1866-1884, 1889, 1896, 1897
Robert Leroy Parker (alias "Butch
Cassidy") was born to a Utah
Mormon family in Beaver,
Utah on April 13, 1866. He
was the oldest of 13 children, and
was named after his two grandfathers.
Both were named Robert.
Robert (Bob) Leroy
Parker's parents were Maximilian and Ann Gillies Parker. Maximilian's father Robert
was from Lancashire, England. He worked in a textile mill. He married Ann Hartley
Parker, young Bob's grandmother.
The elder Robert was converted to
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints in England. To Robert, America
beckoned. The voyage across the ocean
took six weeks. The time was 1856.
Maximilian was twelve years old. The
Parker family traveled to Utah on
a Mormon handcart expedition.
Bob's mother, Ann Gillies, and her
family, also joined the Mormon religion
from their native country of Scotland.
They came to America and journeyed
to Utah by wagon train. They narrowly
beat the Utah winter.
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Maximilian, Butch's father, carried
the mail on horseback. He soon became
enamored of Circle Valley near Beaver.
He decided to move the family there.
The family Homestead still stands
today near Circleville,
Ann Parker, Butch's mother, was a
devout Mormon. Maximilian was less
so. Young Bob Parker seemed to follow
his father's lead. He was less interested
in following the Church's path than
his religious mother. Bob worked as
a cowboy at some of the area ranches
in his early teens. He hired on at
the Marshall Ranch near the Circle
Valley Homestead. According to his
sister, Lula, Bob met someone who
was to become an influence on the
young boy. His name was Mike Cassidy,
some considered him an outlaw.
were adept at small-time rustling and altering brands. Bob parker appeared to
be finding out there were easier ways to make a dollar than the long, grueling
hours of being a cowboy. He acquired another skill that would define his future.
He learned to use a gun.
Bob Parker left home when he was
18 years old. The stage may have been
set as to his new career. Robert Leroy
Parker rode out of Circleville, Utah
and into history.
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A posse tracked the Telluride
Robbers to Brown's
Park, near Vernal,
Utah. Brown's Park was so remote that
it was described as nothing but sagebrush,
wild horses, and rattlesnakes.
Bob Parker (Butch) hired on at the
Bassett Ranch in Brown's Park in the
fall of 1889. He was still on the
run from the law for the Telluride
robbery earlier that year.
Butch returned to Brown's Park after
his release from the Wyoming
Territorial Prison in 1896.
He renewed friendships with Matt Warner
and Elzy Lay. The outlaws found Brown's
Park attractive. They like the isolation
and proximity to state borders. Only
a few passageways led in and out of
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Following the Montpelier, Idaho bank
robbery in August 1896, Butch and
Elzy Lay rode for Robbers
Roost in Southern Utah to
lie low. One of their hideouts was
near a clear stream, known as the
Robbers Roost Spring. It's near the
town of Hanksville, Utah. Robbers
Roost was hard, desolate country.
The landscape was barren and unforgiving
with little water. A maze of ghostly
canyons stretch for miles upon stark
miles ending at the horizon. Rustlers
and outlaws could easily disappear
as if vanishing illusions. Riders
left the Roost in April 1897. Their
intent was to rob the Castle Gate
Coal Mine near Price, Utah. The riders
included Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay.
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Gate Coal Mine, near Price,
Utah, was a large mining operation
with an enticing payroll. History
would record a daring daylight robbery
here on April 21, 1897. It was pay
day at the mine. The payroll arrived
by train. Miners were waiting for
paychecks. Robbers stole the payroll
at gunpoint. They escaped. Seven thousand
dollars was stolen. The outlaws cut
telegraph wires and raced for Robbers