The Unfortunate Story of Michigan’s ‘Black Bart,’ Reimund Holzhey
There have been some interesting characters who have come from Michigan and one of the most notorious, in terms of crime, goes to a man that many may not realize was Michigan's own Black Bart.
Now, if you don't know who Black Bart was, he was considered to be somewhat of a gentleman-style bandit known to scare the living crap out of people by taking their money with style and sophistication. He was basically one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers in Northern California and southern Oregon during the 1870s and 1880s.
Michigan's own version, a man by the name of Reimund Holzhey, may not be as well known, but he was even more dangerous, as one historical website details:
On August 26, 1889, the last stagecoach robbery east of the Mississippi River was in Gogebic County, Michigan, on the road from Gogebic Station to The Gogebic Hotel. During the robbery, a passenger decided to be a hero and pulled a gun and started shooting. The robber fired back, the shooter and an innocent passenger (possibly shot by the shooter, not the robber) were wounded and the passenger later died. The robber, Reimund Holzhey, escaped.
It is kind of mind-boggling to believe that Holzhey's reign of terror only lasted about five months time until he was recognized and subsequently arrested in Republic, Michigan three days after the last stagecoach robbery. He had multiple victims who died at his hands and eventually passed away by suicide in 1952, but his legend still holds strong in the Upper Peninsula.
It was said that Holzey took Bart's name after reading about him in a novel, as a kind of "tip of the hat."