Post Office Robbery

 

By Pat Wilde

Authorities from Denver to Boise were alerted in 1902 that a bandit duo were working their way westward along the Oregon Short Line, robbing stores, post offices and hotels as they went.  They were experts at drilling combinations and had successfully pulled off 11 robberies before they hit Montpelier on the night of November 27.  There they made entrance to the Montpelier Post Office through an adjoining building.

They were successful in entering the building just about midnight.  It was a blustery evening and a promised storm began shortly after they got inside.  By 2 am 3" of snow lay on the ground and the storm had moved on.  Meanwhile the safe crackers had been busy at work.  They drilled the safe and made their departure.

Within minutes of their departure, night watchman Jack Heggie was making his rounds and discovered their tracks.  With gun in hand Heggie followed the footprints to the old Brennan and Davis warehouse on 11th street.  Underneath the building he located the tools, a pistol and the money from the robbery but the men were gone.  Heggie took the money but left the other items and made his way back to the post office where he notified postmaster H B Whitman.  They returned a second time to the building and picked up the burglary tools and four sticks of dynamite.  For two days the place was under surveillance.

Finally on Saturday night three days after the robbery, Chief of Police Gee and former County Sheriff Jefferson Davis caught the two men as they crawled under the building to collect their materials.

US Marshals soon arrived from Pocatello.  They were given a preliminary hearing and sentenced to ten years in the Idaho Penitentiary.  Four other states waited patiently to try them.  Before George Ferguson and Frank Barrett, the two men, were through with jails, they would serve 44 years in prisons.
 

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