It’s one of those historic tales mostly lost to history.  The last stagecoach robbery in the United States took place in Jarbidge, Nevada.  Not far across the state line from Twin Falls, Idaho.  Jarbidge is so connected to Idaho that Elko County Deputies have to enter Idaho to get there.  It’s isolated!  It may also be the reason it was the scene of the robbery in 1916. 

The writer suggests it’s the event that really marked the closing of what we call the Old West.

A story in today’s Washington Post makes brief mention of the holdup.  The writer suggests it’s the event that really marked the closing of what we call the Old West.  Woodrow Wilson was President.  World War One was raging.  Motion pictures were already popular entertainment.  Radio technology would explode across the country in a few short years.  Rudimentary roads allowed the first horseless carriages to open up the country.

The stagecoach was delivering payroll for miners.  It was ambushed on December 5th and the driver was killed.  Three men got away with $4,000, a tidy sum in those days.  They were all three quickly captured.  One was later sentenced to death but the sentence was then reduced to life and he was later released from prison after a quarter century behind bars.  He had been a career criminal before the robbery.  His name was Ben Kuhl.

The money was never recovered.  Kuhl was several times offered a shorter sentence if he would reveal where the money was hidden.  He refused to cooperate as he refused to admit he was the killer.

True West Magazine wishes you good luck in trying to recover the money.  Jarbidge remains an isolated enclave and the terrain is very, very rough.

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