Formerly the Waverly Hotel, the King George Hotel was built in 1899 by John Henning. One afternoon in 1903, the ceiling of the building was riddled with bullets by the Idaho Kid with his Colt 44 revolver. Shortly after being locked up by the Mounties, Bill (the Kid’s real name), apparently realizing crime does not pay, settled down with his wife in the Weyburn district.
An excerpt from “The Promised Land: Settling the West 1896-1914” by Pierre Berton….
” …The Americans who came to Canada were mainly well-to-do farmers, the most peaceable of all classes. American badmen were so unusual in Canada that when the occasional one crossed the border he made headlines – such as Ernest Cashel of the Butch Cassidy gang, who wash hanged in Calgary, or Cowboy Jack Monaghan who tried to terrorize Estevan, Saskatchewan and was jailed for 6 months, or the infamous Idaho Kid, who tried to shoot up Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1903.
The Idaho Kid sits on the verandah of Beach’s Hotel in Weyburn, shooting holes in the ceiling. It is late afternoon of a warm June day, and the townspeople have taken cover because the Idaho Kid is shooting up the street. When one curious citizen pokes his head out of his hotel window, the Idaho Kid, whose name is Brandenburger and who hails from Montana, not Idaho, shoots his hat off and tells him to stick his head back inside or he will turn him into a sieve. The citizen obeys and the Idaho Kid takes another drink.
Another citizen, bolder that the rest, makes his way down the street. The Idaho Kid brandishes his revolver and orders him to hold out his hat. When the citizen complies, the Idaho Kid fills it full of holes. This angers the citizen, who tells the Kid he’d better stop or the Mounted Police will run him in. But there are no Mounted Police in town, and the Kid alleges that no one has ever run him in – no Montana sheriff has ever dared tackle him.
The Idaho Kid says he will die with his boots on if necessary, but that is unlikely because if any Mounted Policeman butts into his game, he will eat his liver cold. he is too hard and too wild for any Canadian constable, the Idaho Kid declares, and offers to bet his twenty-five dollars that no on can take him alive. At that, three other citizens have taken cover become emboldened by avarice, swallowed their timidity, and come out into the street to cover the bet. The local justice of the peace is urged to send for a Mounted Policeman to settle the wager. Off goes a brief wire to the nearest detachment in Halbrite: “Come up next train party running amok with revolver.”
Enter Constable H. “Larry” Lett, burly and bullet-headed, five feet nine, 170 pounds, father of two, veteran of eight years in the Dragoon Guards and six on the Force. Having flagged down a freight train, he arrives in town to deal with the party running amok. The constable attempts to sear in a citizen to help him tackle the Idaho Kid, but no volunteer comes forward.
The Idaho Kid is now hold up in his hotel room with his wife and a bottle. Constable Lett persuades the J.P. to stand within calling distance, the proceeds to bash down the door of the Idaho Kid’s room. The Idaho Kid reaches for his gun. The constable jumps him. The Idaho Kid’s wife jumps the constable, and a rough-and-tumble follows.
The citizens wait outside the hotel, listening to the sounds of the struggle, wondering if their money is safe. They need not worry. When the pair emerges, the constable is carrying the Idaho Kid’s gun and the Idaho Kid is wearing the constable’s handcuffs. For this demonstration of British coolness and pluck in the face of American anarchy, the Force is duly grateful. Constable Lett is swiftly promoted to Corporal for proving that British Canada wants to truck or trade with the wild and wooly West to the south.”