Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: No New Clue Of Value On The Robbery

Source: Marion Leader-Tribune, Marion, Indiana, November 28, 1924, p. 1.

No New Clue Of Value On The Robbery

Authorities at This Time Are Devoting Much Time to the Bank Case.


Fairmount Couple Believe They Saw Bandit Machine at Hackleman.

No new developments occurred yesterday in the hunt for the bank robbers who held up the bank officers and secured about $4,000 from the South Marion State Bank late Wednesday afternoon, but further information was secured which leads to the belief that the bandits, after leaving Marion passed through Hackleman west of Fairmount on west through Greentown.

Otis Wilburn, Fairmount business man who with his wife, were in the vicinity of Hackleman a few minutes after three o'clock Wednesday afternoon, is of the opinion that they saw the fleeing bandits.

Was Traveling Fast

The car, which answered the description of the one used by the robbers, approached from the north and the excessive speed of the machine attracted the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Wilburn.  They watched the machine as long as it remained in view, thinking every second that it would overturn, so fast was it traveling.  The car, which approached from the north went straight through Hackleman in the direction of Elwood.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilburn knew nothing of the robber until they returned to Fairmount later in the evening.

No reports have come from Elwood that the car was seen there, but Greentown reported that a Nash car of the same description used by the bandits passed west through that town at a high rate of speed Wednesday evening.

Jail Receives Call

A call was sent to the county jail Wednesday night that a Nash car with wire wheels and a foreign license was headed west of Marion in the direction of Sweetser.  Sheriff Renbarger, together with Deputies John Schnell and Woody Smith, responded to a hurry call and overtook the car near Sweetser and found the car tallied in every description to the robbers' car.  They got out of the machine after stopping the Nash and surrounded the car, ordering the occupants to get out.  The occupants were much frightened, but obeyed.  They were found to be men well known in Marion en route from Toledo to Peru, and were at once released.  

A representative from the Indiana Bankers' Association, of which the South Marion State bank is a member, arrived late Wednesday night and secured information concerning the robbery and returned to Indianapolis after getting all of the facts in the case.

Chief of Police Frank Brandon, Caption Jake Campbell and Detectives Humble and Andrews were working on a few clues yesterday, but nothing new developed.  Chief Brandon and Captain Campbell returned from Muncie early Thursday morning, but reported nothing new.

Sheriff Has Clues

Sheriff Bert Renbarger said that he had a few clues on the case, but that nothing had yet developed.  In the opinion of Sheriff Renbarger, the robbers are from South Bend, Terre Haute, Chicago or Logansport, and he believes they are the same gang who robbed the Converse bank last week.  After they committed the robbery at that bank, they circled around and came back within a short distance of Converse and then headed west, while it appears that the men, after robbing the Marion Bank, also drove west after getting outside of the city for several miles.

A few hours after the Marion robbery took place the grocery store of Kenneth Johnson, in the suburbs of Anderson, was held up and robbed of $285.  Two men, who were unmasked, appearing to be about thirty-five years old entered the store and pointed revolvers at Johnson and demanded the money.

Run Into Fresh Gravel

A report from Converse concerning the bank robbery at that place states that the robbers ran into some fresh gravel a short distance west of Converse after the robbery and that they asked the assistance of a crew of telephone lineman working in that vicinity to help them out which request was complied with.  The linemen had not heard of the robbery, but were of the opinion that the men in the machine were bootleggers.

This article is a follow-up account of the robbery of the South Marion State Bank in Marion, Indiana.  The bank was held up by the gang lead by my cousin, Harry PIERPONT (1902-1934).  In late 1924 and early 1925, Harry led a group of ex-cons in terrorizing a number of banks around Indiana.  The South Marion State Bank job, and others like it, laid the ground work for the later robberies of the Dillinger "Terror Gang."  The robbery and subsequent capture of members of the gang, generated a lot of ink in the Marion newspapers.

Black Sheep Sunday – create a post with the main focus being an ancestor with a “shaded past.” Bring out your ne’er-do-wells, your cads, your black widows, your horse thieves and tell their stories. And don’t forget to check out the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG). This is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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