“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Pollack Pines in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

In Memory of the Bravery of Our Pioneer Officers

In Memory of Our Pioneer Officers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, November 28, 2008
1. In Memory of Our Pioneer Officers Marker
Inscription.  Scene of the robbery of two coaches of the Pioneer Stage Line running between Virginia City, Nevada, and Sacramento, California, on the night of June 30, 1864, at about ten o’clock. Perpetrated by a gang of fourteen men, eight sacks of bullion and treasure box were taken. The leader of the gang represented that the money was to be used for the purpose of recruiting for the Confederate Service. In attempting to capture the bandits a battle took place at Somerset in which Deputy Sheriff Joseph Staples was killed and Deputy Sheriff Geo. C. Ranney badly wounded. Thomas Poole, one of the bandits, was captured, and on Sept. 29, 1865 was executed at Placerville. The two coaches were driven by Ned Blair and Charles Watson.
Erected 1916 by The Placerville Parlors of Native Sons and Daughters, Placerville, Cal. September 9, 1916.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Law EnforcementRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers
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War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 30, 1864.
Location. 38° 46.046′ N, 120° 33.083′ W. Marker is near Pollack Pines, California, in El Dorado County. Marker is on Pony Express Trail, on the left when traveling east. Take Sly Park Exit off of Highway 50, take a right on Pony Express Trail, marker is located at end of the road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pollock Pines CA 95726, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Carson Trail - Junction (approx. 0.9 miles away); Cutoff to Johnson Ranch and Placerville (approx. 0.9 miles away); Johnson Cutoff - Fresh Pond (approx. 1.2 miles away); Bullion Bend Robbery (approx. 1˝ miles away); Logging in El Dorado County (approx. 1˝ miles away); The California Gold Rush (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Mormon Emigrant Trail (approx. 1˝ miles away); Johnson Cutoff - Took the Hangtown Road (approx. 1˝ miles away).
Also see . . .  George Cross – Stage Robbery Information. “Ranney tried to persuade him to wait for Van Eaton and the reinforcements, but Staples refused, cocked
In Memory of Our Pioneer Officers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, November 28, 2008
2. In Memory of Our Pioneer Officers Marker
his gun and ran into the room, demanding their surrender. Ranney, realizing that Staples was seriously outnumbered by the robbers, pulled his gun and followed him. The two were met by a fusillade of bullets. One of the robbers, a fellow by the name of Poole, was seriously injured by Staples and was out of the battle, but the robbers’ bullets had found their mark and Staples fell, dying at Ranney's feet.” (Submitted on November 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.) 
Additional commentary.
1. July 2, 2019 Facebook Posting by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office
Today, we want to dive into some El Dorado County History, and talk about Deputy Joseph Staples. Deputy Staples was the first Deputy Sheriff to die in the line of duty in El Dorado County. This all started with the Bullion Bend robbery.

Reportedly, a band of men, led by Thomas Poole (who had earlier in his life been an Undersheriff for Monterey County) and Ralph Henry, aka Captain R. Henry Ingrim, sought to raise funds for the Confederate Army. Their plan to get the money was to steal it. They rode to a spot 14 miles east of Placerville, and on June 30, 1864, stopped two Pioneer Stage Line coaches traveling with their shipments from Virginia City, Nevada to Placerville.

Joseph Staples Marker image. Click for more information.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, October 30, 2008
3. Joseph Staples Marker
This marker is located on Main Street in Placerville
Click for more information.
stopping the stage and appropriating over $40,000 in silver, Captain Ingrim wrote out a receipt to Wells Fargo certifying that he had received cash. The stage was allowed to leave and the band, mounting their horses, stopped at a spring where they hid all the money except for two silver bricks and the strong box cash.

Meanwhile, the stage reached Thirteen Mile house and telegraphed the news of the holdup to Sheriff William Rogers, who immediately set out with a posse to look for the robbers. The gang rode hard until they arrived at the Somerset House, a large hotel on the north fork of the Cosumnes River where they spent the night. In the morning, two of Sheriff Rogers’ deputies, Joseph Staples and George Ranney, rode up asking Mrs. Reynolds, the proprietor, if she had seen any strangers around. She nodded her head and motioned them to a side door. Deputy Staples rushed into the room yelling, “You men are all my prisoners!” whereupon he was met by a barrage of gunfire, killing him instantly. Word was sent to Placerville of what had happened.

With a price on their heads, the bandits fled El Dorado County. They stopped at a farmhouse south of San Jose and told the farmer, Edward Hill, of their plan to rob the payroll for the workers of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine. He quickly notified John Adams, the Sheriff of Santa Clara County. Sheriff Adams formed
Coach of the Pioneer Stage Line image. Click for full size.
By Charles C. Pierce, from USC collection, circa 1900
4. Coach of the Pioneer Stage Line
a posse and ultimately captured several of the group. Some of the money was recovered. Tom Poole, however, stood trial alone for the murder of Deputy Staples. On September 29, 1865, he was hanged on the Placerville Gallows.

According to the local paper’s obituary, Joe Staples was buried on July 2, 1864, at the Placerville Union Cemetery. The funeral service was well attended by residents of Placerville and Coloma, members of the fire department, county officials, friends of Staples and a “large number of ladies”.

We want to thank Deputy Staples, even after all this time, we will not forget your sacrifice.
    — Submitted July 2, 2019.
Joseph M. Staples Gravesite image. Click for more information.
Photographed By Syd Whittle
5. Joseph M. Staples Gravesite
Located at Placerville Union Cemetery on Bee Street
Click for more information.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,720 times since then and 77 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week June 30, 2019. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   4. submitted on June 29, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   5. submitted on November 29, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

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Jun. 12, 2024