Masked Highwaymen in Delaware Street Holdup
Driving along busy Delaware Avenue, motorists might find it difficult to imagiune that ninety years earlier the road was so rural that highwaymen could expect to hold up travelers without witnesses. You will see that it was hardly worth their effort in this story from November of 1907.
Martin Wickham, a Shawnee farmer, was ambushed by two highwaymen on Delaware street, opposite Elmlawn Cemetary early yesterday, and robbed of $2.10, all the money he had on his person. Wickham was on his way to Buffalo with a load of apples. He had barely reached the top of the hill beside the cemetery when two men appeared from behind a clumb of bushes. They wore slouch hats that were pulled down over their eyes and the lower parts of their faces were concealed with handkerchiefs.
One of the highwaymen made for the horses while the other leveled a revolver at the farmer's head and demanded that he climb down from the wagon in a hurry and throw up his hands, if he did not wish to receive a "dose of lead". Wickham lost no time in climbing to the pavement. The man who had been standing at the horses' heads came up and went through the farmer's pockets. After securing what money he had, the holdup men were about to appropriate the farmer's watch when Wickham informed them that it only cost $1.
Although dissatisfied with the haul, the robbers told Wickham to keep the timepiece. Calling Wickham a "cheap guy" in disgusted tones, the highwaymen told him to drive on and to refrain from reporting the holdup to the police. Upon return to the Tonawandas Wickham reported the matter.