Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 5, 2003     Hays Free Press
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June 5, 2003

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The chief apologized for disturbing the lady in the old Claude Duval style, and though threatening in their manner, robbed the passengers without unnecessary violence. Things have come to a pretty pass when the daily stagecoach going over the great traveled road between San Antonio and Austin is not safe from robbery. We trust to hear of the early apprehension of these thieves. The robbers were not masked. One of them left a blue army over-coat behind him. The third installment of the story of the great stage robbery of 1874 appeared in the April 25, 1874 issue of the West Texas Free I:~eSS, The very latest we have on the above subject is from the Austin Statesman of Tuesday which says it has been informed by Major Purnell U.S. Marshall, that he had positive information from a detec- tive that the robbers are making towards Dallas and that their des- tination is the Indian Territory. The following which we copy from the dispatches to the Galveston news, gives some fur- ther interesting particulars con- ceming the stage robbers, etc. There was a dash and daring dis- played in this robbery which so strongly reminded us of similar affairs we had lately read of in Missouri, that we were led to sus- pect that the perpetrators were from the state, and such, will be seen, turns out to be the fact. It will be noticed that they made San Marcos their base of their operations. We hear it said that photographs of all of them were found with the women they left here and who, as we noticed last week, were sent for from Austin to be held as witnesses: Major R.E Purnell, United States Marshal, has informed me that the robbers who rifled the San Antonio stage are named respec- tively: James H. Reed, alias Bill Jones; he is a citizen of Vernon County, Missouri; is twenty-eight years old, five feet eight inches high and has a Roman nose; is slightly stooping in the shoulders; light complexion with a sunburnt and red-lined face; has sandy or reddish hair. Another of the party was a Colonel H. Carter, also from Missouri, Bates County; about the same height, has dark hair, and is about twenty-eight years old; weight about 135; his whiskers and moustache are lighter than his hair. The other is John H. Nelson, alias Jack Rogers, who is a large and young man, being six feet high, fleshy and awkward, and about twenty-two years old. J.M. Dickson, also from Vernon County, Missouri, together with a girl named Rosa McComus-- whom Reed called his wife--and Dickson's wife, came to San Antonio about seven weeks ago, rented a house, and lived together until Tuesday, the fLrSt instant, when Dickson and the women left, going to San Marcos, where they arrived on Saturday, and were joined by the other three men on Monday thereafter. On Monday, Dickson and the women went out to board, and the same day the other three men left San Marcos. The next evening they committed "the irobbery, and the day after the robbery their own horses returned to ,San Marcos. The robbers have been followed to Fort Concho, and the indica- tions are that they are enroute for Arizona or the Indian Nation. Reed once lived in Bosque County, and moved from there to Dallas where his true wife now resides. Sience is the place where he seduced the girl Rosa McComus, who is now in San Marcos with Dickson and his wife. They will be put under arrest tomorrow to await an examination. Reed killed a man in Bosque County. A strong posse are in pursuit of the robbers. The final installment of the story on the great stage robbery of 1874 appeared in the May 2, 1874 issue of the West Texas Free Press. Major T.E Pumell, United St ites Marshal, yesterday received a telegram from Dallas announcing the arrest in that city of Reed, the leader of the stage robbers. Major Pumell took the train last night to bring Reed to this place. Papers found on his person prove beyond doubt he is the man, though he was passing under the name of W'dder. The Houston Telegraph has a dispatch from Dallas, giving fur- ther particulars, as follows: Two men have been arrested here who are supposed to be the robbers of the stagecoach between Austin and San Antonio. The following facts were kindly furnished the reporter of the Houston Telegraph by Sheriff Barldey:. A man giving his name as W.D. W'dder was taken at the Rollins' House on Friday. A mem- orandum book taken from him has Joseph Reed written on the cover. A note was found signed "Wilder," addressed to Reed's wife telling her to address him as Dumpstow at a trading post in the Indian Territory. Also letters from parties in Missouri, one of them his mother, who signed herself Clarissa Henderson, and another from Rosa Jones or Rosa McComus, from San Antonio. Reed's wife is living near here with her father, Mr. Shirley. She came in to see the prisoners yes- terday. The other prisoner gives his name as G.W. Bidwell. He was first arrested on hearing him inquire for Wilder. After examining him he was let go as no evidence could be procured against him. After he had been released it was deter- mined to arrest him again; at last caught, eight miles from this city, asleep in a thicket, his horse hob- bled near him. 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