Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gentleman Bandit For Western Wednesday...!

Not all the bandits in the Wild West were considered bad men. In fact, many of them had a good reputation despite of the way they made a living.

I guess the way you approach any job is what makes your reputation for you, good or bad. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about!

09


Bill Miner

In many ways, Bill Miner epitomized what it meant to be an Old West outlaw. He was a true highwayman, robbing everything from stagecoaches to trains, and he squandered most of his loot in dusty saloons and dance halls. Except, unlike other outlaws, he wasn’t known for spittin’ or cussin’ or gun-slinging but was instead recognized for his politeness and soft-spoken nature. In fact, after his death, a major newspaper ran a four-column story on Miner, describing him as a “kindly, lovable old man, whose thoughts were humorous, whose manner was that of one who was a friend to all humankind . . . the most courtly, the most kindly spoken, the most venerable man . . . one whom they all regard with affection and something of esteem.”

Those endearing words refer to a known robber who had a 45-year criminal career. Miner had secured that soft spot in so many people’s hearts by stealing almost entirely from corporations, feeling that they robbed the common man. Many agreed, and he became a folk hero in both the US and Canada.

On the occasions when Miner had to steal from an ordinary person to, say, facilitate his way out of town, he often made a point to return at least part of what he had taken. For instance, on one occasion, he stole $80 from a ranch hand and then later returned $10. In another instance, he robbed a driver of $5, his watch, and boots, yet was considerate enough to return the watch and boots after he finished with them. According to legend, he was also the first to say “put your hands up, and nobody gets hurt.” These types of thoughtful acts earned him the nickname “the Gentleman Bandit.”

Miner had an uncanny ability at thievery and recruiting a steady stream of accomplices. What he wasn’t so great at, however, was evading capture. He went to prison seven times, escaped four of those times, yet still spent a total of 35 years behind bars. His criminal career, which spanned between 1865 and 1911, was the longest of any Old West outlaw, even surpassing the legendary Jesse James.

I guess that in those days, if you died with a good reputation for not spitting in the saloon you were good to go! For a bandit, he seemed to be fairly popular, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Breezy and hot!

8 comments:

Chickenmom said...

Don't think I'd like to be remembered for not spitting in a saloon! I'll take some of your warm weather - it's 51 here!

linda m said...

Sure glad he didn't spit in saloons. Nothing worse the a spitting bandit. Cold here this morning but day time temps warm up to the him 70's. Cool nights make for good sleeping.

John said...

What a legacy!

Mamahen said...

Love a man who doesn't spit seems to be the way they thought. Well , I guess I would agree lol. Like CM the heat sounds good. 55 here.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Seems to be something that meant a lot to folks back then.

Pretty good write-up in the paper for a bandit!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Linda M...
Yeah, those spitting bandits are the worse, I reckon!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey John...
It is something, isn't it?

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Mamahen...
Guess their standards were quite different back then.

Thanks for coming over this morning!


Dizzy-Dick said...

I never spit in a saloon, so I guess I am good to go. . .

JO said...

Love this story. As his face came into view as I scrolled down I couldn't believe how much a late friend of mine looked like Miner. He was a wonderful gentlemen but up most in honesty.

I'd like to trade places with Chickenmom or Linda temp wise right now. But as long as you have a breeze going on the patio is good

Linda said...

He was certainly an interesting character. I suppose people aren't as angry when you are kind, don't spit, and allay their fears of dying.