Friday, January 04, 2013

Train Robbers - Sierra Grade


Can you direct me to a site where I can locate archived photos of train robbers?

Can someone tell me the locomotive on the train robbed at Verdi, and are there photos from about that time? ...

—R. Michael Wilson


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Kevin Bunker"

Photos availability from that far back would depend (most likely) on whether the bandits were caught and convicted. If they (or rather, any felons) were caught and convicted in California, and sent to a CA state prison (San Quentin) they would have had several mug shots taken. Those photos are preserved at California State Archives in Sacramento. The State of Nevada may have similar archived prison records.

Local newspaper accounts might give the CPRR engine number, so microfilm issues of the various papers (also check the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union since both carried Sierra Nevada and Western Nevada regional news items) can be carefully checked around the date of the robbery for details.

—Kevin Bunker

1/05/2013 9:09 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


I am amazed at the amount of illustrative material available for the Verdi train robbery (11/5/1871) in comparison to the lack of illustrative material for the Pequop siding train robbery 21 hours later. Can you tell me if there are any photos or sketches of Leander Morton, Daniel Boone Baker, and Daniel Taylor? I have seen one purported sketch of Morton but there is no reference to the source or date. ...

—R. Michael Wilson

1/10/2013 2:41 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Shortly after I arrived in Nevada in 1961, newly married and seeking a job, I was hired as one of two news reporters for the Elko Daily Free Press, I stumbled on an article about that event at the Pequop Siding. I remember reading the old Free Press and Independent articles about it. No pictures in newspapers in those days. Years later, working in Carson City, I read all I could find at the time about the Great Verdi Train Robbery. And my next connection to the event came when I researched and wrote a book about the mining camp of Aurora, in the process of which I read about the Great Prison Escape. I believe the man with the chip out of his boot heel, whose footprint led to capture of the gang from the robbery, was the only man never recaptured.

I am pretty sure it was the same train that was robbed in both places.

But I've never seen a picture of anyone involved. Sorry.

—Bob Stewart

1/10/2013 8:17 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


... Yes, it was the same train 21 hours apart, and same crew including messenger Minch. The train took on more treasure at Reno after the Verdi robbery. Eight men were captured from the Verdi robbery and 3 of 5 from the Pequop siding robbery – Leander Morton, Daniel Boone Baker, and Daniel Taylor. There is a sketch of Morton I found in two places, but with no credits, date, place, or source.

The newspapers of the time, even when they had photos, made sketches as editors believed sketches were "artistic" but photos were not. It was not until about 1905, when a telephoto picture of the moon showed the craters, that pictures began to replace sketches on a regular basis.

The man with the distinctive boot print was actually the boot of the murdered mail rider Billie Poor, whose boots the escapees stole when they killed him. For several days they thought the escapees had taken along Billie, and his brother was determined to save him, until his body was found near Wellington's. ...


1/11/2013 1:40 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Also see Historic Nevada: Shootout on a cold dark night in 1880s Montello.

11/24/2013 9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: Michael MacBride ""

... I'm working on a project related to John Chapman's involvement in the Verdi train robbery. I'm wondering if you have any additional records about him: birth/death/family history/or the court transcripts from his trial? ...

Michael David MacBride, PhD

1/08/2024 2:31 PM  

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