Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wild About Harry

My recent genealogical activity continues to revolve around the early career of my  black sheep cousin, Harry PIERPONT (1902-1934).  I'm finding fascinating research material in newspaper accounts of the bank robberies he and his gang pulled off in east-central Indiana in the 1924-25 period.

My dad has been putting together a booklet of newspaper articles and other web sources about Harry for our next family reunion.  Already some of my cousins have expressed interest in the fact that we have a famous, albeit criminal relative.  Why doesn't anyone get as excited about the teachers, farmers and doctors in the family?

Over the weekend, I managed to obtain 42 pages of newspaper accounts of robberies while searching at the Marion Public Library.  These robberies occurred in Marion, Converse, Upland and Noblesville in the fall of 1924.  I knew the date of one robbery was November 26th, and I followed the story forward until the end of the reel, which was December 31st.  Just researching in one newspaper, the Marion Leader-Tribune, I was able to obtain the 42 pages and learn of the robberies, and by the end of 1924, the arrest of three members of Harry's gang.

I look forward to my return to the library to seek out viewpoints covered in the Marion Chronicle, as well as follow the story up through Harry's capture in March, 1925 in Detroit.

There is much blog fodder for future "Black Sheep Sunday" posts, as well as data to update Harry's Wikipedia entry.  The fascinating story of Harry goes well beyond the Dillinger connection.  Without Harry's tutelage, no one would know the name of John Dillinger today.

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