Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Reno Gang On Western Wednesday...!

Here is a real historical first for ya. The first robbery of a moving train.

I reckon that everything has to begin somewhere, and it looks like the Reno gang really started a trend with this robbery. In fact, they made off with quite a haul! Not bad for beginners, huh?

First U.S. train robbery

On this day in 1866, the Reno gang carries out the first robbery of a moving train in the U.S., making off with over $10,000 from an Ohio & Mississippi train in Jackson County, Indiana. Prior to this innovation in crime, holdups had taken place only on trains sitting at stations or freight yards.

This new method of sticking up moving trains in remote locations low on law enforcement soon became popular in the American West, where the recently constructed transcontinental and regional railroads made attractive targets. With the western economy booming, trains often carried large stashes of cash and precious minerals. The sparsely populated landscape provided bandits with numerous isolated areas perfect for stopping trains, as well as plenty of places to hide from the law. Some gangs, like Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, found robbing trains so easy and lucrative that, for a time, they made it their criminal specialty. Railroad owners eventually got wise and fought back, protecting their trains’ valuables with large safes, armed guards and even specially fortified boxcars. Consequently, by the late 1800s, robbing trains had turned into an increasingly tough and dangerous job.

As for the Reno gang, which consisted of the four Reno brothers and their associates, their reign came to an end in 1868 when they all were finally captured after committing a series of train robberies and other criminal offenses. In December of that year, a mob stormed the Indiana jail where the bandits were being held and meted out vigilante justice, hanging brothers Frank, Simeon and William Reno (their brother John had been caught earlier and was already serving time in a different prison) and fellow gang member Charlie Anderson.

Seems to me that a lot of these bad guys got caught simply because they didn't know when to quit. Greed can be the downfall of many bad guys, I believe.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.


linda m said...

Greed certainly seems to be their downfall and a lot of other people as well. Or, maybe they just didn't know when to call it quits as the "high" they were on (the thrill of the robbery) was too over powering. Justice was served in the end. I'm, baking bread - anybody want some?

Chickenmom said...

Good story, Mr. Hermit! All the old western movies had a train robbery in them and that was usually the most exciting part. I'll bring some fresh jam to go along with your bread Linda.

JO said...

Great Western movies Chickenmom, my grandmother couldn't speak much english but she loved her Westerns.

We had on heck of a storm here yesterday and maybe again today so your patio sound good to me,

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
I do love me some fresh baked bread. I can smell it now!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Phyllis...
The great old train robberies on film! How great were they? Fresh jam and fresh bread! No wonder I can't lose any weight.
Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Jo...
I guess the western is universal in it's action! The main thing is that grandma enjoyed them!
Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Greed was got them into the train robbing business in the first place.