Harvey Alexander Logan (1867 – June 17, 1904), also known as Kid Curry, was an American outlaw and gunman who rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's infamous Wild Bunch gang. Despite being less well known than his counterparts, he has since been referred to as "the wildest of the Wild Bunch". He reputedly killed at least nine law enforcement officers in five different shootings, and another two men in other instances, and was involved in several shootouts with posses and civilians during his outlaw days.
Kid Curry was born in Richland Township, Tama County, Iowa. His mother died in 1876, and his brothers, Hank, Johnny and Lonny, moved to Dodson, Missouri, to live with their aunt Lee Logan. Until at least 1883, Curry made his living breaking horses on the Cross L ranch, near Rising Star, Texas. While there, he met and befriended a man named "Flat Nose" George Curry, from whom he took his new last name. His brothers soon adopted the same last name. The three brothers were known as hard workers until they got paid. Money didn't stay in their pockets for long. They all had a taste for alcohol and women. Kid Curry would often return from a train or bank robbery, get drunk and lay up with prostitutes until his share of the take was gone. After Kid Curry became famous, the prostitutes would frequently name him as the father when they became pregnant. The children were referred to as "Curry Kids." It is believed that Kid Curry was credited with as many as eighty-five children. The number of children he actually fathered was probably less than five. Descendants of the "Curry Kids" remain scattered throughout Eastland County and the surrounding areas to this day.
He rode as a cowboy on a cattle drive to Pueblo, Colorado, in 1883. While in Pueblo, he was involved in a saloon brawl. To avoid arrest, he fled, settling in southern Wyoming. In Wyoming, Curry worked at the "Circle Diamond" ranch. By all accounts, when sober, Curry was mild-mannered, likable, and loyal to both friends and his brothers.
The events that changed the course of his life began when his brother Hank and friend Jim Thornhill bought a ranch at Rock Creek, in what was then Chouteau County, Montana and is now Phillips County, Montana. The ranch was near the site of a mine strike made by local miner/lawman Powell "Pike" Landusky. Landusky, according to some reports of the day, confronted Curry and attacked him, believing Curry was involved romantically with Landusky's daughter, Elfie. Landusky then filed assault charges against Curry, who was arrested and beaten.
Two friends of Curry's, A.S. Lohman and Frank Plunkett, paid a $500 bond for Curry's release. Landusky's daughter, Elfie, later claimed it was Curry's brother, Lonny, with whom she had been involved. However, the confession came much too late. On December 27, 1894, Curry caught Landusky at a local saloon, and hit Landusky, stunning him. Curry, evidently believing the fight was over, began walking away. Landusky pulled his pistol and began threatening Curry, who was unarmed. Curry's friend and his brother's partner, Jim Thornhill, gave Curry his pistol. Landusky's gun jammed and Curry shot him dead.
Curry was arrested and at an inquest was released when it was judged that he acted in self defense. However, a formal trial was set. Curry believed he would not get a fair trial, because the judge was close friends with Landusky. For this reason, Curry left town.
He started riding with outlaw "Black Jack" Ketchum. Pinkerton detectives began trailing Curry shortly after his departure from Montana. In January 1896, Curry received word that an old friend of Landusky's, rancher James Winters, had been spying on him, for the reward offered in his arrest. Curry and two of his brothers, Johnny and Lonny, went to Winters' ranch to confront him. However, a shootout erupted. Johnny was killed, while Curry and Lonny escaped. Shortly after, Curry and Lonny argued with Black Jack Ketchum over the take in a train robbery. The two brothers left the gang.
They both received employment on a cattle ranch, arranged by their cousin, Bob Lee, near Sand Gulch, Colorado. Pinkerton agents trailing Curry gave up his trail briefly. Curry, Lonny, Walt Putnam and George Curry formed their own gang around this time. He temporarily left Colorado, intending to scout good targets for potential robberies. Around April 1897, Curry was reportedly involved in the killing of Deputy Sheriff William Deane of Powder River, Wyoming, as he and his gang gathered fresh horses on a ranch in the Powder River Basin. After this, he returned to Colorado to the ranch where he was working.
By June 1897, the cowboy job had ended, and Curry ventured north with the rest of the gang. They robbed a bank in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and met resistance outside the bank from the townspeople. One of their friends, Tom O'Day, was captured when his horse spooked and ran away without him. The others escaped, but while planning a second robbery a posse from the town caught up with them in Fergus County, Montana. During a shootout, Curry was shot through the wrist, and his horse was shot from under him, resulting in his capture. George Curry and Walt Putnam were also captured. All three were held in the Deadwood, South Dakota jail, but only briefly; they overpowered the jailer and escaped. They headed back into Montana and robbed two post offices.
During this time he began riding with the Wild Bunch gang under Butch Cassidy. It is believed that Kid Curry was considered the "fastest gun in the West" and that the Sundance Kid as portrayed in movies, who was not a gunman like Logan, was based on Logan. On June 2, 1899, the gang robbed a Union Pacific Railroad overland flyer near Wilcox, Wyoming, a robbery that became famous. Many notable lawmen of the day took part in the hunt for the robbers, but they were not captured.
During one shootout with lawmen following that robbery, both Kid Curry and George Curry shot and killed Converse County Sheriff Joe Hazen. Noted killer-for-hire and contract employee of the Pinkerton Agency, Tom Horn, obtained information from explosives expert Bill Speck that revealed that George Curry and Kid Curry had shot Hazen, which Horn passed on to Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo. The gang escaped into the Hole-in-the-Wall, an area that the gang used as its hideout. Curry and the Sundance Kid used a log cabin at Old Trail Town as a hideout before they robbed a bank in Red Lodge, Montana. Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and other desperados met at another cabin brought to Old Trail Town from the Hole-in-the-Wall country in north central Wyoming. It was built in 1883 by Alexander Ghent.
Siringo had been assigned the task of bringing in the outlaw gang. He became friends with Elfie Landusky. Effie was using the last name of Curry, alleging that Lonny Curry had got her pregnant. Through her, Siringo intended to locate the gang. Siringo changed his name to Charles L. Carter, disguised himself as an on-the-run gunman, and began mingling with people that might know the Currys, becoming friends with Jim Thornhill.
However, Kid Curry was in a place referred to as "Robbers Roost", in Utah. Curry then went to Alma, New Mexico, with Cassidy and others, intending to hide for a while. On July 11, 1899, while working at the W.S. Ranch, Curry robbed a train near Folsom, New Mexico, with gang members Elzy Lay and Sam Ketchum. A posse led by Huerfano County (Colorado) Sheriff Ed Farr cornered the gang near an area called Turkey Creek, which resulted in two gun battles over a period of four days. Lay and Ketchum were both wounded and later captured, with Lay killing the sheriff and wounding Colfax County Deputy Henry Love in the process. He received a life sentence for the murders. Ketchum died from his wounds days later while in custody, and deputy Love died from wounds he received. Curry escaped, but he, Cassidy, and other members of the gang were forced to leave New Mexico. Sam Ketchum was the brother of Tom "Black Jack" Ketchum. Curry traveled to San Antonio, where he stayed briefly. While there he met prostitute Della Moore (also known as Annie Rogers or Maude Williams), with whom he became romantically involved. At the time of their meeting, she was working in Madame Fannie Porter's brothel, which was a regular hideout for the Wild Bunch gang.
On February 28, 1900, lawmen attempted to arrest Lonny Curry at his aunt's home. Lonny was killed in the shootout that followed, and his cousin Bob Lee was arrested for rustling and sent to prison in Wyoming. Kid Curry was now the last surviving brother. In March 1900, Curry was identified in St. Johns, Apache County, Arizona as he was passing notes suspected of being from the Wilcox robbery. Local Apache County Sheriff Edward Beeler gathered a posse and began tracking Curry, who was accompanied by Bill Carver. The posse shot it out with Curry and Carver on March 28. Curry and Carver killed Deputy Andrew Gibbons and Deputy Frank LeSeuer. On May 26, Kid Curry rode into Utah and killed Grand County, Utah Sheriff Jesse Tyler and Deputy Sam Jenkins in a brazen shootout in Moab. Both killings were in retaliation for them killing George Curry and his brother Lonny.
Curry then returned with the Wild Bunch. They robbed a train near Tipton, Wyoming, which newspaper stories claiming the gang got more than $55,000. The gang again split up, with Kid Curry and Ben Kilpatrick heading south to Fort Worth, Texas, while Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and Bill Carver immediately pulled off another robbery in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Siringo, still working the case for the Pinkertons, was in Circleville, Utah, where Butch Cassidy had been raised. Curry rejoined the gang, and they hit a Great Northern train near Wagner, Montana. This time, they took over $60,000 in cash. Gang member Will Carver was killed in Sonora, Texas by Sutton County Sheriff Elijah Briant during the pursuit following that robbery.
Again the gang split up. In October 1901, Della Moore was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee for passing money tied to an earlier robbery involving Curry. On December 12, gang members Ben Kilpatrick and Laura Bullion were captured in Knoxville, Tennessee. On December 13, Kid Curry shot Knoxville policemen William Dinwiddle and Robert Saylor in a shootout and escaped. Curry, despite being pursued by Pinkerton agents and other law enforcement officials, returned to Montana, where he shot and killed rancher James Winters, who was responsible for the killing of his brother Johnny years before.
Curry then traveled back to Knoxville. In a pool hall on November 30, 1902, Curry was captured after a lengthy physical fight with lawmen. He was convicted of robbery because facts in the murder of the two policemen were not definite and no witnesses would testify, and he received a sentence of 20 years at hard labor and a $5,000 fine. On June 27, 1903, Curry escaped. Rumors that a deputy had received an $8,000 bribe to allow his escape spread, but nothing could be proven.
On June 7, 1904, Kid Curry was tracked down by a posse outside of Parachute, Colorado. Curry and two others had robbed a train outside Parachute. As they escaped, they stole fresh horses owned by Roll Gardner and a neighbor. The next morning, when they discovered their horses had been stolen, Gardner and the neighbor set out in pursuit of the gang. They joined up with a posse and continued tracking the outlaws. The gang shot Gardner's and his neighbor's horses from under them. Gardner found cover while his neighbor started running. Kid Curry took aim at the neighbor and Gardner shot Curry. The wounded Curry decided to end it at that time, and fatally shot himself in the head to avoid capture. The other two robbers escaped. The rifle Gardner used is still in the family today. Rumors persist that Curry was not killed in Parachute, and was misidentified, having actually departed for South America with Butch Cassidy and Sundance. Charlie Siringo resigned from the Pinkerton's, after believing they got the wrong man.
Curry is buried in Pioneer (Linwood) Cemetery overlooking Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a short distance from fellow gunfighter Doc Holliday's memorial.
This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons