I'd forgotten about Emerson. His byline, "Willis George Emerson, Grand Encampment, Wyo, Aug. 6, 1898," is barely readable on a splotchy, microfilm copy of his August 7, 1898, Denver Times article, "Jeff Dunbar, Outlaw," which the Denver Public Library gave me back in the late 1980s, and which I filed away and forgot about. I wonder if Emerson wrote the 1897 "Great Robber Gang" article, or did he just build on it?
I poke around a bit re Emerson -- you probably already know this -- what a story. Novelist, fantast, screenwriter, national political operative, developer, promoter, and swindler.
He was entangled, though never indicted, in a mining fraud in Encampment, where he lived in the 1890s, and in 1917 he was been indicted in a stock fraud case in New York. $1.5 million in stock (about $30 million today) had been sold in the Emerson Motor Company, yes, named after now Colonel Willis George Emerson, which promised to turn out better and cheaper cars than Ford. Having no intention of actually making cars, Emerson never built an assembly plant. Instead it hastily constructed for promotional purposes nine prototypes, which turned out to be thinly disguised Fords, powered by Ford engines with serial numbers and markings removed.
Emerson was dropped from the indictment after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. His confederates were convicted in June 1918. He died in December.
One of his books, The Smoky God, or, A Voyage to the Inner World (1909) purports to be the true account of a Norwegian, Olaf Jansen, who sailed his sloop through a hole in the earth's crust near the North Pole. Jansen lived deep in the earth among 12-foot men for a couple years before returning to the surface.
By comparison, the Jeff Dunbar "high chief" of the Rocky Mountain outlaw universe tale was small potatoes.
The letter may not be by Hoffman but it is doubtful that it is written by Butch. The only provenance you give for this letter is that it was donated by Harvey Murdock.It did not even come to light... more
Using logic there is a lot of problems with this letter. Mainly Butch would not have written to Matilda as her daughter was divorced from Elzy for several years and there was a lot of animosity over... more
Your post is rather long on speculation more than actual fact. Past that, the list of people who apparently accept that letter as legit, and cite it in their writings (apart from legions of secondary ... more
I suggest you go ask that of Bill Bentenson and Donna Ernst. For some reason you want to focus on me, and demean me for relying on the accepted history of Butch CAssidy. I suggest you go rag on... more
You began this attack on me and when I turned the tables you run crying to mama. If you don't like what I post simply ignore it. But if you want to engage me then I will give back as good as I get.... more
It's because I actualy think and do original research . Not like you that just accepts what anyone wants to write about. And copies it off the internet. I am not the only one who has come to this... more
Why am I not surprised you offered not one bit of proof the letter is a fake? And this brilliant methodology of "original research" of yours is how you have concluded: Butch never robbed hardly... more
The propaganda machine spread the news that Butch had gone to SA. There is no proof whatsoever that this is true. They also said Logan went to SA. So were they right about either one? Follow the... more
You may want to read the the article in the Idaho Statesman, Nov 18, 1897. It is a long article about the gangs in the Powder Springs, Baggs, and Craig area. It lists many names of outlaws and the... more
Publication: Steamboat Pilot (Steamboat Springs, Routt County); Date: Aug 10, 1898; Section: Front page; Page: 1 JEFF DUNBAR OUTLAW Ending of a Career Notorious in Criminal Annals. WAS AN OULAW BY... more
Jack, Thanks for posting this article. I wish there was more of this kind of post on the subject on this board and less childish sniping. If this article is legit and credible it seems to imply that... more
Jerry & Dan, The Jeff Dunbar articles were probably all penned by Willis George Emerson, who was known for sensationalizing. I’ve heard a lot of stories about Jeff Dunbar, none were positive. As far... more
August 1897 George R. Caldwell correspondent of the Denver News wrote Bandits of the Border. Similar versions same article, November 1897 The Idaho Daily Statesman, Organized Highwaymen Terrorize... more
Thanks, Jack. Helpful information. Willis George Emerson rewriting George R. Caldwell sounds like Baron von Munchausen borrowing from Marco Polo. By the way, I ran Emerson's name thru a two more... more
Jerry, Jeff Dunbar and as well William "Mike" Dunbar, reportedly his brother, who might have been linked to the Winnamucca holdup, are mentioned briefly in Ernst (2009), Burton (2012). Patterson... more
William “Mid” Nichols saloon partner of John “Jack” Ryan Baggs, Wyoming. Vernal Express 1894-08-16 Sheriff Geo. Searle received a telephone message from Fort Duchesne, Tuesday morning stating that... more
THE CARBON COUNTY JOURNAL SATURADAY JULY 30, 1898 DIED WITH HIS BOOTS ON. Jeff Dunbar Falls From Bullets Fired By Jim Davis. DIXON THE BLOODY SCENE. Davis Full of Wounds But Will Probably Recover --- ... more
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
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... more
I did not say Butch never robbed nor did I say he was a willing Patsy. You completely misconstued what I said. He was not an outlaw until he got out of prison and then it is anyones guess what all he ... more
I didn't say you said he "never robbed". I said you seem to claim he "hardly robbed" anything. Maybe I've missed it, but I know of no major Cassidy historian who has opined or claimed that Butch was... more
Vince if there were any Peers of mine on this forum I would share with them and I have . And you certainly are not one. Nor are you a historian or a genealogist. You are a groupie who decides what... more
And you are a sheep that follows the flock and are incapable of an original thought. History is an ongoing work and nothing is accepted unless there is incontrovertible facts. I don't put anything on ... more