The Great Edmond Train Robbery

Edmond’s brush with outlaw infamy occurred August 16, 1897 shortly before midnight, when the Jennings Gang robbed a southbound Santa Fe passenger train, about a mile south of downtown. During this period of pre-statehood history, daring outlaw gangs often became legendary in Oklahoma Territory. The Jennings Gang become legendary, but oddly enough, it was for their incompetence. Their Edmond job was no exception.  

Just two years earlier, Al Jennings and his older brothers, John and Ed, were attorneys in good standing, residing near Woodward. They had proudly followed in the footsteps of their father, Judge J.D.F. Jennings. John and Ed were hired to represent some young cowboys accused of stealing a keg of beer from a Santa Fe railroad car.

Attorney for the prosecution was Temple Houston, the fiery and charismatic son of Texas founder Sam Houston. Despite the fact that these were men of education and refinement, they were also not beyond the use of violence to resolve their differences.  

On October 8, 1895, the contention between both councils in court resulted in all three men drawing their pistols. Fortunately, cooler headed members of the court subdued them before any shots were fired.

Their feud resumed later that evening when the brothers entered the Cabinet Saloon to find Houston accompanied by former sheriff Jack Love. After further words the men pulled their pistols and a short, dodging gun battle commenced. Ed was killed instantly. John, shot through his body and one arm, managed to run out of the saloon and up the street about 200 yards before he collapsed.

The Jennings had