Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bill Carlisle For Western Wednesday...!

What makes this gentleman so interesting is his name. Somewhere in my family tree, that name Carlisle shows up. Doesn't mean we are related, but it's interesting just the same!

Bill Carlisle

06

Bill Carlisle was one of the last great train robbers of the American Old West, a career he took up on something of a whim. He’d been an orphan most of his life and spent his teenage years riding trains, working in the circus, and performing other odd jobs. In February 1916, he found himself in Wyoming with no prospects and only a nickel to his name. What he did have, however, was a gun. At that moment, he decided robbing a train was his best chance at making it through the spring.

Carlisle’s first holdup played out like a movie scene. He sneaked onto the train and fired a warning shot into the roof to prove it was a legitimate robbery (there were some doubters). With a white bandana covering his face, he swiftly gathered the loot, tossed a few coins to the porter to make up for lost tips, and gave a man a further silver dollar to pay for his breakfast. He made his exit by sidestepping a woman who tried to grab his gun, giving her a bow before leaping from the train. He was nearly tangled up under the train’s moving wheels, yet he survived the jump unscathed and $52 richer.

The “White Masked Bandit,” as he was then known, didn’t stop with that one heist. He robbed Union Pacific Railroad several more times until they eventually offered a $6,500 reward for his capture, dead or alive. Motivated by the large reward money, a posse caught him in May 1916, and Carlisle was sentenced to life in prison. He later escaped, was recaptured, and then was paroled in 1936 for good behavior.

Like other gentleman thieves, Carlisle had a moral code. He never hurt anyone and never stole from women, children, or servicemen. In one of his capers, he was attempting to rob a train when he realized it was full of soldiers returning from World War I. He let the men keep their money and claimed that he would have fought alongside them had he not been in prison at the time.

Seems to be sorta young for a bandit, don't you think? Still, I don't reckon that age was a factor back then.

Coffee out on the patio today. The temperature is cooler than usual and that's a good thing.

9 comments:

Mamahen said...

He dose seem like just a kid, but then it seems like a lot of the notorious robbers n gun fighters in those days were young...45° expected at sunrise...need a jacket to sit outside here :))

Chickenmom said...

You always make me want to delve further in a story Mr. Hermit! Here is an interesting article about him:
http://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/bill-carlisle
44 here and sunny - I'll bring the donuts!

linda m said...

Don't think age played a big part for the outlaws back then. People started most careers at a younger age; plus they died at a younger age. At least he was a gentleman bandit. Coffee outside sounds really good. 51 and sunny here.

Sixbears said...

A man with no money and a gun . . . not a good combination.

justastick said...

I wonder if the "No Help Wanted "Bill Carlisle" was any kin?

JO said...

I enjoyed this little story never heard of this one before.

Beautiful morning here in the mountains, enjoy your cooler morning on the patio

Dizzy-Dick said...

Interesting post. I guess even "bad guys" followed the "code of the West" back in those days. I guess if you going to be a robber, you may as well be a nice, polite one. You need all the good points you can get if caught.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
They all got started at an early age, I reckon.

Thanks for coming over, jacket and all!



Hey Phyllis...
I know how you like to investigate these stories, so I'm glad to do what I can.

Donuts are always a good thing. Thanks for dropping over today!



Hey Linda M...
I reckon you're right about that!

Thanks for coming over this morning!



Hey Sixbears...
About the same as today in that respect. Some things never change.

Thanks for stopping in today!



Hey Justastick...
Now that's a very good question.

Thanks for the visit!



Hey Jo...
Glad you are enjoying the time in the mountains.

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
Nice to see that they had some kind of code to follow. At least a few did.

Building up brownie points probably didn't hurt, either!

Thanks for dropping by today!