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92 CHAPTER 12 Train Robbers Syndicate I n March 1899, the trio reunited at Bro wn’s Hole and again tra veled to nor thern Nevada, ending up in Elk o.1 They checked into Johnny Craig’s rooming house under the names F rank Bozeman, John Hunter, and Joe Ste wart. For about a w eek they frequented the saloons along Railroad Street, flourishing large amounts of money and breaking hundred dollar bills w hile gambling.2 This ostentatious display may have been part of a plan to alla y suspicion from the real reason they were in town. They had made plans, probably in Brown’s Hole, to strike the Union P acific at Wilcox, Wyoming, and needed a stak e to finance the robbery.3 It was rumored that the safe in the Club Saloon contained a considerable amount of cash, and w ould be easier to rob than the local bank.4 It was going on midnight on Monda y, April 3, 1899, when owner E. M. James Gutridge closed up after to wn constable Joe Triplett had left the premises. With the safe behind the bar open, Gutridge and bartender C. B. Nichols began counting the e vening’s receipts, when Kid Curry, Flatnose, and Sundance entered with guns dra wn. Since Triplett had left just moments earlier, Gutridge tried to y ell for help, but one of the masked men hit him over the head. The robber then took Gutridge and Nichols to the front of the bar and made them sit in chairs, w hile a second bandit covered the front door. The third robber gathered the money in a gunny sack, the amount repor ted as being $550 or $3,000. The outlaws then backed out of the saloon, jumped on their horses and escaped north in the direction of Tuscarora.5 Three local men, J. Cook, Bart Holbrook, and John Page, were at first suspected, but after establishing alibis, Justice Morgan had to let them go. When law officials learned that Bozeman, Hunter , and Stewart had left town on the night of the robbery, they were suspected as being the saloon Train Robbers Syndicate 93 robbers, and possibly the same trio that held up the Souther n Pacific less than a year ago at Humboldt. 6 “It seems quite possib le that some of the robberies that theWild Bunch got credit for were not of their doing,” wrote Pearl Baker. “They all claimed this was so, but this par ticular trio stayed together and became well enough known to keep track of.”7 The gang tur ned east (Baker said they went by train to Salt Lak e City), and arrived in Kemmerer, in the southw est corner of Wyoming, on April 10. Here they bought a wagon and team of horses, a camping outfit, and one Winchester rifle. They also bought tw o saddle horses; one was a pinto from William Fenn, and the other a buckskin from John Hastie. On April 15, Kid Cur ry, Sundance, and Flatnose left to wn and were seen heading east.8 Converse County Sheriff Josiah Hazen’s posse captured the gang’s horses after the Wilcox robbery, and two of them were subsequently identified by John Hastie and merchant Mik e Nolen of Kemmerer, as the horses purchased by the bandits. Also, the remains of the wagon they had purchased were found in Rock Creek on June 13, broken up and parts of it burned for firewood.9 Railroad Street in Elko, Nevada, 1902. Kid Curry, George Currie, and the Sundance Kid robbed the Club Saloon here in April 1899. (Northeastern Nevada Museum, Elko) 94 Chapter 12 It has been stated b y a number of Butch Cassidy admirers that he came up from the WS Ranch to help plan or even plan entirely the Wilcox train robbery. There isn’t any evidence that Cassidy was at the scene of the robbery, but it is generall y accepted that he sta yed in the area to later divide the loot. It has also been stated that Elzy Lay was one of the robbers, as well as a number of other Wild Bunch members. First of all, William French indicates that Jim Lo we (Cassidy) worked at the WS through the summer and f all of 1899, and doesn’t mention any request for a leave of absence. He makes it clear that he hated to see good...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781574414769
Related ISBN
9781574414707
MARC Record
OCLC
811411463
Pages
464
Launched on MUSE
2012-09-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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