My impression is that they were not all that common. This area, the Middle Washita, had no bank until after the railroad came through in 1886-87. I believe that was fairly common, as prior to then there was no entity that could be considered a town in the area, just collections of population here and there. Consequently, there was no real commerce or need for a bank. Wealthy folk, like Sam Paul, Sam Garvin,and others used banks in north Texas or south Kansas. In the mid-1890's, Sam Garvin, Calvin J. Grant, and W. G. Kimberlin combined forces to open a bank at Pauls Valley.
Tower, this is undoubtly the reason there were so few bank robberies in the I.T. prior to statehood. They more than made up for it after statehood in Oklahoma. The Cook gang crossed the territorial border in July, 1894 to rob the Lincoln County bank in Chandler, Oklahoma Territory. It was a classic western bank robbery with Cherokee Bill killing one of the town's citizens.
Posts: 373 | Location: Indian and Oklahoma Territories | Registered: Wed February 04 2004
It also explains why there were so many robberies of stores. The community trading or general stores were about the only commercial enterprise involved in the exchange of money. Most had safes and stored not only their own cash but the funds of surrounding locals. Many of these stores were also housing the post office which also had a compliment of cash on hand.
It may also explain the high frequency of train robberies, along with the fact that large sums were being dispersed to the various tribes. Insofar as these dispersements occurred on a regular basis, and from predictable points of distribution, it would not be all that difficult for robbers to figure out which trains to target. For example, on June 1, 1892 the Daltons robbed a train at Red Rock which was supposed to be carrying (but actually was not) an annuity for the Sac and Fox tribes of $70,000. Consider also, to get some idea of how much that would be worth in 2004 dollars, one should multiply it by about twenty.