Friday, February 8, 2008

Howk and Dalton

Could this be Orvus Lee Howk? The young man pictured was arrested in 1930 for trying to obtain a blank checkbook from a bank account that wasn't his. He claimed his name was Jesse James III. He gained enough national attention that the only true son of Jesse James made a public statement saying the young man was a fraud. Jesse James Jr. only had daughters, so there wouldn't have been a JJ the 3rd.
There is also record that this same man was arrested in 1928 and 1929. He had stolen a car and even attempted suicide. He blamed his bad luck on his name. With a little bit of research you will find out Orvus Howk and J Frank Dalton changed their names like most people change their underwear.
I have spent the past few days doing newspaper archive research. In 1939 you will find J frank going simply by the name Frank Dalton and claiming to be the last of Quantrell's Raider's. Through the early 40's he was claiming to be an uncle of the outlaw Dalton brothers. He also claimed to be a cousin of Frank and Jesse James. Do you see a pattern forming here? Why Dalton even scoffed at the idea of Jesse James not being killed in 1882. He claimed to have been wounded along with Jesse James when they tried to surrender at the end of the Civil War. He said he was shot in the leg while Jesse was shot in the stomach. If I read my history right Jesse was shot in the chest at that time.
J Frank even went for a time calling himself the "Kid", as in Billy the Kid. Much of what Dalton and Howk cooked up for a story of Dalton being Jesse was just recycled information that another James imposter had used. John James is the original mastermind of Bigelow being killed instead of Jesse. Even some of the affidavits Dalton/Howk had were from John James.
If you will read the Jesse James Rides Again and all the other publications to Jesse James Was One of His Names, you can see how one false story was told to cover another. Two Jesse James and two Franks and nobody in the gang seeming to really die. There is no record in the Kentucky census of the George James family Dalton claimed as his own. Yet with all this misinformation people still take Howks information as the gospel truth.
Where could the KGC ideas have come from? Well, a person only has to read the San Antonio Light newspaper from Feb. 1938. There was a story called the Empire of the Moon. It was supposedly a dramatization from old records. It even shows KGC symbols. It says a large temple with a noonday sun shown under the dome was the main symbol of the KGC. It also shows the skull and crossbones, a cresent, and a triangle with numbers inside. This story came out at about the time Dalton started writing his own articles and he or Howk could have read the San Antonio Light story and filed it away for use at a later date.
In the end what you have is an old man used to telling untrue stories and a crook promoting him. Still believe in the Dalton/Howks KGC billions? Do some newspaper research for yourself and see how many hundreds of articles were written about the real KGC instead of the fantasy group that Howk created.

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