For nine days in March 1939, the nation was spellbound by news of a skilled Park County woodsman leading lawmen on a lengthy manhunt. The “huge, shaggy, young Earl Durand,” as Time magazine described him, finally died of his own hand after a failed bank robbery and shootout in downtown Powell, Wyo.
As an agricultural depression swept Wyoming, one of Powell’s banks temporarily closed. The owner of a second, S.A. Nelson, ordered tellers to stack cash in plain sight to calm jittery depositors. Thirty-six banks failed in Wyoming in 1924 alone. Confidence eventually returned—but only very slowly.