N&W in 1903 -- Robberies

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 31 22:04:17 EST 2008

[The incidents described in these two newspaper articles occurred very close to each other in time and in distance.]

An attempt was made by highwaymen to hold up P. H. Lawless, of Martinsville, Va., telegraph operator at Bluestone Junction, in the new tunnel near Coopers Sunday night, shortly after midnight, while he was returning from work. Lawless broke and fled for his life being fired upon by the robbers, one ball passing through his coat. Lawless boards at Coopers and is in the habit of going through the tunnel after being relieved at midnight. The highwaymen have not been apprehended.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
September 30, 1903

[Welcome to West Virginia, Mr. Lawless.]

Three Colored Men Arrested in the Mines and Brought to This City For Trial
Henry Flood, Richard Lawton and Charles Holman, all colored, were brought to this city yesterday afternoon and lodged in jail. They are charged with holding up and attempting to rob the Norfolk and Western agent at Goodwill, and will be given a hearing before Squire Brown tomorrow.
It is said that this trio went to the station at Goodwill several days ago and covering the agent with both shot guns and revolvers, demanded that he give up some whiskey and other things that were known to be in the station. The agent refused to do so, and was thereupon assaulted, one of the negroes striking him over the head with a bottle of whiskey. The agent then got possession of a pistol and drove the men away before they had secured any booty.
The men were arrested in the mines at Goodwill yesterday by A. H. Baldwin, of the Baldwin Detective Agency, assisted by John Copenhaver and Charles Rosenfield.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
October 4, 1903

[The station agent must have been named Rambo if he could use a pistol to rout three men armed with shot guns and revolvers.]

Gordon Hamilton
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