1889 : Last Stagecoach Holdup in Michigan

August 26, 2018 all-day


On August 26, 1889, the final stagecoach robbery in Michigan took place when 22-year-old Reimund Holzhey — “Black Bart of the Upper Peninsula” — stopped a coach that was carrying four prominent bankers on their way to vacation at Lake Gogebic.

Holzhey demanded money and valuables from the passengers, but one of them would not cooperate. A shooting match ensued and the uncooperative passenger, A.G. Feischein of Belleville, Ill., later died.

Four years into serving two life terms, prison surgeons repaired his skull in an attempt to stop seizures.  It had been fractured years earlier in a fall from a horse.

After that surgery, incredibly, the stagecoach robber became a model inmate,working as the state prison in Marquette as its photographer, librarian, and newspaper editor.  He was paroled in 1913 after serving 24 years.

Halsey went on to open a photo studio and travel to Yellowstone Park to photograph it.


Michigan Every Day

Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

Autobiography of a stagecoach robber : the saga of Reimund Holzhey, the Midwest’s last stagecoach robber / by Bruce K. Cox.  Indianapolis, IN : Dog Ear Pub., [2007]  A work of creative non-fiction based on the true story of the celebrated highwayman, Reimund Holzhey, who robbed a stagecoach on Stagecoach Road between the south end of Lake Gogebic and Gogebic Station, Michigan, on August, 26 1889.

For more information, see Zlati Meyer, “This week in Michigan history: State’s last stagecoach robbery is committed”, Detroit Free Press, August 25, 2013.

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