In 1866, the Dalton farm, which was southwest of Belton, was purchased by the father after coming here from Kentucky. Of 15 children born to the couple, 13 survived. The younger sons eventually became outlaws. The parents were devout people, and the mother often gathered her brood about the piano to sing religious hymns.
Life of Crime
After several financial setbacks, the Daltons moved to Coffeyville, Kansas in 1882. It is claimed that because of the hard times, some of the boys first became lawmen and then later turned to crime. Jesse James had been killed in 1882, and Cole Younger was in prison before the Daltons took up their lives as outlaws. It lasted just 18 months.
After serving 14 years in prison, Emmett Dalton was paroled in 1907. He wrote a book and publicized it by traveling about the country. In 1931, he even made a tour stop in Belton.
For More Information
For more information on Belton history, please contact the Belton Museum
at (816) 332-3977.