(September 12, 1868 - April 2, 1901)
Western frontier outlaw, William R. "Will" Carver, born September 12, 1868 in Wilson County, Texas. Died April 2, 1901 in Sonora, Texas. He is buried in the Sonora Cemetery in Sutton County, Texas.
He was a likeable West Texas cowboy who turned outlaw after the untimely death of his young wife Viana. A crack shot with either hand, he robbed trains and banks with The "Black Jack" Ketchum Gang, and also rode with Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid as a member of "The Wild Bunch". He is standing on the left in the famous photo taken by John Swartz in Fort Worth.
He was shot and killed in Jack Owens Bakery the night of April 2, 1901 in Sonora, Texas, by Sheriff E.S. Briant and his deputies. With guns drawn on entry, they attempted to arrest Carver and George Kilpatrick on suspicion of the murder of Oliver Thornton in Concho County. Kilpatrick made a fumbling motion and Carver's gun never cleared leather before he was shot six times. Kilpatrick lived, and later cleared Carver of the murder. It was later thought that Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan was responsible for Thornton's murder.
Will Carver's grave marker only has the date he was killed. It is thought that his old friend George Hamilton of Sonora did not want to publicly admit that it was truly his old pard Will Carver, now the outlaw that was buried there.
B. Dow Shaffer has constructed a map which will help you locate Will Carver's grave. Click on the Will Carver link below.
Photo and text courtesy of B. Dow Shaffer
Information compiled by Steve Grimm