Some old-timers claimed Butch Cassidy got his nickname from the short time he worked as a butcher in Wyoming. Matt Warner, who rode with Butch, said it came from Cassidy having a tough time shooting a rifle he owned that was called Butch. Actually his real name was Robert Leroy Parker.
There’s no disputing how Sundance got his. As a young man he did some jail time in Sundance, Wyoming. Ironically, the governor pardoned him, saying he was a good boy. Sundance, in contrast to Butch, was quiet and reserved.
The two might have met when Butch was in Telluride, Colorado in the mid-1880s, but they didn’t hit the outlaw trail together until sometime between 1896 and 1900.
Surprisingly, Butch and Sundance rode together on robberies no more than three times. If Paul Newman and Robert Redford hadn’t been gunned down together in that blockbuster movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” the two real-life outlaws would be little more than a footnote in outlaw lore.