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William Sherod Robinson, Alias Ben Wheeler


By

Len Gratteri, Rod Cook, and James Williams

This is the true story of a Milam County lawman who turned to a life of crime. Born into a wealthy family in Mississippi, William Sherod Robinson spent most of his life near Rockdale, Texas. During the 1870s, he served for a few years as a deputy sheriff in Milam County. However, in 1879, he became the leader of an outlaw gang. Robinson and his men rustled horses in Milam County and robbed stores in other counties. They were soon captured, and Robinson was facing a long term in prison. After getting out of jail on bond, Robinson left Milam County for good, deserting his wife and four young children. As a fugitive from justice, he spent some time in Wyoming and Nebraska before eventually settling in Caldwell, Kansas, where he was known as Ben Wheeler. There, he got a new start as deputy city marshal. The marshal happened to be another reformed outlaw, Henry Newton Brown, who had been an associate of Billy the Kid. Together, Brown and "Wheeler" cleaned up the town, but after a year and half of exemplary service, they reverted to their old criminal ways. Joined by two cowboys, John Wesley and William Smith, Brown and "Wheeler" attempted to rob the bank in Medicine Lodge, Kansas on April 30, 1884. The bank robbery failed and all four men were lynched the same day. This book represents several years of intense research on one of the most unusual characters of the American West.

Hard Cover with dust jacket.
277 pages including index.
ISBN 978-1-935632-02-3


Click here to purchase.

or

send $39.95 plus $4.00 for shipping (Texas residents add $2.97 sales tax) to:


James E. Williams
1605 South Highway 36
Milano, Texas 76556-2696





OUTLAWS:

Milam County District Court Docket (1836-1900)


An indictment was only an accusation. It did not necessarily mean that the person was guilty of the crime of which they were charged. Some cases which were initially filed in District Court were later transferred to County Court or Justice of the Peace Court.

613 The State of Texas vs. Napoleon Dawdy.
663 The State of Texas vs. Fayette Davis and James Skipworth.
664 The State of Texas vs. Fayette Davis
671 The State of Texas vs. James Skipworth.
890 The State of Texas vs. J.P. Wheaton.
1000 The State of Texas vs. Henry Norwood and William Reed.
1005 The State of Texas vs. Henry Norwood.
1006 The State of Texas vs. William Reed, Thomas Whittington, and James Lester.
1014 The State of Texas vs. James W. Boyles
1024 The State of Texas vs. Ingraham Johnson or Jim Syles.
1026 The State of Texas vs. John Beasley, et al. or Stephen Beasley
1041 The State of Texas vs. Cyrus Jackson, et al.
1056 The State of Texas vs. _____ Johnson.
1071 The State of Texas vs. William Massengale and Thomas Massengale.
1092 The State of Texas vs. Boyd Ellis
1095 The State of Texas vs. G.A. "Gus" Batte and Napoleon Dawdy (arson).
1125 The State of Texas vs. R.T. Yarborough.
1127 The State of Texas vs. R.T. Yarborough, George Scott, and M. Gibbons.
1130 The State of Texas vs. Richardson and Crabtree.
1135 The State of Texas vs. M. Toomey.
1136 The State of Texas vs. J.A. Badgero.
1136 The State of Texas vs. Conrad Auschicks.
1156 The State of Texas vs. Charles Newton.
1217 The State of Texas vs. Thomas Winston.
1218 The State of Texas vs. Robert Todd.
1303 The State of Texas vs. Robert Sauls and T. L. Culbreth.
1322 The State of Texas vs. H.L. Witcher.
1328 The State of Texas vs. J.P. Rogers.
1338 The State of Texas vs. Bill Newley.
1352 The State of Texas vs. T.L. Culbreth.
1362 The State of Texas vs. Robert Todd.
1404 The State of Texas vs. Richard Puckett.
1406 The State of Texas vs. John Smith.
1427 The State of Texas vs. Anthony Smith or Williams.
1467 The State of Texas vs. Conrad Anschicks.
1468 The State of Texas vs. C. Auschicks.
1742 The State of Texas vs. Light Townsend and Ed L. Cook.
1743 The State of Texas vs. Light Townsened and Ed L. Cook.
1755 The State of Texas vs. A.T. Fikes and H. M. Dillard.
1897 The State of Texas vs. T.L. Culbreth.
1899 The State of Texas vs. T.L. Culbreth.
1935 The State of Texas vs. Ed Bowles and Joe Campbell.
1951 The State of Texas vs. A.L. Robinson.
1996 The State of Texas vs. T.L. Culbreth.
2172 The State of Texas vs. O'Kane alias Joe Campbell.
2174 The State of Texas vs. William S. Robinson.
3103 The State of Texas vs. Ed Petitt and Bud Robinson.
3300 The State of Texas vs. Joe Campbell.
4741 The State of Texas vs. Bud Robinson (conspiracy to commit bribery).
4742 The State of Texas vs. Bud Robinson (bribery).



Milam County Fugitives from Justice (1887)

BARKER, IV.—Theft of cattle. Age 24 years; height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 150 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair dark; occupation farmer.

BUTLER, JIM.—Theft.

CHUMLEY, RUSS.—Theft of horse. Height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 160 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair dark; occupation horse thief. Has recently served a term in the penitentiary; relatives in Houston or Madison County. Indicted in Red River County for theft of cattle under name of Wade; is wanted in three cases for Milam County.

COLLINS, SEBE.—Theft of cattle. Color white.

DAVIS, ROAN.—Rape. Color black.

DICKERSON, ROBERT.—Rape.

GENT, W.A.—Theft of cattle. Age 38 years; height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 165 pounds; color white; complexion sallow; eyes blue; hair dark; occupation butcher and cattle thief.

GILLILAND, WILLIAM.—Theft of horse: Color white.

GRIFFIN, TOM.—Theft of cattle. Age 30 years; height 6 feet; color white; complexion dark; hair black; occupation farmer.

GRIFFUTH, WILLIAM.—Theft of cotton. Age 31 years; height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 160 pounds; color white; complexion dark; hair dark; occupation farmer.

HAYZEL, WILL.—Theft of horse. Age 22 years; height 5 feet 6 inches; weight 140 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation farmer.

JACKSON, HENRY.—Wire cutting. Age 25 years; height 5 feet 5 inches; weight 160 pounds; color white; complexion dark; eyes black; hair dark; occupation farmer.

JACOBS, WILL.—Murder. Age 30 years; height 6 feet; weight 160 pounds; color white; complexion red; eyes blue; hair red; occupation horse thief and murderer. Reward $500 by Governor and sheriff.

KIDD, IBRY.—Theft of horse. Age 25 years; height 5 feet 11 inches; weight 165 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation horse thief.

LUKE, JOE.—Theft of horse. Age 22 years; height 5 feet 9 inches; weight 140 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation farmer.

LYONS, J.C.—Theft of horse. Color white.

McCOWEN, H.C.—Theft of cattle. Age 20 years; height 5 feet 6 inches; weight 135 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair dark; occupation farmer.

McLAUGHLIN, SAM.—Wire cutting. Age 24 years; height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 150 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation farmer.

MILAM, BUD.—Wire cutting. Age 34 years; height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 155 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation farmer.

MILAM, MAT.—Wire cutting. Age 33 years; height 5 feet 7 inches; weight 150 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation farmer. Married and has four children.

SAMPIER, HENRY.—Arson. Age 24 years; height 5 feet 7 inches; weight 130 pounds; color white complexion dark; eyes blue; hair dark; occupation farmer.

SPEARS, JACK.—Wire cutting. Age 28 years; height 5 feet 10 inches; weight 160 pounds; color white; complexion dark; eyes dark; hair dark; occupation farmer. Has nature-mark on right cheek.

WINCHESTER, SATLEE.—Bigamy.


Milam County Fugitives from Justice (1889)

WILLIAMS, CHARLEY and JEFF.—Murder. Charley, the oldest, is about 28 years of age, about 5 feet 6 inches high, weighs about 130 or 140 pounds, has a light complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, wears a No. 5 boot, is beardless, and swings his arms in walking. He doesn't talk much, but has a pleasant countenance. Jeff is about 26 years old, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, weighs about 130 or 140 pounds, has a light complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair and mustache, some whiskers, and a low forehead. He has a downcast, or sneaking look out of his eyes, steps quickly, and walks a little stooped. If the two were seen together Jeff would be taken to be the oldest. Reward $200 by Governor and $50 by sheriff for arrest of each.


Milam County Fugitives from Justice (1892)

BAILY, CHARLEY.—Theft of cattle. Age 31 years; height 5 feet 7 inches; weight 140 pounds; color white; complexion red; eyes blue; hair light; occupation farmer. $25 reward by J. H. Bickett.

WALLACE, J.M.—Assault to murder. Age 31 years; height 6 feet; weight 170 pounds; color white; complexion dark; eyes dark; hair black; occupation horse thief. $25 reward by sheriff.

WELCH, —— —Bigamy. Age 30 years; height 6 feet; weight 180 pounds; color white; complexion light; eyes blue; hair light; occupation section hand. Lived near Gainesville.


Milam County Fugitives from Justice (1900)

Compiled from revised reports of sheriffs from Fugitive List of 1896, and from subsequent reports of sheriffs received at the Adjutant General's office.

BAGLEY, SIMON.—Sodomy. Age 40 years, beard stubby, stubby mustache, face bony, walks stooped, complexion black, height 6 feet, weight about 175 pounds, slender built, color black; former place of residence Buckholts; birthplace Robertson County; relatives in Robertson County; supposed to be in Brazos or Robertson County. Reward $10.

CARUTHERS, JULIUS.—Murder. Mexican. Wears long whiskers all the time.

CHRIO, YSBEL.—Murder. Mexican.

CHUMLEY, RUSS.—Theft of horse. Height 5 feet 10 inches, weight 160 pounds, color white, complexion light, eyes blue, hair dark, occupation horse thief. Has recently served a term in the penitentiary; relatives in Houston or Madison County. Indicted in Red River County for theft of cattle under name of Wade; is wanted for three cases in Milam County.

EDMONDS, ELY.—Murder. Color white. Indicted 1873.

EDWARDS, TOM.—Assault to murder. Age 26 years, height 5 feet 9 inches, weight 160 pounds, negro, occupation farm hand.

EWMAN, ELI.—Murder in 1879. Age 53 years, hair light, eyes blue, beard sandy, mustache sandy, face fleshy, fingers short and stubby, feet small, walks quick, short steps, complexion light, height 5 feet 2 or 3 inches, weight about 180 pounds, very heavy set; former place of residence Goliad County; birthplace Goliad County; relatives Goliad and Milam counties; quick movements; blacksmith by occupation; supposed to be on borders of Texas. Reward $50 by D. C. Kitching.

FRANKLIN, DENNIS, alias WILL TUFF.—Theft of horse. Age 30 years, hair black, eyes black, scattering beard, rough mustache, complexion black, height 5 feet 7 or 8 inches, weight about 160 pounds, medium build, color black; former place of residence Milano, Texas; common looking negro; supposed to be in Lavaca County. Reward $25.

GUAPEADO, NERONO.—Assault to murder. Mexican.

HALL, M. M.—Forgery. Last heard of in Comanche County.

HAYNE, JOHN.—Theft of a horse. Age 33 years, height 5 feet 7 inches, weight 135 pounds, color white, complexion light, eyes blue, hair light.

HENRY, J. P.—Theft of horse. Age 28 years, height 5 feet 8 inches, weight 165 pounds, color white, complexion dark, eyes dark, hair black.

JACOBS, WILL.—Murder. Age 30 years, height 6 feet, weight 160 pounds, color white, complexion red, eyes blue, hair red, occupation horse thief and murderer.

JAMESON, ED.—Assault to murder. Color white.

JINKINS, N. S.—Embezzlement. Colored, occupation preacher. Wears glasses all the time.

JORDAN, REUBEN.—Burglary. Colored.

KARR, L. C.—Theft of horse. Age 32 years, height 6 feet 6 inches, weight 175 pounds, color white, complexion sallow, eyes black, hair black, occupation cowman. Reward $50 by sheriff.

KING, JOE.—Murder. Age 60 years, height 5 feet 7 inches, weight 175 pounds, negro. Inclined to be bald.

LINK, ELI J.—Forgery. Age 35 years, hair dark, eyes dark, mustache dark, complexion dark, height 5 feet 10 inches, weight about 160 pounds, medium build, color white, occupation Campbellite preacher; former place of residence Cameron. Reward $20.

LYNCH, J. H.—Forgery. Color white.

LYONS, J. C.—Theft of horse. Color white.

McGREW, TOBE.—Poisoning. Negro. May be in Dallas County.

MOORE, WILL.—Theft of horse. Black negro.

NEWTON, JESSE.—Murder. Color white. Indicted 1873.

SECREST, BLAKE.—Theft of cattle. Age 38 years, height 6 feet, weight 150 pounds, color white, complexion dark, eyes dark, hair dark, occupation cowboy.

SECREST, SEARCY.—Theft of cow. Age 32 years, height 6 feet, color white, complexion sallow, eyes blue, hair dark, occupation cow-man. Reward of $25 by sheriff.

TAYLOR, JOHN.—Burglary. Age 17 years, negro. May be in McLennan or Hill County.

TOWNSON, EUGENE.—Assault to murder. Negro, occupation farmer. Reward of $25 by sheriff.

WALLACE, J. M.—Assault to murder. Age 31 years, height 6 feet, weight 170 pounds, color white, complexion dark, eyes dark, hair black, occupation horse thief.

WALLACE, JAS.—Assault to murder. Age 30 years, height 5 feet 11 inches, weight 170 pounds, color white, complexion dark, eyes black, hair black, occupation horse thief. Reward $25 by sheriff. Has been shot in several places.

WATSON, J. L., alias SANK WATSON.—Theft of horse. Age 22 years, hair dark, eyes black, small black mustache, complexion dark, height 5 feet 5 inches, weight about 125 pounds, color white, slender built, walks erect, wears No. 6 shoes; former place of residence Rogers, Texas; general appearance farm hand. Reward $20. Let this county for New Mexico.

WILLIAMS, CHARLEY and JEFF.—Murder. Charley (the older) is about 28 years of age, about 5 feet 6 inches high, weighs about 130 or 140 pounds, has a light complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, wears a No. 5 boot, is beardless, and swings his arms in walking. He does not talk much, but has a pleasant countenance. Jeff is about 26 years old, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, weighs about 130 or 140 pounds, has a light complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair and mustache, some whiskers, and a low forehead. He has a downcast or sneaking look out of his eyes; steps quickly, and walks a little stooped. If the two were seen together Jeff would be taken to be the eldest.

WILSON, HENRY.—Theft of horse.


LAWMEN:

Milam County Sheriffs (1837-1900)
Thomas Augustus Graves (1837-1838)
Samuel A. Cheairs (1838-1839)
Augustus W. Sillaven (1839-1841)
John F. Beal (1841-1843)
Ordera Watson (1843)
Jeremiah A. Hood (1843-1845)
Robert Hood Flanniken (1845-1846)
John McLennan (1846-1850)
Moses D. Arledge (1850-1852)
David Posey McCanless (1852-1854)
Jefferson Carroll Rogers (1854-1858)
Rufus Stinnett (1858-1860)
Hershel Crunk (1860-1861)
Lovett Thomas Dillashaw (1861-1862)
George Washington Thatch (1862-1865)
Abraham D. Cooper (1865-1869)
J. P. Rice (1869)
James D. Nunneley (1869)
J. T. Tormey (1869-1871)
Benjamin I. Arnold (1871-1872)
William Edward Mitchusson (1873-1876)
Middleton "Mitt" Livingston (1876-1878: elected February 15, 1876)
John B. Wolf (1878-1880; elected November 5, 1878)
Wyatt Lipscomb (1880-1886)
Andrew Jackson Lewis (1886-1890)
John H. Bickett (1890-1896)
Robert "Bob" Todd (1896-1902)

Milam County Deputy Sheriffs (1837-1900)
D. P. McCanless (1852)
Mat. F. Sims (1853)
J. H. Long (1861)
Bob Green (1874)
J. M. Randolph (1874)
W. S. Robinson (1874-1878)
R. B. Green (1875)
John F. Isaacs (1875)
John Landrum (1875)
W. M. Baines (1876-1877)
Matt Shelton (1876)
Henry Cone (1878)
William D. Paden (appointed November 27, 1878 by Sheriff John B. Wolf)
E. G. Simms (appointed December 2, 1878 by Sheriff John B. Wolf)
T. J. Carleton (1878-1879; appointed December 7, 1878 by Sheriff John B. Wolf)
John M. Randolph (appointed December 18, 1878 by Sheriff John B. Wolf)
_____ Lipscomb (1880)
C. F. Ingram (1883)
J. H. Bickett (1887)
G. L. Pool (1887)
_____ Giles (1888)
Ed Snively (1894)
John Gambill (1897)
_____ Steadman (1897)

Milam County Constables (1837-1900)
J. B. Boyles, Precinct 1 (1876-1878)
C. F. Ingram, Precinct 1 (1878-1880; elected November 5, 1878)
M. P. Stevens, Precinct 1 (1884)
G. C. Avriett, Precinct 1 (1899-1900)

John T. Thweatt, Precinct 2 (1874-1878)
Wyatt Lipscomb, Precinct 2 (1878-1880)
Giles C. Avriett, Precinct 2 (1884)
J. E. Lester, Precinct 2 (1890)
W. C. Cargill, Precinct 2 (1899-1900)

S. M. Kimball, Precinct 3 (1874-1876)
J. P. White, Precinct 3 (1876-1878)
T. J. Carleton, Precinct 3 (1878-1880)
J. D. Peeples, Precinct 3 (1884)
W. E. Peel, Precinct 3(1900)

John F. Isaacs, Precinct 4 (1874-1875)
W. T. Pryor, Precinct 4 (1875-1876)
E. G. Simms, Precinct 4 (1876-1880)
J. H. Cone, Precinct 4 (1884)
Porter Stevens, Precinct 4 (1899)

William W. Templeton, Precinct 5 (1874-1878)
F. Y. Norman, Precinct 5 (1878-1880, 1884, 1886)

George W. Glover, Precinct 6 (1878-1880; elected November 5, 1878)
R. C. Cotton, Precinct 6 (1884)
B. R. Mauldin, Precinct 6 (1892)

J. B. Young, Precinct 7 (1877-1878)
W. C. Yielding, Precinct 7 (1878-1879)
George M. Graham, Precinct 7 (1879-1880)
D. McCall, Precinct 7 (1880)
G. T. Lynet, Precinct 7 (1884)


Milam County State Policemen (1871-1873)

Cameron City Marshals (18----1900)
R. L. Batte (1892, 1894-1896)

Cameron Deputy Marshals (18---1900)

Rockdale City Marshals (1874-1900)
Hugh L. Witcher (1874-1875)
Thomas W. Deggs (1875-1876)
W. H. Cronin (1876-1878)
Hugh L. Witcher (1878)
John J. Ward (1878-1880)
D. P. Hewitt (1880-1881)
J. R. Arthur (1883-1891)
James B. Hamilton (1892-1895, 1897, 1899)

Rockdale Deputy Marshals (1874-1900)
N. N. Smith (1875)
L. C. Durham (1878)


Links:

Milam County, Texas Civil War Page:

visitors to this page since June 21, 2010.

Copyright © 2010 James E. Williams.

This page is under construction; last updated February 11, 2017.