William Carver

William Carver

William Carver was born in Coryell County, Texas in about 1866. As a young man he became a cowboy and married Viana Byler and after her death he became an outlaw. In 1896 he carried out several robberies with Sam Ketchum and Tom Ketchum. After a failed train robbery in New Mexico he fled to the Robbers' Roost in Utah and joined what became known as the Wild Bunch. As well as the leader, Butch Cassidy, the gang included Sundance Kid, Ben Kilpatrick, Harvey Logan, George Curry, Laura Bullion, Elza Lay and Bob Meeks.

The name Wild Bunch was misleading as Butch Cassidy always tried to avoid his gang hurting people during robberies. His gang were also ordered to shoot at the horses, rather than the riders, when being pursued by posses. Cassidy always proudly boasted that he had never killed a man. The name actually came from the boisterous way they spent their money after a successful robbery.

On 29th August, 1900, Carver, with Butch Cassidy, with the Sundance Kid and Harvey Logan held up the Union Pacific train at Tipton, Wyoming. This was followed by a raid on the First National Bank of Winnemucca, Nevada (19th September, 1900) that netted $32,640. The following year the gang obtained $65,000 from the Great Northern train near Wagner, Montana.

William Carver was with Ben Kilpatrick when he was ambushed by Sheriff Elijah Briant and his deputies at Sonora, Texas, on 2nd April, 1901. He died from his wounds three hours later.

Left to right: Henry Longbaugh (Sundance Kid), William Carver,Ben Kilpatrick, Henry Logan and Robert Parker (Butch Cassidy)
Left to right: Henry Longbaugh (Sundance Kid), William Carver,
Ben Kilpatrick, Henry Logan and Robert Parker (Butch Cassidy)