Baxter’s Curve Train Robbery
Photo via Wikimedia
Another one of the Wild West’s most infamous icons is Butch Cassidy. Throughout most of his career, Cassidy was surrounded by an eclectic group of criminals known as the Wild Bunch. The gang dissipated in 1901, when the members split up in an effort to evade the Pinkertons. Most of them met a violent end in shoot-outs with the law.
One member who survived was Ben Kilpatrick, aka “the Tall Texan.” He was arrested in 1901 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. After serving 10 years, he was released and quickly returned to a life of crime with a new partner named Ole Hobek.
Despite a few successful robberies, this partnership ended on March 13, 1912. Kilpatrick and Hobek were on the Southern Pacific Number Nine Train from Dryden to Sanderson, Texas. At Baxter’s Curve, the robbers put on masks and held up the train’s four crewmen. While Hobek stayed with the engineer in the locomotive, Kilpatrick took the other three to disconnect the passenger cars. On the way, one of the crewmen, David Trousdale, managed to secretly arm himself with an ice mallet. When the opportune moment came, he struck the Tall Texan in the head and killed him. Now armed with Kilpatrick’s gun, Trousdale waited for Hobek to check in on them and shot him in the head. Men are shown above posing with their bodies (Kilpatrick is on the left.)
Trousdale was hailed a hero and rewarded for his bravery. Meanwhile, the Baxter’s Curve train robbery became romanticized as the “last train robbery in Texas,” although that’s not strictly accurate.
The actual "Last Train Robbery" was the miniature train running through Zilker Park in Austin. Follow the link and read about it, if you want. Happened around 1960 or there abouts.
Coffee inside this morning just to be on the safe side!