They only wanted some change.

The streets of Cisco, Texas, must have been a slushy mix of snow and mud on February 15, 1888, when a member of the Bill Whitley outlaw gang (sometimes called the Brack Cornett gang) walked into the Bank of Cisco just before closing and approached the cashier, C.C. Leveaux, innocently asking for some change. According to an article published the following day in the New York Times, before the cashier had a chance to respond, three other men walked into the bank, and “one of them thrust the muzzle of a pistol in Leveaux’s face and told him that was the kind of change he wanted.”

When the Bill Whitley gang robbed the bank at Cisco, the band of roughly 12 men already had a string of robberies behind them. Robbery for the greedy gang had become as natural as pulling on their dusty leather boots. In June of 1887, the gang had robbed a train near Flatonia, escaping with $1,200 in cash and $1,000 in watches and jewelry, most of which they took from the passengers. One newspaper account reported this heist as being much larger—about $14,000 in money, in addition to the valuables. The same newspaper reported that the gang robbed a train about a month later near the same location (closer to Flatonia), this time making away with $35,000.

Back to the Cisco holdup, while three of the robbers held the cashier, the treasurer and another man at bay, a third looted the safe and money drawer of $9,000 (some accounts have it lower or much higher) in gold and silver coins and bank notes, plus a gold watch and other valuables. The bandits then forced the three hostages out the back door, over a tall fence and into an alley, while the robbers climbed the opposite fence and hopped into a getaway wagon, which, it must be assumed, took them to where their horses were tied a short distance away.

According to the February 16, 1888, New York Times article:

The robbers, when about 200 yards from the bank, drew their pistols, fired several shots, held up their bags of money, and shook them at the people. In five minutes Marshal J. T. Thomas and several citizens were on the trail. The robbers went in a northwesterly direction.

View Cisco Bank Robbery Part 1 in a larger map

This would put their initial route of escape toward the area of present-day Lake Cisco, which is located on Sandy Creek about 5 miles north of Cisco, where one author has speculated that the money was divvied up and hidden; however, we will see in the next installment of this series that this account doesn’t quite match the reported facts, which are admittedly scant, according to the contemporary newspaper account of the robbery.

Sources:
Wikipedia article about Brack Cornett
“They Wanted Some Change,” The New York Times, February 16, 1888
Eckhart, Jerry, “The Legend Never Dies–The Cisco Bank Robbery,” Lost Treasure, January 1986
Montgomery, Murray, “Train robbery in Flatonia, Texas” (excerpted from “The Train Robbery,” The Gonzales Inquirer, June 25, 1887
Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online, excerpted from Mason News, February 25, 1888

9 Responses to “The Cisco bank robbery and the Bill Whitley Gang’s hidden treasure: Part 1”

  1. thanks a lot for such a nice info.

  2. Hey I have been following your articles quite a lot & I must say that you come across as a pro in your area of study. You should start blogging more often , it would be really great.

  3. I have built a blog and and i want to change the theme.I got some ideas from here! Feel free to visit my blog and suggest things!

  4. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  5. This is the correct weblog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You understand a lot its nearly hard to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  6. This website is known as a stroll-through for the entire data you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll positively uncover it.

  7. It’s hard to search out knowledgeable folks on this subject, however you sound like you realize what you’re talking about! Thanks

  8. you have a great blog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my blog?

  9. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …

Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)


+ six = 9

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2011 Phantom Footsteps Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha