Convicts: Cuffed, Chained and Confined
Butch Cassidy - Convict #187
Born Robert LeRoy Parker, he changed his name to Butch Cassidy when he began his life of crime. Later known as a legend of the American West and leader of the Wild Bunch, Cassidy was incarcerated at the Wyoming Territorial Prison for grand larceny (stealing horses) from 1894-1896. This would be the only Prison to ever hold Butch Cassidy. Upon his release he would establish the most successful band of bank and train robbers this country has ever seen. Butch and his gang would steal over $233,905.00 from trains, banks, and mining payrolls all over the West in five years. Cassidy, the Sundance Kid (Harry Alonso Longabaugh), Kid Curry and other Wild Bunch gang members were some of the most wanted men in four states with Pinkerton detectives, posses and bounty hunters dogging their steps. Butch and the Wild Bunch would become the country's last horseman outlaws. In 1901 the gang dissolved, Butch, the Sundance Kid and Etta Place set sail for South America. Cassidy may have died in a gun-fight with local law enforcement authorities in San Vicente, Bolivia in 1908 or he may have returned to the United States under another identity. His fate remains a mystery.
Robert (Bob) E. Lee - Convict #491
A member of the Wild Bunch gang and a participant of the infamous Union Pacific Wilcox Train Robbery (June 2, 1899), Lee was incarcerated at the Wyoming Territorial Prison in 1900 and released (from the new state penitentiary in Rawlins, WY) in 1907. He was also a member of the Curry Gang, led by the infamous killer, Kid Curry (Harvey Logan).
Arthur Hinman - Convict #549
After stealing a horse and saddle, Hinman was convicted of grand larceny and incarcerated from 1901-1903. Upon his walking through the iron doors, at the age of 14, he was the youngest convict ever put behind bars at the Territorial Prison.
Eliza "Big Jack" Stewart - Convict #459
Stewart walked up and shot a man in the neck at a dance hall in Hanna, Wyoming. Not known if it was a lover's quarrel or a fight over money, she was convicted for "assault to commit manslaughter". Steward was incarcerated at the Territorial Prison from 1899-1901.
James Brown - Convict #516
Convicted of Forgery and sentenced to 3 years hard labor, Brown was one of many escape attempts at the Wyoming Territorial Prison. He had 1 year left on his sentence when Brown escaped on May 30, 1903 while cleaning the chicken house. Convict was recaptured and punished by usual methods then given an additional 30 years. He was the last prisoner to escape Laramie Penitentiary. He served out the remainder of his incarceration at the new state penitentiary in Rawlins, Wyoming and was released in May 1935 at the age of 99.
William T. Wilcox - Convict #134 & #324
Wilcox did hard time at the prison for burglary from 1893 to 1896 (and again for forgery1897-1898). While incarcerated, he became a friend of Butch Cassidy, who was serving time for grand larceny. Wilcox possibly rode with the Wild Bunch gang after he and Cassidy were released. In later years, Wilcox would impersonate Cassidy, convincingly leading many to believe in the 1920s and 1930s that Cassidy had returned from South America to the American West.
To learn more about the 1,063 convicts that were locked up, worked and lived behind bars read: Atlas of Wyoming Outlaws at the Territorial Penitentiary, by Elnora L. Frye., c.1990
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