Bronco Bill Loses Against Wells Fargo
“Bronco Bill” Walters might have started out his life as a cowboy and a railroader, but he soon found a more lucrative future as a train and stagecoach robber. At one point he joined Black Jack Ketchum’s gang, and then later formed his own group of bandits, working primarily in New Mexico and Arizona Credited with shooting several men and committing a number of robberies, he soon was targeted by Wells Fargo as a foe to eliminate.
Having robbed several stagecoaches in eastern Arizona, Wells Fargo had had enough and sent for two no-nonsense lawmen by the names of Jeff Milton and George Scarborough. Soon, the two lawmen, along with a posse, caught up with Bronco Bill near the gang’s hideout outside of Solomonville, Arizona.
In the ensuing gunfight, one gang member was killed and Bronco Bill was wounded. However, he lived to stand trial, was convicted of train robbery and sentenced to prison for life. However, he was released in 1917 and moved to Hachita, New Mexico, where he worked as a wrangler for the Diamond A Cattle Company. He was later killed when he fell from a windmill tower he was repairing.
Though one would think that he would have returned to any buried treasure site, there is no evidence that he did and the Wells Fargo loot was never recovered. Legend has it that areas outside of Solomonville, Arizona may yet hold the stolen cache.
By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, August, 2017.