(1864 - December 31, 1938)
Born Willard Eratus Christiansen in Ephraim, Utah, to Mormon parents, he used the alias Matt Warner after he left home. Matt thought he had killed a fellow teenager and left home to become a cowboy. He fell in with rustlers and his brief career as an outlaw began.
During this time in the outlaw hideouts of Utah, Matt Warner met Butch Cassidy. With Butch and Tom McCarty, they robbed a Telluride, Colorado, bank.
After several more robberies with Tom McCarty, Matt settled down on a ranch in Utah. While on a prospecting trip Matt with two other men were ambushed. In a gunfire sequence that Hollywood would love, Matt killed two and wounded a third.
After serving four years of a five-year sentence for this shootout, Matt became a justice of the peace, a deputy sheriff and a detective in Price, Utah.
Matt Warner is buried in the Price Cemetery in Price, Utah.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence
Books About Matt Warner
The Last of the Bandit Riders by Matt Warner & Murray E. King
This book is based on the memories of Matt Warner and was done later in his life. Take most of the information here with a grain of salt. Still it is worth a read for the description of cowboying and bandits on the run.
The Last of the Bandit Riders - Revisited updated by Joyce Warner and Dr. Steve Lacy
A reprint of the hard to find book above with inclusion of some rare items. The list includes postcards sent by Butch Cassidy after he returned to the U.S. A picture of some railroad workers which seems to show Butch Cassidy among the group. It sure looks like Butch.
Bandit To Lawman by Roscoe Sheller
Not sure what to think of this book, but it provides some interesting details about Matt Warner.
Oregon Outlaws by Gary & Gloria Meir
A neglected subject in old west writing, this book provides a chapter about Matt Warner and Tom McCarty. Many other Oregon outlaws are, also, included.