by David Forest
It was innocent at first. Frank and John started by conning travelers in fixed card games. Then they moved onto identity fraud. Finally, when they robbed a nearby post office, there was no turning back.
In 1864, Frank and John Reno started the Reno Gang. They were the first “Brotherhood of Outlaws” in the U.S. They went around terrorizing small towns in the Midwest for years.
On October 6, 1866, they made history. That day, the Reno Gang boarded an Ohio and Mississippi Railway train in Seymour, IN. It wasn’t the first train robbery in history, but it was the first robbery of a moving train.
The Reno Gang’s idea was to stop the train in a rural area. Once there, they could go about their business without much interference.