Tom O'Day was one of the least known of the members of the infamous "Hole In The Wall" gang, until now...
Tom was born to Thomas O'Day and Margaret (Maggie) O'Connor O'Day in 1862. in Donegal Township Washington County, Pennsylvania. He was the first born son, having an older sister. Eventually the family grew to 10 siblings.
Tom's Dad was a calveryman in the Civil war and fought in 30 major battles including Harpers Ferry and V.M.I. He moved the family to Shelby County, Iowa after the war.
Tom left home when he was 14 - heading west.
He was a good horseman, working his way west at a variety of jobs including bronco busting , cowboying, herding sheep, and being a round up cook. He arrived at Powder River Country in the 1880's. Hiring out to John Logan who had the K-C brand. At one time he had a half interest in the first saloon in Kaycee, Wyoming. But being a cowboy, soon turned to being a Rustler. He became friends with the likes of Kid Currie, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. Working out of the "Hole-In-The-Wall country.
During the wild outlaw years between 1888-1910. Tom was an active participant in many of the bank and train robberies that occurred in Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, and Utah. He also had a passion for good horses, especially those that belong to others.
He was a sometime member of the infamous Hole in the Wall gang and participated in a failed bank robbery attempt in Bell Fourche, South Dakota. He ended his outlaw career (1885 to 1910) when he was caught rustling horses belonging to governor-to-be B.B. Brooks.
Although quick tempered and good with a gun, Tom never killed anyone. He had a colorful career, but didn't get the coverage that the major figures such as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid received. Tom allegedly died on a cold late November day in 1930 near Timberlake, South Dakota, in 1930 and was buried in a local Indian Cemetery. His body was eventually interred at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, in the family plot near Dunlop, Iowa. There is no grave stone, but I hope someday to remedy that.
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