June 22, 2017

Edwin B. Trafton - Talking with the Tourists

Part 4 of Edwin Trafton series by Zoe Ann Stoltz, Reference Historian

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The Livingston Enterprise
August 1, 1914
 A small crowd gathered at Livingston's Northern Pacific depot to ask victims of Edwin Trafton's Yellowstone Park stagecoach robberies for their first hand accounts. Many of them were anxious to share their adventures. [1] Their stories ranged from horrific to hilarious.

While he assured the stagecoach drivers that he was “not going to take their money,” because they “worked as hard” as he did [2], the passengers were not so lucky. After a self-professed suffragist settled herself on the roadside, she lost control of her anger with a shout at Trafton that “this is what we women get . . . when compelled to let a little man like you to take away our rights and force us to give up our money.” [3]  The bandit scolded the suffragist that she was “butting into his game.” [4]   He then ordered her to return to the coach and forfeit any remaining cash.  The tirade cost her $75.00.

During a confrontation with a Missouri woman who refused to leave her coach and children, the bandit reassured her that he “loved children,” and would not hurt them.  Although he guaranteed the children’s safety, he did not hesitate to take their mother’s money.


[1] “Wonderland Tourists Relate Thrilling Hold-up Stories,” The Livingston Enterprise, 1 August 1914, pg. 1 & 8. 
[2] “Wonderland Tourists Relate Thrilling Hold-up Stories,” The Livingston Enterprise, 1 August 1914, pg. 1 & 8 and “Yellowstone Park Bandit Arrested,” Livingston Enterprise, 25 May 1915.
[3] Ibid., pg. 8.
[4] Ibid., pg. 8.




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