The Brothers Grime This ain't no fairytale.

Cicero Grime True West Magazine
Cicero Grime

On Sunday, August 20th, 1882 the Wells Fargo wagon was hauling a shipment of gold for the payroll at a mine near Globe was robbed, by three amateurish stage robbers that included the two Grime brothers, Cicero and Lafayette and their pal, Curtis Hawley.

Lafayette wore a size four shoe and earned a meager living tap dancing in the joints around Globe. Cicero fancied himself as a photographer while Curtis had a small wood and charcoal business.

The three decided to establish a construction company but business was slow and during their idle time one suggested that robbing a stagecoach would elevate their station in life much faster than building bridges.

The plan was to rob the buckboard carrying the Wells Fargo payroll shipment to the Mike Morris Mine as it made its run up the steep grade of the Pinal Mountains south of Globe. They’d heard a large shipment was coming through on August 20th and the boys planned to meet it at 14-Mile Wash in Pioneer Pass.

The heist wasn’t supposed to have any gunplay, they just wanted to scare the driver away. Lafayette borrowed a .50 caliber Springfield rifle from a friend and Curtis brought along a .44-40 Winchester. The rest of their arsenal included a pickax and hatchet to break up the strongbox. They thought of everything except the two most important things necessary for a successful stagecoach robbery; Lafayette and Curtis were both afoot. Also, they didn’t really have a getaway plan, an essential factor in any robbery.

There was one point the trail was so steep the gold shipment had to be transferred and carried by mule over the grade and on to Globe. That was the spot where the boys planned steal the gold.

Cicero would be the lookout. He would ride down the hill, have a friendly meeting with the driver and determine if the Wells Fargo strongbox had enough gold to make it worthwhile. He would then inform his cronies the scheme was a “go.” Then he would return to Globe to establish his alibi.

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Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu