Stagecoach Robbery Was Well Planned

Sonora Stories

Sonora, like many of the old mining towns, had its share of stagecoach robberies. One that took place in November 1881, was described in the Tuolumne Independent.

Early one Monday morning, at half past five o’clock, the stage on the Sonora and Milton line was stopped by four highwaymen, two miles this side of the Stanislaus River. The stage was coming up the grade out of the canyon, and when the horses were about ten or fifteen feet from the top of the hill, the four men, masked with sacks and carrying shotguns, appeared from out of the brush on the roadside and circled round in front of the horses, ordering the driver to halt.

The leader was a tall man and the only outlaw who spoke. He said he wanted the Wells Fargo & Company’s box, and nothing more. The total take of the outlaws was $3,788.25, Wells Fargo contributing $3,238.25, plus the $550.00 taken from John Mundorf.

The three robbers were brought before Judge Miller for examination. They all pled guilty to the robbery of Wells Fargo & Company, but denied any knowledge of Mundorf’s money. The fourth robber had not been captured. All three were convicted with William A. Miller and William A. Miner each sentenced to twenty-five years in the State Prison, while their accomplice, James Crum, received twelve years, No reason was given as to why Crum received a shorter sentence.

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