Willis Newton’s First Train Robbery – 1914

On December 29, 1914, Willis robbed his first train, at age 25. He had just been released from serving time in prison and met up with an old friend, Red Johnson. The two had gone to Uvalde and while there had broken into a hardware store to steal some Winchester 30-30s and ammunition for a pistol Willis was carrying. They decided to go to Cline, a small settlement west of Uvalde, by foot the day after Christmas with the intent of robbing the Southern Pacific Number 9 passenger train that passed through the station around midnight.

In his last interview in 1979, he described his first train robbery:

“Just after Christmas, me and Red Johnson set off for Cline (Texas) by foot. I knowed the Number 9 train came in there about midnight and took on water. So I told Red, ‘Let’s rob that train tonight.’

“That night we went down to a little freight house near the depot. While we was waiting we took the linings out of our big overcoats to cover our heads and use as masks. When the train came in that night, we hit the back of it.

“An old brakeman hollered at us and said, ‘Hey! You can’t get on here!’

“I told him, ‘Like hell we can’t,’ and I jabbed that pistol in his belly and he changed his tune. He didn’t give us no trouble. We went in to the first car that was a special car for the superintendent of the Southern Pacific Railroad, old man Watkins. He was in there with another fellow. Watkins had a big old thick pocketbook and we thought we had a wad of money. Damned if his pocketbook wasn’t full of them railroad passes and 40 measly dollars!

“We went on up through the Pullman cars. We ain’t never been in a Pullman car so we didn’t know about them berths upstairs too. We just got the ones on the bottom and went through two of them. If we come up on a woman by herself we let her go.

“When we come through the first car, we didn’t know there was a drawing room in there with a rich old Mexican riding with his daughter. Sure enough, they had several thousand in cash and $15,000 in jewelry in a little bag up there. They was in a compartment car and we didn’t know nothing about that so we passed them up.

“Getting close to Spofford, we pulled the cord, stopped the train, and got off. In a few minutes we was hightailing it through them prickly pear flats headed toward Crystal City. In two days we were in Crystal City, sitting in my mother’s kitchen.

“We got $4,700 off the train; more money than we had ever seen. I give Red half and we went down to the hotel and had us a big steak dinner.”

Along with the stories of ringing in the New Year, the Texas newspapers were ablaze with front-page accounts of the “daring train robbery.” The San Antonio Express quoted a number of first-hand accounts of the train robbery that vary from Willis’ version, particularly in how they treated the passengers when they demanded their cash and valuables.

Two Bandits Awaken and Rob Passengers on Southern Pacific Obtain $7840 And Many Valuables; Overlook $16,000

Robbers Boarded a Train near Spofford And Escaped After 18 Minutes’ Search of Passengers.

Are Headed for Mexico

Posse in Pursuit Following Three Clues In Hope of Effecting A Capture Before Robbers Cross the Rio Grande-Mexican Who Saves His Fortune Reimburses Those Robbed.

… More than $7,840 and a number of watches, jewels, guns and other valuables were taken and $16,000 in gold was overlooked when masked men robbed the two rear sleepers of the Sunset Central Express train between Cline and Spofford about 2:30 o’clock yesterday morning. The robbery required eighteen minutes, during which time the bandits took the belongings of 14 passengers in the San Antonio sleeper at the rear of the train, and using W. F. Kendall, brakeman as a shield continued part way through another Pullman as the train neared Spofford, when the bandits retreated to the rear Pullman, pulled the bell cord and escaped.

Although posses organized by Ranger Phelps and R. C. Watkins, division superintendent of the Sunset Central of this city, one of the victims, were organized at Spofford and Del Rio immediately after the robbery, no trace of the robbers has been found.

Two men discovered in a tool house on the Eagle Pass branch of the road were arrested and released. As the distance to the border is only about 30 miles by rail and about 33 miles by direct route, it is believed that the men are making an effort to reach the boundary line and cross into Mexico.

Jose Martinez, a wealthy mine owner of Durango, Mexico was overlooked by the bandits and remained the happy possessor of about $16,000 in cash and several hundred dollars’ worth of jewelry. Martinez and his wife and daughter, occupied the drawing room in the front end of the last sleeper. They knew nothing of the presence of the bandits until aroused by the Negro porter, John Dunmore, who told him robbers were going through the train and that they had better hide their money and valuables.

The warning was heeded and the trio waited almost breathless for the appearance of the masked pair to search their compartment. Minutes that seemed like hours passed and finally Martinez returned to stick his head out into the car and learned that the bandits had completed their mission.

Whether due to their unfamiliarity of Pullman cars or to their haste, the drawing room was slighted in the holdup game, as were those occupying upper berths. Two men in the rear sleeper occupying upper berths were not disturbed by the bandits and one never knew anything about the occurrences until later aroused by the victims when inquiring about his loss.

He made an inventory and found his purse containing $200, his gold watch and other valuables had not been molested and were under his pillow where he had put them up on retiring.

Overjoyed with having escaped the robbers, Martinez summoned the porter who had warned him and his family of the danger and handed him a roll of bills as a reward.

Learning of the plight of some of the passengers who had been relieved of every cent they had and most of them of everything else of value, Martinez decided to share his good luck and wealth with his fellow travelers. To each he gave money in sums ranging from $25-$100 in proportion to their losses and other circumstances as he learned by personal investigations.

The newspaper article went on to detail how Willis and Red roughed up the passengers to get them to hand over their valuables. Contrary to Willis’ self-described chivalry toward women, the article dispelled any doubts he was more than willing to accost women as well as men when it came to demanding all of their valuables.

… The bandits were described by passengers as brutes and were extremely rough at times in the handling of their victims. While several passengers were struck by the butts of guns in the hands of the robbers and more or less seriously wounded, not a shot was fired. At least four persons required medical attention after the bandits had taken their departure, and one woman whose name could not be learned, suffered an ugly gash in the head, which required 11 stitches to close. Exasperated at the thoughts of parting with her valuables, she first pleaded with the bandits without avail, and then she resisted their attempts to relieve her of her money and jewelry, when one of them drew his gun back and struck her across the head, inflicting an ugly gash and severe bruises.

One woman traveling with her four-month-old baby escaped brutal treatment and managed to save $185, which she had secreted under her bed. Occupying a lower birth in the rear car, she became hysterical when awakened and, looking out saw the masked bandits demanding money from the passengers. Time was valuable to the robbers and losing patience in their efforts to calm her, one of the men called out:

“Oh, let her go: she’s nothing but a baby,” and the pair moved to the next birth with orders to the brakeman to hurry and rouse the passengers.

One man who appeared slow in getting his money and time piece together was given a hard jab with the dangerous end of a gun and he dropped his money in this aisle of the car. Another rap from the gun and he was made to jump out of his birth and gather up the money and handed to the brakeman, who quickly passed it to the robbers.

One man who was a sound sleeper came within an ace of waking up in eternity when he failed to respond quickly to the shaking given him by the brakeman.

The robbers were not inclined to tarry and when the sleeper did not come across they were about to strike him a deadly blow, but the brakeman succeeded in rousing the sleeper and impressing upon him the seriousness of the situation just in time to save him from a beating.

One woman fainted and was quickly relieved of her money, jewelry, and purse containing her railroad ticket before she was revived.

This instance seems to awaken a strain of humor in the makeup of one of the holdup man, for he remarked, “If we could only put them all to sleep as easy-this would be the life.”

Apparently, some of the passengers were more than willing to exaggerate or totally fabricate their recollections of the robbery to reporters covering the holdup. In one case, a passenger identified himself as being the brother of the past president of Mexico.

… One of the first stories of the holdup obtained from an eyewitness came from Walter Grimmer, an employee of the electric light plant at Del Rio. Mr. Grimmer was a passenger out of San Antonio. He was riding in the day coach and declares emphatically that the two robbers boarded the train at San Antonio and sat almost directly across the aisle from him.

Mr. Grimmer says he was attracted to them almost as soon as the train left San Antonio by their suspicious actions and unusually tough appearance. He says a Ranger occupied a seat directly in front of him and that the men evidently recognize the officer and appeared to avoid his eyes whenever he looked in their direction.

According to Mr. Grimmer the two men waited until practically everyone in the day coach was asleep, when they left their seats and walked through the coach. Mr. Grimmer says he was awake at the time, watched the men walk through the day coach and saw them cross the platform and enter the first Pullman. He says he got a good look at the robbers and would easily be able to identify them. One he described as a man of exceptionally heavy build.

He says after going through the Pullmans the men signaled the train to stop and jumped to the ground on the moonlight side of the train. The aroused passengers saw them plainly as they ran. Both men are said to be Americans.

Benjamin Madero, brother of the late President of Mexico, is believed to have been one of the passengers in the upper berths who escaped attention. He arrived at the Sunset Station too late to get a lower birth and was consigned to the upper number five. Madero is supposed to have saved his belongings, although all of the others and excepting the passenger in the remaining upper, and the Martinez family in the drawing room, were robbed.

George Miller, a cattleman from Marathon was one of the passengers in a lower birth, and was robbed of his valuables. It is supposed that several hundred dollars were found in his possession.

Mr. and Mrs. L. T. Wood of 217 San Pedro Ave. lost their money and valuables when the brakeman awoke them and told them that the car was being robbed and to turn over everything they had.

Superintendent Watkins, who was asleep in a lower birth about the middle of the train, was one of the first to be robbed. He was relieved of $25 and pass books. Sam Scammahorn, a yard master at the Sunset Station, lost his revolver, watch and the pocketbook.

F. H. Bednarak, chief dispatcher lost his watch and some money. The three railroad men were on their way to a point on the Eagle Pass branch to hunt big game, but they joined the posse on the trail of the bandits.

C. D. Woodward, the Pullman car conductor in charge of the rear sleeper in the train, was not overlooked and the robbers relieved him of $156 including his own and the company’s money.

Following this article that gave a vivid account of the pistol-whipping some of the passengers experienced during the hold-up, the San Antonio Light ran this front-page reward notice on January 2.

$500 REWARD

The G. H. & S. A. Ry. Co. offers $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the two men who robbed the passengers on train No. 9 on the night of Dec. 29, 1914 between Cline and Spofford, Texas, by order of Superintendent R. C. WATKINS

Apparently, the reward offer worked; the January 21 edition of the same newspaper ran a bold front-page headline.

Two Men Are Arrested As Train Bandits

Sheriff Johnson of Uvalde Is In San Antonio With

Suspects.

The article went on to describe the arrest of two men who were working on a ranch near Uvalde. One was a recently released convict who had served time for burglary. Working on a tip, the Uvalde County sheriff sent two men to the ranch to surreptitiously identify the two men:

… Superintendent Watkins and W. C. Cox, both whom had been passengers on the train, went to Uvalde and, so as not to excite suspicion, went on a bird hunt to a ranch eighteen miles west of Uvalde, where the two suspects were working. Both declared there could be no doubt as to one of the men and they believed they could identify the other as well.

As it turned out the reward was never paid to the informant; the case fell apart when one of the eyewitnesses, a woman, could not positively identify the redheaded man. The law stayed on the case for a few more months and then slowly let it fade away.

Willis was never arrested for the hold-up. For some reason he concentrated on bank jobs until 1921 when he and his gang reeled off three train heists during that year. Then in 1924, the Newton Gang hit the grand slam, ripping off over $3 million from an express mail train near Rondout, Illinois.

Increasing The After Tax Income Of Your Early Education Company

Notes:

  1. Most US tax payers overpay their taxes.
  2. The 2015 IRS tax code has 74,608 pages, and it is constantly changing.
  3. You should always pay your tax bill.
  4. You should never pay a bill that isn’t yours to pay.

Here’s how it works.

Don’t just send your numbers to your CPA firm and wait to get your tax news. I’m involved in conversations with the owners and executives of early education companies most every day. Many times I hear that these smart, successful people are not telling their CPAs about expenses that can be written-off on their company tax returns. Here are some of the most commonly missed.

1. Software / Subscriptions:

In some years, the IRS has allowed this item to be expensed in one year. In others, it has been allowed under Depreciation. If you are trying in increase the market value of your EEC (Early Education Company), ask your CPA if it can be included in Depreciation. Part of increasing the market value of your EEC (Early Education Company), is creating the highest EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) possible. Subscriptions to magazines can be deducted as well. It may not seem like a lot of money to worry about, but none us drive down the street throwing $100 bills out the window. Tell your CPA. Keep the money.

2. Auto Expense:

You have three options here.

1. Mileage – This is an easy one to skip, because nobody wants to keep up with it. However, the IRS allows write-offs for mileage, tolls and parking. The 2015 IRS mileage reimbursement rate is 57.5 cents per mile.

2. If your company is leasing a car for you, you can deduct the lease payments.

3. If your company is buying the car, you can deduct the interest on the car loan and depreciation on the vehicle.

3. Home Office:

The key to this one is that you must have a room or part of a room that is designated solely as your office. Your CPA should ask you what percentage of your home is “office space”. If, for example, your office equals 10% of the total square footage of your house, then your CPA should also write-off 10% of your rent or mortgage, insurance, utilities… etc.

4. Furniture:

Office-furniture purchases can be expensed or depreciated. Either way, it’s still better for you. Again, adding it to depreciation increases your EBITDA and helps to increase the market value of your EEC.

5. Office Supplies:

Most people remember the supplies purchased for the centers or schools, but not everyone keeps receipts for the supplies used at the home office. It’s easy to overlook these supplies because they are sometimes purchased in smaller quantities when you’re running personal errands. However, paper, pens, sticky notes add up over a year.

6. Office Equipment:

At work or in the home office, printers, copiers, computers, scanners, routers, fax machines, power strips are also tax deductible. Again, these items can be expensed in one year or depreciated over a few years… whatever is best for you.

7. Travel / Meals and Entertainment:

Hotel rooms travel (plains, trains and automobiles) and tips to your cab driver or the bellboy are all 100% deductible. Restaurant bills are 50% deductible.

8. Insurance:

Your EEC can pay for your health insurance, and it is 100% deductible. There are conditions here, but ask your CPA.

Remember, a dollar saved is the same as a dollar earned. You work really hard for your money. There is no reason to give it away after you’ve done that hardest part of the work.

(Legal Disclaimer: Always consult the proper professionals before taking action. By and before the use of the information provided herein, reader agrees that BFS┬« is not responsible for viewer’s actions related to said information.)

Swipe Vault Review – Does Swipe Vault Affiliate Training Really Work?

Are you interested to find out more information about Swipe Vault? The Swipe Vault system is a membership website that will give you accessibility to the best swipe files in the industry. These files are a collection of different graphics, forms, contents and a great deal more to help a new member build their online business.

Swipe Vault is a membership-based private club that offers the very best swipe files from marketing magnets. Users do not have to hunt around or guess what will actually work and what won’t, and no longer have to waste their time and money figuring out new marketing strategies. Instead, they log in and check out the files pertinent to your industry. You do not have to wonder if your materials will convert or not; like so many random marketing plans. You can concentrate on growing your business, knowing Swipe Vault really does work. Before listing the many functions, you should know that Swipe Vault works with ClickBank and guarantees your money back if for any reason you are not completely satisfied.

Listed below are the 12 components that make up Swipe Vault:

Fundamental Vault:

This consists of the basics – headlines, keywords, bullets and power words to make your site powerful.

Funnel Vault:

Gear up your business growth with sales, webinars and opt-ins, to name a few. Every kind of converting marketing funnel is right here for your convenience.

Direct Response Vault:

This is the fast track to creating your business campaigns with book promotions, fund-raising materials, B2B ads and mail orders.

The Magalog Vault:

If you need to find business opportunities, this vault will give you the best business opportunities, magazine ads and other great information to get your creative juices flowing.

Magazine Cover Vault:

This is a huge collection of the best magazine covers to fit your business niche, such as world news, politics, entertainment, science, health, history, etc.

The Newspaper Vault:

If you want the very best converting ads, you will find a huge array right here.

The Legends Vault:

This vault offers copy-write swipe files from the leaders of all industries from science to entertainment.

Graphics Vault:

In order to have a successful business, you need pop-out graphics and templates. You will move far ahead of your competition with these excellent, professional materials.

Video Sales Letter Vault:

Videos are not only hot, but one of the best avenues for advertising and growing your business. This vault includes video sales letter for absolutely any niche.

Webinar Vault:

This vault will give you the very best webinars from the most profitable industries worldwide.

Membership Vault:

Come to this vault and find valuable information and tips for a successful membership site.

Swipe Vault Community:

This is the perfect place for asking questions, sharing your successes and experiences, team up with other marketers, learn from other business marketers and hone your marketing skills for added growth and sales within your business.

So many people are leaving very positive comments about the Swipe Vault System, so you can trust this program from day one. This program will dramatically impact your business in so many positive ways. You will save tons of money because you do not have to test unproven schemes because everything here has been proven to give you great results.