ask the marshall true west

How often were post offices robbed on the frontier?

Gerald Jantzen – Okeene, Oklahoma

Robbing a post office wasn’t common in the Old West—although some stores that doubled as mail stations got hit more often. Robbers frequently hit stagecoaches or trains carrying mail pouches, since those often transported cash or bank notes. Yes, back in those days, people actually sent money in the mail.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, e-mail him at

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