I just hope that the return address on the "rare manuscript" wasn't
from the Point of the Mountain.
I agree with Dan Buck - - double horse pucky. William T. Phillips by
his own admission was the illegitimate son of "Laddie" Phillips and
Celia Mudge of Michigan. At age 14 he ran away from home to the Black Hills,
where he worked for several years tending store. He later moved to Wyoming and,
according to his adopted son "lived with the Indians" probably on or
near the Wind River Indian Reservation. It was here during the 1890s that he
became acquainted with Mary Boyd (Rhodes) his "Lander Sweethart," with
whom he may have lived for a time as a common-law husband and wife. Later
William T. Phillips traveled around the Mid-West helping to paint and decorate
State Capitols buildings and County Courthouses, including doing some gold leaf
work on some of the Domes. He finally ended up in Des Moines Iowa where he
worked as a painter (presumably on the courthouse) in 1906. While living in Des
Moines, he traveled to Lenawee Co., Mich to seek funding to start a machine shop
business. There he met he Gertrude Livesay whom he later married.
Before Phillips married Gertrude he sent her several post cards from Des Moines.
His romance with Gertrude was not a hurry-up romance in 1908. After Phillips and
Gertrude married, they eventually ended up in Spokane, Washington where Phillips
was later able to open his own machine shop. Phillips had a passing
resemblance to Butch Cassidy, and after several people in Spokane mistook him
for Cassidy, he then hatched the idea to travel back to some of Cassidy's old
haunts to try and find some of the Wild Bunch's "hidden" bank loot
that was never recovered. Phillips had at least 5 or 6 recorded trips to
Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah between 1924 and 1935. On these trips he presented
himself to many of the locals as the now returned Butch Cassidy. Controversy
raged during the 1930's as to whether Phillips was Cassidy or not with those
that had only a passing acquaintance Cassidy claiming that he returned, and
those that knew Cassidy the best saying that Phillips was not Cassidy. It was
while he was on these trips that Phillips probably learned his
"inside" information that he included in his "Bandit
William T. Phillips as as likely Butch Cassidy as he is Jimmy Hoffa or Judge
Crater. Left buried in the story is an inconvenient fact. Phillips
was married in Michigan several months before the November 1908 shootout he
claims he escaped from before his marriage. At the time Phillips wrote his
fantasy memoir, the actual date of the shootout was not known, plus it's
doubtful he ever thought anyone would go through the manuscript with a fine
tooth comb. It would be like fact-checking Peter Pan.Phllips writes
of holding up trains in Bolivia that were not yet built at the time Cassidy was
down there, but were in operation in the 1930s when Phillips was writing
"The Bandit Invisible."You know you are in fraught waters
when Larry Pointer, the chief proponent of the alleged Cassidy autobiography,
describes the work as "fiction."In other words, "The
Bandit Invincible" is to autobiography what the jackalope is to zoology.Dan Buck
This is not a new story, and it's bogus. The "Bandit Invincible"
manuscript has been known and debunked for at least a decade. Dan is right.
There are a number of first person accounts by people that knew Butch Cassidy as
Robert Leroy Parker from Circleville, UT, where Butch grew up. For some reason,
that is poorly explained by historians, first person accounts of seeing and
talking to Butch Cassidy after he and Sundance came back from South America are
ignored. It would seem historians like the dramatic ending of these two bandits
dying in a shootout in Boliva. There was an effort to establish this false
ending by exhuming two American bodies in Bolvia and testing there DNA. The DNA
tests did not match any of the known relatives of these two bandits. Yet
historians still ignore first person accounts (like that of his baby sister)
that clearly say Butch and Sundance came back to the USA and died here.
Sometimes, it seems, historians want to write history that has some huge
dramatic ending that does not adhere to the facts. The historians ending to
Cassidy is, using Cassidy historian Dan Buck's line "total horse
GTBAre you absolutely certain William T. Phillips was the illegitimate son
of Laddie Phillips and Celia Mudge? Have you ever found any references to a
William T. Phillips in or around Lander, Wyoming? As I recall, you wrote a
similar account of the life and times of William Henry Long, the son of
Alexander and Mary Jane Long (Wrong Long ). What if, he wasnt William T.
Phillips? Given a few more clues and a little more time, you might figure out
who William Thadeus Phillips really was. Although, I believe it will all be
revealed to you shortly.
Who cares what happened to them, I think this kind of stuff is really cool, I am
all about the old west gun slingers.
Fitz,These matters have not been ignored, they've been examined &
re-examined by historians for decades There are more than 60 different versions
of Cassidy's demise in North and South America and in Europe; only one of them
can be true. Phillips's and Lula's stories by the way are at odds; they can't
both be right. If you believe Phillips, Lula is wrong; if you believe Lula,
Phillips is wrong. I think they're both wrong. Most of the Parker family
members discounted Lula's story of the 1925 visit. Cassidy's own father said he
never came home. Doesn't get more first person than that.BTW, we
only dug up one Caucasoid in San Vicente, a German named Gustav Zimmer. Nonetheless, it's fascinating subject, one that will be debated until
the cows come home.Dan
I totally agree with Fitz. Anyone who is interested in this history, knows that
Butch Cassidy and Harry Longabough did not die in Bolivia. I have read his
sister's book as well as studied other things written by people here in Utah and
the Brown's Park area. The historians who despute these things aren't from here
and discount first person accounts of seeing them both alive after they were
reportedly killed. I don't know about this William T. Phillips. But Butch
Cassidy did not die in Bolivia.
Hi Sly, nice to see you still skulking around the Des News boards. I'm still
waiting with baited breath for your revelations on William T. Phillips, or
shouldn't I hold my breath? Seems like you are long on hints and short on facts.
That being said, I doubt that Phillips went by that name when he was
in and around Lander. We do know however that he was a card dealer at Lost
Cabin, and that James Regan knew both Cassidy and Phillips and said that they
were different people. Phillips himself claimed that his parents were
"Laddie" Phillips and Celia Mudge. As for William Henry
Long, I admit that I went down the wrong road for a while, but just who was it
that found William Henry Long was really the son of James Long and Anna Harvey
of Iowa and Washington?
GazetterWith respect, I do not necessarily believe the Phillips
story. I tend to have more confidence in Parker's sister's version. But my
previous post indicated that there were multiple first person accounts from
people that knew Cassidy as Parker from Circleville, UT. A former resident of
Circleville, long since passed on, knew the Parker family and this former
resident told me of a personal encounter between him and Parker well after
"Cassidy" was supposedly killed in Boliva. This encounter happened in
the Vernal-Roosevelt UT area. Both men recognized each other from Circleville.
At least one other person was there as well. As I stated, there are multiple
accounts of Cassidy alive in Utah after his South America live. Some from
people that actually knew Robert Leroy Parker.
He's still alive. He lives in that huge house here in Bountiful.
Dan Buck had the Phillips material at his home for 10 years; the Phillips
material has been available to the public for almost 30 years. Yet Buck nor none
of his minions was able to determine just who that guy William T. Phillips was.
Or who died in Bolivia. Granted the internet has given us access to research
material, unavailable a few years ago, but this Phillips identity fight has been
discussed on numerous blogs for over five years. In your quest to prove William
T. Phillips wasnt Butch Cassidy, you have given us the genealogical history of
William T. Phillips complete with the recollections of a man whos
great-grandfather took in the illegitimate son of Celia Mudge, (W. T. Phillips).
You yourselves called Phillips a con-man and liar, in your zeal to prove he
wasnt Cassidy, you overlooked the obvious, if he lied about being Cassidy, he
probably lied about being Phillips. Eat some Crow.
Sly,It doesn't much matter who Phillips was; he wasn't Butch Cassidy. For
all I care he could be Annie Oakley -- suitably disguised, that is.Researching this topic as well as most others, though, involves a bit more
than wandering around on Google land. The Internet is great, saves lots of time
where records are digitized, but nothing beats shoe leather, visiting archives,
peering at yellowed documents.Speaking of diligent research, Bob
Goodwin has done an incredible amount of good research on Phillips, where he
came from, where he lived and worked. I think you will like it. As
for crow, as long as it's Old Crow, OK by me. Dan
The Deseret News this morning has a story quoting Phillips proponent Larry
Pointer as now conceding Phillips was not Butch Cassidy. Well, we already knew
that.And Pointer seems to be now conceding The Bandit Invincible is
a fake memoir. OK, we already knew that too.Time for a nap.Dan
GTBThe fact is, William Thadeus Phillips was William T. Wilcox, son of
John Wilcox and Flora Jane Mudge Wilcox. He served two terms in the Wyoming
Territorial Penitentiary as William T. Wilcox 1893/1895 - 1897/1898 after his
release in 1898, he returned to Lander, Wyoming and was employed as a carpenter
until the fall of 1899 spring of 1900. He then left Wyoming, changed his name to
William T. Phillips. His mother Flora Jane Mudge Wilcox died 25 Sep 1891, City
Of Cheboygan, Cheboygan County, Michigan. His father John Wilcox died 30 Apr
1905, Benton, Cheboygan County, Michigan (Poor Farm.) Sister Margaret E. Wilcox
Sheehy died 16 May 1894, Beaugrand Tp., Cheboygan County, Michigan. Take a deep
Sly, you mention that Dan Buck had the Phillips material for 10 years, well
Larry Pointer has had this material for almost 40 years, yet he was unable to
make any connection until the so called "new manuscript" appeared. Yet
all of the clues to Phillips origin were in his material, and for almost 40
years he has suppressed anything that did not agree with his theory that
Phillips was Cassidy. Even up to the publication of this AP article Pointer was
stating that the manuscript was authentic and that Phillips was Cassidy. Now in
two days you change your tune?Now I am not discounting that Phillips
may have used the name William Wilcox in Wyoming. It is possible that he did. He
may have used the name John Brown too for all we know. Though there is evidence
that he used the name John Phillips for a while. Now let me see if I
have this right, Phillips was really Wilcox, he lied about everything he said
about himself, including his parents, and birth date, but he put his correct
birth date on his marriage record? Or did he lie about that too?
Dean 'n GoneYoure the so called expert on William Thadeus Phillips, the
supposed son of Laddie Phillips and Celia Mudge. You dont even know if twelve
year old Celia Mudge had a son fathered by Laddie Phillips. At least from the
1880 Clay, Saint Clair, Michigan census we can be fairly certain Flora Mudge
Wilcox had a son named William Wilcox born in Michigan about 1873, give or take
a couple of years. June 23, 1893. Convicts Received. Wyoming Territorial
Prison. William T. Wilcox. Age 24. Nativity, Alton, St. Clair Co., Mich.
Comparing the mug shot of William T. Wilcox to the photograph of William T.
Phillips leaves little doubt that they are one and the same man. I gather from
your saying William T. Phillips for some unknown reason spent nearly eight years
in Wyoming as William T. Wilcox, leaving Lander sometime after September 1899.
Then for reasons known only to himself, once again became William Thadeus
Phillips the son of Laddie Phillips and Celia Mudge. How stupid of me, It never
occurred to me that he might be lying about his name, birth date, and parentage.
Ed Seeley led me to Wilcox not the manuscript.
Sly,Too bad, maybe if you had read the manuscript you would have
found out more about Phillips in the first place, or maybe asked Larry to see
what he has been hiding for 40 years. Larry kept back transcripts of at least 10
interviews that pointed away from Phillips being Cassidy. Have you
read what Phillips told his friends and family about his birth, youth, and early
life. Seems to me he is talking about Phillips, not Wilcox. How do you account
for that? Everything that he told his family and friends about his early life
can be documented. So let me get this straight, Phillips on his
marriage record gave his correct birth date, but then lied about his parents
names. Why did he do that? Maybe he was bipolar?