You mention the Shelton family referred to in Illinois genealogy as "The Shelton Gang". I have a magazine article published about this family in about the 1950s (date based on references in the article as I forgot to write the date and title of the magazine on the article when I photocopied it years ago and I no longer remember that data but I think it was one of two news magazines no longer published, entitled "Look" and "Life".)
I am inserting below a document on The Shelton Gang" which I compiled from data in that magazine article plus research I did in the U. S. Census records.
Descendants of William (Wilson) A. Shelton
TREE for WILLIAM (WILSON) A. SHELTON
1 William (Wilson) A. Shelton 1824 - 1881
.. +Pauline (maiden surname not found)
........ 2 Ben Shelton 1861 - 1944
............ +Agnes Gather 1862 -
................... 3 Roy Shelton 1885 - 1950
....................... +Blanche (maiden surname note found)
................... 3 Carl "Big Carl" Shelton 1888 - 1947
................... 3 Earl "Big Earl" Shelton 1890 -
................... 3 Bernie Shelton 1899 - 1948
................... 3 Dalta Shelton 1900 -
............................. 4 Earl "Little Earl" Shelton 1920 -
............................. 4 Carl "Little Carl" Shelton 1922 -
............................. 4 Edward Shelton 1913 -
............................. 4 Dortha Shelton 1917 -
........ 2 Joseph Shelton 1853 -
............ +Mary (maiden surname not found)
................... 3 Charles H. Shelton 1874 -
................... 3 Devin Shelton 1875 -
................... 3 Leroy Shelton 1876 -
................... 3 William Shelton 1879 -
........ 2 William L. Shelton 1855 -
........ 2 Elizabeth Shelton 1857 -
........ 2 Thomas Shelton 1858 -
........ 2 Mearion Shelton 1863 -
........ 2 Leander Shelton 1866 -
........ 2 Abner Shelton 1868 –
RESEARCH NOTES ON ANCESTRY OF SHELTON GANG
Generation No. 1
1. WILLIAM (WILSON) A.1 SHELTON was born 1824 in Kentucky, and died Bet. 1881 - 1900 in Wayne County, Illinois. He married PAULINE (MAIDEN SURNAME NOT FOUND).
Notes for WILLIAM (WILSON) A. SHELTON:
Research I have done in Kentucky and Missouri -- where this man stopped on his way to Illinois -- indicate that his name is William A. Shelton instead of the Wilson A. Shelton (as his name in the 1880 Wayne County, Illinois, census is recorded as "Wilson" and it is impossible to tell from the census if he used "Wilson" as his name in his Illinois records or if this is a recording mistake by the census enumerator)).
In Kentucky and Missouri censuses where he stopped on his way from Kentucky to Illinois, William A. Shelton has a wife with the same name, place of birth, year of birth, also the same children with the same year of birth, place of birth as "Wilson A. Shelton". Since Wilson's wife's name is Perlina or Polina, it stretches credibility to believe it is not the same family, as Perlina or Polina is not a frequently used name.
The 1860 U. S. census for Hopkins County, Kentucky, listed:
William A. Shelton, age 37, born in Kentucky
Polina Shelton, age 30, born in Virginia
Joseph A. Shelton, age 8, born in Kentucky
William L. Shelton, age 5, born in Kentucky
Elizabeth A. Shelton, age 3, born in Kentucky
John T. Shelton, age 1, born in Kentucky
The 1870 U. S. census for Carter County, Missouri, listed this family as follows:
William Shelton, age 46, b. Ky.
Perlina Shelton, age 41, b. Va.
Joseph A. Shelton, age 18, b. Ky.
William L. Shelton, age 15, b. Ky.
Allwelida E. Shelton, age 12, b. Ky. [This is Elizabeth Shelton in above listing.]
John T. Shelton, age 11, b. Ky.
Benjamin Shelton, age 9, b. Ky.
Marion Shelton, age 6, b. Ky
Robert Shelton, age 4, b. Ky.
Albert Shelton, age 1, b. Ky. (Albert's age indicates William Shelton moved from Kentucky
to Missouri between 1869-1870 as Albert was born in Kentucky in 1869
but the family was living in Missouri on the date of the 1870 census.)
Children of WILLIAM SHELTON and PAULINE (MAIDEN SURNAME NOT FOUND) are:
2. i. BEN2 SHELTON, b. 1861, Kentucky; d. 1944, Beech Bluff Road, Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois.
3. ii. JOSEPH SHELTON, b. 1853.
iii. WILLIAM L. SHELTON, b. 1855.
iv. ELIZABETH SHELTON, b. 1857.
v. THOMAS SHELTON, b. 1858.
vi. MEARION SHELTON, b. 1863.
vii. LEANDER SHELTON, b. 1866.
viii. ABNER SHELTON, b. 1868.
Generation No. 2
2. BEN SHELTON (WILLIAM (WILSON) A.1) was born 1861 in Kentucky, and died 1944 in Beech Bluff Road, Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois. He married AGNES GATHER. She was born 1862 in Illinois.
Notes for BEN SHELTON:
Ben married AGNES GATHER. She was born 1862 in Illinois. Her father was Beelia Gaither, listed in the 1880 U. S. Wayne County, Illinois, census as age 57, born in1823 in Alabama, with his father born in Virginia and his mother born in Tennessee. His wife was C. Ann Gaither, age 54, born in 1826 in Tennessee with her father born in Tennessee and her mother born in North Carolina. His children were daughter, Agnes, age 14 years which made her born in 1866 instead of 1862 as given in the magazine tree; daughter, Florence, age 11 years, born in 1869; and son, Leondus , age 8, born in 1872. All three of the Gather children were born in Illinois.
The information given here comes from a magazine article entitled "Gunfire Lays Low One More Shelton" and the article, based on references therein, appears to have been published in the 1950s. (I failed to write the title of the magazine on the article when I photocopied it a number of years ago but I believe it was one of two news magazines no longer published entitled (1) “Look” or (2) “Life”.)
This article states: "The booze-running Sheltons made enemies when they fought the raiding Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and then battled the Birger gang in warfare employing machine guns, armored cars, a tank and a bombing plane." (The engagement with the Birger gang sounds like a rather active endeavor but fighting the Ku Klux Klan, in my view, is redemptive.) Besides "booze-running" they apparently also got into trouble with the Chicago mobs over the lucrative gambling proceeds in "Little Egypt", being Southern Illinois.
The article contains a family tree beginning with Ben and shows his wife, Agnes, and his sons and grandsons. I found Ben Shelton in the 1920 U. S. census for Wayne County, Illinois, living on Beech Bluff Road, listed as 55 years of age, born in Kentucky. His wife was named Agnes, 53 years of age, born in Illinois. He also had two daughters in his household, Hazel, age 16 years, and Lula, age 10 years.
The 1880 Wayne County, Illinois, census lists appears to list Ben Shelton still resident in the household of his father, Wilson A. Shelton, age 56 years, farmer, born in Kentucky with his father and mother born in Virginia. His wife was Pauline, age 51 years, born in Virginia with both her parents born in Virginia. The children resident in the household were:
son, William L. Shelton, age 25 years, born in Kentucky
daughter, Elizabeth Shelton, age 23 years, born in Kentucky
son, Thomas Shelton, age 22 years, born in Kentucky
son, Benjamin Shelton, age 18 years, born in Kentucky
son, Mearion Shelton, age 17 years, born in Kentucky (His name is "Marion" in other censuses)
son, Leander Shelton, age 14 years, born in Kentucky
son, Abner Shelton, age 12 years, born in Kentucky
Living next door was most probably another son, Joseph Shelton, age 27 years, born in Kentucky with his father born in Kentucky and his mother born in Virginia. His wife was Mary, age 28 years, born in Illinois with both her parents born in Illinois. His children were son, Charles H., age 6 years; son,
Devin, age 5 years; son, Leroy, age 4 years; and son, William, age 1 year. So Joseph is shown in this tree as a son of Wilson A. and Polina or Perlina or Pauline. (The census enumerators certainly had a problem with the spelling of her name!)
The 1910 IL census shows Ben as Ben M. Shelton; therefore, his middle name started with an "M". Agnes is his wife and the children resident are Dalta, Bernie and a daugther Hazel, age 6 years, and a daughter Lulu, age one year. The 1920 census shows Ben, Agnes, Hazel and Lulu. The 1930 census shows Ben, Agnes and Lulu.
Children of BEN SHELTON and AGNES GATHER are:
i. ROY3 SHELTON, b. 1885; d. 1950, Fairfield, Illinois; m. BLANCHE (MAIDEN SURNAME NOTE FOUND).
Notes for ROY SHELTON:
Killed by rifle fire when disking corn field.
ii. CARL "BIG CARL" SHELTON, b. 1888; d. 1947, Fairfield, Illinois.
Notes for CARL "BIG CARL" SHELTON:
Killed by 16 machine-gun slugs fired from a car as he drove a jeep down the road.
iii. EARL "BIG EARL" SHELTON, b. 1890.
Notes for EARL "BIG EARL" SHELTON:
In 1949 a gunman climbed on the roof of a garage where "Big Earl" was playing pinochle with friends in the Shelton-run Farmers Club and shot him resulting in hospitalization. In 1950 "Big Earl" was fired on again in a car in which he was being driven on Pond Creek bridge and nicked in the arm.
iv. BERNIE SHELTON, b. 1899; d. 1948, Peoria, Illinois.
Notes for BERNIE SHELTON:
He was killed in 1948 when he walked outside a gambling club he owned in Peoria. A gunman fired one shot from a high-powered rifle from the woods a 109 feet away and Bernie fell to the ground. The assassin vanished.
4. v. DALTA SHELTON, b. 1900.
3. JOSEPH SHELTON (WILLIAM (WILSON) A.1) was born 1853. He married MARY (MAIDEN SURNAME NOT FOUND).
Children of JOSEPH SHELTON and MARY FOUND) are:
i. CHARLES H.3 SHELTON, b. 1874.
ii. DEVIN SHELTON, b. 1875.
iii. LEROY SHELTON, b. 1876.
iv. WILLIAM SHELTON, b. 1879.
Generation No. 3
4. DALTA3 SHELTON (BEN2, WILLIAM (WILSON) A.1) was born 1900.
Notes for DALTA SHELTON:
He has never been ambushed. Dalta was listed in the 1930 U. S. census for Wayne County, Illinois, with his wife named Lillie, age 36 years; son Edward, age 17 years; daughter Dortha, age 13 years;
son Earl, age 11 years; and son Carl, age 5 years.
Children of DALTA SHELTON are:
i. EARL "LITTLE EARL" SHELTON, b. 1920.
Notes for EARL "LITTLE EARL" SHELTON:
Little Earl has been ambushed three times and hit twice.
ii. CARL "LITTLE CARL" SHELTON, b. 1922.
Notes for CARL "LITTLE CARL" SHELTON:
He has been ambushed once but was not hit.
iii. EDWARD SHELTON, b. 1913.
iv. DORTHA SHELTON, b. 1917.