“Butch Cassidy & the Wild Bunch in Wyoming History” set for February 23 in Lyman


Wyo4News staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

February 21, 2024 — A special presentation about the famous Old West outlaw Butch Cassidy and his gang is scheduled for Friday evening in Lyman, Wyoming. The speakers will be historian and author Bill Betenson, Cassidy’s great-nephew, and Sweetwater County historian and frontier-era firearms authority Joe Hickey.

“We wanted to help make people aware of the event,” said Dave Mead, Director of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River. “Bill and Joe have long been friends and supporters of the museum, and their talks are always very special.”

Butch Cassidy (real name Robert LeRoy Parker) was the leader of a loosely-organized outlaw gang that came to be known as the Wild Bunch, which operated in the frontier west in the years around the turn of the 20th century. Gang members included Harvey Logan, Will Carver, Ben Kilpatrick, and Harry Longabaugh, better known as “The Sundance Kid.”

Cassidy did some time in the Wyoming State Penitentiary on rustling-related charges. By all accounts, he was a very smooth talker, and early in 1896, Governor William Richards issued him a pardon. As described in Bill Betenson’s Butch Cassidy – The Wyoming Years, “Evidence exists that Butch did make some type of deal or agreement with the governor to leave Wyoming alone and not commit any crimes in the state after his pardon.”  Later, Richards wrote that Cassidy “told me that he had [had] enough of Penitentiary life and intended to conduct himself in such a way as to not again lay himself liable to arrest.”

He was released, but seven months later, on August 13, he, Elzy Lay, and Bub Meeks robbed the Montpelier Bank in Montpelier, Idaho, and got away with some $7,000. (Meeks was later caught after a bungled robbery at Fort Bridger and stood trial for the Montpelier holdup. He was found guilty and received a whopping 35-year prison sentence. Currently on display at the museum is Meeks’s rifle, a Model 1894 Winchester in .25-35.) The public is invited to the event, which will begin at 6:30 PM at the Lyman High School’s PAC – the auditorium – at 126 N. Franklin in Lyman on Friday, February 23. There will be no charge for admission.