||Butch (Parker) Cassidy was involved in the westward expansion of the USA.|
Join: Wild_Wild_West Project
"Roy" grew up in Circleville, Piute, Utah, his family moving there circa 1879. Roy would work on ranches around western Utah. After misfortune for the family, Roy started looking up to a local rancher, Mike Cassidy, who had a less than noble reputation. His outlaw name may have been inspired by his admiration. Roy drifted to Colorado and started his outlaw life.
Robert LeRoy Parker changed his name to Butch Cassidy when he began his life of crime, possibly to protect his family. Butch's first crimes happened along the Utah/Wyoming border, as well as in and out of Colorado. Butch was one of the first to use the famed "Outlaw Trail", which meandered by many outlaw hideouts and ranches willing to give outlaws on the lam a place to park.
Cassidy was incarcerated at the Wyoming Territorial Prison for grand larceny (stealing horses) from 1894-1896. This would be the only time he would be in prison. Upon release, he would establish the most successful band of bank and train robbers in the US, The Wild Bunch. Butch and his gang would steal over $233,905.00 from trains, banks, and mining payrolls all over the West during a five year period.
Cassidy, The Sundance Kid (Harry Alonso Longabaugh), Kid Curry and other Wild Bunch gang members were some of the most wanted men in the West, with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, among other bounty hunters, on their trails. In 1902, the gang dissolved, and Butch, Longbaugh, and Etta Place all set sail for South America, via England.
Butch believed he was a bit of a Robin Hood, fighting against large cattle ranches and those with "too much", as well as citizens and settlers rights. He once said, "The best way to hurt them is through their pocket book. They will holler louder than if you cut off both legs. I steal their money just to hear them holler. Then I pass it out among those who really need it." Cassidy went to great lengths to avoid killing during his heists, a trait some attribute to his Mormon upbringing.
Some believe Butch Cassidy had an impostor, William T. Phillips, also known as William T. Wilcox. He knew Cassidy personally as a fellow convict at the Wyoming Territorial Prison. Both outlaws were released in 1896. Others believe Phillips is Cassidy after his European facelift.
There are several theories as to when and where Butch Cassidy died.
Cassidy may have died in a gunfight with local law enforcement authorities in San Vicente, Bolivia in 1908, but it hasn't been proven that "Butch" died there. Attempts have been made to unearth remains said to be buried in Bolivia, but no DNA has been found. Recently, scholars have unearthed evidence that indicates Cassidy faked his death in Bolivia.
Butch may have returned to the United States under another identity. His last living sister, Lula Parker Betenson insisted he had returned in 1925 to visit family in Utah. Her story is what is considered to be his demise on FindAGrave. Lula believed Butch died in Spokane, Washington in 1937, after living quietly as a trapper and prospector under the name William Phillips.
Some have claimed he died in Nevada.
Other researchers believe that Butch may have made a fortune in his usual way in Bolivia, escaped to Europe where he had surgery to change his appearance, then moved back to the US, as his sister insisted.
Do you have a GEDCOM? Login to have every name in your tree searched. It's free (like everything on WikiTree).
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.
There are no public comments yet.
Butch is 21 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 22 degrees from Liz Shifflett, 24 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor and 36 degrees from Saint Pope John Paul II Wojtyla on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.