Cass County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

A Bold Robberty
Two Outlaws Plunder a Missouri Country Store

From the Fort Scott Monitor

A county store located in the southwestern part of Cass County, Missouri, about twenty miles from Harrisonville, and one-half mile from the Kansas State line was on Friday evening last, the scene of the boldest, coolest and most remarkable robbery ever perpetrated, even in the crime paradise of the Southwest.

The store owned by Messrs. Bryant & Chandler is one of the common, country sort, located at a cross roads in a farming community with only one dwelling in the immediate vicinity. On the evening mentioned Mr. Bryant was alone in the store when two mounted strangers rode up, alighted and entered. They talked very sociably and friendly about such topics as are usual with strangers who are disposed to play the agreeable and make a good impression. They finally bought a common woolen scarf all the while keeping up a lively and jocose conversation. Mr. Bryant was busy with his duties and paid no great attention to them.

Taking an opportunity when he was entirely off his guard, the strangers each drew a revolver and presenting them demanded his money. This demand he showed a disposition to resist, when he was seized by the strangers and securely bound, the scarf being used for this purpose. He was then blindfolded and his pockets ransacked, about $400 being secured by his captors. The robbers then proceeded to overhaul the stock in the store, taking possession of such articles as struck their fancy. At this time a farmer in the neighborhood dropped in, probably to have his customary chat with whoever he might meet at the cross roads resort. The robbers met him at the door, and at once bound and blindfolded him and then nwent through his pockets in the most thorough style. Two others came in shortly after, and the same operation was repeated, except that one endeavored to escape and succeeded in getting out of the store.

He was followed by one of the robbers, who brought him down handsomely with a single shot of his revolver, the ball striking him in the hip and passing down and coming out at the knee. He was brought back into the store and also bound and blindfolded. Two more who came in separately were treated in a similar manner. The robbers now had six men all securely bound and tightly blindfolded and ranged in a row upon the counter while they busied themselves with looking after such “swag” as might be of use to them. A boy aged about fourteen a clerk in the store, who had been absent at Kansas City, happened to return while the robbery was going on and him the business like brigands made useful in handling goods and selecting the choicest articles which were in their particular line. They were extremely good humored during the whole proceeding, bandying jokes with one another and perpetrating all sorts of facetious bon mots at the expense of their prisoners.

An Irishman who was among the unlucky crowd was a special object of derision, as “forty cints” was the sum total of his cash assets. The robbers rated him a d—n poor cuss. If he couldn’t afford to carry more than that amount of ready money. A schoolmaster received some excellent advice and was adjured in the future to be at home attending to his business and he would hereafter avoid trouble of a like nature. The wounded man was questioned and examined to learn the extent of his injuries. When the robbers took possession of his pocketbook, the wounded man told them it only contained papers that could be of no use to them. They concluded he could not be very badly hurt or he would not be thinking about a lot of d__n old papers. This wounded man is Isaac Barson.

The thieves contended themselves with light articles, such as gloves, handkerchiefs, clothing, etc., but laid in a liberal supply of cigars, to bacon, and whisky in small bottles.

Having supplied themselves with such supplies as they desired, they marched their captives outside the store, still blindfolded and with their arms firmly pinioned behind and placed them in single file facing the road. One of the robbers then brought up the horses, also taking possession of a third horse which had been ridden to the store by one of their victims. Before mounting one of the robbers informed the file of prisoners that he would watch them fifteen minutes while his companion got a start, and if a man of them moved he would be instantly shot. He also commanded them to remain standing in the same place for two hours or he would blow their heads off, emphasizing his orders with a considerable number of not very gentle expletives.

The robbers rode away, leading the stolen horse and the boy who had not been very securely tied, loosed himself and liberated the others.

Pursuit was started as soon as possible and the thieves were tracked to within nine miles of F. Scott, where traces of them was lost. They are undoubtedly making for the Indian Territory. They are each about twenty-five years old, intelligent and rather good looking. One has sandy whiskers, light hair and is about six feet tall. The other is shorter and has dark hair, moustaches and imperial: one wore a chinchilla and the other a soldier’s overcoat. Both had black hats. The stolen horse is a sorrel, with a white spot in the forehead. Five hundred dollars reward is offered for the apprehension of the thieves and the return of the horse, of a liberal reward for either.

It is supposed by some that the robbers are none other than the Younger brothers, who have resided since the war near Monegaw Springs Missouri, and have become notorious since the war for their outlaw deeds.

The post office address of Messrs. Chandler & Bryant is Brosely, Cass County, Mo., to whom any information regard to the fugitive robbers should be addressed.
(The Sumner County Press, Thursday, December 25, 1873) Submitted by Peggy Thompson - 2009

Bates Soper
Triple Murderer Arrested
Ashland, OR, June 11
S.E. Low of an Eastern detective agency, has arrived here with a requistion for one Bates Soper, wanted at Archie, Cass County, Missouri for the murder of his wife and two children which occurred on April 21, 1891, and late last evening arrested his man, who had been going under the name of Lee here.  Lee came here about six weeks ago from Portland, and has been doing farm and orchard work in this vicinity since.  Lee has a wife in Portland, where he resided four years before coming here he says.  He does not deny being the Bates Soper sought, and the officer started back with his prisoner.
Source: Daily Capital Journal, Salem, OR, June 11, 1897


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