Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of 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 eleven nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Springfield: The Seamy Side of the Queen City, Murder and Mayhem in Missouri, and The Siege of Lexington, Missouri: the Battle of the Hemp Bales.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bud Blunt Again

Among notorious Old West characters who are not well known, Bud Blunt has to be one of the more notorious. I've written about Bud before, both on this blog and in my Desperadoes book, but I keep finding tidbits about him that I hadn't previously been aware of.
One of the recent items I found about him has to do with the crime for which he was sent to the Kansas prison in August of 1884. As I say in my book, Blunt was arrested in May of 1884 near Ritchey, Missouri, in possession of a pair of stolen mules. In the book I say that he had been trailed all the way from Batesville, Arkansas, by the owner of the mules. This was reported in a Missouri newspaper at the time, but I now know it was an error. Although Blunt and other members of the George Hudson gang did have a few cavorts in and around Batesville, the May 1884 mule stealing escapade was apparently not one of them. The owner of the mules had trailed Blunt from Kansas, not Arkansas, and that's why Blunt was sent back to Kansas, not Arkansas. I imply in the book that he was sent to Kansas on a different larceny charge not related to the mule theft, but the fact is that the larceny charge he was sent back to Kansas to face WAS the theft of the mules.
At Bud's trial in early August of 1884, testimony revealed that Bud spent most of the day of May 11, 1884, at Liberty, that he started in the direction of Taggart's farm that evening, that the mules were missing the next morning, and that later the same morning (the 12th) Bud was seen in possession of the mules at Hallowell, Kansas, 40 miles from Liberty, concealing the animals in some brush. He was trailed to Missouri, where he was apprehended on the 14th still in possession of the mules.
Blunt put up a flimsy defense, claiming that, after he left Liberty, he went to Cherryvale ten miles away and boarded a train to Oswego, where he won the mules in a poker game and then took them to Missouri by way of Hallowell. As a newspaper report remarked at the time, "The jury would not believe poor Bud, and gave him six years in the pen."  

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