Guide to the Frederick Krueger Collection, Roslyn Bank Robbery Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Krueger, Frederick
Title: Frederick Krueger Collection, Roslyn Bank Robbery Papers
Dates: 1892-1893 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 0.5 cubic feet (1 legal sized document case)
Collection Number: MS002-08-03
Summary: This collection consists of photocopied material and research notes related to the robbery of the Ben E. Snipes & Co. Bank in Roslyn, Washington, the ensuing trials and the prison escape of two suspects from the Kittitas County jail in Ellensburg, Washington.
Repository: Central Washington University, Archives and Special Collections
Contact Information: Archives and Special Collections
Central Washington University
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA
Telephone: 509-963-1023
Fax: 509-963-3684
Languages: English  

Historical Note

On September 24, 1892, around 2:00 p.m., a group of five men held up and robbed the Ben E. Snipes & Co. Bank in Roslyn, Washington. The armed robbers stole over $5,000 from the bank’s vault before escaping into the nearby mountains. A three-week search for the suspects ensued but with no success. In late November, three suspects were identified in Oregon and brought to trial in Ellensburg, Washington. One man was falsely convicted before two of the real bank robbers were captured in April of 1893. George McCarty and Willard Christiansen (a.k.a., Ras Lewis and Matt Warner) were identified and jailed in the Kittitas County court house in Ellensburg. On May 22, 1893, the day before to the trial, the two prisoners escaped the county jail and after a brief gunfight were re-apprehended and returned to the prison. The trial lasted two weeks but resulted in a hung jury. An appeal was filed to hold the suspects for another trial but on September 7, 1893, the charges against Christiansen and McCarty were dismissed due to lack of evidence. Both were released from jail on September 9, 1893. Christensen and McCarty later admitted robbing the bank in letters and memoirs.

Content Description

This collection comprises photocopies of regional newspaper articles, local histories, and other manuscripts relating to the Roslyn bank robbery of 1892-1893. Included in these materials are research notes from Frederick Krueger and Dieter Ullrich.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Open to the public for educational research

Preferred Citation :  

[Name of document or photograph number]. MS002-08-03, Frederick Krueger Collection, Roslyn Bank Robbery Papers. Archives and Special Collections, Brooks Library, Central Washington University.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized in alphabetical order by subject title of file folder. Chronological arrangement.

Acquisition Information :  

Acquired as part of the Frederick Krueger Collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1-1 Bank Building – Maps
1-2 Bibliography
1-3 Willard Eratus Christiansen (a.k.a. Ras Lewis and Matt Warner)
1-4 Great Roslyn Bank Robbery: The innocent were arrested tried, convicted, dismissed – the guilty were arrested, tried, discharged (a draft by Austin Mires)
1-5 Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department History 1883-1971
1-6 Frederick Krueger notes
1-7 Robert Harvey Longabough
1-8 McCarty brothers – Biographical information
1-9 Miscellaneous biographies
1-10 Miscellaneous notes
1-11 Austin Mires Papers – Correspondence
1-12 Austin Mires Papers – Diary entrees
1-13 Austin Mires Papers – Draft of article
1-14 Newspaper accounts September 1892
1-15 Newspaper accounts October 1892
1-16 Newspaper accounts November-December 1892
1-17 Newspaper accounts January-February 1893
1-18 Newspaper accounts March-April 1893
1-19 Newspaper accounts May-July 1893
1-20 Newspaper accounts – Miscellaneous
1-21 Published book chapters, articles, etc.
1-22 Roscoe Sheller Papers
1-23 M. C. Sullivan – Biographical information
1-24 Timeline


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Personal Names :
  • McCarty, George
  • Warner, Matt, 1864-1938
  • Corporate Names :
  • Ben E. Snipes & Co. Bank
  • Geographical Names :
  • Ellensburg (Wash.)
  • Roslyn (Wash.)
  • Subject Terms :
  • Robberies--1890-1930
  • Roslyn (Wash.)--History
  • Trials--West (U.S.)--History.
    • Occupations :
    • Robbers and outlaws--West (U.S.)
    • Other Creators :
    • Krueger, Frederick

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