From St. Charles (Illinois) Chronicle, 21 June 1901
Horse Thieves Operate in Virgil
Two men shot, and a posse of farmers pursuing the bandits, was the exciting scene enacted in Virgil township, ten miles west of St. Charles, last week.
Last Thursday night Robert Watson was aroused by a noise which came from his horse barn. Having recently purchased a fine black team his first thought was that they were kicking the stable down. Investigation revealed that two thieves were leading the animals out. As soon as the owner put in an appearance the men dropped the halters and ran. The night was especially cloudy and this made it impossible to recognize them. Fearing their return that same night or at a later date, Watson stationed his hostler (Troyer) near the stable with a shot gun.
There were no developments until Saturday night. Sure enough the same men (it is supposed) appeared about 9:30 p.m. armed to the teeth with Winchesters. Troyer yelled "Halt, you rascals." No sooner had the command been given than both men "ducked." Troyer fired. The bullet caught the robber in the back. For his pains Troyer received a bullet in the fleshy part of the right arm. The shot was fired by the injured man's partner. A trail of blood was the clew pursuers had to work.
Elburn and Maple Park were called up by telephone. A mounted posse of 200 men was organized in a twinkling. They were on the spot shortly before midnight scouring the country for miles around. The trail of blood proved a good starter, but did not last long. The posse is of the opinion that a wagon was in waiting and the robbers made good their escape. Members of the posse further state that the would-be robbers live somewhere in that section. Up to Sunday night the search was vigorous, but there are no results.
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