One of Bat Masterson's crowning achievements while he was here in Dodge City stemmed from an event which occurred 35 miles away in Kinsley.
On January 27, 1878, shortly after Masterson assumed the office of Ford County Sheriff, a gang led by Mike Roark and Dave Rudabaugh executed the "Great Train Robbery" in Kinsley, Edwards County.
A group of five men, with blackened faces to avoid being recognized, entered the Santa Fe Railroad station at 4:00 am after a safe which contained $2,000.
They also hoped to rob the westbound Pueblo Express train. The hero of the hour was night telegraph operator, Andrew Kinkade, who ran across the tracks just ahead of the moving westbound Express. Not only did they not get into the safe, but Kincaid was able to warn the crew on board the Express.
Though the would-be robbers failed in their attempts, they managed to escape on horseback. But they did not escape the interest of local lawmen. Ford County Sheriff Bat Masterson organized a posse, which included his brother Ed, and set out on a four-day expedition through a snowstorm which took them to Harry Lovell's ranch 65 miles south of Dodge. Here the posse hid in a barn to wait out the arrival of the Roark-Rudabaugh gang who Masterson knew would have to eventually find shelter somewhere.
Sure enough, Masterson's hunch was correct and after a few hours, two riders, Dave Rudabaugh and Edgar West, slowly neared the barn. Once they were within gunshot range, Masterson emerged with shotgun pointed at them. The two wisely surrendered and were taken to Dodge City.
The "Dodge City Times" and "Dodge City Globe" rang out praises to the newly installed sheriff with headlines: "The Train Robbers!...They are Captured by Strategy...W.B. Masterson Makes a Good Beginning...Sheriff W.B. Masterson and His Heroic Posse Bag the Game Without a Shot..."
A week after the capture, Masterson, Charlie Bassett and three others went on an unsuccessful hunt for more of the train robbers. This 500 mile and 13 day trip took them to the Canadian River in Texas where they lost the bandits trail.
In March, Sheriff Masterson, brother Marshal Ed Masterson and Undersheriff Basset learned the two culprits were in a dance hall south of the tracks. They chased them west of town where they captured the pair.
This was a high-point in the life brothers Bat and Ed Masterson. A low point occurred soon after with the murder of Ed, in April at a saloon south of the tracks by a drunken cattle drover.