Montpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
On the hot afternoon of August 23, 1896, Butch Cassidy with two members of his Wild Bunch Gang, Elza Lay and Bob Meeks, robbed The Bank of Montpelier which was originally located in the building across the street from this sign.
The Bank of Montpelier Robbery
as told by a local Bear Lake historian Pat Wilde in his book, "Treasured Tidbits of Time, Volume 1"
After a casual drink or two, they reached the bank just before closing time and tied up their horses at the hitching rack across the street. Cashier G.C. Gray was standing on the steps of the bank talking with a friend. Cassidy and Lay left Meeks to tend the horses as they stepped across the street and suddenly and pushed the surprised banker and his friend into the bank. There they forced the pay teller, A.N. Mackintosh and a girl stenographer up against the wall. Lay leaned across the writing desk and trained guns on the personnel while Cassidy quickly moved around scooping the money into a gunny sac. Mackintosh, with his face to the wall, looked out of the window noticing the third man, Meeks, standing by the horses. He made an accurate mental note of the man just before he was struck across the face by Lay in an attempt to get him to tell where other moneys were located. It was his description that later resulted in the arrest and conviction of Meeks. Cassidy left the bank first with the money, walked nonchalantly across the street, mounted on his horse and rode slowly away. Meeks moved across the street with the remaining horses and left Lay's horse standing in front of the bank and he rode away. Finally Lay left the bank in haste.
As soon as Lay cleared the bank, pandemonium erupted as the alarm spread. Deputy Fred Cruikshank, first on a bicycle and then on his horse gave
chase along with Attorney Bagley. Minutes later, Sheriff Jefferson Davis and a posse chased the robbers up Montpelier Canyon.
For a week the posse followed but gave up the chase near Snyder Basin. No one really knows what happened to the money or for the matter exactly where the men went. After his arrest later, Meeks swore that he never got a penny of the
loot......Meeks was the only one ever arrested. Cassidy and Lay were never brought to trial. The amount of loot stolen has often been in dispute with figures ranging between $7,000 to $16,500.
Mackintosh.....stated: The 13th was the cause of it all. He noted it was the 13th day of the month; it occurred after the 13th deposit had been made that day at a sum of $13.00 and occurred and 13 minutes after the hour
of 3:00 p.m.