Bob Martin

Hung for Robbing the Stage

BOB MARTIN, who had been a pony express rider later became a driver on the Overland Stage Line. He left the stage route in the early '60's and went to Montana, where he afterwards was known as "Frank Williams." Why he changed his name was not understood at the time, but subsequent events made everything plain. On a Montana stagecoach, there were several passengers on board, bound for the "States" with quite a bit of gold dust in their luggage. On reaching Port Neuf Caņon, the driver, Frank Williams, drove into an ambush, according to a well-planned scheme, and at an agreed signal yelled out, "Here they are, boys." Secreted in the brush were seven robbers, and it was afterwards learned that one of the "passengers" sitting on the box beside the driver, Williams, also belonged to the murderous gang.

The passengers on the stage immediately starting shooting at the robbers hiding in the brush. The shooting was promptly returned by the robbers, and five of the passengers fell dead. One of the passengers also fell, wounded in three places, and, feigning death when approached by a robber who intended to shoot him a second time, luckily escaped. Another passenger escaped the flying bullets and, uninjured, made his way hurriedly into the brush.

All together, the amount of gold dust secured by the robbers was between $60,000 and $70,000. Frank Williams, earlier known as "Bob Martin," was doubtless rewarded by an equal division of this vast sum. Of the eight robbers and murderers, Williams, the driver, was the only one arrested and punished for the horrible crime. He was followed by officers of the law to Salt Lake. Learning they were closely in pursuit, he went to Denver, where he was captured. He was convicted by a vigilance committee and, at an early hour one morning, hung from the limb of a tree on the bank of Cherry Creek, Denver Colorado.

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