1904, 27 August: Night Operator At Columbia Falls Held Up

"Trow up yer hands and do it bloody quick, or I'll blow der top of yer bloody head off!"

These words fell with a hard metallic ring on the ears of Luttrell, the night operator at the Columbia Falls railroad depot about two o'clock Thursday morning. This peremptory order came from a masked man with a determined air and a six shooter in his red right hand. The operator obeyed and on the instant, for never before had he seen a gun with such a deadly appearance, and all thought of the message he was receiving at the time over the wire fled.

The unwelcome intruder then ordered the operator to unlock the cash drawer. "How can I, with my hands in the air," he replied. "Lower'em, but be quick, came the order. Silver, gold, paper money, nickels, all found their way into the capacious pocket of the man with a gun. The clean up made, the hold-up man was quick to get away. But before leaving he order the wires removed from the telephone, and then told the operator to stand against the wall for twenty minutes, and to be careful, for a man watching from the outside was likely to shoot.

He did not attempt raid the safe in the office for it was locked and the combination was with Halmar Lewis, the agent, who had long before retired to his home up town. Thursday was to be Lewis' last day in the office for he had resigned his office. So far as learned in Whitefish no trace of the robber has been gained. The money stolen amounted to $97.40.

- - - Whitefish Pilot






1910, 02 September: Safes Cracked At Columbia Falls

A smooth job of safe-cracking, which was unquestionably the work of experienced hands, was pulled off at Columbia Falls last night, and money and checks to the extent of several thousand dollars were secured by the crooks. Both the big safes of the Olson and Jordan Lumber companies were blown open, and the contents taken.

No trace of the cracksmen was found, and a hurried call to the sheriff's office this morning merely stated that the crime had been committed, and asked for an officer to be sent up to look into the case.

It is believed that the men who did the work effected their escape on the east-bound Burlington, which was several hours late last night. The safes were located near the depot, and several persons were around the place at the time the explosions were supposed to have occurred, but no one noticed anything out of the ordinary, and it was not until this morning the wrecked safes were discovered.

- - - The Kalispell Bee




Home Page       History Page