train robbery

Case & PooleBy Finn J.D. John
It was just another work night for the engineer and crew of the No. 15 California Express on the night of Jan. 29, 1897. They’d passed all the long, lonely stretches where train robbers liked to operate, and were now in settled country, steaming past the little community of Shady Point; in three miles they’d be pulling into Roseburg. So when a man with a lantern started signaling frantically for their train to stop, they weren’t particularly suspicious.

hero clerkBy Finn J.D. John
It was just after 2 a.m., in the wee small hours of the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 24, 1901, and the Oregon and California Fast Express had just left the train depot at Cottage Grove, headed for Portland. Up in the engine, engineer B.L. Lucas and fireman Robert Gittens were looking out ahead into an unusually dark night, illuminated by the carbide lamp on the front of the engine. They were passing through the wooded area north of Cottage Grove, approaching the hamlet of Saginaw.

Great train robberyBy Finn J.D. John

It had been a good 20 years, but Bill Miner was back and once again, as he liked to say, “on the rob.” Specifically, he was lurking with his partner behind a pile of baggage on an eastbound express train, a dozen or so miles out of Portland, waiting for his chance.

Train robberyBy Finn J.D. John

It was early summer, 1914, and an Oregon & Washington Railway Navigation Co. passenger train was just passing over the summit of the Blue Mountains, between LaGrande and Pendleton.
The crewmen were running the train slow, checking the brakes for the long downhill run ahead. Meanwhile, three men at the back of the train were checking their guns.
A train robbery was about to go down — one of the very last Old West-style train robberies ever. And before it was over with, it would turn into one of the very last Old West-style six-shooter gunfights, too.

 

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.