This is not collectible.
While I have lived in Texas for nearly 50 years, I was born and grew to an adult in Kansas. When I tell someone of my origins, they almost always respond in one of two ways: “I have been there but I don’t remember much about it” or “that 400 mile drive across the state on Interstate 70 is really boring.” There is more to the state than that. The wheat grown there feeds the world, and the people are nice, but I will focus on the sometimes lawless history of the state.
Kansas achieved statehood in 1861, but it was far from civilized. From 1850 until 1900 the region was a frontier, and at the center of important events in US history: there was the westward movement of pioneers from Europe and the eastern US and the subsequent conflicts with Native Americans; the Santa Fe Trail crossed the state and the Pony Express and the Oregon Trail passed through a corner; there was a border war because Kansas was a free state and a center of the abolitionist movement, whereas neighboring Missouri was a slave state; and finally the several new railroads were extending westward into hostile territory and furthermore some of the railheads were the destinations of cattle drives from Texas. Each trackable in this series of metal travel bugs is named for towns with interesting histories (at least to me), some of which have connections to my youth.
As early as 1803 the present site of Coffeyville was occupied by the Black Dog band of Osage Indians who roamed this part of Kansas and northern Oklahoma, hunting buffalo. The site was first settled by white men in 1869 when Colonel James A. Coffey established an Indian Trading Post. News of the trading post spread quickly through the tribes living southward in Indian Territory and the business thrived. Soon a number of settlers came to the area and the new town that formed around the trading post was called Coffeyville, in the Colonel's honor.
A town was officially formed with the arrival of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad in 1871. It soon became yet another one of the famous Kansas Cowtowns as Texas cattleman used it as a shipping point. Saloons, dance halls and gambling places multiplied as the city served three major rail lines. Soon it took on the name of "Cow Town" due to its shipping point status and the large number of cattle grazing the open range surrounding the town. Once the railheads moved to Texas, Coffeyville settled down, at least until the famous Dalton Gang Raid in 1892.
Probably the best-known incident in Coffeyville history, the event occurred when the Dalton Gang tried to rob two banks simultaneously, but were instead, surprised by local citizens and police officers who fought back.
Obviously over-confident, the Dalton Gang planned what they believed to be one of the biggest bank heists ever. About 9:00 a.m. on morning of October 5, 1892, brothers Bob, Grat and Emmett Dalton, along with Bill Power and Dick Broadwell rode into Coffeyville to find the city's streets filled with people.
Tying their horses in an alley across from the banks, they dismounted and marched down the alley, three in front and two in the rear. The outlaws, disguised with false beards, divided into two groups, with Grat, Power and Broadwell entering the C.M. Condon & Co. Bank, and Bob and Emmett crossing the plaza to enter the First National Bank.
However, what they hadn't counted on, was disguise or no, one of them was recognized by a Coffeyville citizen who quickly sent out an alert. In no time, bullets began to punch through the windows of the banks as Coffeyville citizens fought back. Immediately, it turned out to be an all out gun battle between the town citizens and the outlaws. Less than fifteen minutes after the robbers had entered the banks, eight men were dead and three were wounded. Of the Dalton Gang, Bob and Grat Dalton, Bill Power and Dick Broadwell were killed. The local men that were killed were Marshal Charles Connelly, Lucius Baldwin, George Cubine, and Charles Brown. Emmett Dalton, who amazingly survived with 23 gunshot wounds, spent the next 15 years in prison.
Aside from having driven through town once, my connection with the town is tenuous. My maternal grandfather, who was then living in Oklahoma, was in Coffeyville at the time, heard the gunfire but did not participate in the fight.