A thumbnail biography of Lon Chambers would be…Lawman and train robber. Sound like a dichotomy? Obviously not to Lon, because, as we shall see, that’s just what he was…a lawman and a train robber.
Lon Chambers wasn’t unlike many a man in the Old West. His respect for the law was based on whether or not it was convenient for him to obey it.
In the late 1880’s Lon was a lawman in the Texas Panhandle. Then he went up to New Mexico and joined a posse chasing Billy the Kid that was led by Pat Garrett.
At Ft. Sumner the posse set up an ambush for Billy and his gang. In the process, Tom O’Folliard, Billy’s closest friend was killed. It’s not known whether Lon Chambers or Pat Garrett killed O’Folliard, because they both shot him at the same time.
A few days later the posse caught up with the Kid and gang in an isolated rock house.
But, shortly afterward, it seems it wasn’t convenient for Lon to be a lawman, because he quit law enforcement to form his own outlaw gang. And on September 29, 1883, Lon and two other masked men boarded a train while stopped in Coolidge, Kansas, and preceded to hold it up.
With two pistols in hand Lon ordered the engineer to “pull up.” When he didn’t obey, Lon shot him in the heart. Then he turned to the fireman and shot him with the other gun. Seeing the situation, the express messenger opened fire, driving off the outlaws.
Within a short period of time a posse was assembled and took after the outlaws. It didn’t take long to find them.
Lon Chambers and his cohorts were eventually released for a lack of evidence…They were wearing masks, you know.
After conveniently being set free, Lon Chambers conveniently bugged out and conveniently was never heard from again.