When penetrating the swirling mists of legend and conspiracy veiling the Yale University secret society known as “Skull and Bones”, one inevitably stumbles upon the strange case of Geronimo’s skull. While the jury is still out on whether Prescott Bush (future U.S. Senator and father of George H.W. Bush) was one of the bandits and just exactly where the cranial remains of that fierce Apache warrior rest, let me introduce another bone for us to pick…The Apache Kid.
Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that yet another Native American dome-piece may have made its way into the dark recesses of the Skull and Bones fraternity house known as the “Tomb”. In a newspaper article that appeared in the New-York Tribune from 1907, the skull of the outlaw Apache Kid, presumed dead in 1894, may very well be interned in New Haven, Connecticut:
“APACHE KID” DEAD
Famous Outlaw Killed Last Fall by Well Known Chicagoan
[By Telegraph to The Tribune]
Chicago, May 17. – The skull of “Apache Kid,” the most notorious outlaw in the Southwest, a murderer thirty times over, on whose head the government put a price of $9,000, to-day lay on a table in a doctor’s office in Chicago. Though “Apache Kid” met his death last September, his fate was kept secret until to-day. The bullet which ended his life was fired by one of a party of well known Chicagoans.
Last fall these Chicagoans, including H.A. Foss, chief weighmaster of the Board of Trade; August J. White, head of the brokerage firm A. J. White & Co., and William Kent, passed their vacation on a ranch owned by Mr. Kent in Sierra County, N.M. One night three horses were stolen from the ranch and the next morning Kent and his friends took up the trail of the robber.
After ten days of pursuit across the foothills, they caught up with the fugitive. A shot from the rifle of one of the Chicagoans ended the career of the desperado. “The identity of the man who killed ‘Apache Kid’ will be kept a secret,” said Mr. Foss to-day. “It is too late to claim the reward, and he does not want the notoriety.”
The skull of the bandit has been mounted by Dr. Samuel Walker. Mr. Foss, Mr. Kent and the physician were all members of Skull and Bones Society at Yale, and the skull will be sent to the society as a trophy.
While the article may seem pretty straight-forward, there are a few things that need to be pointed out. Firstly, it seems a bit odd to me, that a small group of men comprised of “city-slickers” from Chicago (including the head of some bank?) were able to gun down a notorious outlaw like the Apache Kid. Then again, there may have been more men in the posse as the article is a bit vague on the details except to say that it was a “party” of people, which indicates to me that there are at least three or four.
Secondly, according to the Wikipedia page on the Apache Kid, there was no shortage of claims alleging him to be alive after his supposed death around 1894. Many allegations were raised linking him to some crime or another well into the 1920’s and 30’s. No one has yet been able to conclusively prove when the ‘Kid’ died, as he vanished without a trace after a prison escape from Yuma Territorial Prison in 1889. Either way, further research is likely required, but this author finds it a bit amusing to ponder on the fact that two Apaches, may lie in a “Tomb” at Yale University.
Original newspaper article attached below.