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Fake Beards And Sandstorms: A 1923 Road Trip Through Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma

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In 1923, recreational automobile travel was still new enough to be considered special and exciting. This small and carefully annotated photo album documents a family’s car adventures throughout Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. It was a different time; oil wells were considered novelties and skunks were huggable pets. And as always, crazy weather was lurking: twisters, sandstorms and 114 degree temperatures.

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

July 16 1923

 

Included are a few touristy shots taken in Coffeyville, Kansas, of a cemetery and “Death Alley” – the scene of the final shoot out of the Dalton Gang, specialists in bank and train robberies. Bo Dalton, the gang’s leader, had an obsession with rival Jesse James and vowed to beat him by simultaneously robbing two banks in broad daylight. On October 5, 1892, he recklessly did so – the gang wore fake beards and robbed two banks directly across the street from one another. Bo died with three others in the resulting gunfight.

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

July 16 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

July 20, 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

July 23 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

July 23 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

July 30 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

August 13 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

August 19 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

September 9 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

September 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

October 9 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

October 10 1923

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

 

1923 road trip dalton gang

November 9 1923

 

Follow Lauren at the excellent Invisible Commute and here. You can buy her book via this email address. 

 

  • Mark Armacost

    How fun to imagine a time when oil wells inspired hope and not dread.

  • This is my old stopmin’ ground. I grew up just north of Coffeyville, KS. Bartlesville, OK was only about 45 minutes away and was where a lot people went to shop for things you couldn’t get in Independence, KS. Or, it was a stop on the way to Tulsa. Augusta, KS is a bit west, near Wichita and smelled awful from the refineries until well into the 1980s.