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Old November 23, 2006, 12:46 AM   #176
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,291
Armed robbery story

From the dustbin of history, we have a Western tale of an almost train robbery and then a consolation stick-up.

One of the few old stories occasionally told around the mines is of what is known as the "Dovey Robbery." One day during the summer of 1881 a stranger came to the Dovey mines at Mercer, then operated by John Dovey and his sons William and George B. Dovey. He asked for employment, and was told that he could go to work in a few days. In the conversation that followed he inquired in a casual way as to when the railroad pay-train would be due and was informed that it had passed through the morning before. John Dovey incidentally remarked that the following day was pay-day for their miners, and that William Dovey had gone for the money and would return some time during the night. The next morning, after all the miners had gone to work, three strangers entered the Dovey store. Two of them immediately stepped in front of the building and guarded the place, while the third remained int he store and with cocked pistol in hand demanded the contents of the safe. George B. Dovey unhesitantingly opened the safe and proceeded to hand out all it contained - about thirteen dollars in cash and a gold watch with his father's name engraved on it. William Dovey, expected home the night before, had been delayed and had not yet arrived with the pay-roll money, which would have been in the safe had he come back at the time he orginally intended to return. In the meantime two men and a woman, living near the mines, came to the store to make purchases. They entered the building, little suspecting that the two starngers in front were guarding the place. Immediately after they had stepped in, one of the strangers followed and with drawn pistol politely requested them to sit down and keep quite while "young Mr. Dovey was transacting business with his friend." (George B. Dovey was then nineteen years of age.) After the robbers were satisfied that they had gotten all the cash and the only watch in the store, they quietly walked out of the building. By the time the three customers and George B. Dovey had recovered sufficiently from the shock to step to the front door the three strangers were nowhere to be seen. However, an investigation made shortly after showed that the robbers had gone toward Pond Creek, then to Rosewood, and across the cliffs into Logan County. It was not known until about a year later that Jesse James was the man who had robbed the store, and that he had come to Mercer for the purpose of robbing the pay-train. In April, 1882, when Jesse James was killed, the John Dovey watch was among the things found in his posssesion, and his administrator, seeing the name engraved on it, located the Doveys and returned the stolen property.
It confirms that Jesse died, didn't it? At least he isn't in hiding along with Elvis.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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