Dick Dublin and the Outlaws of Pegleg Station: A Wild West Tale of Texas

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Tony Maples Photography


Many have not heard of Dick Dublin and the outlaws of Pegleg Station, but this man and his crew caused innumerable headaches for Texas Rangers in the 1870s. After he died, mysterious holdups Rangers suspected he took part in had ended. Was Dick Dublin the outlaw at the center of the Pegleg Station robberies? The answer seems lost to this tale from Texas history.

Pegleg Station

Dick Dublin and his outlaws were suspected of robbing stagecoaches

Photo: Pixabay/Ellen26

Pegleg Station was a stop on the San Antonio to San Diego stagecoach line. The station overlooked a military ford across the San Saba River which was known as Pegleg Crossing. Though this line only lasted from 1867 to 1888, it provided a link for Texans and those to the west to other places in the United States. Without the stage line, people living in the area would lack mail delivery. Unfortunately, the mail carried by the stage made it a target of outlaws, which possibly included Dick Dublin.

Who Was Dick Dublin?

Dick Dublin, also known as Richard, started life as a Llano County farmer, but he and his younger brothers, Dell and Role, soon turned to a life of crime. The eldest Dublin was accused of several murders, adding to the bounty on his head. First, he and a co-bandit, Ace Lankford, murdered a pair of men in a Coryell County general store. Dick Dublin fled the law with a $700 reward for his capture and conviction. Several times, he eluded Texas Rangers, which led to the Rangers declaring Dublin was their “regular Jonah,” who brought them nothing but headaches. Eventually, though, Dick Dublin discovered that he couldn’t run forever.

The Robberies of the Pegleg Station Stage

The Oulaws of Pegleg Station

Photo: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

Though Rangers did not discover direct evidence of Dick Dublin’s involvement, several robberies of the Pegleg Station stage occurred while Dublin was on the run. These holdups happened when the Rangers had to stop riding with the stage to attend to more pressing law enforcement matters in the area. A relative of the Dublins informed to the Rangers that Dell and Role Dublin were part of the gang robbing the stagecoach. On January 18, 1878, the law caught up with the Dublin brothers and the rest of the gang.

The Death of Dick Dublin

James Gillett was the Texas Ranger who led the group that killed outlaw Dick Dublin and arrested those responsible for the Pegleg Station robberies

Photo: Facebook/Last Raid at Cabin Creek

Dick Dublin died when the Texas Rangers tried to arrest him and his brothers. Though his brothers lived through the ordeal, the Rangers, led by James B. Gillett, shot Dick Dublin, who died while fleeing the scene. He did not survive. None of the Texas Rangers could claim the reward money for the oldest Dublin brother since the reward stipulated the outlaw be brought in alive and prosecuted. His brothers and their cohorts were successfully convicted of a 1877 holdup of the stage at Pegleg Station.