Notorious Martin Casey

From Stephentown Genealogy: Roots & More

Criminal History of Martin Casey of Hancock, Mass.

Pittsfield, Mass – March 2 – Martin Casey, who killed Barber Rathbone at Stephentown, N.Y. Yesterday, is a resident of Hancock, in this county, and has a record as a desperate criminal.

Ten years ago he shot two Rathbone brothers in a family row, the case being dropped. Later he was the leader of a gang of thieves which was the terror of this section. Then was finally convicted of a burglary in Dalton, but fled to the mountains, where he was surrounded by a posse of officers. He refused to surrender and was shot as he went to a spring for water.

He was tried and sentenced to ten years in state's prison, being released a few weeks ago.

Returning to Stephentown yesterday, passing along the street he saw Rathbone brutally beating his father, Luke Casey. Martin went to the rescue and as Rathbone started from him, shot him in the abdomen with a revolver, inflicting a wound from which he died in a short time.

Both Caseys fled to the mountains and as they are armed and thoroughly familiar with the country their capture will be difficult.

Thursday, March 3, 1892.

A Desperado Captured

Surrounded by officers and Brought to terms with shotguns

Troy August 16 – Stephentown, a mountainous locality in Rensselaer County, has been terrorized for months by a family called Casey. The leader was a one-eyed wretch named Martin Casey, who is a bully and a coward. He killed a man some years ago, and was put in prison for manslaughter. After his release he went West, and was one of the recognized leaders of society in the early days of Leadville, until his bullying and cowardice became so offensive that he was given six hours to effect a change of residence. He returned to his homestead in Stephentown and between his bullying and his readiness to punish smaller men obtained the reputation of a terror. Recently the people of the town asked for his arrest and Rensselaer County officers have reportedly attempted to take him into custody, but , frightened by his boasting or for some other reasons, they have failed to capture him. The Massachusetts authorities also wanted Casey for a crime committed on the line. At an early hour this morning, Sheriff Kellogg took up a ___ in the vicinity of the cabin, in a part of the woods where Casey was in the habit of passing some of this time with a woman. The officers agreed upon a signal to be given when the desperado should leave the hut. Casey did not appear as early as expected, but the officers bided their time and at about 11 o'clock he appeared. When he had gone a sufficient distance to make his return to the cabin a very difficult matter, the signal was given and the officers closed in around him. Then he was ordered to surrender, but he uttered a defiant howl in reply and started to run. Sheriff Kellogg and his men thought their shotguns to gear on the ruffian and fired, the shot taking effect in his head and legs. Casey, shot, appealed for mercy the firing ceased and the man who had been the terror of the place was in the custody of officers of the law. Casey's wounds, while of a serious nature, are not necessarily dangerous. When he had been truly secured, Officer Kellogg started with his prisoner and one officer for Pittsfield, Kellogg having a properly verified reputation for Casey's arrest. The woman was also taken into custody and is on her way to the city. Casey is wanted in Massachusetts for stealing a harness from H. A. Barton of Pittsfield and for stealing $100 from a peddler. The New York Times Friday August 17, 1883

Jailed At Last; The Yankee Desperado Finally Found & Captured

Pittsfield, Mass. - August 20 – Martin Casey, the outlaw, who was riddled with shot and then captured by State Officer Kellogg, has been brought to the jail here. On his arrival he complained of much main in his right shoulder and left lung. The shot still remaining in him will be extracted in a day or two, as soon as he shall become somewhat stronger. He said that he had made up his mind never to be taken alive and that if he had known of the plan to capture him “things would have been very different.” Casey, until his arrest, was the leader of a band of outlaws who operated on the border line of this State and Massachusetts. He owed his immunity from arrest hitherto to the fact that he kept passing over from one State into the other. In jail Casey seemed subdued and said that he would behave himself hereafter. He added that this was the second time that he was ever arrested. The first time was twelve years ago, when he had some difficulty with the Rathbones in Stephentown. He met them in a barroom. They were shaking dice. The Rathbones shook “20” and Casey “21.” They accused him of cheating and a quarrel followed. They lay in wait for him as he was going home and assaulted him with stones and knocked him down. He drew a revolver and shot both of them, but did not kill them. He served five years in Clinton prison for that offense. Newark Daily Advocate - Newark, Ohio August 20, 1883 Barber Rathbone was Henry Barber Rathbun, son of Norman Rathbun and Emily.