Butch Cassidy Museum — Old West Wild Bunch Outlaws in Montpelier, ID

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Butch Cassidy and his group of outlaws, known as the Wild Bunch, galloped through the American West pulling train and bank robberies everywhere from Idaho to Colorado, Utah to New Mexico, and Nevada to Montana. In fact, Cassidy had the longest stretch of successful train and bank robberies in American history.

Butch Cassidy committed many types of crimes, starting with the pair of overalls he stole as a 13-year-old. The story goes that, in need of clothes, he rode into town after a day’s ranch work and found the Utah store closed. So, he broke in and left a sheet of paper with his name and an IOU note, promising to come back and pay. The owner, however, had him arrested anyway.

Trivia Question:

How many bank robberies did Butch Cassidy pull? (Click on the tab, Butch Cassidy Museum, for the answer!) 

Banks robbed by Butch Cassidy.

Banks robbed by Butch Cassidy.

Butch Cassidy is credited with five bank robberies according to the museum’s research:

  • June 34, 1889 – San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, Colorado (approx. $21,000)
  • August 13, 1896 – The Bank of Montpelier in Montpelier, Idaho ($7,142)
  • September 19, 1900 – First National Bank in Winnemucca, Nevada ($32,640)
  • February 14, 1905 – Banco de Tarapaca, Rio Gallegos, Argentina (approx. $20,000)
  • December 19, 1905 – Banco de la Nacion, Villa Mercedes, Argentina (approx. $14,000 pesos)

When you visit the Butch Cassidy Museum, in Montpelier, Idaho, you walk on the same hardwood floor that Butch did when he held it up on August 13, 1896. That day, Cassidy and the crew stopped at the hitching rail across the street minutes before closing time — in fact the robbery took place at 13 minutes after 3 o’clock, right after the 13th deposit of the day for $13.

Display of gold bricks at Butch Cassidy Museum in Montpelier, Idaho.

Display of gold bricks at Butch Cassidy Museum in Montpelier, Idaho.

With a gun pointed at him, the pay teller, A. N. Mackintosh, leaned up against the wall while Cassidy scooped money up into a gunny sack. He ended up with around $7000 before calmly walking out the door. Across the street, Bob Meeks held the horses. According to some accounts, a little boy noticed the commotion and ran into the Barber Shop, yelling, “Robbery! Robbers! Somebody is robbing the bank!”

At any rate, Butch Cassidy rode off into the not-yet-sunset on his horse. Deputy, Fred Cruikshank, grabbed the little boy’s bicycle and pedaled after the robbers. In the end, Bob Meeks was arrested and stood trial. He was sentenced to 35 years for what appears to have been in his first offense!

Linda Aksomitis with Butch Cassidy at the Butch Cassidy Museum in Montpelier, Idaho.

Linda Aksomitis with Butch Cassidy at the Butch Cassidy Museum in Montpelier, Idaho.

A smooth talker and the ultimate hustler, Butch Cassidy started life out as Robert LeRoy Parker, the eldest son of a Mormon family. He changed his name to Butch Cassidy after spending time with a mentor on a Utah ranch, Mike Cassidy, cowhand and small-time horse-rustler.

Read more about him at History.Net – http://www.historynet.com/butch-cassidy

Video: In Search of Butch Cassidy

Sources:

The Butch Cassidy Museum.

The Bear Lake Valley Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website.

Butch Cassidy. (2017). Google Books. Retrieved 1 June 2017, from Google Books.

Visit the Butch Cassidy Museum

The museum is open seasonally, from May through September. Check the website for specific days and hours.

Admission is free and it takes about half an hour to go through the information. It’s a great add-on when you’re traveling to Idaho’s Bear Lake area.

Bear Lake Valley Recreation

Visit the Bear Lake Valley Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for more information.

 

About the Photo

The photograph above was taken in Montpelier, Idaho, of the Butch Cassidy Museum. It’s situated in the original Bank of Montpelier, which was established in 1891.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor about visiting Montpelier, where the museum is located near the Bear Lake Valley recreation areas. Sometimes called the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” you’ll find lots of great things to do after you leave the museum.

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