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1922::Buttons Mystery in Cassidy, British Columbia

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Buttons go missing. Police are mystified. The case remains unsolved.

1922::Buttons Mystery in Cassidy, British Columbia

"1922::Buttons Mystery in Cassidy, British Columbia" Clip: Visalia Times-Delta (1922)

Visalia, California

When two young men from Vancouver Island reported to police that buttons had gone missing from their clothing in their Cassidy farmhouse, they likely never suspected their story would make newspaper headlines across North America.

1922::Button Headline From the East Coast

"1922::Button Headline From the East Coast"

Clip: The London Evening Times (1922)

London, Ontario

The Cassidy button thief outplayed his victims, waiting for them to fall asleep. By the time the rooster crowed, all buttons had been removed and stolen from their household garments. The mystery stumped everyone, including a provincial policeman who had volunteered to stay at the farmhouse for a few nights until he solved the case. After his first night, however, the constable woke up to all his buttons missing from his uniform.

1922::Button Mystery Still Circulating Months Later

"1922::Button Mystery Still Circulating Months Later"

Clip: Carbondale Free Press (1922)

Carbondale, Illinois

Several months later, the button mystery still unsolved, a sneak thief began to prowl in the night around Nanaimo, just north of Cassidy. The prowler stole money from well-known people in the community, including the local Sherriff and even the Chief of the Provincial Police. Over several weeks, fruit jars disappeared from pantries around the city—then horses. Exhausted horses were discovered roaming free late at night and appeared to have just returned from a long ride. The police eventually captured the horse thief - a local blacksmith's son who was jailed for his antics, but it was clear that the young man knew nothing about missing buttons, money or fruit jars from pantries.

1923::Mystery Button Story Reaches Far

"1923::Mystery Button Story Reaches Far"

Clip: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1923) Brooklyn, New York

Except for the horse thief, all of the cases remain solved. The button thief was never caught, and the story had circulated in some of the most prominent papers in North America for almost a year from when the first buttons were reported missing.


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