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Butch Cassidy and the Mormons


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Ok, so this morning my wife and I went to the funeral of a wonderful older (than me even) lady who just passed away. She and my wife were very close and shared lots of common interests. The family delayed the service because folks had to come from all over the US to attend. My wife made her wonderful enchiladas to help feed the family and we went. While there I had several folks come up to me who had heard me speak here or there. One of them said that he had sent me an email awhile back and that I hadn't replied. I apologized and then about fell over with what he told me it was about (obviously I never got his email). He was apparently seeking confirmation from me of something that a ninety-something lady had told him . . . . . that Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame had lived in the Mexican Mormon colonies, most likely one of the mountain colonies to hide out from the law.

I am aware of many folks who lived here in the early years of the colonies who hid out for one reason or another, but Butch Cassidy? That was totally new to me. I thanked him for the information and he offered to send it to me again. I gave him my card and hope to hear more. I am now asking you all. Have any of you in your long collective association with the Church ever heard anything about Butch Cassidy hiding out here in Pacheco, Garcia, Chuichupa or the like? Any connection between his family and the Church? I would ask my friend Will Bagley, surely he would have known about it (sounds like something he would know), but he is no longer with us. Does anyone have any knowledge or information about this possibility or a tie with Butch Cassidy and the LDS church? Inquiring minds need to know! Thanks!

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26 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Ok, so this morning my wife and I went to the funeral of a wonderful older (than me even) lady who just passed away. She and my wife were very close and shared lots of common interests. The family delayed the service because folks had to come from all over the US to attend. My wife made her wonderful enchiladas to help feed the family and we went. While there I had several folks come up to me who had heard me speak here or there. One of them said that he had sent me an email awhile back and that I hadn't replied. I apologized and then about fell over with what he told me it was about (obviously I never got his email). He was apparently seeking confirmation from me of something that a ninety-something lady had told him . . . . . that Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame had lived in the Mexican Mormon colonies, most likely one of the mountain colonies to hide out from the law.

I am aware of many folks who lived here in the early years of the colonies who hid out for one reason or another, but Butch Cassidy? That was totally new to me. I thanked him for the information and he offered to send it to me again. I gave him my card and hope to hear more. I am now asking you all. Have any of you in your long collective association with the Church ever heard anything about Butch Cassidy hiding out here in Pacheco, Garcia, Chuichupa or the like? Any connection between his family and the Church? I would ask my friend Will Bagley, surely he would have known about it (sounds like something he would know), but he is no longer with us. Does anyone have any knowledge or information about this possibility or a tie with Butch Cassidy and the LDS church? Inquiring minds need to know! Thanks!

Just googled this, from LDS Living:  Notorious American Train Robber Butch Cassidy, a Mormon?

It doesn't say anything about his life in Mexico (the history is quite brief), but given his ties to Mormonism it seems quite likely to be the case.

Quote

Born in 1866 in Beaver, Utah, as Robert LeRoy Parker to pioneers Maximillian Parker and Ann Campbell Gillies, Cassidy came from faithful Mormon stock. It is likely he was baptized into the Church at the age of 8, but by the time the time he was 13, he had stopped attending almost entirely. The posited reasons for his decline in faith range from blaming the example of his father who also only attended meetings sporadically to a brush he had with the law where he was unjustly accused and treated poorly by officials. Certainly, though, it was the influence of his friend and mentor Mike Cassidy that played the largest role. Whatever all the contributing factors were, Robert changed his name to protect his family and left home at 18 to become one of the most well-known bandits in the Old West.

But in between his famous train heists and bank robberies, Cassidy was an upstanding if unorthodox man. In one instance, he heard of a farmer facing foreclosure and graciously paid off the mortgage, delivering the deed to the man. The next day, he robbed the same bank for the exact amount he’d paid to get his money back. On another occasion, he recovered a horse stolen from 16-year-old Harry Ogden, who had spent his life savings on the animal. After confirming he had retrieved the correct steed, Cassidy ordered the bandit to leave the country, because there was no room for people who would harm a young boy.

Stories like these earned Cassidy the distinction of being a gentleman bandit and Robin Hood, a role with which he readily identified. Cassidy himself once wrote, “The best way to hurt them [those who take advantage of the poor] is through their pocket book. 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.” One of Cassidy’s known criminal associates, Matt “The Mormon Kid” Warner, described him as “a good-natured outlaw.” Commenting further, he added, “Though he was a dead-shot, Butch didn’t like pulling the trigger . . . . He was revered even among lawmen.” Indeed, throughout his lengthy career in the United States, Cassidy befriended many deputies and went to great lengths to avoid killing.

So, he's one of the wayward youth, and it was likely hard for anyone to do any home teaching to him.

Also here:  6 Things You May Not Know About Butch Cassidy

Edited by InCognitus
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Does anyone have any knowledge or information about this possibility or a tie with Butch Cassidy and the LDS church? Inquiring minds need to know!

Checking my sources.  :) 

My husband was into Butch.  I remember lots of commentary on drives south, but doubt he has documentation, but maybe.  He is on a trip though, so may be a day or two.

Edited by Calm
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22 hours ago, Navidad said:

Ok, so this morning my wife and I went to the funeral of a wonderful older (than me even) lady who just passed away. She and my wife were very close and shared lots of common interests. The family delayed the service because folks had to come from all over the US to attend. My wife made her wonderful enchiladas to help feed the family and we went. While there I had several folks come up to me who had heard me speak here or there. One of them said that he had sent me an email awhile back and that I hadn't replied. I apologized and then about fell over with what he told me it was about (obviously I never got his email). He was apparently seeking confirmation from me of something that a ninety-something lady had told him . . . . . that Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame had lived in the Mexican Mormon colonies, most likely one of the mountain colonies to hide out from the law.

I am aware of many folks who lived here in the early years of the colonies who hid out for one reason or another, but Butch Cassidy? That was totally new to me. I thanked him for the information and he offered to send it to me again. I gave him my card and hope to hear more. I am now asking you all. Have any of you in your long collective association with the Church ever heard anything about Butch Cassidy hiding out here in Pacheco, Garcia, Chuichupa or the like? Any connection between his family and the Church? I would ask my friend Will Bagley, surely he would have known about it (sounds like something he would know), but he is no longer with us. Does anyone have any knowledge or information about this possibility or a tie with Butch Cassidy and the LDS church? Inquiring minds need to know! Thanks!

Yes, he was associated with the Kolobdance Kid.

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There is mention that he was in Mexico in the Brittanica Encyclopedia which was updated this year. 

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Butch-Cassidy


"Still other stories have Cassidy (either alone or with Sundance) returning to the United States, drifting about from Mexico to Alaska, and dying in obscurity in 1937 in the Northwest or in Nevada (possibly Spokane, Washington, or Johnny, Nevada)."

Edited by Tacenda
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Interesting. I just got a copy of the article that supports the theory that he actually lived here during the revolution. I stayed up late last night reading it. It was remarkably accurate in that it named the right LDS local colony leaders and influencers at the right places and times in connection with Cassidy. Whoever wrote it plagiarized a lot from B. Carmon Hardy and Nelle Spilsbury Hatch, but also had a strong foundation in LDS-Mexican revolution history. He even put the right houses and stores in the right places Very interesting article. Once I get more time I will have to dig into it. Men who were wanted by the US law had a habit of using pseudo-names here in the colonies and falsifying certain details of their lives when living here. After reading the article, the use of material written by others in it disappoints me. The accurate details fascinate me.

Edited by Navidad
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Some of ya'll might be interested in this June release: Life and Death on the Mormon Frontier: The Murders of Frank LeSueur and Gus Gibbons by the Wild Bunch

In my honest, though obviously biased opinion, this is one of the most enjoyable books on Mormon history I have read. If you have ever wondered why Butch Cassidy is responsible for a temple being built in Mesa, this book is for you.

On a related note, my great-great grandfather was the bishop of Vernal for a couple decades at the beginning of the 20th century, and family lore has it that he occasionally counselled Cassidy. This may just be lore, but at the minimum he would have been acquainted with Cassidy and, like other residents, turned a blind eye and kept quiet about his whereabouts. 

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Robert Redford’s first wife was LDS.

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4 hours ago, the narrator said:

Some of ya'll might be interested in this June release: Life and Death on the Mormon Frontier: The Murders of Frank LeSueur and Gus Gibbons by the Wild Bunch

In my honest, though obviously biased opinion, this is one of the most enjoyable books on Mormon history I have read. If you have ever wondered why Butch Cassidy is responsible for a temple being built in Mesa, this book is for you.

On a related note, my great-great grandfather was the bishop of Vernal for a couple decades at the beginning of the 20th century, and family lore has it that he occasionally counselled Cassidy. This may just be lore, but at the minimum he would have been acquainted with Cassidy and, like other residents, turned a blind eye and kept quiet about his whereabouts. 

I once served on a panel with Steve LeSueur, I forget the exact subject, but I think it was about LDS history in Missouri. He wrote a great book on the subject that was somewhat controversial - more of a New Mormon History approach. I wonder if he is a descendant of this Frank LeSueur? Thanks for recommending this book. Take care. A few minutes later - I just clicked on the link. That is too funny. It appears Steve LeSueur is the author! Ha! That probably cinches it that he is a descendant.

Edited by Navidad
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Yes i have heard something about it in my church. In my ward we have a couple with their childeren from Mexico. They always come with those kind of stories. They where also there when i got baptized. They where there special for me. Isn't that lovely? 

I have no idea why they have moved to Portugal to begin with though. 

Edited by Dario_M
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12 hours ago, Navidad said:

He wrote a great book on the subject that was somewhat controversial - more of a New Mormon History approach.

Yeah, he was one of the first to highlight that the violence in Missouri was a matter of mutual violent escalation rather than just the Mormons being mere victims. It ruffled some feathers back in the day, but (like much of the New Mormon History that was frowned upon) is pretty much accepted as a matter of fact.

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15 hours ago, Navidad said:

I once served on a panel with Steve LeSueur, I forget the exact subject, but I think it was about LDS history in Missouri. He wrote a great book on the subject that was somewhat controversial - more of a New Mormon History approach. I wonder if he is a descendant of this Frank LeSueur? Thanks for recommending this book. Take care. A few minutes later - I just clicked on the link. That is too funny. It appears Steve LeSueur is the author! Ha! That probably cinches it that he is a descendant.

I believe he is a nephew.  Frank died when he was only 20 and had no children or wife.

Interesting thing about Frank, is that after 4 years after he died, he was sealed to a woman who had also been dead for 2 years.  They knew of each other during life but it doesn't seem like they had any engagement while alive.  His brother (James LeSueur) gave an account on what happened - http://www.winslowfarrsr.org/james-lesueur-story.html.  The story is that after Frank died, James had a vision.  In the vision, he met people working in the Spirit World and his brother was there.  Next to his brother was a woman that James didn't recognize.  The angel told him that the woman was Frank's wife.  James knew that his brother had no wife and was confused.  Then, some months/years later, a couple came to his parents and told his parents that their daughter (Jennie) had a vision of Frank and knew she was supposed to be married to him.  Jennie was dying and so requested that she be sealed to Frank after her death.  James recognized her from his vision and so both sets of parents approved the "marriage".  So, 4 years after Frank had died and 2 years after Jennie had died, they were sealed by proxy in the Salt Lake temple.

Post-death sealings are really rare and usually involve two people that were engaged to be married.  This one is even rarer since they appeared to have little interaction in life.

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