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Museum Minute: A Letter Stops A Robbery

Fort Worth Five Photograph
Front row left to right: Harry A. Longabaugh, alias the Sundance Kid, Ben Kilpatrick, alias the Tall Texan, Robert Leroy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy; Standing: Will Carver & Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry; Fort Worth, Texas, 1900.

The McCracken Research Library is a local history library not only a library specializing in all things Buffalo Bill. And the Cody area is not lacking interesting stories of the west.

East of Cody near Kaycee, Wyoming was the hideout of the Hole in the Wall Gang, which was prominent during the early 20th century. Famous members of the gang included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

MS92.01.01 MS 92, Dean Hays Family Papers.
 

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The McCracken has a handwritten letter that was written by a tavern owner in Meeteetse who heard a rumor about the gangs intention to rob the Meeteetse and Red Lodge bank.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Sir,

It is rumored that Meeteetse is going to be held up and robbed by the Hole in the Wall Gang of thieves. I wish you would notify Red Lodge that they are billed for the 23rd of June. I don't know this for a fact but I have reason to believe it. You can use your own judgement about it and act accordingly.  Hoping this may be of benefit.

I’m yours, truly,

H.R.

It turns out H.R. may have been successful. According to history records, these banks were not robbed but the gang robbed a train in northern Montana less than ten days after the letter was written.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. She has won a regional Murrow award for her reporting on mental health and firearm owners. During her time leading the Wyoming Public Media newsroom, reporters have won multiple PMJA, Murrow and Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism Awards. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.