Presentation About Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch Set for Friday

Presentation About Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch Set for Friday

Butch Cassidy, inmate number 187, Wyoming State Penitentiary.

LYMAN – A presentation about the legendary Butch Cassidy and his gang will take place Friday, Feb. 23, at Lyman High School.

The presentation takes place at the high school’s auditorium at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation being free to the public.

The speakers will be historian and author Bill Betenson, Cassidy’s great-nephew, and Sweetwater County historian and frontier-era firearms authority Joe Hickey.

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“We wanted to help make people aware of the event,” Dave Mead, director of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River said. “Bill and Joe have long been friends and supporters of the museum, and their talks are always something very special.”

Butch Cassidy, whose real name is Robert LeRoy Parker, was the leader of a loosely organized outlaw gang that came to be known as the Wild Bunch, which operated in the frontier west in the years around the turn of the 20th century. Gang members included Harvey Logan, Will Carver, Ben Kilpatrick, and Harry Longabaugh, better known as the Sundance Kid.

Cassidy did some time in the Wyoming State Penitentiary on rustling-related charges. By all accounts, he was a very smooth talker and early in 1896, Gov. William Richards issued him a pardon. As described in Bill Betenson’s “Butch Cassidy – The Wyoming Years,” “Evidence exists that Butch did make some type of deal or agreement with the governor to leave Wyoming alone and not commit any crimes in the state after his pardon.”  Later, Richards wrote Cassidy “told me that he had [had] enough of Penitentiary life and intended to conduct himself in such a way as to not again lay himself liable to arrest.”

He was released, but seven months later, on August 13, he, Elzy Lay, and Bub Meeks robbed the Montpelier Bank in Montpelier, Idaho, and got away with approximately $7,000, which would be more than $250,000 in 2024. Meeks was later caught after a bungled robbery at Fort Bridger and stood trial for the Montpelier holdup. He was found guilty and received a 35-year prison sentence. Currently on display at the museum is Meeks’ rifle, a Model 1894 Winchester in .25-35.