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Tom Bell

Deceased Person

Tom Bell (1825 – October 4, 1856) was a western outlaw and physician known as the "Outlaw Doc". He is the first outlaw to organize a stagecoach robbery in the United States. Born Thomas J. Hodges in Rome, Tennessee he saw action in the Mexican-American War as a surgeon. Following the war he traveled to California during the California Gold Rush but was unsuccessful as a prospector, later drifting around California as a gambler and as a doctor at times for several years. In 1855 he was serving time in Angel Island Prison for robbery when he met Bill Gristy and successfully escaped several weeks later. With Gristy, Bell formed an outlaw gang of five men and began robbing stages for several months. On August 12, 1856, after their spy spotted the Camptonville-Maryville stage carrying $100,000 worth of gold bullion, the gang unsuccessfully attempted to rob it. In an exchange of gunfire a woman passenger was killed and two male passengers were wounded before the gang were driven off by the stagecoach guards. The robbery and death of the women passenger angered citizens, and both a sheriff's posse and citizen vigilantes conducted a massive search for the gang. By late September Gristy was  ( Wikipedia article )

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Personal facts

Date of birth
1825

Death

Date of death
1856-10-04
Place of death
Firebaugh

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