He got his rep the same way Butch did. The propaganda machine in WY.Wy Stock Growers, RR, Pinks and yellow journalists. Not to mention Col Jay L Torrey who had a personal vendetta.
Here is a story that happened in 1909 but included some of the same people .It shows how the stories were manipulated in the press and by locals. I gave many talks locally on this at Historical Soc in several counties. And wrote it up in local newsletters.
The murders in Ten Sleep area of 3 sheep herders by George Sabin (Horse forman for the Torrey brothers) was charged in these murders with several others. Sabin was also the head of the vigilante committee in 1903 that murdered several at the Basin jail.
A witness in the Sheep Springs trial of Sabin was a young man who witnessed it. He was spirited out of the area to the state of Washington for safety.The WSGA and many of the cattle ranchers in the area including those of the Embar were holding meetings. They decided to watch the mails to see if they could find out where the witness was taken.
A freighter who also delivered the mails between Thermopolis and Meeteetse named Jimmy Wooten was on duty that fateful November.
It made the papers that he was missing and never showed up with the mail. Search parties were sent out but they only found the horses and wagon .
Many years later articles were written about it by a descendant of the Price family of Embar. They stated that they were children when it happened and were present out on the Gooseberry in the spring when Jimmy's body was found by the banks of the river . They said he was lost in a terrible snowstorm.Being a drunk he must have fallen in the river and drowned.He had no family and no one from Postal Dept in Denver could locate anyone who knew him. There are a lot of details to all of this story and none of them true. The dates are wrong , the weather was wrong and any facts about him are wrong.
From my own research: He was from MO and his family were well established frieghters . Jimmy had been staying in the Thermopolis hotel in 1900 up to 1909. One of Ed Enderley's son's was sent to Seattle to look for the young witness. Ed being the head of the Vigelante committee in Hot Springs.
In Thermopolis early that morning in NOV ,Jimmy picked up the mail and a passenger. A well dressed horse buyer going to Meeteetse. Jimmy went more than half way to Meeteetse when he was stopped by 2 others . And they shot him , took the mail from the wagon which was chained to it in a bag. They scared off the horses . The weather was unseasonably warm. No snow or rain or a cloud in the sky. I put together quite a bit on this story and proved everything written both at the time and years later was completely false.
In WY it is all smoke and mirrors.
Of course Sabin and others were convicted. However the irony of it all is that Sabin was allowed out on work gang from the Rawlins prison. Supposedly to work on a road gang in Cody. He merely walked away and the papers reported he was never seen again. Another lie. I interviewed his daughter who said he went back to his Ranch in Ten Sleep area where he lived out a long life. They kept Guinnea hens to warn them if someone came near the ranch. George would hide in the root cellar while his wife went to the door with a pistol concealed in her skirt.
Thanks, Jack. By the way, years later, December 23, 1915, the Encampment Record ran a short recollection on Dunbar and Davis, describing Dunbar as a "noted highwayman" who along with "his associates... more