Sam Bass – A Dead Man’s Hand with Aces and Eights
After a month of moving to Georgetown, Texas, I took a ride south on IH-35 from Georgetown to Austin. I couldn’t help but notice a large green and white highway sign that said, Sam Bass Road. I became interested where this road went and exited and followed it to where another road sign came into sight, A. W. Grimes Boulevard.
I am not sure why, but I needed to find out who these people were just like I did when I wrote a story about the Runaway Scrape in Texas and discovered Three-Legged Willie’s statue on the town square in Georgetown.
Sam Bass and his gang held up two stagecoaches while in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1877. Sam had a fling with Calamity Jane and sat in the same chair Wild Bill Hickok sat in before being shot in a poker game holding a Dead Man’s Hand.
In the fall of 1877, Sam Bass and his friends robbed the eastbound Union Pacific passenger train and came away with over $60,000 in twenty-dollar gold pieces. After a successful robbery, they split up into pairs and went in all directions. Some were caught. Bass was an excellent transformist and disguised himself as a poor farmer and made his way back to Denton County, Texas with his share of the gold.
In the springtime of 1878, Sam and his gang robbed four trains within twenty miles of Dallas. Word was sent to Governor Hubbard that something needed to be done. The bandits became the object of a spirited chase across North Texas by reward-seeking citizens and a special company of Texas Rangers headed by Junius Peak.
Follow the life story of Sam Bass from his childhood days to his last days in Round Rock, Texas on July 21, 1878. Even though this notorious outlaw spent less than a week in this small community, his short visit put the town on world atlases and had a major street named after him. It wasn’t but a few years ago the community got together and named a boulevard after Deputy A. W. Grimes, the man Sam Bass was accused of killing in 1878. Unlike John Wesley Hardin, he had no notches on his gun handle and once joked about selling his revolver for money.
Historical figures in novel: Jack McCall, Wild Bill Hickok, Deadwood, South Dakota, Calamity Jane, Martha Cannary, Joel Collins, Samuel Bass, Henry Underwood, Steeldust, Sheriff Eagan, Sarah Lacey, Kate Leroy, Frank Corley, Maggie MacDonald, Jack Davis, James Berry, Tom Nixon, Bill Heffridge, Jim Murphy, Sheriff Brousaard, Frank Blockey Jackson, Tooney Waits, Tom Gerrin, Billy Everheart, Bob Welch, Elizabethtown, Marshall George Smith, Arkansas Johnson, Charlie Carter, Sawnie Robertson, John Laws John Wesley Hardin, Waco, John Jones, Colonel Richard Hubbard, T. J. Jackson, Judge DuVal, Texas Rangers, Scott Mayes, Judge Jim Hogg, Round Rock, Texas, Brushy Creek, Dick Ware, Chris Connor, George Harrell, Mary Matson, Reverend J. W. Ledbetter, Walter Johnson, Tom Spotswood, Seaborn Barnes, Nubbins Colt, Sheriff George Drennan, Thomas Gerren, Albert Herndon, Sam Pipes, Billy Collins, Will Scott, George Noble, Governor Richard Hubbard, Lieutenant Junius Peak, Frank Finley, James Curry, John Lovejoy, John McKeen, Julius Alvord, Albert Grimes, Judge Jesse Grimes, Captain Lee Hill, Kopperal’s Store, Highsmith’s Livery Stable.