[Grand Lodge]
[Calendar] [Search] [Resources] [History] [Links] [Sitemap]
Butch Cassidy
[Butch Cassidy]
April 13,1866 - November 6, 1908
Utah-born Robert LeRoy Parker later became one of the Wild West's most famous outlaws under the alias, Butch Cassidy. His birthdate is variously reported as April 4th, 5th, or 13th. He formed his "Wild Bunch" with Harry Longbough, "the Sundance Kid", in 1896. After their fourth train robbery, Cassidy fled to New York and then South America to escape bounty hunters sent out by the railroad. He was reputedly either killed by Bolivian soldiers in 1908, or committed suicide to avoid capture. Cassidy made a point of avoiding needless violence, once claiming: "I have never killed a man."
Claiming to be Butch Cassidy, former Lander bartender and unsuccessful Spokane businessman, William Thaddeus Phillips (d. July 20, 1937) penned an unpublished, handwritten manuscript entitled The Bandit Invincible — the story of Butch Cassidy.
Although he was widely reported as Cassidy—most famously in a Spokane newspaper in 1938 under the headline, "Death Ends Career of Famous Wyoming Robin Hood"—correspondence from Phillips' widow to historian Charles Kelly is clear that both she and her husband had known Cassidy but Phillips was not Cassidy. Subsequent research has identified Phillips as the son of Celia Mudge and Laddie J. Phillips of Sandusky, Michigan.
William Thaddeus Phillips joined Spokane Lodge No. 34 in 1926 and was dropped from the rolls for non-payment of dues on 17 December 1935. There is no record that Robert LeRoy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy, was a freemason.

Source: Mrs. Phillips' letter: True West, December 1969. Outlaw Trail, "Is Butch Cassidy Dead?", Charles Kelly (1938). "Where Lies Butch Cassidy?" Anne Meadows, Daniel Buck, True West,Fall 1991. "The Many Deaths of Butch Cassidy," Anne Meadows, Daniel Buck, Pacific Northwest, July 1987. "Who Really Was William T. Phillips of Spokane—Outlaw Or Impostor",  Jim Dullenty, WOLA Journal, Fall/Winter 1991. "Did Butch Cassidy Die In Spokane? - Phillips Photo Fails", Thomas G. Kyle, Old West, Fall 1991. "The Last Days of Butch & Sundance." Anne Meadows, Daniel Buck, Wild West 9 (February 1997):36-42. William T. Phillips Papers, 1934, 1977 : Utah State Historical Society, Call number: Mss B 163. "1 7-9 "The Bandit Invisible: The Story of the Outlaw Butch Cassidy," 103 pp., 1934 [typescript] ; 1 10 Larry Pointer, foreword to "The Bandit Invisible," by William T. Phillips, 1977 (1986). The manuscript was published in In Search of Butch Cassidy, Larry Pointer, 1977.


© 1871-2023 Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M. Updated: 2006/10/09