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Cross, William “Dutch”


Posted By: JCGS Volunteer
Date: 9/13/2022 at 11:05:30

Bandit Loses In Struggle For Life
“Dutch” Cross Is Killed In Fight For Life
Noted Bandit Surprised by Des Moines Police at Home of His Wife – Tries to Make Run
Body Is Riddled
Chief of Police Jackson Received Wounds in Side, In Hospital But Not Thought to be Dangerous
William (Dutch) Cross, automobile thief, bank robber, bandit, and bad man in general, is dead in Des Moines as a result of a gun fight with Chief of Police C. C. Jackson and other officers last night about 11 o’clock.
Chief Jackson is in a hospital with painful flesh wounds but it is thought that he will recover.
The police at Des Moines was tipped last night that Cross was at the home of his wife at East Twenty-fifth and North streets and the chief and a squad composed of Detectives Hollibaugh, Hubbard, Brophy and Nichols, went to the house where “Dutch” was hiding. Chief Jackson entered the house and left the others to stand guard to see that Cross was not able to make his getaway. As Jackson went in the house, “Dutch” ran into a closet.
The chief said, “You just as well come out and give up, Dutch, for we have the drop on you this time. The house is surrounded and there is absolutely no chance for you to get away.”
Came Out Firing
“Dutch” came out of the closet, firing as he came. At the same time Chief Jackson opened fire, inflicting a wound on Cross who went into another room. Jackson sustained a wound in his side and he fell to the floor. The other policemen then rushed in and took Jackson out to a place of safety for the time being. They then went back into the house to get “Dutch.”
Makes Run For Life
Cross seeing that he was in close quarters, made an attempt to run for his life but all was in vain. The entire squad opened fire on him, absolutely riddling his body with bullet holes. From the first it was plainly seen that he was fatally wounded and he was taken to Mercy hospital where died at 3 o’clock this morning.
Chief Jackson was taken to the Methodist hospital and reports from there this morning state that he was resting easily and it was thought that unless complications set in he would recover.
The career of William Cross, alias St. Clair, alias Bill Ryan, alias Patrick Clark, is of interest to Jasper county people. He was raised in this county and pulled off a number of his famous stickups in the vicinity of this county.
Noted Bank Robber
He with some confederates robbed the Valeria Savings bank April 24, last and made his escape. Immediately the officials made an effort to capture him. He remained at large until “September 28 when he was picked up by the police at St. Joseph. He was caught off his guard at St. Joseph. He was just arrived there and did not suspect that he was in any danger whatever. The chief had received a number of circulars from Jasper county officials and when he saw Cross he immediately recognized, realized it, he was under cover and aim as the man who was wanted here. He pulled his un and before Cross the only thing for him to do was to give up. He was taken to the jail and the Jasper county officials notified. Sheriff Todd J. Patton and Harry Woods, of Colfax, went to St. Joseph and brought him to Newton where he was placed in the St. Louis cage in the county jail. He was indicted by the October grand jury and an order had been issued, authorizing Sheriff Patton to take Cross to Fort Madison for safe keeping. The night before he was to be taken, October 31, he sawed his way to liberty, escaped from the jail, stole a Cadillac car belonging to W. R. Cooper and made a clean getaway. Efforts were made to capture him and recover the Cadillac. Until last night however, no definite trace was obtained of either Cross or the car.
Broke Parole
“Dutch” Cross was regarded as one of the shrewdest criminals in this part of the country. He had an unusual amount of nerve and he never thought anything of taking a human life if any one stood in the way between him and liberty. He has for a long time been wanted in a number of places for different crimes. Jail breaking was one of his favorite past-times. He had done time in the penitentiary at Joliet, Ill., was paroled out and up to the time of his death he was wanted for breaking the parole granted him while serving time in that institution. Space forbids the enumeration of all of the crimes charged to him but there seems to be no doubt but what a number of automobile owners feel safer now that they know that “Dutch” Cross will no longer be at large.
Source: Newton (IA) Daily News; December 13, 1918, page 1

Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 13 – William J. (Dutch) Cross, notorious criminal, died early today from wounds received in a pistol fight with local police officials last night and in which Chief of police, C. D. Jackson, suffered serious wounds.
Chief Jackson’s condition is critical attending physicians said today. He was shot twice in the abdomen.
On a “tip” that the much sought, “Dutch” Cross was at his home, Chief Jackson with four detectives went to the place, cornered him to “come out.”
Cross “came out” but he came shooting, his first two bullets striking chief Jackson in the abdomen, but as he fell, the chief fired a shot that took effect in Cross’s abdomen. Cross then leaped back into the closet.

When he found that the house was surrounded by officers, Cross made a futile dash for liberty, firing as he ran from the rear door. Officers returned the fire. Cross fell, then regained his feet, ran another thirty yards and dropped again. This time he was unable to rise.
Members of the family were taken to the police station for questioning. His brother Pete Cross and wife were also taken into custody.
It was said this afternoon at the Methodist hospital, where the Chief Jackson was taken, that he would probably recover.

Des Moines, Iowa, December 13, 2:30 p.m. – Chief of Police Jackson will recover, attending physicians said late this afternoon.
Source: Newton (IA) Daily News; December 13, 1918, page 6
NOTE: Jackson died December 15, 1918 from his wounds.

Note: Polk County, Iowa Death Certificate 77-4366 for William Cross has his place of death as Methodist Hospital. Info: male, white, married, born March 17, 1878, died Dec. 13, 1918; age 40 years, 9 mos. 26 days, occupation: laborer(?), birthplace: Iowa; father: F.P. Cross, born Iowa; mother: Mary H. Snow, born Ohio; informant: Martha Barrett, Boone, IA; cause of death: gun shot wounds (shot by officers while resiting arrest); place of burial: Colfax, IA on 12-17-1918; undertaker: Hamilton. Martha Barret was his sister.


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