canyon diablo train robbery

Canyon Diablo Az Train Robbery 1889

The Canyon Diablo Train Robbery occurred in March of 1889.  According to all written documents and articles four men held up the train at Canyon Diablo and got away with the sum between $500.00 to $70,000.  No two articles give the same amount of money taken from the train.  The most recent article written by Paul Heitter states that the sum of $1.300.00 dollars was taken from the train.  The title of the article is:  “No Better than Murderers.”  He states that the records at the Yavapai County Court House in Prescott, Az. say that the above amount of money is correct.  This is impossible due to the fact that the records on the train robbery were burned in a fire around 1900 and no one knew the correct amount was lost in that fire.  Two important records add serous questions as to the exact  amount.  Number one: If only $1,300.00 was taken from the train than why was a U.S. Secret Agent operating under cover out of Santa Fe, New Mexico was ordered by his superiors to go and join the posse in pursuit of the outlaws.  Number Two: Why did federal officers search for three months after one of the outlaws, named Jack Smith, who had served 3years and 9 months at the Yuma Territorial Prison for the crime committed and released with a full pardon go after him.  He had paid his debt to society so there was no reason for the feds to worry about a mere $1,300.00 supposedly taken from the train.  They did find him living with a Mexican family in Guaymas, Mexico.  Federal agents watched the movements of this man until 1905 waiting for Smith to make a move to recover the buried money.  Smith never went to northern Arizona until 1915.  So it is obvious that a large amount of money was taken from that train in March of 1889, and the money taken belonged to the federal government.  More will be discussed in future posts.  Below are photos of the four outlaws.  Also more will be discussed about the other four outlaws who were involved and not captured by the posse.

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Long John Halford, Dan Harvick, William Stiren, and Jack Smith.

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Train on the Canyon Diablo bridge and insert of The Canyon Diablo Train Station

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