Friday, October 16, 2015

Both sides of the law

This one has been mentioned before, but bears repeating.

Henry Jerrell elected to join up with the Reno Brothers gang after the Civil War. The Renos were credited with making the train robbery a popular criminal act. The gang was based in Jackson Co., IN and pulled jobs near home and in neighboring states. Several members of the gang met violent deaths, including lynching.

In 1868, Henry wrote his girlfriend in Louisville, KY about plans and where to meet him. Being unable to read, the young woman had a friend read the letter to her. Unfortunately for all concerned, a Pinkerton agent was within earshot.

Henry and other members of the gang were arrested, but taken from law enforcement officers by vigilantes. The outlaws were lynched.

Henry's brother left Indiana and found his way to New Mexico. There he married and started a family. William dabbled in mining, ran a grocery and a saloon and billiard hall. Following the robbery of a mercantile in 1884, William was enlisted as a deputy sheriff and was sent to Texas to help bring in the thief. The stagecoach which carried him to San Angelo was held up. Jarrell and a Texas Ranger opened fire. Jerrell was shot twice and died from his wounds at the hotel in San Angelo.

One brother hanged, another killed in the line of duty.

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