George Laub album documenting an attempted train robbery at Bearmouth, Montana, 1905

Laub, George H. [Browse]
1 volume 24 x 17.5 cm (20 leaves)


Getty AAT genre
Biographical/​Historical note
George Laub was an expressman for the Northern Pacific Railway Company who lived in Spokane, Washington. Laub entered the service of the Northern Pacific Railway Company on October 1, 1888, first working as a driver based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and later as a clerk, messenger helper, and main line messenger. In 1905, Laub received national recognition, as well as a reward of one thousand dollars from the company, after he defended an express car from an attempted robbery.
Summary note
Consists of a scrapbook album documenting an attempted train robbery at Bearmouth, Montana, on May 27, 1905. The album was compiled by Northern Pacific Railway expressman George H. Laub, who was hailed as a hero after he foiled Clarence B. Young's attempt to rob the express car of the North Coast Limited Train after dynamiting the car. Around 11:30 on the night of May 27, 1905, Northern Pacific Railroad's eastbound Train No. 2 pulled into the station at Bearmouth, Montana, in the Clark Fork Valley between Missoula and Butte, when a gunman attacked the train and ordered the engineer, George Wilson, to separate the engine, the express car, and the baggage car from the rest of the train before continuing on up the tracks. Two miles east of Bearmouth, the gunman told the train crew to stop the engine, then marched them back to the express car where he exploded the safe using 26 sticks of dynamite, destroying the safe and splintering much of the car's wooden frame. As the gunman was examining the remains of the safe, George Laub hit the gunman with a beam from the wreckage and knocked him unconscious. With assistance from Wilson and other train crew members, Laub tied the hands of the gunman, who was taken into custody shortly thereafter at Drummond. The gunman, who turned out to be Missoula lumberman Clarence B. Young, received a 50-year sentence at the Deer Lodge Penitentiary. Laub and Wilson were celebrated as heroes, and the accounts of their quick-thinking actions at Bearmouth made national news, covered in papers from coast to coast. Northern Pacific's president presented each man with a reward of one thousand dollars. Laub's album provides a detailed account of the attempted heist, including six original silver photographic prints of the damaged express car and the exploded safe, as well as congratulatory telegrams and letters from Northern Pacific President Norman Elliot, General Superintendent F. W. Gilbert, Montana Governor Joseph K. Toole, and other well-wishers. It also contains a five-page mimeographed account of Laub's testimony on the hold-up, dated May 28; a second four-page account of the hold-up, dictated by Laub on May 29; a handwritten note on company letterhead identifying the gunman as Clarence B. Young; and numerous newspaper clippings and other photographs related to the robbery.
Binding note
Album with cloth spine and floral paper-covered boards.
Source acquisition
Purchase, 2017 AM 2018-42.
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