323. "Al" Jennings was born in Virginia in 1863. They started off by obtaining fake U.S. marshal's badges and using them to collect "tolls" from trail herders moving their cattle through the Oklahoma Territory. Jennings settled at El Reno, Oklahoma Territory, and served as Canadian County prosecuting attorney from 1892 until 1894. Jennings was, however, a good storyteller, and good stories last longer than bad outlaws unless, of course, a bad outlaw is telling the story. While in prison, Al Jennings told exaggerated stories of his outlaw exploits to future short-story author, O. Henry. The notoriety of Al Jennings’ outlaw career provided some western writers with evidence of the true nature of the outlaw on which to base historical fact. His literary collaboration with O. Henry in the Ohio penitentiary helped to elevate his outlaw image and gave it further credibility. Saved by Sherry Davis. This image provided by the Oklahoma Historical Society shows Al Jennings in the Winter of 1913-1914. While in prison, Al Jennings told exaggerated stories of his outlaw exploits to future short-story author O. Henry. A Badman Who Went Straight--to Hollywood : Outlaw Al Jennings was pardoned by President Theodore Roosevelt and ultimately helped shape the Western film genre. Prized possession: The.45 Colt revolver owned by famed outlaw and one-time candidate for Oklahoma governor Alphonzo 'Al' J. Jennings before his death in … He was later captured by U.S. Deputy Marshal Bud Ledbetter and served just five years in prison. [Al Jennings served as a prosecuting attorney in the Oklahoma Territory from 1892 until 1894. After serving five years in prison, he became an evangelist, was re-admitted to the bar, went on the lecture circuit, during which, he sold a highly embellished story of his life as a daring train robber to a national magazine. Jennings left Woodward following Houston's acquittal in 1896 and wandered before gaining employment as a ranch hand in the Creek Nation. Jennings also worked as a traveling evangelist and warned the public against making the choices that he made. On his first attempt to rob a train Al stood on the tracks and aimed his pistol at the engine as it came towards him. Surely, Al Jennings made his mark. Al Jennings The Jennings gang has become the model for outlaw incompetence in the Old West. No one was killed during this robbery, but Jim Wright, a passenger who refused to surrender his valuables, had part of his ear shot off. While working near present Bixby in Creek County, Jennings joined an outlaw band. (Courtesy of author) Picture 6 - Photo of Outlaw “Little Dick” West * . His “life story” was turned into a movie. He referred to himself the “fastest gun on the range,” and claimed to have beat Jesse James in a shooting match. 323. While Jennings was drawn to outlaw types, he … Thus, believing he qualified for the Valhalla of famous western outlaws. During his illustrious career Al Jennings was a cowboy, lawyer, train robber, jailbird, evangelist, politician, author and movie star. Jennings settled in El Reno, Oklahoma Territory and served as Canadian County, Oklahoma, prosecuting attorney from 1892 until 1894. From May 1896 until October 1897, news of Al is sparse. Al Jennings was raised with his brothers Edward, Frank, and John at Kiowa Creek, Okla., near the town of Woodward. Jennings moved to Oklahoma City in 1911 and became active in politics. The jury was amused but Al lost that one too. True, there were plenty of train and bank hold ups as well as stagecoach and store robberies and some were certainly due to Al and his gang. Picture 4 - Photo of AL Jennings father w group of other s unidentified. He died on December 26, 1961 in Tarzana, California, USA. A. Robertson and Robert L. Williams. Al Jennings stood only 5’1” with his boots on. Al Jennings wore many hats during his long and colorful life: cowboy, lawyer, gunslinger, train robber, jailbird, evangelist, politician, author, and finally Hollywood-hyphenate. In October of that year Ed Jennings was killed, and John Jennings wounded, in a shootout with rival attorney Temple Lea Houston. [4] Eventually, he became unable to retain his outlaw lifestyle. A few years later, he ran for governor in Oklahoma. A pistol and other possessions belonging to the one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became a film actor are going up for auction next month. * (Courtesy of author) Picture 5 - Photo of Al Jennings riding a horse * . While working near present Bixby in Creek County, Jennings joined an outlaw band. Great true story. The justice system's failures enraged him and encouraged him to resist it. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327. Al Jennings, as played here by Duryea, follows a life trajectory that sees him born into a legal family and thus take up the family trade. On October 1st, 1897, near Pocasset, the Jennings gang overpowered a track crew and forced them to flag down the Rock Island southbound express. Henry and Jennings met while both were hiding in Honduras, which did not have an extradition treaty with the US. Then in 1906, he married Maude Jennings. The first one he accidently shot a neighbor in the elbow while cleaning a loaded pistol. Al Jennings playing himself in a movie. And they…. Al Jennings left Woodward following Houston’s acquittal in 1896 and wandered before gaining employment as a ranch hand in the Creek Nation. After the dynamite failed to blow up the safe, the gang made their getaway. Although the gang was unable to break the safe, they were able to obtain some goods from the passengers, including a bottle of whiskey and a bunch of bananas. In 1899 Jennings was sentenced to life in prison, but, due to the legal efforts of his brother John, his sentence was reduced to five years. He escaped getting run over when he jumped out of its path as the last second. On their next try they got into the express car and after two unsuccessful attempts to blow the safe, gave up and told the engineer to take his train and leave. He ran away from home in Virginia (or West Virginia)and learned to sling a gun while saying he encountered such legendary figures as Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. They got away with sixty dollars, which they had to split five ways. [6][7][8] Jennings made several public appearances and told various stories of his alleged prowess with a gun. Al Jennings was the glorified ideal of a western outlaw because he could somewhat authenticate his outlawry. One of these dubious allegations was that he murdered two men in Denison, Texas. Jennings was, however, a good storyteller, and good stories last longer than bad outlaws unless, of course, a bad outlaw is telling the story. When attempting the Edmond robbery, the gang unsuccessfully attempted to break into a Wells-Fargo safe. Al Jennings: The Image of an Outlaw A1 Jenningsâ literary efforts, however, did more than entertain the American reader. somehow, Al convinced two Presidents of the United States to commute or pardon him. [10] He died in Tarzana, California, on December 26, 1961, aged 98. Alphonso J. Bud Ledbetter, a territorial deputy from Oklahoma, single handedly captured the Jennings gang. Thus freed, Jennings ran for Governor, became a movie star whose life was well documented, especially by this author. However, it is also believed that it was named for frontier lawyer turned outlaw Alphonzo "Al" Jennings, who donated forty acres for the 160-acre townsite. He took to bed, shut down and died the day after Christmas at age 98. Unfortunately, Waylon Jennings' "outlaw" bit didn't just include sticking it … In 1895 he joined his brothers, Ed and John, in a … He later became a silent film star and made many appearances in films as an actor and technical adviser. A pistol and other possessions belonging to the one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became a film actor are going up for auction next month.

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