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Sam Bass Train Robbery Marker


category : Historical Markers
The first and greatest robbery of a Union Pacific Train took place near Big Springs on the night of September 18, 1877. The legendary Sam Bass and five companions, after capturing John Barnhardt, station master, and destroying the telegraph, forced Union Pacific Express Train No. 4 to halt.


A reported $60,000 in new $20 gold pieces and currency was taken from the Express car, while about $1,000 and a number of watches were taken from passengers. The accumulated loot from this, the Big Springs Robbery, it is said, was then divided by the outlaws, beneath the Lone Tree then growing on the north side of the River. After making the division, the robbers then split into pairs and fled their pursuers.

Joel Collins and Bill Heffridge were killed at Buffalo, Kansas. Jim Berry was killed near Mexico, Missouri, while Tom Nixon and Jack Davis were never located. After forming another band and robbing four trains in Texas, Sam Bass was killed by Texas Rangers at Round Rock, Texas, on July 21, 1878; it was his 27th birthday. His epitaph reads, "A brave man reposes in death here, why was he not true?"


- Nebraska State Historical Marker


Address: Highway , Big Springs

Come visit us in Chappell, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Chappell Golf Club

Chappell's municipal golf club lies alongside the Chappell Lake located just north of the I-80 Chappell exit. The nine-hole, grass green course is a beautiful and challenging course open to the public from daylight to dark.

Chappell, NE Golf Courses

Phelps Hotel

The Phelps Hotel is typical of many hotels erected during the late nineteenth century in western Nebraska. The building is Deuel County's oldest hotel, constructed in 1885 by the Edwin A. Phelps family, who were among the first settlers in the Big Springs vicinity.

Chappell, NE Famous Homes

Chappell Lake

Set your hook in a largemouth bass, catfish, perch, walleye, or bluegill in this 30 acre community lake. A year-round flock of Canada geese have also made the lake their home.

The easy access just north of the I-80

Chappell, NE Recreation

Chappell Memorial Art Gallery

One of the most rare and valuable collections of art in western Nebraska, the Chappell collection features works by Rembrandt, Aaron Pyle, and unusual oriental art.

One wall of the gallery displays fascinating work created by local artist, Aaron Gunn Pyle, deceased, a well known

Chappell, NE Arts


Things to do Historical Markers near Chappell, NE

Sam Bass Train Robbery Marker

The first and greatest robbery of a Union Pacific Train took place near Big Springs on the night of September 18, 1877. The l...