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100 years ago near Sandpoint: Post office robber with chains on legs flees moving train

From our archives, 100 years ago

Frederick McGuire, a noted desperado, was on the loose outside of Sandpoint after he escaped from two guards and dived out the window of a moving passenger train.

McGuire had been convicted of robbing a post office and was in the middle of a five-year term at Fort Leavenworth. He was being escorted to Portland to face trial for another post office robbery.

One of his guards was resting while the other was keeping watch.

McGuire was shackled with chains around his legs, yet apparently the chains weren’t snug enough. A few miles from Sandpoint, McGuire suddenly sprang through the window and was gone from the speeding train. The startled guards immediately pulled the emergency stop cord and the train backed up to the spot. The two guards and several volunteers spent several hours “beating the woods,” but they found no trace of McGuire.

A posse continued to hunt for him in the Sandpoint area, on the assumption that he couldn’t travel far with chains on his legs. Yet he was still considered dangerous. His rap sheet included assault with intent to kill.


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