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William Carver (Wild Bunch): Wikis


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Will Carver (September 12, 1868 – April 1, 1901) was an outlaw during the closing years of the Old West, and a member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch.



Early life, outlaw life

The Sundance Kid The Tall Texan Butch Cassidy News Carver Kid Curry Use button for full picture or use cursor to hyperlink
Carver is on the left on the back row; Fort Worth, Texas, 1901. - use cursor to identify others.

Carver was born in Coryell County, Texas, in 1866. He worked, for a time, as a cowboy on the "Half Circle Six Ranch" in Tom Green County, before venturing west to Wyoming and Utah. He met and married Viana E. Byler, who was the aunt to future female outlaw Laura Bullion. Byler died from fever less than six months into their marriage, and Carver entered into a life as an outlaw. He became involved romantically with female outlaw Josie Bassett, sister to female outlaw Ann Bassett, then later with Byler's niece, Bullion, less than a year after his wife's death. By 1896 he was riding with the "Black Jack" Ketchum gang, taking part in numerous robberies in New Mexico, and becoming friends with outlaw Ben Kilpatrick.

After a failed robbery, he fled to "Robbers Roost" in Utah, where he began riding with Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang. (He also gained the nickname "News" for supposedly enjoying seeing his name in newspaper stories of the gang's exploits.) He reportedly maintained a close relationship with Josie Bassett throughout that time. By early 1900, Carver was involved with a prostitute named Lille Davis, whom he'd met at Fannie Porters brothel in San Antonio, a place frequented by members of the Wild Bunch gang. This led to friction between him and Bullion, who in turn became involved with Kilpatrick. Within a year, Carver and Bullion were again involved romantically, and Cassidy was planning another big robbery. The gang headed north, and into Wyoming.

On August 29, 1900, Carver, Kid Curry, Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid robbed a Union Pacific train near Tipton, Wyoming, with a take that exceeded $30,000. The gang split up to avoid pursuing posses, and Carver fled south. Carver was later involved in the robbery of a "Great Northern" train near Wagner, Montana. By late March, 1901, a posse had picked up Carver's trail. A pursuing posse led by Sheriff Elijah Briant cornered Carver on April 1, 1901, and during the ensuing gunbattle he was badly wounded. He died from his wounds less than three hours later while in custody.


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