I am looking for a connection between my grandfather and Al Spencer Gang. My grandfather was Charley Toman and was killed during a robbery in Kansas City, Ks in 1935. I have been told by family members that he had been a member of Spencers Gang during the late 1920's and early 1930's. He was supposed to have been involved in a robbery of the Katy Flier. I have not been able to verify any info yet. Any suggestions ????
The "Al Spencer" gang can be said to have operated through 1923. They robbed the MKT "Katy" train at Okesa in Osage county in 1923, and Spencer was killed by a posse not long after. Most of the gang had been captured by then. I think it is correct to say the Spencer gang did not operate in the 1930's.
One member of the Spencer gang was Frank Nash. He was sent to prison for the Okesa robbery, escaped, and became the central figure in the 1933 "Union Station Massacre" in Kansas City.
There are several good books on Union Station, and perhaps Toman's name may turn up in one of them. There is not a single book about Spencer. He is mentioned in a few other works, such as Tragedies of the Osage Hills.
You can also search this web site for the history of Spencer. Several items have been posted about him.
Dee, My grandfather was involved in crimes mostly in southeast Kansas and Oklahoma area from the early 1920's thru his death in 1935. He was in the Missouri state prison in 1930 and according to his prison record, he previously was in prison at Leavenworth. I have not been able to get those records yet. I have also been told that he was involved in a bank robbery in Coffeeville, Ks. Do you know if Al Spencer ever robbed any banks in Coffeeville. He was wounded in the hip during a robbery in Oklahoma and was supposed to have been involved in a train robbery or theft from a train of watches. Any info would be appreciated, thanks.
Al Spencer to my knowledge never robbed a bank at Coffeyville, Kansas and probably actually participated in very few bank holdups. He liked to see his name in newspapers and that publicity probably helped in his downfall.
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