Bitter Creek Newcomb Genealogy

Tonys family

"Bitter Creek" Newcomb also known as “Slaughter's Kid”, was a member of the outlaw band known as the Dalton gang (later to become the Doolin-Dalton gang). He is described by author Paul I. Wellman as "a handsome, devil-may-care cowboy with an eye for a pretty girl, the son of a respected family which lived near Fort Scott Kansas". The name "Bitter Creek" is from an old cowboy song he liked to sing. "I'm a wild wolf from Bitter Creek and its my night to howl", according to author Don Cusic in his book, "Cowboys and the Wild West". Bitter Creek's mistress was known as "the Rose of Cimarron" and may have been Rose Dunn. During the infamous gunfight at Ingalls legend has Rose risking her life to supply George with a gun and bullets and help him escape after he was wounded in the gun battle. Richard Patterson in his "Historical Atlas of the Outlaw West" says: He was shot to death along with Charlie Pierce at the Dunn ranch, Norman, Oklahoma on May 1, 1895. Several versions of his death exist, but most agree he died at the Dunn ranch. A good account of the killing can be found in the book, Gunfight at Ingalls, Death of an Outlaw Town, by Glen Shirley

But who was he?

Since 1997 I have maintained a website for genealogical purposes regarding the Newcomb or Newcombe surname. I was contacted in the late 1990s by several people who claimed to be descended from the outlaw Bitter Creek Newcomb who they claimed was a George W. Newcomb who had lived with a wife and children near Perry Oklahoma in the 1890s. However others descendants of this George were adamant that he was not Bitter Creek. The George W. Newcomb referred to was born about 1847, and died in 1895 at Perry, Oklahoma. He  married  Louisa Flowers in 1868. It seemed unlikely that a man in his late 40s with a wife and children and with no previous history of lawlessness would take on a life that was more typical of single men in their early twenties. Many of the outlaws from this period were young cattle hands that came to grief when the cattle area ended in the early 1890s. Some descendants claimed that one of George W. Newcombs daughter Delia married a man named C.P. Dalton which I found to be correct. But C.P. Dalton was never a gang member or a relation to the Outlaw Daltons. Further, Georges wife Louisa and daughter Lena claim, according to descendants, that George died in October of 1895 at home while Bitter Creek died in May of 1895 at the Dunn Ranch.The Outlaws acquired considerable sums from their robbery's but Georges family lived in a dugout and were very poor.

A better Candidate - Alfred Newcomb

Newspaper accounts shed some light:

When Bitter Creek and Charlie Pierce were killed at the Dunn Ranch May 1st 1895 the bodies were brought to Guthrie by US Marshall's and put on display. Noted Cattleman Oscar Halsell identified the body.

May 4th James Newcomb, father of the “Slaughter kid” came up from his farm near Nine Mile Flats to collect the body. A few days later he sent a card thanking Marshall Nix and Oscar Halsell of Guthrie for their kind treatment of him when he went to collect the body of his boy. James claimed his son was “a good child, an Industrious young man up to three years ago, when he was led astray by evil associates”. Some accounts have his father James Newcomb burying Bitter Creek on the family farm near Nine Mile flats, southwest of Norman, Cleveland County, Oklahoma, or on the north bank of the Canadian river but there is no marker. A gravestone was placed in the Kolb Cemetery Spencer, Oklahoma a few years ago by the Oklahoma Outlaw lawmen Association.

This James Newcomb a civil war veteran, Wells Fargo rider, driver later for Barlow and Sanderson's Overland Mail Company, grocery clerk, farmer, and part time preacher was born James Darley. When his father died his mother married Bayes Newcomb, a lawyer in Philadelphia and he legally adopted James and had the name changed to Newcomb. James Newcomb had a son, Alfred Darley Newcomb born 1868 by his second wife Mary Campbell. In 1870 James and wife Mary and son Alfred age 2 are living in Ogden County Kansas. By 1880 the family is in Fort Scott Kansas and Alfred is 12 years old. It is likely here that he was recruited by noted Cattleman CC Slaughter when he came through town on a cattle drive probably in his early teens as Alfred is no longer with his parents by the 1885 census. This explains the name “Slaughter's kid”.

Next I looked to the Oklahoma land documents and found that Alfred Newcomb had obtained a block of land during the 1889 land rush in an area known as Cowboy flats (today called Pleasant Valley). His block of land was immediately adjacent to Dick West, Zip Wyatt, William Power, Dick Broadwell, all members of the Dalton outlaw gang. Many outlaws of this time period were former cowboys who worked cattle in this area and came to grief when the cattle era ended. There is no evidence they ever worked their claims. This certainly linked Alfred Newcomb to the Doolin-Dalton gang.

Bitter Creek died at age 27, leaving no descendants


In a rather strange twist in May of 1935, 40 years after Bitter Creeks death, a woman in Oklahoma city shot and killed her husband who she suspected was having an affair with another woman. When the police went to her home to arrest her and were looking through her effects for evidence, they found a newspaper clip regarding the death of Bitter Creek Newcomb. When asked about it she replied that Bitter Creek was her half brother. The woman, Sue D. Britton, whose maiden name was Newcomb, was a daughter of James Darley Newcomb and Sarah Eliza Grubb, first wife of James D. Newcomb. She was born 1894, the year before Bitter Creek died (1895). She was much younger than her half brother Alfred and would not have known him.


1 - CP Dalton  had 3 wives. Jessie A. Fisher (1882–1905), Delia Newcomb (1887–1948), Eltrie Lee Tice (1896–1964)


1 - The genealogy: "Andrew Newcomb and his Descendants", by Bethuel Merritt Newcomb published in 1923

2 - Newspaper: Guthrie Daily Leader , 3 May 1895,

3 - Newspaper: The Daily Oklahoma State Capital,  4 May 1895, 9 May 1895,

4 - Newspaper:  The Oklahoman 16 Apr 1936

5 - Several Descendants of George W. Newcomb

6-  Census: 1880 Ft. Scott Kansas, 1890 East Guthrie, 1900 Cass Twp., Oklahoma

7 - Book:  Gunfight at Ingalls, Death of an Outlaw Town,  author Glen Shirley

8 - Obituary - James Darley Newcomb died 1926

9 - Newspaper clip: Slaughter kid's body claimed

10 - George W. Newcomb family tree

11 - Court Appeal:  Britton vs State A detailed account of the killing of Charles Britton by her wife Sue (nee Newcomb) in 1935

12 - Gravestone at Kolb Cemetery Modern day gravestone provided by the Oklahoma Outlaw Lawmen Association

13 - Rose of Cimarron - There is not proof  that Bitter Creek ever had a girlfriend named Rose or that she helped him in the Ingalls gun fight. This site has a good account of what facts are known about her.

14 - The map and table below shows members of the Doolin-Dalton Gang and what blocks of land they acquired in the 1889 land rush in Antelope Twp, Logan County, Oklahoma.

Land map Cowboy flats.jpg

 Newcomb or Newcombe Genealogy Site

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Revised April 30, 2019

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