About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Condon National Bank," on studies of outlaws in the American West, and on a contemporary description of the robbery. Kathleen Hunter, an education consultant, wrote Coffeyville, Kansas: The Town that Stopped the Dalton Gang. Fay Metcalf, Marilyn Harper, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the lesson. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in American history, social studies, and geography courses in units on the post-Civil War era, settlement and culture of the West, or Kansas history. It could also be used in a government unit on law and order.
Time period: Late 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To analyze the historic, cultural, and social conditions that contributed to the rise of outlaws in the middle-border states.
2) To examine the activities of the Dalton brothers and their gang.
3) To describe how the residents of Coffeyville defended themselves against the gang.
4) To investigate their own community for evidence of locally famous events and properties associated with them.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) one map showing the location of Coffeyville and other sites relating to the Dalton Gang;
2) three readings on outlaws in the middle-border states, the Dalton Gang, and the Condon Bank robbery;
3) five photographs of the Condon National Bank and the aftermath of the robbery.
Note: One of the photographs included in this lesson (Photo 4) shows the bodies of the Dalton Gang on display after the attempted robbery. Teachers are advised that this image may not be appropriate for younger students.
Visiting the site
The Condon National Bank building is now the home of the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce. It is located 2 blocks north of the junction of Routes 166 and 169 in Coffeyville, Kansas. The building is open during business hours. There are no guided tours, but visitors can see how the Condon Bank and its vault appeared in 1892.
The Dalton Defenders Museum, operated by the Coffeyville Historical Society, contains memorabilia related to the Dalton gang and the shoot-out at the Condon National Bank. For more information, contact the Coffeyville Historical Society, P.O. Box 843, Coffeyville, KS, 67337, or visit their web site at [www.coffeyville.com/Historical%20Society.htm].