Arkansas Johnson is thought to have been born in Johnson County, Missouri. He had several aliases but his real name may have been Huckston. After service in the Union Army he engaged in horse stealing and highway robbery in Arkansas. He also robbed the Wilberforce house, killing the man and wife and raping their daughter.

In March of 1878 he and a man named Underwood broke out of a jail in Nebraska. They made their way to Texas to join the Sam Bass gang. The gang had been active in Denton, Wise, and surrounding counties stealing horses and robbing trains and banks.


Grave of Arkansas Johnson

Sam Bass
On the morning of June 13, 1878 a Texas Ranger named Junius Peak was joined by a posse led by Wise County Sheriff George W. Stevens and Denton County Sheriff W.F. Eagan. They closed in on the Bass gang at Salt Creek and shot Arkansas Johnson through the chest as he was saddling his horse. He died instantly and was buried on the spot later that evening. The rest of the gang escaped. At Aurora they bought ammunition, and one told the people in the store "My name is Sam Bass. We just had a battle with the Rangers at Salt Creek. If they come by you tell them that we’re ready for ‘um." Sam Bass was killed within a month at Round Rock.

The grave of Arkansas Johnson is located West of Cottondale off CR 3661 on private property. 

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© 2004 - 2015, Wise County
All Rights Reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without permission
Wise County Information Technology
webmaster@co.wise.tx.us

Employee Email

This site uses frames. Click here if you linked directly to this page from a search engine.