Official Site of True West Magazine, Since 1953
Where Robert LeRoy Parker aka Butch Cassidy was born and raised.
The Mr. Van Vleet that you talk about in this video, was my third great-grandfather. His name was Charles Van Vleet and he homesteaded that property with a man that went by the last name of James. Later on in 1879, Maxy Parker and Charles Van Vleet traded their ranches. Maxy took the Van Vleet Ranch in Circle Valley and Charles Van Vleet took the Parker Ranch on North Creek near Beaver. I have pictures of the cabin that sits on the homestead on North Creek, which is where Robert Leroy Parker aka Butch Cassidy, was born.
The locals in Beaver and even some historians identify the the masonry home in town as the one RLP was born in. I personnally never trusted that info 100% simply because I could never verify that RLP was born in town. I knew that the Parker's had property in North Creek, I didn't know the cabin was still standing and I would be interested in seeing a picture.
Locals also say that RLP spent time in the jail below the old courthouse, that is why I included it in the video. If Roy did spend time there it most likely would have been the time he had a warrant served on him for breaking and entering. Or it could have been just a drunk sleep over. I'm not sure if he actually did spend time there but it is still a neat building and basement, plus the video serves to showcase some of the landmarks in Beaver.
A much awaited book about Butch written by Bill Betenson is now out. It should clear up a lot of these questions. Available through High Plains Press.
I thought the book wasn't available until May, but you can pre-order it. I certainly wish him well with it.
Kerry Boren also finished a book on Butch Cassidy in 2011 with alot of reliable information from not only our families (Boren is a second-cousin to my mother, Charles Van Vleet is also his great-grandfather) and it also has stories from the old-timers that knew Robert Leroy Parker aka Butch Cassidy on a personal level. My family has documents and eyewitnesses from the Kelly, Wyoming area that can link my great-grandfather, John E. Van Vleet and Butch as being very good friends for most of their lives. Chet, I do have a picture of the Parker-Van Vleet cabin on North Creek near Beaver. We also have a story that tells and confirms that Butch Cassidy was born in that cabin that came from Van Vleet and Parker family members. Can you send me your email address in a message and I'll send you this information. Thanks much, Curt.
And the old Beaver County Courthouse is great. I wish that they would do more advertising so that more people can enjoy this great piece of history. And we've also heard that the jail in the basement is where Butch was jailed for the breaking & entering charge from Milford, Utah, which is also in Beaver County, Utah.
According to an article that Curt sent me, the Parker's were living in the stone house shown in the video when Robert Leroy was born, however he was born while the Parker's were attending to some property that they owned just north of town. Great story, Thanks Curt.
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