This is a true Montana shoot em up story about the old west
and Augustus Sackett Parker. As soon as I find the ancestors of Augustus
Sackett Parker I will inform the list. If any one has information on him
please let me know.
From: Sally Gustafson <sallyg(a)west.net>
To: MONTANA-L(a)rootsweb.com <MONTANA-L(a)rootsweb.com>
Date: Saturday, May 16, 1998 3:12 PM
Subject: [MONTANA-L] Overland Coach Robbery
Thought I would post this to the list in case anyone else is searching for
any of these people. Thanks to all who help me along the way in my search
for A.S. PARKER.
When I began my search for Augustus Sackett PARKER, I started on the Idaho
list as the his death occurred in Virginia City, Idaho territory,1865.
After being informed that Idaho Territory was devided into Idaho, Montana
and Wyoming, I moved my requests to the Montana list where Virginia City is
today. In answer to my query about newspapers which might have printed the
incident, Ellen was kind enough to send me the following from "Leeson's
History of Montana 1739-1885", Page 302:
The Treasure Coach Robbery, 1865 - the robbery of the Overland Coach in
Neuf Canon, Idaho, was one of those deeds the remembrance of which,
today, tells the traveler to be calm in presence of the road agents. In
case a number of well armed men guarded the treasure, and were fully
to meet any marauders who might attack them. On the 13th of July, 1865, the
treasure coach for the south left Virginia City with seven passengers --A.
Parker, A. J. McCausland, David Dinan, W. L. Mers, L. F. Carpenter, Charles
Parks, and James Brown. There was a large amount of treasure on board. The
passengers -- all hardy mountaineers -- were well armed, principally with
double-barrel shotguns loaded with buckshot. They expected an attempt to
the coach, and determined to fight. They took turns watching at the
windows with guns ready for quick use, determined to get the first shot, if
possible, in case of an attack. One man also sat by the driver, Frank
Williams, who was afterward found to have been in with the road agents. The
second day out from Virginia City, while driving through Port Neuf Canon,
man on the box with the driver sang out: "Boys, here they are!" --he having
discovered the barrels of the road agents' shotgusns glimmering in the
by the roadside. The outside watch followed his words of warning with a
shot, almost simultaneous with the inside passengers turned loose on the
robbers, which was answered instantly by a volley from among the bushes.
Parker, McCauland, Dinan and Mers were shot dead. Carpenter was hurt in
places, and only avoided death by feigning to be dying when one of the
came up for the purpose of shooting him a second time. Parks was also
apparently mortally wounded, and was not further molested. Brown, who was
hurt, jumped into the bushes and escaped. The driver (Williams), who had
purposely driven the coach into the ambush, was, of course, untouched. His
part in the robbery was afterward traced home to him, and, although he had
left the territory, he did not escape retribution, he having been hanged by
the vigilance committee at Cherry Creek, Colorado, some months later. The
agents who took part in this butchery were eight in number. They secured
$65,000 in gold, and, so far as known in Montana, were never detected.
Also in this same book on page 265-6:
An article about the vigilantes of Montana. To give a roster of the
vigilantes of Montana is out of the question. .... However, there are
which have already been credited with participation in the action of
Vigilantes, and therefore they must be given in this greater record. The
of honor is made up of the names of men who were spokesmen or executioners.
Among the names is: A. S. Parker.
To Ellen, I expressed my dismay at having a vigilante in the family, and I
learned that in Montana, the Vigilantes were considered good people. This
prompted me to search the Montana gen web site for more information. I
spent several hours reading about the terrible times the townspeople went
through under a corrupt sheriff. He and many of his band of outlaws were
eventually hung by the Vigilantes.
My comendations to the volunteers of the Montana USGENWEB site. It is one
the best and most informative I have seen. I wish some other states
follow your example. Missouri is another one of the best. Thanks to all
P.S. It took four weeks for the news of her husbands death to reach his
pregnant wife, Amelia (SACKETT) PARKER, in Atchison, Kansas. The shock
caused her to give premature birth to my great grandmother, Augusta Sackett
PARKER, on 15 Aug 1865. The baby weighed 2 pounds and was kept in a box by
the stove to keep it warm. Augusta married Jacob Dow CULLER, gave birth to
10 children and died at the age of 80. Her husband of 58 years died the
following year. They are both buried in Colony Cemetery, Colony, Anderson
Santa Barbara, CA
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