Historical Details

Hat Creek Dateline: 1878/09/04

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 06/05/1991

Stage mail security upgraded
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer

John B. Furay, Post Office Department special agent, was on the up stage today. He was returning from Cheyenne to Deadwood after meeting with the Postmaster General Key and his official party. Col. Mathewson T. Patrick, one of the owners of the Cheyenne Black Hills Stage Company, also met with the postmaster general and Furay.

The Post Office Department is very concerned over the recent thefts of registered mail from the Cheyenne to Black Hills stage. Special Agent Furay has been assigned to help stop these robberies, and the department now agreed to provide another special agent, Charles Adams, and several deputy U.S. marshals to help in the effort.

Agent Adams has selected and deputized Scott Davis, D. Boon May, and eight others. They have been equipped with good horses and ammunition. The United States government will pay them $5 a day and $200 for each road agent they capture dead or alive.

The Laramie County Commissioners have also employed five men under the leadership of Ed Ordway. They are being paid $100 per month to aid in "the good work" of getting the road agents. The county commissioners will also provide a reward of $200 to these men or any of the marshals for road agents, dead or alive.

With the fall clean-up of the mines starting the shipments of gold dust and bullion have been taxing the treasure coach to the limit. Stage line superintendent, Luke Voorhees, has assigned six "shotgun messengers" to regular duty to help protect the numerous gold shipments.

During the meeting with the stage line officers and special agents, Postmaster General Key insisted that, in the future, registered mail going to Deadwood must be carried only on the treasure coach. The stage line was allowed to continue carrying registered mail on all coaches leaving Deadwood.

This request was granted because the stage line officials felt that if the registered mail were allowed to accumulate for the treasure coach, the Dakota patrons would soon use the mails instead of the more expensive express. Such a situation would of course mean a considerable financial loss to the stage company.

The most recent robbery, involving the U.S. Mails, occurred in late August about 35 miles north of here. A northbound coach was topped between Lance Creek and the Cheyenne River by three road agents, probably "Texas Charley," "Setting Bull," and Joseph Boyd alias Chaley Osborn, also known as "The Kid."

This trio of outlaws made the passengers throw up their hands while they were robbed of two watches and a small amount of money. Then they cut open all of the mail sacks and took all of the registered letters. The rest of the mail was left strewn over the ground.

(Information source: "The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes," by Agnes Wright Spring).

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Voorhees, Luke (11/29/1834 - 01/16/1925) View Record