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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Butch Cassidy

Robert "Butch Cassidy" Parker (1866-1966) was born on Friday April 13, 1866 in Beaver, Utah. He was the first of 13 children born to Maximillian Parker and Ann Campbell Gillies. His British parents had moved to Utah after converting to Mormonism.

Charles Dickens’s father went into business with Butch Cassidy’s great-grandfather

Parker left home during his early teens, and while working at a dairy farm, looked up to, and was mentored by Mike Cassidy an alias name for John Tolliver (J T ) McClammy, a cattle rustler at the time. During a brief stint as a butcher in Rock Springs, Wyoming, he acquired the nickname "Butch", to which he soon appended the surname Cassidy in honor of his old friend and mentor.

His first major crime was on June 24, 1889, when Cassidy, Warner and two of the McCarty Brothers robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, Colorado in which they stole approximately $21,000.

The white building at right housed the San Miguel Valley Bank. By JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD - 

In 1894 Cassidy was arrested at Lander, Wyoming, for stealing horses and possibly for running a protection racket among the local ranchers there. Imprisoned in the Wyoming State Prison in Laramie, Wyoming, he served 18 months of a two-year sentence and was released in January 1896.

Upon his release Cassidy hooked up with other rustlers and thieves, eventually forming a gang known as The Wild Bunch, which included such well known desperadoes as The Sundance Kid and Harvey Logan. The gang began robbing banks, payrolls and trains all over Colorado and Utah.

Butch Cassidy poses in the Wild Bunch group photo, Fort Worth, Texas, 1901

During a train robbery in 1899 on a Wyoming bridge, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid got into a long argument with the conductor and forgot about the explosives they’d planted. The bridge blew up.

The Wild Bunch became so proficient at it that the Pinkerton Detective Agency was hired to run them down, and in addition a $4000 bounty (a huge sum at the time) was placed on their heads.

The Wild Bunch committed its last robbery,  a Great Northern train at Wagner, Montana on July 3, 1901.

The pressures of being pursued, notably by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, forced Cassidy to flee with the Sundance Kid, and the latter's girlfriend, Etta Place. The trio fled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia, where Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were probably killed in a shoot-out on November 7, 1908.

Source Wikipedia

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