Old West Lifestyle & Stories

First Photo Of A Crime In Progress

Anton Veith was a Milwaukee newspaper editor traveling out West. On August 15, 1900, he was on a stage on its way to Yosemite. Carrying on idle conversation with fellow passengers, Anton asked them what they would do in the case of a holdup, and they had their entire fortune on them. One said he would give it up; he could make another fortune, but didn’t have another life. Another said that a bullet didn’t always hit its mark, and he would run the other way.
A little later that day the stage pulled to a stop, and Anton heard a voice say, “Get Down!” It was a holdup. The robber had a gun slung over his shoulder, and a pistol in his hand. No one on the stage had a gun, not even the driver and guard. Anton said the robber was careless, and on several instances, he felt he could jump him, but no one else was willing to help.
The robber was kind to the women, allowing them to stay in the stage. And most of the men were able to hide some of their money and valuables. The robber even gave Anton back his heirloom pocket watch.
Anton had his camera with him, and he brazenly asked the robber if he could take a picture of the robbery in progress. Amazingly, the robber agreed. The picture Anton took shows the robber, gun in hand, and the male passengers all in a line. Following the picture, the robber had everyone load up and told the stage to drive off.
A copy of the picture was turned over to the legal authorities. But, despite the picture, and an extensive hunt for the robber, as happens many times today, he was never found.

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