Can you tell me what happened to the outlaw Bill Cook?

/ask-the-marshall.jJim Sorrell

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Bill Cook began his outlaw career at 19, peddling whiskey in the Creek Nation of Oklahoma. He was briefly a deputy U.S. marshal but in 1894, he organized his own gang with at least 17 members, including the notorious Cherokee Bill (Crawford Crosby). Their rampage included a train robbery at Red Fork, Creek Nation, on July 18, 1894.

Cook was captured on January 11, 1895, and sentenced to 45 years at the New York State Penitentiary. He died there of tuberculosis on February 15, 1900.

For further reading on Bill Cook’s capture, see the National Association For Outlaw and Lawman History, Vol. XXVI No. 3, July-Sept. 2002.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include Law of the Gun and Never Give A Heifer A Bum Steer.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall, PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327

or email him at

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