Willis Newton’s 1st Educate Theft – 1914

Willis Newton’s 1st Educate Theft – 1914

On December 29, 1914, Willis robbed his preliminary train, at age 25. He skilled simply been launched from serving time in jail and fulfilled up with an outdated pal, Crimson Johnson. The 2 skilled absent to Uvalde and while there had damaged right into a elements retail retailer to steal some Winchester 30-30s and ammunition for a pistol Willis was carrying. They decided to go to Cline, a smaller settlement west of Uvalde, by foot the working day quickly after Xmas with the intent of robbing the Southern Pacific Amount 9 passenger coach that handed on account of the station throughout midnight.

In his remaining interview in 1979, he defined his very first put together theft:

“Excellent after Christmas, me and Pink Johnson established off for Cline (Texas) by foot. I knowed the Amount 9 educate got here in there about midnight and took on water. So I suggested Pink, ‘Let’s rob that prepare tonight.’

“That night we went all the way down to a small freight dwelling near the depot. While we was prepared we took the linings out of our vital overcoats to incorporate our heads and use as masks. When the coach got here in that night time time, we strike the once more of it.

“An outdated brakeman hollered at us and said, ‘Hey! You will not be capable to get on proper right here!’

“I suggested him, ‘Like hell we can’t,’ and I jabbed that pistol in his stomach and he altered his tune. He didn’t give us no difficulties. We went in to the primary automotive that was a novel automotive or truck for the superintendent of the Southern Pacific Railroad, aged gentleman Watkins. He was in there with one other fellow. Watkins skilled a major outdated thick pocketbook and we assumed we skilled a wad of cash. Damned if his pocketbook wasn’t complete of them railroad passes and 40 measly bucks!

“We went on up by the use of the Pullman automobiles and vans. We ain’t by no means been in a Pullman vehicle so we didn’t learn about them berths upstairs as nicely. We simply purchased the categories on the underside and glided by two of them. If we seem up on a girl by herself we permit her go.

“Once we happen on account of the preliminary auto, we did not know there was a drawing room in there with a rich aged Mexican utilizing along with his daughter. Assured sufficient, they’d fairly a number of thousand in {dollars} and $15,000 in jewelry in a minor bag up there. They was in a compartment vehicle and we did not know nearly nothing about that so we handed them up.

“Getting close to to Spofford, we pulled the wire, stopped the prepare, and obtained off. In a handful of minutes we was hightailing it on account of them prickly pear flats headed towards Crystal City. In two days we had been in Crystal Metropolis, sitting in my mom’s kitchen space.

“We purchased $4,700 off the educate far more money than we had at any time noticed. I give Pink half and we went all the way down to the lodge and skilled us an enormous steak meal.”

Along with the tales of ringing within the New Calendar 12 months, the Texas newspapers ended up ablaze with front-website web page accounts of the “daring educate theft.” The San Antonio Categorical quoted a number of first-hand accounts of the follow theft that differ from Willis’ mannequin, particularly in how they dealt with the passengers after they demanded their funds and valuables.

Two Bandits Awaken and Rob Travellers on Southern Pacific Purchase $7840 And Many Valuables Neglect $16,000

Robbers Boarded a Practice near Spofford And Escaped Following 18 Minutes’ Search for of Passengers.

Are Headed for Mexico

Posse in Pursuit Pursuing 3 Clues In Hope of Effecting A Seize Proper earlier than Robbers Cross the Rio Grande-Mexican Who Saves His Fortune Reimburses These folks Robbed.

… Excess of $7,840 and a quantity of watches, jewels, weapons and different valuables ended up taken and $16,000 in gold was ignored when masked males robbed the 2 rear sleepers of the Sundown Central Particular put together between Cline and Spofford about 2:30 o’clock yesterday morning. The theft wanted eighteen minutes, all through which era the bandits took the belongings of 14 travellers within the San Antonio sleeper on the rear of the train, and making use of W. F. Kendall, brakeman as a defend continued part means by yet one more Pullman because the educate neared Spofford, when the bandits retreated to the rear Pullman, pulled the bell wire and escaped.

While posses organized by Ranger Phelps and R. C. Watkins, division superintendent of the Sundown Central of this metropolis, one explicit of the victims, have been organized at Spofford and Del Rio shortly after the theft, no hint of the robbers has been found.

Two males discovered in a device family on the Eagle Transfer division of the road had been arrested and launched. Because the size to the border is simply about 30 miles by rail and about 33 miles by direct route, it’s thought of that the grownup males are creating an exhausting work to succeed in the boundary line and cross into Mexico.

Jose Martinez, a wealthy mine proprietor of Durango, Mexico was neglected by the bandits and remained the happy possessor of about $16,000 in money and quite a few hundred {dollars}’ nicely price of jewelry. Martinez and his partner and daughter, occupied the drawing dwelling within the entrance shut of the final sleeper. They knew completely nothing of the presence of the bandits proper till aroused by the Negro porter, John Dunmore, who instructed him robbers have been going by means of the prepare and that they’d superior conceal their earnings and valuables.

The warning was heeded and the trio waited nearly breathless for the looks of the masked pair to search for their compartment. Minutes that appeared like a number of hours handed and finally Martinez returned to stick his head out into the motorized vehicle and found out that the bandits had accomplished their mission.

Regardless of if due to to their unfamiliarity of Pullman automobiles or to their haste, the drawing place was slighted within the holdup exercise, as had been these occupying higher berths. Two males within the rear sleeper occupying higher berths have been being not disturbed by the bandits and an individual rarely knew something in any respect in regards to the occurrences proper up till afterward aroused by the victims when inquiring about his discount.

He designed an inventory and recognized his purse that incorporates $200, his gold watch and different valuables skilled not been molested and have been being beneath his pillow the place he skilled place them up on retiring.

Overjoyed with getting escaped the robbers, Martinez summoned the porter who had warned him and his family members of the hazard and handed him a roll of expenses as a reward.

Finding out of the plight of a few of the passengers who had been relieved of every cent they skilled and most of them of all of the issues else of value, Martinez determined to share his superior luck and wealth along with his fellow vacationers. To each he gave funds in sums starting from $25-$100 in proportion to their losses and different state of affairs as he found out by customized investigations.

The newspaper article went on to aspect how Willis and Purple roughed up the passengers to get them handy over their valuables. Reverse to Willis’ self-described chivalry in the direction of girls, the report dispelled any doubts he was way over eager to accost girls of all ages as completely as grownup males when it arrived to demanding all of their valuables.

… The bandits have been being described by passengers as brutes and have been very tough at conditions within the dealing with of their victims. Whereas a variety of passengers had been struck by the butts of weapons within the arms of the robbers and much more or significantly much less considerably wounded, not a shot was fired. On the very least 4 individuals important well being care focus following the bandits skilled taken their departure, and 1 feminine whose title couldn’t be uncovered, endured an unappealing gash within the head, which wanted 11 stitches to shut. Exasperated on the emotions of parting together with her valuables, she to begin with pleaded with the bandits with out avail, after which she resisted their makes an try to scale back her of her cash and jewelry, when 1 of them drew his gun again and struck her all through the top, inflicting an unappealing gash and critical bruises.

A single feminine touring together with her 4-thirty day period-old toddler escaped brutal remedy and managed that will help you save $185, which she had secreted beneath her mattress. Occupying a reduce supply within the rear automotive, she turned hysterical when woke up and, looking out out noticed the masked bandits demanding {dollars} from the travellers. Time was helpful to the robbers and eliminating persistence of their initiatives to serene her, simply one of many guys named out:

“Oh, allow her go: she’s virtually nothing however a child,” and the pair moved to the long run starting with orders to the brakeman to rush and rouse the passengers.

Only one man who appeared sluggish in getting his funds and time piece collectively was given a very exhausting jab with the unsafe finish of a gun and he dropped his money on this aisle of the automotive or truck. Yet one more rap from the gun and he was manufactured to soar out of his supply and assemble up the cash and handed to the brakeman, who promptly handed it to the robbers.

One explicit man who was a appear sleeper arrived inside an ace of waking up in eternity when he unsuccessful to reply instantly to the shaking offered him by the brakeman.

The robbers ended up not inclined to tarry and when the sleeper didn’t happen all through they have been about to strike him a lethal blow, however the brakeman succeeded in rousing the sleeper and impressing on him the seriousness of the circumstance simply in time to preserve him from a beating.

Only one lady fainted and was quickly relieved of her cash, jewelry, and purse made up of her railroad ticket upfront of she was revived.

This occasion seems to be to awaken a stress of humor within the make-up of one of many holdup particular person, for he remarked, “If we may solely set all of them to relaxation as effortless-this could be the on a regular basis residing.”

Evidently, a few of the travellers had been greater than ready to magnify or completely fabricate their recollections of the theft to reporters protecting the holdup. In a single case, a passenger recognized himself as remaining the brother of the earlier president of Mexico.

… An individual of the to begin with tales of the holdup acquired from an eyewitness arrived from Walter Grimmer, an worker of the electrical lightweight plant at Del Rio. Mr. Grimmer was a passenger out of San Antonio. He was driving within the day mentor and declares emphatically that the 2 robbers boarded the coach at San Antonio and sat nearly straight all through the aisle from him.

Mr. Grimmer states he was captivated to them almost as shortly because the train nonetheless left San Antonio by their suspicious actions and unusually difficult look. He says a Ranger occupied a seat proper in entrance of him and that the males evidently acknowledge the officer and appeared to keep away from his eyes each time he appeared of their path.

In accordance to Mr. Grimmer the 2 grownup males waited until principally anybody within the working day coach was asleep, after they nonetheless left their seats and walked on account of the coach. Mr. Grimmer suggests he was awake on the time, considered the blokes stroll through the day mentor and noticed them cross the system and enter the preliminary Pullman. He states he acquired a superior have a look at the robbers and would simply be capable to set up them. An individual he defined as a man of extraordinarily main create.

He suggests following possible by the Pullmans the males signaled the coach to finish and jumped to the ground on the moonlight side of the put together. The aroused passengers noticed them plainly as they ran. The 2 grownup males are reported to be Folks.

Benjamin Madero, brother of the late President of Mexico, is taken into account to have been simply one of many travellers within the greater berths who escaped curiosity. He arrived on the Sundown Station additionally late to get a decreased supply and was consigned to the upper amount 5. Madero is supposed to have saved his possessions, although all the some others and excepting the passenger within the remaining higher, and the Martinez household within the drawing room, had been robbed.

George Miller, a cattleman from Marathon was one explicit of the passengers in a scale back delivery, and was robbed of his valuables. It’s supposed that fairly a number of hundred kilos have been found in his possession.

Mr. and Mrs. L. T. Wooden of 217 San Pedro Ave. lacking their income and valuables when the brakeman awoke them and defined to them that the automobile was staying robbed and to show above nearly every little thing they’d.

Superintendent Watkins, who was asleep in a lower begin in regards to the middle of the coach, was a single of the first to be robbed. He was relieved of $25 and cross books. Sam Scammahorn, a yard grasp on the Sundown Station, shed his revolver, try and the pocketbook.

F. H. Bednarak, chief dispatcher misplaced his view and a few {dollars}. The three railroad grownup males have been on their method to a challenge on the Eagle Cross department to hunt main match, however they joined the posse on the trail of the bandits.

C. D. Woodward, the Pullman motorized vehicle conductor in demand of the rear sleeper within the train, was not ignored and the robbers relieved him of $156 like his private and the agency’s {dollars}.

Following this report that gave a vivid account of the pistol-whipping a few of the passengers skilled all by way of the keep-up, the San Antonio Gentle ran this entrance-site reward discover on January 2.


The G. H. & S. A. Ry. Co. offers $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the 2 grownup males who robbed the passengers on follow No. 9 on the night time of Dec. 29, 1914 regarding Cline and Spofford, Texas, by get of Superintendent R. C. WATKINS

Evidently, the reward give labored the January 21 version of the precise newspaper ran a daring front-web website headline.

Two Grownup males Are Arrested As Educate Bandits

Sheriff Johnson of Uvalde Is In San Antonio With


The write-up went on to clarify the arrest of two gents who have been being working on a ranch in shut proximity to Uvalde. An individual was a simply these days produced convict who skilled served time for theft. Performing on a suggestion, the Uvalde County sheriff despatched two grownup males to the ranch to surreptitiously acknowledge the 2 males:

… Superintendent Watkins and W. C. Cox, every whom had been travellers on the educate, went to Uvalde and, in order to not excite suspicion, went on a rooster hunt to a ranch eighteen miles west of Uvalde, wherever the 2 suspects have been being performing. Each equally declared there may very well be little doubt as to one of many males and so they believed they may set up the opposite as successfully.

Because it turned out the reward was by no means ever compensated to the informant the situation fell apart when one explicit of the eyewitnesses, a girl, couldn’t positively set up the redheaded man. The regulation stayed on the state of affairs for a handful of far more months after which slowly and progressively permit it fade absent.

Willis was by no means ever arrested for the keep-up. For some goal he focused on monetary establishment work till finally 1921 when he and his gang reeled off 3 train heists at some point of that 12 months. Then in 1924, the Newton Gang strike the grand slam, ripping off about $3 million from an categorical mail put together within the neighborhood of Rondout, Illinois.


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