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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Medicine Bow in Albany County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Albany County Train Robberies

 
 
Albany County Train Robberies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 9, 2015
1. Albany County Train Robberies Marker
Inscription. In remote areas of Albany County, Wyoming, passenger trains carrying mail, payroll monies, and express deliveries were tempting targets for bandits. On June 2, 1899, the Union Pacific Overland Flyer No. 1 was flagged down near Wilcox Station, east of Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Two masked men boarded the train and ordered the engineer to uncouple the passenger cars. The engine, pulling the express and mail cars, was then moved two miles further down the line, where other members of the gang were waiting. When Union Pacific express messenger Charles Woodcock refused to open the express car, the bandits dynamited the door, knocking Woodcock nearly unconscious. Unable to open the safe, the robbers set another charge, mis-calculating the amount of dynamite needed. The ensuing explosion not only blew open the safe, but also the sides and roof of the express car. The thieves made off with approximately $50,000.00. The Wilcox robbery was attributed to members of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch Gang, all but one of whom eluded capture for the crime.
One of the most famous Wyoming train bandits is Bill Carlisle. In 1916, Carlisle was sentenced to life in prison for robbing three Union Pacific trains. Three years later, he escaped from the Wyoming Penitentiary. Soon after his escape, Carlisle robbed another Union Pacific train near Rock River, Wyoming.
Albany County Train Robberies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 9, 2015
2. Albany County Train Robberies Marker
This marker is on the right.
Carlisle was shot in the arm by the brakeman in the course of the robbery. He sustained a second gunshot wound at the time of his capture. Known for never robbing women, children and soldiers, Carlisle, Wyoming's "Gentleman Bandit," was returned to prison. He was paroled in 1936 and pardoned by Governor Lester Hunt in 1947. After his parole, Carlisle became a model citizen, married the nurse who treated him for his wounds, and earned his living as a successful businessman in Laramie, Wyoming.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department.
 
Location. 41° 51.899′ N, 106° 4.394′ W. Marker is near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, in Albany County. Marker is on U.S. 30, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Medicine Bow WY 82329, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dinosaur Graveyard (here, next to this marker); Owen Wister (approx. 6.9 miles away); George A. Wyman (approx. 6.9 miles away); Rock Creek (approx. 8˝ miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker is located on U.S. Highway 30, also numbered as U.S. Highway 287, at the Carbon/Albany county line.
 
Also see . . .
The Wilcox Train Robbery express car image. Click for full size.
Wyoming State Archives, circa 1899
3. The Wilcox Train Robbery express car

1. Wilcox Train Robbery - Historynet. The June 2, 1899, Wilcox holdup would become one of the West’s most famous train robberies. The Union Pacific Overland Flyer No. 1 had two sections, each pulled by its own locomotive. The first section was flagged down by two men with lanterns at milepost No. 609 at 2:18 that rainy Friday morning. Thinking that a small wooden bridge ahead might have washed out overnight, engineer Jones brought this first section to a screeching stop. (Submitted on October 16, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Bill Carlisle, Gentleman Bandit - WyoHistory.org. The story reads like a dime novel: A white-masked train robber succeeds in acquiring “donations” from Union Pacific passengers and, despite a massive manhunt, eludes capture. He robs again. After being caught, he escapes from prison, holds up another train, and is returned to the penitentiary. There, he meets a priest who helps him repent. The robber earns parole, marries, operates a restaurant, and writes a book about his experiences. - Lori Van Pelt (Submitted on October 16, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
The Wilcox Train Robbery safe image. Click for full size.
Wyoming State Archives
4. The Wilcox Train Robbery safe
Bill Carlisle, right, and his captor Sheriff Rubie Rivera, on the steps of the Carbon County courtho image. Click for full size.
By Carbon County Museum
5. Bill Carlisle, right, and his captor Sheriff Rubie Rivera, on the steps of the Carbon County courtho
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 16, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 16, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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