Missouri and Ozarks History

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

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hobbs Kerry

Another notorious character who lived in Granby, Missouri during the late 1800s was Hobbs Kerry. The Kerry family moved from Arkansas during the late 1850s, and Hobbs and his older brothers, Albert and Toby, grew up in the rough atmosphere of the booming mining town. In the summer of 1870, Toby Kerry was killed in a fight over a card game while visiting a soiled dove's camp on the outskirts of town. A year later, Albert shot and killed a man named Dunlap in a row that also involved a prostitute. On a December night in 1873, John Cole and Bud Blunt were walking on the streets of Granby when they were ambushed from the dark shadows. Cole died from shotgun wounds, while Blunt made his escape. Albert Kerry, who had recently been made city marshal of Granby, and his brother, Hobbs, were suspected of the crime and arrested but released for lack of evidence.
About two years later, Hobbs Kerry drifted to nearby Joplin, also a booming mining town, where he met Bruce Younger, half-uncle of the infamous Younger brothers, and made the acquaintance of two members of the James-Younger gang. In June of 1876, he and the two gang members rode north to link up with Frank James, Jesse James, Cole Younger, Bob Younger, and one other man. In early July the eight gang members robbed a train on the Missouri Pacific Railroad just east of Otterville in Cooper County. Kerry, though, was quickly captured after he came back home to Granby and started flashing cash around. He received a light sentence in exchange for his cooperation, but by the time he gave his incriminating testimony, the other members of the gang were already headed north on an ill-fated mission to rob a Northfield (Minnesota) bank.
For a more detailed account of Hobbs Kerry's brief outlaw career, you might want to read my article in the October 2008 issue of Wild West Magazine.

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Anonymous William kerry said...

Had Hobbs Kerry Irish roots do you know

August 1, 2016 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

I haven't traced Hobbs Kerry and his family back far enough to know what country they came from before America. The only thing I do know is that the name was spelled Carey as often or more often than it was spelled Kerry. Not sure which was actually the way the family spelled it themselves. I just went with Kerry because that's how many of the newspaper accounts spelled it, but other records, such as court records and census records, often spelled it Carey.

August 2, 2016 at 12:49 PM  

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