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Hash Knife Ranch - Hard Ride To Hash Knife

Four Wheeler Trails
Larry E. Heck | Writer
Posted January 1, 2010

Part I: Bank Robbery Getaway

Because of the time he spent in the Sundance Jail in Wyoming, Harry Longabough was forever known as the Sundance Kid. He served 18 months for stealing a saddle with a horse under it. When he was released on February 4, 1889, he was still a greenhorn in the outlaw game.

Somewhere along the way, Sundance Kid became good friends with another outlaw known as Kid Curry. They spent a lot of time together stirring up trouble wherever they went. Kid Curry had been on the run since winning a gunfight in Landusky, Montana.

If there is one thing absolutely certain about outlaws of the 1890s, it is that all certainty depends on who is telling the story. The most fun part about trying to find out what happened at any given time is the huge assortment of conflicting versions of who did what and when it was done.

In the case of the Belle Fourche Bank robbery, everyone seems to agree that Kid Curry was involved, including Kid Curry himself, according to the stories he related to the Lamb family. Bruce Lamb put those stories together in a book titled Kid Curry.

Local lawmen arrested Tom O'Day in a saloon immediately after the robbery. Some stories claim O'Day fell off his horse and other's claim he just couldn't get on it. In either case, he apparently was found hiding in an outhouse behind the saloon.

So, who else was involved? That's another debate. It will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction but those eventually arrested for the robbery (besides O'Day) were Kid Curry, Sundance Kid, and Walt Puteney … maybe. None of the men arrested ever admitted to being any of those people, but the officers at Deadwood seemed to think that was who they had in their jail. The outlaws really didn't like that jail much so they escaped after only a few days and went back to work.

When comparing the Kid Curry book with the Belle Fourche Times newspaper, we came up with this hypothesis. On June 28, 1897, Kid Curry, Sundance Kid, George Curry, and Walt Puteney robbed the Butte County Bank in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

Tom O'Day had been sent into town the night before to look everything over. Tom got drunk and never made it back to the rest of the gang. The other four headed into town without knowing where Tom was. They arrived at the back door of the bank and left Walt to stand guard there. The two Currys went into the bank through the side door and left Sundance outside with the horses. George Curry watched the front door while Kid Curry collected $50 in counter money.

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