Friday, November 25, 2011

Indians Robbed a Stagecoach

 (From: "Early Yates Settlement and an Indian Stage Robbery"   by Floyd H. Benham. Appeared in  "Historical Wyoming," Vol. III, No. 5, May, 1950; newsletter of the Wyoming County Historical Society, Arcade, N.Y.)

    During the heyday of Yates Settlement when stagecoaches made regular stops at the hotel-stage-station, the Indians who had been previously driven out by General Sullivan, filtered back and had learned some of the white man's ways, particularly the use of money. At this time the Indians were being urged to hostilities by the British prior to the War of 1812; besides, there had been Indian trouble near East Pike, and on the Genesee, with some killings.
  The stagecoaches conveyed mail and light express as well as passengers, and occasionally money, which as a custom when in large amounts, was placed in kettles, presumably sealed.
    A stage with such a shipment had left Yates Station and proceeding to East Hebe (Silver Springs), on the old Cummings Road that leaves Route 19 directly north of the Erie underpass, and when passing about where the old Lonian farm it located, out from among the trees sprang a band of Indians who held up the stage and took away the "pot of gold."
    The alarm soon reached Yates Settlement and quickly men on horseback pursued the Indians, overtaking them a short distance south. They had secreted the money, whereupon the incensed settlers severely chastised and terrorized the band, driving them beyond the Genesee  River. They never returned, and there yet may be s buried treasure a short distance south of the "settlement."
    The original record of this robbery was lost in a fire, and I am indebted to Mr. William Streeter, now deceased. who recalled it from memory, and from data furnished me by Mrs. William Gelsor.

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