Butch Cassidy, was given the name Robert Leroy Parker at birth, born to a poor Mormon family in Beaver, Utah. As a teen Parker set off to find a new and better life for himself than that of his family’s.
While on his travels he met a rancher named Mike Cassidy, who was known for stealing. Parker admired Mike Cassidy and wanted to emulate his new friend and not diminish his family’s name, so he changed his own name to Butch Cassidy.
Cassidy was charming and well-liked, even as a criminal; it is believed by many that the thief never killed anyone. His first robbery took place in Telluride, Colorado at the San Miguel Valley Bank. Cassidy and three other cowboys fled Telluride with $20,000.
Butch used this money to purchase his own ranch in Dubois, Wyoming in 1890, where he took a break from his rowdy life. Four years later, he was arrested and put in jail for two years to pay for the crime committed.
In 1896 Cassidy was released and returned to the lifestyle of a criminal. With fellow well-known outlaws including, Harry Longabaugh (a.k.a. the “Sundance Kid”), William Ellsworth Lay (“Elzy Lay”), Ben Kilpatrick (the “Tall Texan”) and Harvey Logan (“Kid Curry”) — a group known as “the Wild Bunch”.
In August of 1896, Butch Cassidy and his buddies, the “Wild Bunch” robbed The Bank of Montpelier, located in Southeastern Idaho. It is estimated the group left with around $5,000-$15,000 in gold, silver, and other forms of currency. This bank is the last standing bank that was confirmed to have been robbed by the Wild Bunch, now having been made into a museum, one can visit between the dates of Memorial Day and Labor Day each summer.
For more information, visit www.BearLake.org