The younger brother of Wiley Britton (who later gained fame as a Civil War author), Lane Britton first gained notoriety in 1875 when he was just a lad of 17 years. A night or two before Christmas, he was lounging at a "disreputable house" near the tracks in Neosho kept by Lizzie Sanford when a gentleman caller named Huffaker rapped on the door and demanded admittance. Both Lizzie and Britton told the man to leave, and when he kept banging on the door, Britton shot him through the door, killing him almost instantly.
The killing was eventually ruled justifiable homicide, and Britton settled in the booming mining town of Blende City (near present-day Carl Junction) in the early 1880s. He somehow got himself appointed city marshal but got in trouble in early 1883 for supposedly terrorizing the town instead of upholding the law. Soon afterwards, he killed two deputies who tried to arrest him on a warrant from Newton County on a felonious assault charge resulting from an incident a couple of years earlier. He fled west and turned up in Phoenix in the summer of 1885. He was captured but broke jail, eluded an intensive manhunt, and was never heard from again.