Merced Express, August 19, 1905

Yosemite Stage Held Up.

A dispatch from Madera says: Sheriff Jones received word Tuesday night from Ahwahnee that the Yosemite state coach was held up on the road about three miles below that place by a lone highwayman, who compelled Walter Farnsworth, the driver, to get down from the box and then lined up the passengers, from whom he took what money they had and valuables. The hold up took place at about two o'clock in the afternoon as the stage was on its way to Raymond from the valley. After taking the valuables from the passengers, the highwayman ordered the driver to continue his journey. He then waited for the upstage, and also held it up.
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Frank Bacigalupi, the blacksmith, of Merced who has been working for the Yo Semite Stage Company at Wawona for the past five months, was a passenger on the stage which was held up by a lone highwayman this week near Ahwahnee. Frank said the bandit was a slender man about five feet ten inches high, wore a slouch hat and a long linen duster and trousers of the same material, and that he was armed with a shotgun and six-shooter. He spoke pleasantly but was firm in his demand and used good clean language. There were eleven passengers on the stage, six of whom were women. Some of them hid the most of their money in their shoes, others placed it under the seat and others handed it to the driver and he placed it under his seat. He lined up all the passengers, going through all but working men, receiving about $95 for his desperate under taking. Frank said that twenty-five minutes required to do the job seemed like twenty-five hours. There was an Examiner reporter aboard who remarked that he wished they might meet with a hold-up , as he wished to witness one, but when the robber relieved him of $35 he did more kicking than any one else. The reporter asked the bandit for $2 of his money to pay for his lodging and meals at Wawona, but he said: "No., I need every dollar of it, and more too."  The Examiner man said will you grant one favor? "What is it?"  "I wish to take a snap shot of you." "Sure, fire away, for no one will known me with this disguise on." He handed all watches back, saying: "I have no use for them."

At first it was thought a joke, and the ladies laughed at the proceeding, but when the highway man told them to get out they realized it was a genuine Western hold up.  When the halt was made the stranger ordered the driver to dismount and submit to a search for a gun. Finding none he ordered Fransworth back. Miss Wilkinson hid her money under the driver's seat. Miss Elthel Fullerton tried to hide a roll of bills in a camera, but was told to desist. From G. H. Moulsen he got $30, but he missed $30 more: Miss Fullerton lost her roll and her sister gave up some money. They are from Massachusetts. Mrs. Wilkinson and daughter lost but $2.

Tracks indicate that the robber left the scene on Horseback. A pose of men from Madera trailed him and found the empty purses he had thrown away.

submitted by Tom Hilk