Great Forgery Chase at F.M. Light and Sons in Steamboat Springs, CO

The Great Forgery Chase Story - F.M. Light and Sons | Western Wear in Steamboat Springs, CO | Outfitting the West for Over 100 Years

A forgery. Six-shooters. A chase.

Yes, these are all elements of the story I’m about to tell. After all, F.M. Light and Sons was started in 1905; that was when the West was still a bit wild.

It was a day just like any other in Steamboat Springs, CO. But, for the two sons of F.M. Light, it was a bit abnormal. Usually Clarence and Olin’s father was in the family store, F.M. Light and Sons, but that day he had jury duty way out in Hahn’s Peak. So, the two men watched faithfully over the business. Customers came into the store and said hello, and a few items were sold. One of these transactions was paid for with a check by a Mr. Trawl. Clarence took one look at it and conferred with his brother; this check just didn’t look right. So, they locked up the store and headed over the bank to talk to the manager, Mr. Burroughs. After analyzing the check, Mr. Burroughs declared that the signature did not match that of the Mr. Trawl who had an account at the bank; the check was indeed a forgery.

But, the signature on the check was not his own – it was a forgery!

Clarence and Olin immediately formed their plan. They hurried back to the store, opened a drawer and secured a six-shooter pistol before locking up and beginning their chase. They searched the streets, and found the criminal about to cross the bridge into Brooklyn, the red-light district. Before he could cross, Clarence and Olin stuck him up and demanded their money. With a six-shooter in his face, and his hands in the air, the poor fellow was scared half out of his mind.

“Don’t shoot, please don’t shoot! I’ll give you your money!”

And, give it back he did. The thief had stopped for lunch at the Green Lantern Cafe after his crime, and so 35¢ was missing. Clarence and Olin decided to have mercy, and so they let the man go. They returned to the store full of triumph at their victory – proud to tell their father that they had caught the villain. All in all, they had recovered $7. 80.

Hear the retelling from Annabeth Light, daughter of one of the men in the story: Clarence.

Photo credit: marija jure. via