all Western outlaws, none are more fondly remembered in story and folklore
than the "Robin Hood of the West," Butch Cassidy--the alias of Robert
LeRoy Parker. Parker was born 15 April 1866 in Beaver, Utah, and was
raised by Mormon pioneer parents on a ranch near Circleville, Utah.
While a teenager, Parker fell under the influence of an old rustler
named Mike Cassidy. Parker soon left home to ride the outlaw trail.
the first several years after leaving home, Parker rode the fringe between
being an outlaw and a migrant cowboy. He worked several ranches as well
as one time in a butcher shop at Rock Springs, Wyoming, from which he
took the name "Butch"; and to not bring shame upon honest parents, he
added the name Cassidy, most likely in respect for his old mentor. Moving
from rustler, for which he served a two-year stint in a Wyoming jail
from 1894 to 1896, to master planner of the robbery of trains, banks,
and mine payrolls came naturally for Cassidy. With his quick wit and
native charm, coupled with his fearlessness and bravery, he never lacked
for willing companions to assist in his plans. By 1896 his gang had
dubbed themselves the "Wild Bunch." This gang consisted of several well-known
Western outlaws including Harry Longabaugh, known as the Sundance Kid;
Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry; Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan; Harry
Tracy, Elzy Lay (who was Butch's best friend), and several others. Operating
around the turn of the century, Cassidy and his partners put together
the longest sequence of successful bank and train robberies in the history
of the American West.