No one knows for sure where the myth stops and the truth begins, but his life still makes for an interesting tale. With so many of the stories of men like Cassidy, it's hard to separate fact from fiction at times.
He might have earned part of his nickname while working in a butcher shop.
Cassidy's mugshot, 1894
In the early 1880s, while working at a Utah ranch, Robert LeRoy Parker met Mike Cassidy, a cowhand and small-time cattle rustler and horse thief. Parker admired the older man, who taught him about training horses and shooting a gun. However, after getting into trouble with the law, Mike Cassidy fled the area, and Parker himself departed Utah in search of new opportunities after turning 18 in 1884. Over the next few years, he spent time in the mining boom town of Telluride, Colorado, followed by Wyoming and Montana. On June 24, 1889, Parker pulled off his first bank robbery, when he and several companions absconded with more than $20,000 from the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride. Not long afterward, Parker starting using the surname Cassidy, in honor of his former mentor, and referred to himself as Roy Cassidy. He eventually moved on to Rock Springs, Wyoming, where he landed a job in a butcher’s shop and, according to popular legend, became known as Butcher Cassidy, which morphed into Butch Cassidy.
Just another one of the characters that made the legend of the Old West what it is today. Part legend, part truth...and all interesting to study.
Coffee in the kitchen this morning!