Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bud Blunt

The last but not the least of the Granby (Missouri) desperadoes was Allen "Bud" Blunt (also spelled "Blount"). Bud was born around 1850 at Poplar Bluff (Mo.) in Butler County and moved with his family, including three brothers and two sisters, to Granby in the early 1860s. Although he was involved in a scrape in late 1873 when his pal John Cole was shot and killed on the streets of Granby (see my previous post on Hobbs Kerry), Bud, like a lot of outlaws, seemingly started off on the right side of the law, running for city marshal of Granby in 1874 as the candidate of the Workingman's Party. In 1877, though, he and a gang that included George Hudson and Bud's older brother, John, galloped into the nearby town of Webb City and shot up the place, wounding a couple of innocent bystanders, because a friend of theirs had been incarcerated there for public drunkenness. Shortly after this incident, Hudson and the Blunts moved to Colorado, where Hudson and Bud Blunt assaulted and robbed one man and, according to Blunt's own later testimony, killed another near Leadville. Around 1880, the Blunts ambled into Arizona Territory, where Bud got beat up by a man named McDonald at the mining camp of Tip Top and killed the man in retaliation. He was sentenced to the territorial prison for the crime, but Wyatt Earp, who knew the Blunt boys, intervened on Bud's behalf and helped get him released after a couple of years. Bud returned to his home territory after his release but couldn't stay out of trouble. He was arrested for stealing horses (one report says mules) and sentenced to the Kansas Penitentiary. Released around 1890, he boarded an eastbound train in Granby later that year and, near Ritchey, killed a brakeman who was trying to remove him to the smoking car because of his drunken behavior. Acting quickly, the conductor shoved the killer off the train, and Blunt was found later the same day in a ditch near where he was kicked off, having drunk himself into a stupor. He was arrested, convicted of first degree murder, and sentenced to hang. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison, and Blunt was pardoned around 1900.
As I've chronicled during the past couple of weeks, Granby had at least five desperate characters who not only were associated with the town during the post-Civil War era but who lived there during most of their youth and early manhood, and this number does not include brothers and other sidekicks of the notorious quintet. If another town of comparable size produced as many infamous characters during America's Wild West era as Granby, I don't know what that town would be.

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