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James Henderson

James Henderson shot and killed: not related to Thomas H. Henderson...
Arkansas City Traveler, July 23, 1879
                                        FIGHT ON THE MAIN CANADIAN.
                       Four Robbers Murder Two Men and Wound the Third One.
On the evening of July 2nd, as W. W. Woods, Troy Stockstill, James Henderson, and T. H. Candy were driving up the Shoto valley, a small creek emptying into the Main Canadian, about 18 miles above Johnson’s store, and 80 miles from Fort Reno, near where the Chisholm trail crosses the river, they noticed four men riding in a slow lope toward their camp. Mr. Stockstill and Woods were on their horses, and James Henderson was standing in front of the wagon, while the cook and one herder were close by. Candy was with the herd and not in sight.
The men rode up, halted, and remarked: “Hello, boys, how are you getting along?”
One of the party responded: “Slowly.”
After taking a glance around, the men all dismounted at once, and drawing their revolvers, the leader said: “I guess we will have to arrest you.”
That game had been played often in the Territory, to “ar­rest” men under pretense of law, and then disarm and rob them, but these men fully understood the movement, and Stockstill said: “No, you don’t,” and drew his pistol and raised his arm to fire. Just then one of the robbers shot him in the side, which caused his horse to turn, and another shot was put in his stomach. The horse than ran with the lifeless body full half a mile, when the corpse fell clear of the saddle to the ground.
Henderson was shot in the heart and dropped dead in his tracks as he stood unarmed before them. Several shots where then fired at the cook as he ran; and also the herder, who was badly wounded in the arm.
At the first shot, Woods’ horse became unmanageable and ran half a mile with him before he could control him. As soon as he could turn him he made towards camp, when the robbers sent a volley after him from their Winchester rifles, shooting his horse from under him.
As Stockstill’s horse ran he was shot twice.
The wounded herder was then requested to step out where they could finish him; but he begged so hard for his life that he was allowed to go.
Troy Stockstill was a resident of Medicine Lodge, Barbour County, Kansas, where he had been engaged in raising cattle, and was a gentleman and well-respected citizen. He leaves a wife and six children, the oldest being young ladies of about 17 or 18 years.
James Henderson was a single man, whose parents live in Oskaloosa, Kansas.
This is only one case out of many that are transpiring almost continually in the Territory.
In the section we speak of there are at least forty outlaws from Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and the state of society is fearful.

Many an officer in search of criminals that have gone into this and other neighborhoods have mysteriously disappeared, and never been heard from, all going to prove that the Territory should be brought into the Union and have competent men and civil laws instead of being a den for desperadoes.
Winfield Courier, July 24, 1879.
While at Arkansas City last Thursday evening, our local met Capt. C. M. Scott, from whom he learned the particulars of a dastardly murder which occurred on the Canadian in the territory. It seems that there is a band of white and half breed outlaws inhabiting the region of the Canadian, who make a practice of stealing and murdering everything in their way.
On July 2nd as Moses Stockstill, James Henderson, and a cook and herder were returning from the territory with a lot of cattle, which they had purchased from the Indians, they were met by four of these desperadoes who told them to throw up their hands, and their request not being complied with, they commenced shooting immediately.
Mr. Stockstill was killed instantly and Mr. Henderson was shot while attempting to take a gun from the wagon. The herder was wounded and begged so hard that the roughs spared his life. After taking the horses, cooking utensils, and personal effects of their victims they started for the foot hills. It is supposed at Arkansas City that this is the old stamping ground of the bank robbers. Stockstill has a wife and six children living in Medicine Lodge.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 6, 1880.

The notorious outlaw, West Brown, broke jail at Henrietta, Texas, last Friday, October 1, and made his escape to the Indian Territory. Sheriff Craig, of Clay county, Texas, offers $1,100 reward for his capture. Brown is well known throughout the Territory and southern Kansas as a fearless, reckless man, and a hard character. He participated in the Caneyville, Kansas, robbery, assisted in the murder of Stockstill and Henderson, stock men, and is thought to have been one of the men implicated in the Cowley County Bank robbery in 1878 at this place. For a number of years he has been roaming along the border of Kansas, making his headquarters at the mouth of the Cimarron. More than $2,000 in rewards had been offered for him before he was captured in New Mexico and taken to Henrietta. On one occasion he trav­eled four hundred miles to kill a half-breed Indian who had informed an officer of his whereabouts.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum