several times by stray shots; Dr Goff was fatally wounded. Also wounded were captains Kinney and LaFlore, but they recovered. The gang secured about $18,000. They were also accused of robbing a bank in El Reno, Oklahoma on July 28, however this was based on little evidence as no one identified any members of the gang.
Coffeyville bank robbery
|Coffeyville Bank Robbery|
Condon Bank Coffeyville, Kansas c. 1890 one of the two banks the Dalton Gang attempted to rob.
|Dalton Gang||Coffeyville citizenry|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Robert Dalton †||U.S. Marshal Charles Connelly †|
|5 outlaws||armed citizenry|
|Casualties and losses|
4 killed1 wounded and captured
4 killed4-6 wounded
Bob Dalton had ambitions. He would, he claimed, "beat anything Jesse James ever did—rob two banks at once, in broad daylight." On October 5, 1892, the Dalton gang attempted this feat when they set out to rob the C.M. Condon & Company's Bank and the First National Bank on opposite sides of the street in Coffeyville, Kansas. Bob had planned the entire robbery. Emmett however was against the idea. He had gone to school at Robbins Corners near Coffeyville and knew several hundred people in town. He was afraid some of his friends would be hurt, but Bob assured him there wouldn't be any shooting and that it would all be over before anyone knew what happened. The plan was that Bob and Emmett were to rob the First National Bank while Grat, Broadwell, and Powers robbed the Condon Bank across the street. Emmett thought Grat would mess things up if he went alone with Powers and Broadwell, and thought they should trade places. This led to a heavy argument between Bob and Emmett and created bitterness between them on the way to the robbery.
Bob had planned for the gang to tie their horses to a post behind the Condon Bank, where it was protected from the center of town by brick walls. They had not been to the town for several years however and the hitching post had since been removed during street work. Bob would not allow Emmett to check out town beforehand in fear that he would be recognized, so this was not factored into their plan. When they arrived Bob had to think quickly and decided instead to tie their horses in an alley across from the bank to the west, near the city jail, which offered them little protection. This is now known as Dalton Alley.
On the morning of October 5, the gang emerged from the alley onto the plaza of Coffeyville. A storekeeper who was sweeping the sidewalk a few feet away noticed Bob, Emmett, and even Grat who was wearing a fake mustache, and ran inside his store. In close order the five crossed Walnut Street from the alley to the Condon Bank, holding Winchester rifles close along their legs. Grat, Broadwell, and Powers entered the Condon Bank and Emmett and Bob hurried across Union Street to the First National Bank. There was street work being done at the time and one of the workers noticed the men dog trotting across the alley with rifles, and began to yell, "The Daltons are robbing the bank!" Very soon half the businessmen around the plaza knew what was going on and the message quickly passed throughout the town.
Grat entered the Condon Bank and pointed his Winchester at the cashier, ordering his hands up, while Powers and Broadwell took positions at the door. Grat went to the back office and ordered the manager into the front, he then handed the cashier a sack bag and ordered him to fill it with cash from the money drawer. Then, noticing the vault door was open, Grat ordered both of them into the vault where the safe with the gold was. When told to open the safe the manager lied, telling Grat it was a time lock and that it would not open for another ten minutes. Grat believed him and decided he would wait until it opened. He then ordered the bags of silver on the vault floor into his bag, containing $1000 and weighing about two hundred pounds.
Meanwhile, Emmett and Bob had entered the First National Bank, covered the officers and two customers, and ordered the cashier, Thomas Aryes, to open the safe where there was gold and cash. They put the gold into the sack, forced Aryes in front of them as cover, and went out the front door. They had planned to meet up with Grat and cross the plaza to the alley where they could make their escape, but word of the robbery had spread through town. As they exited the door an American Express agent opened fire with his revolver. Bob and Emmett returned fire and left Aryes on the sidewalk. They turned around, and went through the back door, carrying both rifles and sack bags while taking two other bank employees as cover.
Grat heard the revolver shots from the Express agent. He then decided the sack bag was too heavy to carry and ordered the silver taken out, then stashed what cash he could fit into his coat pockets. Two hardware stores in the town had meanwhile began passing out guns to the local citizens, who began firing through the windows at the Condon Bank. The three returned fire and held out, waiting for the time lock to open. Several citizens were wounded in the fighting.
When Emmett and Bob went out the back door of the First National Bank, they were met by Lucius Baldwin who had been watching the door with his pistol. Bob ordered him to drop the gun and, when he failed to answer, shot him with his Winchester killing him. Bob and Emmett then made their way to the end of the back alley onto Eighth Street where they could hear the townspeople shooting at the Condon Bank. Outside of a drug store across from the First National, George Cubine was standing with his Winchester aimed at the front door of the bank, awaiting the exit of Bob and Emmett. Bob shot him in the head. Cubine's partner, Charles Brown, was standing unarmed next to him and went to pick up his winchester. As he lifted the rifle up, Bob shot and killed him.
After being left on the sidewalk by Bob and Emmett, Thomas Aryes had run into one of the hardware stores and grabbed a rifle. He spotted Bob just as he had killed Brown and aimed his rifle at him from behind the store window. Bob saw Aryes from about two hundred feet away and quickly shot him in the head. Aryes was not killed, but he would remain paralyzed for life.
As bullets were showering into the Condon Bank, Powers told Grat he had been hit in the arm. Grat ordered the employees to lay on the floor in the back office and, after receiving the signal from Bob, told Powers and Broadwell that it was time to leave. The three went out the side door crouching and dashing across Walnut Street to the alley where they had hitched their horses. Bob and Emmett met Grat and the others in the alley, the sacks of money still over their arms.
As the Daltons made their way east down the alley towards the horses town Marshal, Charles T. Connelly, came through the livery stable into the alley and ran west towards the plaza without noticing the bandits behind him. Grat then shot him in the head and killed him. Following behind Marshal Connelly was John Kholer, still in the stable. Grat noticed him but before he could aim Kholer shot him in the throat.
Taking fire from the hardware store Bob was hit in the head and the heart, killing him instantly. Powers tried to mount his horse but shots from the store also killed him. Emmett was able to mount his horse unwounded and began riding away but, after noticing Bob was hit, turned around and attempted to lift Bob onto his horse. Emmett was then hit in the back with a load of buckshot. Broadwell was hit several times but managed to ride away. He was found two miles away dead.
Bill Dalton and Bill Doolin had been waiting several miles away with extra horses to aid the gangs escape. After getting tired of waiting they left, only to learn later the fate of the gang.
Grat and Bob Dalton, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers were all killed. Emmett Dalton received 23 gunshot wounds and survived (he was shot through the right arm, below the shoulder, through the left – right, in some accounts – hip and groin, and received 18-23 buckshot in his back). He was given a life sentence in the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas, of which he served 14 years before being pardoned. He moved to Hollywood, California and became a real estate agent, author and actor, and died in 1937 at age 66. Bill Doolin, "Bitter Creek" Newcomb, and Charlie Pierce, none of whom were at Coffeyville, were the only members left of the original Dalton Gang.
Years after the robberies and his release from prison, Emmett Dalton said that the relentless pressure put on them by Deputy US Marshal Heck Thomas as he hunted for them was a key factor in his gang's decision to commit the robberies. They hoped that a big haul from the banks would allow them to leave the territory and escape Thomas' heat.
Bill Doolin started a new gang with two men who had sometimes ridden with the Dalton Gang. Bill Dalton eventually joined him and the two became the leaders. The gang then became known as the Doolin-Dalton Gang. Dalton was reportedly one of the participants in a gun battle on September 1, 1893 at Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory. Three deputy U. S. marshals were killed in the shootout. He may have been one of a four-man gang who robbed the First National Bank of Longview, Texas, on May 21, 1894. He was shot and killed by a posse near Ardmore on June 8, 1894. Nine of the deputy U.S. marshals who killed Bill Dalton were indicted for his murder in the federal court at Ardmore in June 1896. Apparently, none was ever tried. Why they were indicted remains a mystery.
Lit, the last surviving Dalton brother, responded to a book written by his brother Emmett after the latter's death. Lit said that Emmett's book, When the Daltons Rode (1931), was largely fabrication. Emmett had denied accompanying Bob to California. On his death bed, Emmett told Frank Forrest Latta that he had robbed a train in California, and had used the alias William McElhanie. He asked Latta not to publish the information until after his death.
Grave of Dalton gang in Coffeyville, Kansas
In popular culture
- A largely fictional film version of the Daltons' lives was adapted from Emmett's 1931 book, When the Daltons Rode. Released in 1940, it starred Randolph Scott, Broderick Crawford and Brian Donlevy.
- The Daltons were featured in Randolph Scott's western, Badman's Territory (1946).
- The Daltons were also featured in yet another Randolph Scott western, Return of the Bad Men (1948), loosely based on Doolin's leadership of an outlaw gang in Oklahoma Territory combining the remnants of the original Dalton gang with new members to become the Wild Bunch.
- Randolph Scott himself plays Bill Doolin in the film The Doolins of Oklahoma (1949), in which he is depicted as a reluctant outlaw forced into a leadership role by circumstances after the Coffeyville raid.
- The motion picture The Cimarron Kid (1952), about the Dalton Gang, starred Audie Murphy as Bill Doolin.
- "The Dalton Gang" is a half-hour, 1954 episode of the American TV series Stories of the Century with Myron Healey as Bob Dalton, Fess Parker as Grat, Robert Bray as Emmett and John Mooney as Bill Dalton.
- The 1954 Franco-Belgian comic book Hors-la-loi, part of the Lucky Luke series, embroiders the Coffeyville events, with the gang made up only of Dalton brothers, all four of whom are killed in the end. Morris's comical depiction of the outlaws — as mustachioed and identically-dressed quadruplets differing only in their height — having proved popular, a second fictional gang of Dalton brothers physically indistinguishable from the originals and presented as their (bungling) cousins became recurring villains in the Lucky Luke series, later written by René Goscinny. These were also depicted in several films including La Ballade des Dalton (animated feature, 1978), Lucky Luke (1991) and Les Dalton (2004).
- The Dalton Girls (1957) is a fictional B-grade western in which Dalton sisters continue in the ways of their brothers.
- In 1957 the CBS documentary anthology series episode called You Are There offered the episode "The End of the Dalton Gang (October 5, 1892)", with Tyler MacDuff in the role of Emmett Dalton.
- May 25, 1959 episode of “Tales of Wells Fargo” was called, “The Daltons”.
- Three Minutes to Eternity is a half-hour, 1963 episode (season 12, episode 9, narrated by Stanley Andrews, known as "The Old Ranger") of the TV series Death Valley Days about their last robbery in Coffeyville, with Forrest Tucker as Bob Dalton, Jim Davis as Grat, and Tom Skerritt as Emmett.
- In Charles Portis's novel True Grit (1968), the young heroine Mattie Ross refers to Bob and Grat Dalton as "upright men gone bad" and to Bill Doolin as "a cowboy gone wrong."
- The 1973 song "Doolin-Dalton", by the Eagles, is a song about the Dalton Gang. The album from which the song came, Desperado, has a photograph on its back cover that shows the Eagles band members and songwriters re-enacting the image of the capture and death of the Dalton Gang.
- Robert Conrad starred as Bob Dalton in The Last Day (1975), depicting the events leading up to the gang's attempted robbery of two banks in Coffeyville. The film has a documentary-style voice-over by Harry Morgan.
- Randy Quaid starred in The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang (1979), a portrayal of the gang's attempted robbery of two banks simultaneously in Coffeyville, Kansas. (The following year, the actor would co-star in The Long Riders, about Jesse James's bank robbery attempt in Northfield, Minnesota, which similarly led to destruction of his gang.)
- The Ron Hansen novel Desperadoes (1979) is a fictional memoir purportedly written by 65-year-old Emmett Dalton in 1937.
- The Dalton Brothers is the name of a parody country and western band briefly impersonated by U2 during their 1987 Joshua Tree U.S. tour.
- The Max McCoy novel The Sixth Rider (1991) tells of the group's exploits from the vantage point of the possible sixth member involved in the Coffeyville bank holdups.
- In the movie Reign of Fire (2002), Matthew McConaughey's character states he had killed a dragon in Coffeyville, Kansas, and refers to the historical shoot-out.
- The videogame Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (2013) contains an episode based on the Coffeyville shootout.
- The Dalton Gang is referenced in the Morgan Kane book Killer Kane about the fictional gunslinger.
- The Dalton Gang appears in the Italian comic book Tex, No. 8 and 9.
- Joe Dassin wrote a song called "Les Dalton", inspired by the Lucky Luke characters.
- Hanna-Barbera created various versions of the Dalton Gang in animate productions, most notably with Huckleberry Hound.
- In the video game Red Dead Redemption, there is a gang called "Walton's gang," loosely based on the Dalton gang.
- "DALTON Family History: Old West Kansas – Dalton Gang – KS Heritage Group – www.kansasheritage.org". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- Latta, Frank (1976). Dalton Gang Days:From California to Coffeeville. Bear State Books. pp. 1–44. ISBN 1-892622-14-9.
- Latta, Frank (1976). Dalton Gang Days:From California to Coffeeville. Bear State Books. pp. 25–50. ISBN 1892622149.
- Latta, Frank (1976). Dalton Gang Days:From California to Coffeeville. Bear State Books. pp. 50–209. ISBN 1892622149.
- "The Dalton Gang Train Robbery at Adair, I.T." Lasr.net. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
- "The Dalton Gang's Last Raid, 1892". www.eyewitnesstohistory.com. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
- Latta, Frank (1976). Dalton Gang Days:From California to Coffeeville. Bear State Books. pp. 209–265. ISBN 1892622149.
- "Emmett Dalton Biography ¦ Oct. 5-10, 1892". Kayempea.net. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- Samuelson, Nancy B. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History. "Dalton Gang." Archived 2012-11-19 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Latta, Frank (1976). Dalton Gang Days: From California to Coffeeville. Bear State Books. pp. 1–44. ISBN 1892622149.
- "Three Minutes to Eternity on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Graeme Thomson (May 21, 2014). "The Eagles on Desperado: "We were quite taken with the idea of being outlaws..."". Uncut.
- "Coffeyville, Kansas --Reading 2". Cr.nps.gov. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- Latta, Frank F. Dalton Gang Days. Santa Cruz, California: Bear State Books, 1976.
- Coffeyville, Kansas: The Town That Stopped the Dalton Gang, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan
- Dalton Gang's Raid on Coffeyville, by Robert Barr Smith, History Net
- Presland, Kith M. "Emmett Dalton - His Life After the Coffeyville Raid". Kayempea.net. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Samuelson, Nancy B. "Dalton Gang". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Oklahoma Historical Society. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Weiser-Alexander, Kathy. "The Dalton Gang". Legends of America - Old West Legends. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Weiser-Alexander, Kathy. "The Dalton Brothers - Lawmen & Outlaws". Legends of America - Old West Legends. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Weiser-Alexander, Kathy. "Heck Thomas - Tough Law in Indian Territory". Legends of America - Old West Legends. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- "The Dalton Girls". Internet Movie Data Base. December 1957. Retrieved April 21, 2011.