Born Robert LeRoy Parker in Beaver, Utah on April 13, 1866, Cassidy was the first of 13 children. His Mormon parents had come to Utah from England in 1856. His first run-in with the law occurred after he let himself into a closed shop, took a pair of jeans, and left a note promising to return later to pay his debt. By 1884, Roy was rustling cattle from Parowan and his life on the lam had begun. The first major crime attributed to Cassidy is the robbery of the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, on June 24, 1889. He and three cowboys got away with $20,000. His last big job was a hold up of a Rio Grande train near Folsom, New Mexico, $70,000. As his fame grew, more officers were after him. He fled to Bolivia, where he briefly lived in peace before returning to his lawless ways. Source: Utah.com

Butch CassidySince the start of the Famous Mormons website, I have been searching for proof that Robert Leroy Parker better known as Butch Cassidy was actually baptized a Mormon. He was named after his two grandfathers both were named Robert. Both parents were Mormons and most children in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are baptized at eight years of age. So it is likely “Butch” was baptized when he was eight years old. I have not come across any record showing a baptism. So we treat him on the Famous Mormons site or in this case he is on the Infamous Mormons section, as a probable member of the church. As an interesting sidenote, he has been proxy baptized in LDS temples at least four times since his death.

“The best way to hurt them is through their pocketbook. They will Holler louder than if you cut off both legs. I steal their money just to hear them holler. Then I pass it out among those who really need it.”

Ann Parker, Butch’s mother, was a devout Mormon. His father Maximilian was less so. Young Robert Parker seemed to follow his father’s lead. He was less interested in following the Church’s path than his religious mother.

When Butch was 13 years old, the family moved to a ranch near the small Mormon community of Circleville. He became an admirer of a local troublemaker named Mike Cassidy.

His first run-in with the law occurred after he let himself into a closed shop, took a pair of jeans, and left a note promising to return later to pay his debt. By 1884, Butch was rustling cattle from Parowan and his life on the lam had begun.

On June 24, 1889, he committed his first serious crime,   robbing the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride, Colorado. He and three other cowboys got away with more than $20,000. Hoping to lay low, for a time he worked in a butcher shop in Rock Springs, Wyoming, which is where he picked up his famous alias “Butch.”

In 1894 he was arrested at Lander, Wyoming, for stealing horses and possibly for running a protection racket among the local ranchers there. Imprisoned in the State Prison in Laramie, Wyoming, he served 18 months of a two-year sentence and was released in January 1896.

Butch Cassidy

“Fort Worth Five” photograph. Butch Cassidy is pictured on the far right

His last big job was a hold up of a Rio Grande train near Folsom, New Mexico, that netted $70,000. As his fame grew, more officers were after him. He eventually fled to Bolivia with his friend the Sundance Kid, where he briefly lived in peace before being gunned down in 1908.

However, there have always been claims, not least of all by Parker’s own sister Lula Parker Betenson, that he returned alive to the United States and there lived in anonymity for years. Lula even mentioned an impromptu “family reunion” in 1925.

Sources: www.kued.org and www.Utah.com

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