When did the last U.S. stagecoach robbery take place?

When did the last U.S. stagecoach robbery take place?

Marty Luffman
Nashville, Tennessee

The last one occurred just outside Jarbidge, Nevada, on December 5, 1916. The outlaws killed the stage driver, Fred Searcy, and stole about $4,000 in gold coins.

While a posse searched for evidence, a dog dug up one of the stage mail pouches. The dog was known to hang out with Ben Kuhl. The police rounded up Kuhl and two friends, Ed Beck and Bill McGraw. The latter was released, but Beck and Kuhl were convicted of committing the robbery.

One of the key pieces of evidence was a bloody palm print on an envelope, which matched Kuhl’s—the first time such evidence was used to convict a killer. He was sentenced to death, but that was later commuted to life in prison.

Some believed the stage driver was in on the robbery and that Kuhl murdered him in a fight over the loot.

The stolen gold has never been found; supposedly, it is buried in Jarbidge Canyon.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.