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Outlaw Days: September 6, 2014 – when robbers ruled the West
A festival commemorating Richmond Wild West past will take center stage the first Saturday of September. The heart of Outlaws Day is a bank robbery re-enactment of the 1860s Hughes and Wasson Bank in Richmond. The reenactment will be performed twice, one show in the morning and another in the afternoon, and involve a dozen gang members rendezvousing on the square.
Area volunteers and the Midwest Performance Riders, headed by Orrick native Robbie Maupin, closely follows what’s known about the May 22, 1867 daylight robbery, the fourth believed to be the work of the James-Younger Gang. The robbery took place just west of the Edward D. Jones building, a former bank, in what’s now a grassy area on the side of Richmond United Methodist Church. The gang is said to have made off with around $4,000, and left Mayor John B. Shaw, jailer B.G. Griffin and Griffin’s son, Frank Griffin, dead.
It was reported that the gang sent four men into the bank and left the others outside as sentries. One, a marksman, sat on top of a horse that had been trained to turn in a circle like a turret and monitor all four directions. The reenactors, skilled horsemen themselves, will be dressed in period-appropriate clothing and carry weapons from that era.
In addition to the reenactment, Outlaw Days features a grand stand, with musicians performing bluegrass, folk and country music throughout the festival.
Included among the vendor booths are period craftsmen. One artisan, for example, demonstrates the craft of making wagon wheels, while another demonstrates the art of hooking rugs. Old fashioned events, like a pie contest and a longest beard contest will also be part of the fun. There is a benefit poker run this year as well.
For kids, there’s a western-themed children’s parade, as well as old-fashioned games and crafts, provided by the high school’s Interact Club. Pony rides will also return to the three-year-old event. Ray County Sheriff Garry Bush will deputize the little ones in a swearing-in ceremony.
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