Big Springs Robbery

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scaramouche, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    The first and biggest robbery of the a Union Pacific train took place on the moonlit night of September 18, 1877., just above the Colorado border near the town of Big Springs, Nebraska.

    Sam Bass, a Texas lawman turned brigand and five hardcase companions had already taken the stationmaster captive and destroyed the telegraph before the eastbound express train stopped to pick up the mail.

    The outlaws swept through the train and pried open strongboxes containing a total of $60,000 in currency and shiny $20 gold coins newly minted in San Francisco. They had to leave behind $300,000 in gold bullion because the bars were too heavy to carry away on horseback. They did take the time, however, to collect another $13,000 in cash plus many gold watches and rings from the passengers. Then the robbers disappeared into the darkness, stopping to cook supper and divide up the loot at the remains of Lone Tree, a towering cottonwood near the Platte River.

    For many years, rumor had it that the outlaws buried some of their gold coins near the tree, but none was ever found. Bass and his boys had attracted attention before the train heist when they robbed seven stagecoaches in Dakota Territory. But the Nebraska train robbery was a much more ambitious endeavor. Lawmen were under pressure to find the bandits, who had split into pairs and ridden off in different directions. Within a few weeks, three of them had been killed while resisting arrest. But Bass made it back to Texas unscathed and formed a new outlaw band.


    The Pinkertons where hot on his trail. A special unit was formed inside the Texas Rangers to track him down. The Rangers got to him first, killing him on his 27th birthday in 1878.

    Additional notes: A mint condition 1877 S $20 gold coin currently is valued at $2000 - $4000 each in today's market.
    ILED93, xerts1191, nmbuzz and 18 others like this.
  2. Colorado Sonny

    Colorado Sonny Deo Volente Supporting Addict

    Sep 25, 2015

  3. Bro. Pappaw

    Bro. Pappaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2016
    Thanks for another great story.
    Scaramouche likes this.
  4. Kip

    Kip Sir Kip Esquire

    Apr 12, 2016
    The mother lode!!!!
    Scaramouche likes this.
  5. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    from the archives for those who might have missed it last year
    Kip likes this.
  6. mikemac

    mikemac Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Apr 22, 2017
    Man that is a lot of money. What did they spend it on.? thanks Mouche
    Scaramouche likes this.
  7. isialk

    isialk Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 7, 2017
    Interesting reading as usual scaramouche. Never read much on this era but these ole boys seem relentless. I suppose we’ll never know for sure but it seems like the best known of their kind that finally gave it up was Frank James. Seems like many of the rest just kept up the greed until they died of lead poisoning. Thanks for posting.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Kip and Scaramouche like this.

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