Cattle Ranch Montana

"Dutch" Henry Dead or Alive

“Dutch” Henry, Henry Jauch, or Jeuch was born in Holland and trailed north to Montana from Texas with the great cattle herds. He found rustling more profitable and easier than honest cowboy work and formed a gang comprised of like-minded characters including his brother known as Coyote Pete, a little Irishman known as Duffy, Tom Reed, Seffick, Ernie Stines, a former Mountie named Frank Carlyle, and “Kid” Trailor.

To coin a phrase from the wag Mark Twain, rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated. Referring to the horsethief and outlaw “Dutch” Henry the reports were so frequent that you would think Henry was the proverbial cat with nine lives. The voice of reason in the wild border town of MonDak, The Yellowstone News reports on Saturday, January 15, 1910… “DUTCH” HENRY KILLED Moose Jaw, Sask., Jan. 11 -“Dutch” Henry, the scourge of the cattle country for many years, was killed yesterday in a desperate gunfight with a mounted policeman in the badlands south of here and near the border.

He had been sought by the police on both sides of the line for years and had maintained a constant war with civilization in company with his desperate gang all that time. He recognized no authority but that of the six-shooter and Winchester.

While a lone mounted policeman was scouting along the Big Muddy Creek, in the haunts of the daring outlaw, he sighted his man and he immediately attempted his capture. “Dutch” Henry opened fire at once with his Winchester, killing the policeman’s horse at the first shot. The officer rolled over when his horse fell but returned the bandit’s fire at once, killing his antagonist with a bullet through the breast, his second shot.

Apparently, that was not the end of “Dutch” Henry, however, because in the January 22, 1910 edition of The Yellowstone News appeared this announcement … It is now said that there is no truth in the report that “Dutch” Henry, the notorious border cattle rustler was killed in a fight with a member of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police near Moose Jaw, Canada.

It is curious that five years earlier a Mounted Police Superintendent included this paragraph in his annual report … This is a very sparsely settled part of the country, and its importance is due to the fact of being near the boundary, and on account of several gangs of horse thieves which, within the last two or three months have been operating on both sides of the line. The principals, however, of these gangs are now dead and the notorious “Dutch” Henry was murdered by a friend last December 6.

The rumors flew fast and furious. Henry’s dead body found in a brush heap was positively identified in Minnesota. He apparently plied his trade down south because there’s a report that “Dutch” was hanged in Mexico. Another story has “Dutch” Henry married and living peacefully in Stillwater, Minnesota until he died of a gunshot wound in 1928 or 29. The truth is in there somewhere, or is it?

Reprinted with permission from the “Outlaw News”, a publication of Missouri River Country.