Riverside Station Stagecoach Robbery

stagecoach robbery

On August 10th, 1883 the Florence-Globe Stagecoach was robbed about two miles from the remote Riverside Station on the Gila River by the Red Jack Almer gang. The gang had pulled a number of stage robberies in the area.

Jack had boarded the stage at Florence after watching two men load a heavy Wells Fargo strong box. One account says he was wearing a dress, passing himself off as a woman. He got off at Riverside and started walking ahead. His two partners Charlie Hensley and Joe Tuttle waited until they saw Jack on the stage then rode ahead to a pre-determined place on an incline. When the coach reached the hill and slowed down they opened fire without warning killing shotgun guard Johnny Collins and a couple of horses. They handed a new hatchet to passenger Felix LaBlanc and ordered him to break open the strong box. They rode off heading up the Gila River to its junction with the San Pedro with some $2,000 in silver and $500 in gold coin.

A posse led by Pinal County Sheriff A. J. Doran and assisted by former sheriff Pete Gabriel, following a lead, rode up the San Pedro River to Len Redfield’s ranch where they spent the night. The next morning, while forking some hay for their horses, they accidentally found a Wells Fargo strongbox and a new hatchet hidden in a stack of hay. Later they found another box with more loot. They concluded one had come from a robbery near Bisbee. Redfield denied knowing anything about the loot but they wrung a confession out of Joe Tuttle and had enough evidence to arrest Redfield too. They were taken to Florence and jailed. An angry mob of vigilantes came in through the back door, took Tuttle and Redfield, and hanged them from the rafters.

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