Open to the public for educational research
On September 24, 1892, around 2:00 p.m., a group of five men held up and robbed the Ben E. Snipes & Co. Bank in Roslyn, Washington. The armed robbers stole over $5,000 from the bank’s vault before escaping into the nearby mountains. A three-week search for the suspects ensued but with no success. In late November, three suspects were identified in Oregon and brought to trial in Ellensburg, Washington. One man was falsely convicted before two of the real bank robbers were captured in April of 1893. George McCarty and Willard Christiansen (a.k.a., Ras Lewis and Matt Warner) were identified and jailed in the Kittitas County court house in Ellensburg. On May 22, 1893, the day before to the trial, the two prisoners escaped the county jail and after a brief gunfight were re-apprehended and returned to the prison. The trial lasted two weeks but resulted in a hung jury. An appeal was filed to hold the suspects for another trial but on September 7, 1893, the charges against Christiansen and McCarty were dismissed due to lack of evidence. Both were released from jail on September 9, 1893. Christensen and McCarty later admitted robbing the bank in letters and memoirs.
This collection comprises photocopies of regional newspaper articles, local histories, and other manuscripts relating to the Roslyn bank robbery of 1892-1893. Included in these materials are research notes from Frederick Krueger and Dieter Ullrich.
[Name of document or photograph number]. MS002-08-03, Frederick Krueger Collection, Roslyn Bank Robbery Papers. Archives and Special Collections, Brooks Library, Central Washington University.
|1-1||Bank Building – Maps|
|1-3||Willard Eratus Christiansen (a.k.a. Ras Lewis and Matt Warner)|
|1-4||Great Roslyn Bank Robbery: The innocent were arrested tried, convicted, dismissed – the guilty were arrested, tried, discharged (a draft by Austin Mires)|
|1-5||Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department History||1883-1971|
|1-6||Frederick Krueger notes|
|1-7||Robert Harvey Longabough|
|1-8||McCarty brothers – Biographical information|
|1-11||Austin Mires Papers – Correspondence|
|1-12||Austin Mires Papers – Diary entrees|
|1-13||Austin Mires Papers – Draft of article|
|1-14||Newspaper accounts||September 1892|
|1-15||Newspaper accounts||October 1892|
|1-16||Newspaper accounts||November-December 1892|
|1-17||Newspaper accounts||January-February 1893|
|1-18||Newspaper accounts||March-April 1893|
|1-19||Newspaper accounts||May-July 1893|
|1-20||Newspaper accounts – Miscellaneous|
|1-21||Published book chapters, articles, etc.|
|1-22||Roscoe Sheller Papers|
|1-23||M. C. Sullivan – Biographical information|