Monday, August 29, 2011

Research Updates: August 29, 2011

I was able to spend a few hours yesterday at the Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana and do some research.  This is a great regional library, with a lot of sources that extend outside of their geographic area.  While my main focus was on the the robbery of the New Harmony bank in 1925, I also located information relating to Eileen's and Corinne's lines.

  • Searched additional editions of the Evansville Journal from March 1925, looking for additional information on the robbery in New Harmony that Harry Pierpont's gang was involved with.  Did not find anything other than what the library had already provided.
  • Found information in abstracts of Tagliche Evansville Union 1865-1885 that included information regarding the Sauer, Ritt, Damm, and Schafer lines.  Once I determine how they are related to Corinne's lines, will request copies of the actual newspaper items.  All of which are published in German script!
  • Located record of abstracts of Warrick County, Indiana Will Book I 1831-1859 and Will Book II Feb. 1860-June 1885.  In this work, located Corinne's ancestor Thomas McCool.  Will now be able to request the copy of his will filled April 23, 1869.
  • Located the Divorce Record Index 1818-1941 Vanderburgh County Indiana and located several of Corinne's ancestors and relatives, some of whom had filed multiple times, including the Miller, Chivlare and Sauer families. Now there's a story there!
  • Found published Ledger of Civil War Appointments & Discharges from the Recorders Office of Wabash County, Indiana which had information about Eileen's ancestor, Thomas PEFLEY.  Nice find in a library over 200 miles from home.
  • Made copies from Lagro Township Cemeteries Wabash County Indiana for records of Eileen's Duffey, Lewis, Sills & Pefley ancestors.
For just a few hours of research, it turned out to be a very productive day in a really nice, historic library.  If you ever have an opportunity to research there, I would highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Upland State Bank Robbed of $2500

Source: Marion Leader-Tribune, Marion, Indiana, December 24, 1924, p. 1.


Bandits Spent Much Of Day In Marion

Officials Observe Men Acting Suspiciously and Watched Them for Hours -- Robbery Occupied but Little Time and Was Without Unusual Thrills -- Bandits Declared, "We Are Rough and If You Make a False Move We Will Shoot H---- Out Of You"

Six bandits, all of whom were armed, entered the Upland State Bank at 3:45 Tuesday afternoon, within fifteen minutes of the closing hour, held up Earl Bragg, cashier at the bank and Miss A. Atkinson, a clerk at the bank, and robbed the bank of approximately $2,500.

A good description of the men was secured by Deputy Sheriffs John Schell and Woody Smith, who conversed with six men at a filling station at Highland avenue and Washington streets about two-thirty yesterday afternoon.  They asked the deputy sheriffs the road to Hartford City, stating that they desired to get on State Road No. 35.

Officials Present

When the five armed men entered the Upland bank, (one stayed outside) there were no customers in the bank and only the two bank officials were present.

One of the men approached the bank window, holding in his had a dollar bill.

As soon as Cashier Bragg came up to the window, he was covered with a gun, with a command to hold up his hands.

While this was taking place, Miss Atkinson was also covered with a gun, while a third bandit stationed himself near the front door.

Two other bandits then went inside of the bank and with the aid of another bandit attempted to lock Bragg and Miss Atkinson in the bank vault and after getting [t]hem inside found the safe would not work and they covered the two people and then started scooping all of the money in sight on the bank counters and then went into the safe where they secured all of the money in sight, which consisted of paper money and silver.

While they were at work, one of the bandits cautioned them against making any false moves under pain having "hell shot out of them."

"We Are Rough," They Said.

After getting all of the money in sight, they quickly left the bank and hopped into a waiting automobile, in which the sixth bandit sat, and departed, going north out of Upland, where it was reported they turned west.

Out Again, in Again

While the robbery was in progress, Dillman Stump, a resident of Upland started into the bank, but changed his mind about entering and started to go out, when the bandit near the door, grabbed him inside and told him to stick up his hands, which he did very promptly.

Cashier Bragg said that the men were not clean and were shabbily dressed and that one of the men was tall and heavy set, and that the four others appeared to be from 18 to 35 years old.  He stated he was not aware of any bandits until the five came into the bank and was covered by a gun by one of the men.

Loss Fully Covered

The loss at the bank is fully covered by insurance, Mr. Bragg said.  The exact amount of money taken will probably be known at some time today.

The robbery was reported at once to Sheriff Bert Renbarger and Deputy Sheriffs John Schell and Woody Smith went to Upland and made an investigation.

Both the police and sheriff believe that the men tried to pull off a robbery in this city, but that on account of being shadowed by officers, were unable to accomplish what they wanted.

The men were first noticed in the city about one-thirty yesterday afternoon by Detectives Humble and Andrews.  The Moon car, which bore license number 443-554, passed them at Fourth and Adams streets.

Detective Humble noticed six men in the car and also noted the license number as being the number on a car which was in the city about a week ago, he said, when the car passed a stop sign at Fourth and Nebraksa streets and failed to stop when called on by a policeman.

The appearance of the men did not look good to the detectives, who later saw the car going the wrong way around the public square.

The officers were able to get a fairly good description of the two men in the front seat and a third man in the rear and a short time later one of the men, who had no collar and tie on, was seen to go in the Price Clothing Store, where he made a purchase of a collar and tie.

Close Watch Is Kept

The detectives followed him into the store and kept a close watch on him, the man doing the same to the officers.  Later, another of the men seen in the car went into several downtown banks remaining in each bank only a minute.

The bandits also made a trip to South Marion State bank three or four times.  Bank officials there seeing the car pass and repass, called the police and an officer was sent out to the bank.  The bandits in passing the bank, traveled slow and were evidently sizing up the situation.

The suspicious actions of the six men in the car caused every policeman to be notified and all banks, jewelry stores and other business firms downtown were warned of the actions of the six men and that a robbery might be attempted and considerable money was hidden within the next few minutes.

Converse With Men

About two-thirty Deputy Sheriffs Schell and Smith came into the city from another call and seeing the detectives and policemen eyeing an automobile which was then going north from the square on Washington street followed the car, believing it to be a car which they had been looking for and which was said to contain a quantity of liquor.  They followed the car to Highland avenue, where it stopped at a filling station, where a quantity of gasoline was purchased.  The license number on the car was secured by the deputies, who then drove east on Highland avenue, ahead of the Moon car.  They turned around, after seeing six men in the car who appeared to be suspicious characters.  They stopped their car at the filling station and got out.

Deputy Schell walked up to the Moon car with the six men and the driver of the car asked Schell the road to Hartford City, stating that they wanted to get on State Road 35.

Schell told them that they were considerably off their road and directed them back to Third street, where they were told to go east.  The man who was talking to Schell kept one hand in a coat pocket, which Schell believes to have contained a gun.

Gets Description

Schell was able to get a good description of several of the men.  The man who was talking to Schell, appeared to be tall and had one peculiar eye, which Schell said had a light spot, giving it an odd appearance.  Another bandit had on overalls, while the others appeared to be dirty and not well dressed.  Another of the men who was in a rear seat, appeared to be sleepy while the others looked as if they had lost considerable sleep.

When the license number on the car was turned in to Sheriff Renbarger, he got in touch with the secretary of state's office at Indianapolis, where it was learned that the license number had been issued to George Millinger of Indianapolis.  A call was then put into the office of the chief of detectives of Indianapolis, after news of the robbery had been received and it was learned that this car had been stolen about nine-thirty Monday night and that six men, with a Moon sedan had robbed a hardware store at Lebanon late Monday night, securing a quantity of shot guns, rifles and ammunition.  It is believed that these six men in the city robbed the Lebanon store, came to Marion to pull off a robbery here and were frustrated on account of being watched too closely and that they then went to Upland, where they succeeded in their work.

Late last night no trace of the robbers had been found.  Sheriff Renbarger notified many surrounding cities and Indianapolis, as it is thought that the gang has headquarters in that city.

That this gang was the same crowd who attempted to hold up a bank at Noblesville last week, was doubted by the police, who said that from the appearance of the six men here that they would be able to carry out any plans they made, while the attempt at Noblesville was evidently by boys who were scared out and left without robbing the bank.

This article is an account of the robbery of the Upland State Bank in Grant County, Indiana.  The bank was held up by a gang led 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 Upland 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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Exploratory Data Analysis: Clemon Beals Lambertson (1898-1994)

Clemon & June (Gilliland) Lambertson
Clemon Beals Lambertson (1898-1994) was my maternal great-grandfather.  What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical facts I have discovered about him.

1. Vital records

     1.1. Birth certificate

          Clemon was born October 27, 1898 in Cicero, Hamilton County, Indiana1. The State of Indiana began requiring births be recorded in 1907.  However, many counties have records going back to 1880.  The W.P.A. index compiled for Hamilton County did not list a birth for Clemon.

          1.1.1. Birth notice in newspaper

               If Clemon's birth was recorded in a local newspaper, I have not yet discovered it.  The Hamilton East Public Library has local newspapers going back to 1837 on microfilm.  This will be a research item on my next trip there.

          1.1.2. Bible record

               I believe that cousin Larry has the Lambertson family Bible, will need to contact him to see if the births were recorded in it.

          1.1.3. Baptismal record

               The family was associated with the West Grove Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quaker) in Hamilton County, Indiana. The society does not believe in infant baptism.

          1.1.4. Adoption record

               There is no indication that Clemon was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage license

          Clemon was married on June 28, 1917 in Monroe County, Indiana to June Kirk Gilliland2. I didn't realize that I didn't have a copy of their marriage license.  It is recorded in Book 16, page 230, according to an index.  Have added this to my "to-do" list of research.

          1.2.1. Marriage notice in newspaper

                Will need to search out mentions of their wedding in local Bloomington, as well as Noblesville newspapers on my next research trip.

          1.2.2. Anniversary notice

               Will need to search out mention of their anniversary in the local newspapers, particularly Elwood.

          1.2.3. Divorce decree

               There is no indication that a divorce ever occurred, though a search of court records has not been completed.

     1.3. Death certificate

          Clemon died March 18, 1994 in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana1. However, I have not yet obtained a copy of his death certificate from the Madison County Health Department.

          1.3.1. Obituary in newspaper

               Clemon's obituary appeared in the March 20, 1994 edition of the Anderson Herald-Bulletin and the March 21, 1994 edition of the Tipton Tribune.  I need to see what other local papers might have carried it, including Elwood Call-Leader and Alexandria Times-Tribune.

          1.3.2. Funeral home record

               Clemon's funeral was conducted at the Guilkey and Herider Mortuary in Anderson, Indiana.  I have not yet contacted them regarding record of the funeral cost, who paid, etc.

          1.3.3. Tombstone photograph

               Clemon's tombstone in the Elwood City Cemetery has been photographed.  It lists him as "Father"  Clemon B. 1898-1994, and his first wife, "Mother" June K. 1898-1951 is also listed3.

2. Census records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1930 Federal Census

               On April 10, 1930, Clemon was enumerated in the 2nd Ward, City of Elwood, Pipe Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana4, as Clemon Lambertson, married laborer in a cabinet factory, aged 31, born in Indiana.  His father and mother were both listed as born in Indiana.  He could read and write and spoke English.  He owned his home, valued at $1500, and owned a radio.

          2.1.2. 1920 Federal Census

               On January 14, 1920, Clemon was enumerated in the 2nd Ward, City of Elwood, Duck Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana5, as Clemon Lambertson, married carmeler in a cabinet factory, aged 21, born in Indiana.  His father and mother were both listed as born in Indiana.  He could read and write and spoke English.  He rented his home.

          2.1.3. 1910 Federal Census

               On April 23, 1910, Clemon was enumerated in the town of Cicero, Jackson Township, Hamilton County, Indiana6, in the household of his father, Charles Lambertson.  He is listed as Clemon B., age 11, attended school within the year, born in Indiana.  Both of his parents are listed as being born in Indiana.

          2.1.4. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 16, 1900, Clemon was enumerated in Jackson Township, Hamilton County, Indiana7, in the household of his grandfather, Carey Lambertson.  He is listed as Clemon, age 1, born in Indiana.  His father is listed as being born in Ohio, mother in Indiana.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931.  These however, were merely for the purposes of determining legislative apportionment.

     2.3. Agriculture Census Records

          I have not yet investigated these types of census records to see what information might come to light.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          Clemon registered for the draft during World War I on September 12, 19188.  He was listed as slender build with brown hair and brown eyes.  The card lists him as Clemon Beals Lambertson living at 615 North 18th Street, Elwood, Indiana.  His occupation was a painter at Sellers & Sons.

      3.2. Pension Records

          Not applicable, as I have no evidence that Clemon ever served in the military.

     3.3. Service Records

          Not applicable.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be thoroughly researched in Madison County, Indiana and Howard County, Indiana.  Clemon spent most of his adult life in Madison County, though briefly lived in Howard County during World War II period.

     4.2. Plat Map / County map

          Madison County published a plat map in 1880, 1891, 1893, 1901, 1910, 1915, 1921, 1923, 1931 and 1940 that may be relevant to my search on the Lambertson family.

5. Supplemental Records

        Supplemental records available for Clemon to search include court records and will and probate records, as well as city directories for Anderson, Indiana.
        A search of city directories in Elwood, Indiana shows Clemon at the following addresses:
       1906 North F Street - 1924, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931/2, 1933, 1935, 1938.
       221 North 12th Street - 1945
       717 South A Street - 1949, 1952


1. Obituary of Clemon Beals Lambertson, Anderson Herald-Bulletin, Anderson, Indiana, 
2. Obituary of June Lambertson, Alexandria Times-Tribune, Alexandria, Indiana, March 21, 1951.
3. Elwood City Cemetery (Elwood, Indiana), Clemon B. and June K. Lambertson marker, photographed by Travis LeMaster.
4. Clemon Lambertson household, 1930 U.S. census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Pipecreek Township, ED 48-49, SD 5, sheet 6A, dwelling 123, family 130.
5. Clemon Lambertson household, 1920 U.S. census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Duckcreek Township, ED 135, SD 84, sheet 8, dwelling 186, family 192.
6. Charles Lambertson household, 1910 U.S. census, Hamilton County, Indiana, population schedule, Jackson Township, ED 104, SD 9, dwelling 156, family 158.
7. Carey Lambertson household, 1900 U.S. census, Hamilton County, Indiana, population schedule, Jackson Township, ED 84, SD 9, sheet 2, dwelling 345, family 371.
8. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions draw in this article are welcomed.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Madness: Death of Patrick Cummings (1863-1929)

The death of my wife's grandfather, St. Patrick Merlin CUMMINGS, is a bit of a mystery that has been driving me mad lately.  I have his date of death as January 7, 1929 in Sedgwick, Lawrence County, Arkansas, but have been unable to verify this record.
Recently, I submitted a request through the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) website, hoping that someone could find a record that would straighten out the mess.  Unfortunately, the response came back that the name Patrick CUMMINGS does not appear on the index of death certificates in Arkansas.  There is no one named CUMMINGS listed from Lawrence County.

The hunt goes on.... 

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.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Luman C. & Barbara I. (Wehrly) LeMasters: Are There Other Surviving Photos?

Luman Cooper and Barbara Isabel (Wehrly) LeMasters, my great-grandparents

While working on updating my LeMaster family tree at, I noticed that the above cropped photo is the only one I have of my paternal great-grandparents, Luman Cooper and Barbara Isabel (WEHRLY) LeMASTERS.  The photo is from a larger one taken at a family reunion:

I don't have the date of the photo, but Luman died in 1933 and Barbara in 1930, so the photo must have been taken before then.  Was it a family reunion, a holiday, or some other event?  It is likely that the photo was taken at Salamonia, Jay County, Indiana.

My hope is that other LeMaster cousins out there might have other photos of either Luman or Barbara that they would be willing to share.  If so, please contact me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Family Recipe Friday: Italian Chicken Pasta Toss

Ashley Honeycutt, my niece

Another recipe suggested by mom:

Ashley showed zucchini at the county 4-H fair this year and won a blue ribbon.   Every year I always like to put out zucchini plants are different intervals so I don't have it coming on at the same time.   Of course, I make bread and chocolate cake with them but I started looking for recipes that I could use zucchini in the main course.   I found this recipe in a Pampered Chef cookbook and I try to fix it at least once each season.

Italian Chicken Pasta Toss

    3 cups bow tie pasta                                           
    2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced                              
    1 small onion, chopped                                         
    1 medium zucchini, sliced                                      
    1 small  yellow pepper or red pepper, cut into thin slices     
    1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves,cut into 1-inch slices
    2 teaspoons olive oil                                          
    2 larges garlic cloves                                         
    1/2 cup frozen green peas                                      
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning                                   
    1 teaspoon salt                                                
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese            
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.   Meanwhile, dice tomatoes and chop onion.   Slice zucchini and cut bell pepper into thin strips and chicken crosswise into 1-inch strips.

Heat oil in stir-fry skillet over medium-high heat until hot.   Press garlic into skillet.   Add chicken; stir fry 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.   Reduce heat to medium.   Add onion, zucchini, bell pepper, peas, seasoning and salt; stir-fry 2 minutes.   Add tomatoes; heat 1-2 minutes, stirring gently until heated through.   Remove from heat.   Stir in warm pasta.   Sprinkle cheese over pasta; serve immediately.

Family Recipe Friday – is an opportunity to share your family recipes with fellow bloggers and foodies alike. Whether it’s an old-fashioned recipe passed down through generations, a recipe uncovered through your family history research, or a discovered recipe that embraces your ancestral heritage share them on Family Recipe Friday. This series was suggested by Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Joseph Wright Family Plot Map

Joseph Wright family plot, I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Alexandria, Indiana

Obtained this cemetery plot map of the Joseph Wright family plot at the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana from the Monroe Township Trustee's office.

Burials listed there include the following:

Grave 1. Rebecca Wright  March 21, 1890  [Joseph's 1st wife]
Grave 2. Mildred Wright September 13, 1903 [Joseph's granddaughter]
Grave 3. Joseph Wright September 16, 1919
Grave 4. Dortha P. Wright March 4, 1926 [Joseph's 2nd wife]
Grave 5. ______  Wright  (no date listed)
Grave 6. Martha Wright April 1, 1948 [Joseph's daughter-in-law]
Grave 7. Edward Wright July 6, 1960 [Joseph's son]
Grave 8. Zelma R. Wright June 11, 1988 [Joseph's granddaughter]

This information begs a couple of questions:  is the date listed the date of death or the date of burial?  I believe that it is the date of death.  At least it is for Joseph, whose two wives, Rebecca and Dortha, are buried in the same plot with him.  The death dates for his wives correspond with my database.  However, the dates for Edward and Martha do not jive with what dates I show, though my sources were family group sheets that could have been in error.  Will need to check for obituaries and death certificates.

Who is buried in Grave number 5?  Is it even used?  I need to get back out to the cemetery and see which headstones are located on this plot.  I remember taking pictures years ago of each of the names listed.  Not sure who could be in grave number 5, though they likely died between 1926 and 1948.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Kokomo Woman Was Friend of John Dillinger


By Bob Hullinger

John Dillinger, Indiana's most notorious gunman, reportedly had a Kokomo woman as one of his best friends during the height of his crime spree in the early 1930s.

However, the woman, Mrs. Pearl Elliott, wasn't the only contact Dillinger had with Kokomo.  The Mooresville, Ind., bandit once spent a couple of days here and one of his friends robbed a Kokomo bank.

Dillinger's known visit here was legal - he was seeking parole for one of his friends.  Reports have it that Dillinger was in Kokomo other times too, hiding out.

Mrs. Elliott was said to be involved closely with Dillinger and his gang.  It was reported she was treasurer for the gang and served as arbitrator during arguments which occurred among its members.

The Kokomo woman, listed as a roadhouse proprietress during her stay in Kokomo, had several run-ins with law enforcement officers here.  According to police records, several cases involving violation of public morals were listed against her.

She figured prominently in the 1924 robbery of the South Kokomo Bank and at the time was operating a place of questionable standing at Washington and Madison Streets.

Supposedly she harbored the gangsters who robbed the Kokomo bank, prior to the robbery.  The gangsters, headed by Harry Pierpont, obtained $4,828 in cash, $4,300 in liberty bonds and $2,000 in unnegotiable securities.

Pierpont and his associates were captured later in Detroit and brought her for trial and were convicted.  Pierpont escaped from prison, then "rescued" Dillinger from a Lima, Ohio, jail, after murdering the sheriff.

Kokomo's Chief of Police, Clint Jackson, traveled to Tucson, Ariz., to question Pierpont about activities concerning the Elliott woman, after Pierpont had been recaptured in that city.

The bandit told Jackson that he had stopped at the place on North Washington Street, formerly occupied by the Elliott woman, and had kicked open the door.  He found her gone, but talked briefly with a woman who apparently was keeping the place.

Although Mrs. Elliott was never captured by the police, the Department of Justice sent posters all over the nation, carrying her picture and listing her as wanted in connection with Dillinger and his gang.

After Dillinger was killed by FBI men July 22, 1934, Mrs. Elliott traveled to Mooresville to view the body in open defiance of authorities.

According to one newsman, Mrs. Elliott went to the funeral home in the company of four other women, all associated with the Dillinger gang.

The women drove a smart, maroon-colored coupe within hand-shaking distance of state troopers and detectives, then joined the line of those waiting to see the body.

One reporter for a wire service centered his story around the Kokomo woman.  "Official Indiana State Police circulars asking the apprehension of Pearl Elliott are in a hundred cities," he pointed out, "The woman has long been sought as the advance fixer and brains as well as treasurer of the Dillinger gang.  It is believed that this former proprietress of a fancy Kokomo establishment engaged apartments for the Dillinger-Pierpont bandits before they came in to 'pull their jobs', directed the division of loot, and acted as arbiter in the inter-gang quarrels."

The reporter claimed he approached the Elliott woman and asked, "What brings you here?"  She hesitated, and then answered, "I came for a last look at Johnny.  He never threw me down and I wouldn't do it to him."

Only a few months after Dillinger's death, Mrs. Elliott was reported near death of an incurable disease at her mother's home in Frankfort.

State police, upon learning she was in Frankfort, claimed they no longer wanted her since the death of Dillinger and the capture or death of most of the Dillinger gang.

This undated article was part of the vertical files at the Kokomo-Howard County Library under "Pearl Elliott".  Pearl was the Kokomo madam who helped to aid young Harry PIERPONT and then later, John Dillinger, during the days of the "Terror Gang".  Harry PIERPONT (1902-1934), was my paternal cousin.

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Funeral Record: Betty King

This funeral record for Betty KING was located at the Alexandria-Monroe Township Historical Society collection.  Elizabeth Ann (SCHELL) KING was the wife of my paternal 2nd-great granduncle, Benjamin Zellen KING.

Betty died October 13, 1948 at St. John's Hospital in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  She was a resident of Orestes and was a housewife. She was born February 22, 1873 in Frankton, the daughter of George and Elizabeth (________) SCHELL.  Her cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage.  

The cost of the funeral was $ 509.75 and was paid in full by her husband, Ben KING, on November 4, 1948.  Betty was buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana.  The funeral was held at October 16, 1948 at 2 p.m.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wehrly Family, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana (1907)

Source: Complete Directory of Jay County, M. & M. Directory Co., Portland, Ind., 1907, p. 239

These listings of the WEHRLY family in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana in 1907 are of my paternal 2nd-great grandfather, William P. WEHRLY, and his sons, Harvey and Alva.

Alva Monroe WEHRLY (b. 1878) is a bit of a mystery as to why his wife and children are not listed.  He was married in 1901 to Emma YAEGER and they would have had 3 or 4 children by the time of this directory.  I know of no other Alva WEHRLYs in the family that this could have been.

Harvey Allen WEHRLY (b. 1876) had married Nettie SHREEVE in 1898, and is listed here with her and daughter, Ada.

William P. WEHRLY (b. 1845) married Olive Jane SMITH in 1866 in Jay County, right after returning from the service with 130th Indiana Infantry.  His youngest son, Martin Nimrod (b. 1888) is listed as still living with them.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Funeral Record: Amanda King

This funeral of Amanda KING was found at the Alexandria-Monroe Historical Society museum. Amanda was my maternal 2nd-great grandaunt, the wife of Suman Douglas KING.  Her maiden name was Amanda Louise FOX.

According to the record, Amanda was born September 24, 1860, the daughter of Philip and Mary (RECTOR) FOX.  She died June 22, 1944 at 12:10 a.m. in Orestes, Madison County, Indiana.  The cause of death listed was a cerebral hemorrhage.

Her husband, Douglas, aged 83, was the responsible party for the bill, which totaled $ 321.00.  The ledger is interesting, as it lists installment payments made on the bill, and lists who made the payment - by her children. The final payment of $ 24.00 was made January 14, 1950 by Fred KING when the bill was marked "Paid in Full".  That was the time of her husband's death, so the children must have been made aware of a balance and settled up at that time.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Police Keep On Trail Of The Bandits

Source: Marion Leader-Tribune, Marion, Indiana, November 27, 1924, page 1.



Many Clues, But None Had Resulted In Arrests At Early Hour Today -- Bank Is Robbed of $ 4,000 In Middle of Afternoon, Robbers Displaying Remarkable Nerve -- No One Injured, Not a Shot Fired -- Bank Fully Insured

In the middle of the afternoon yesterday, when the sidewalks in the vicinity were filled with people, none of whom knew the very unusual thing which was happening on the inside, not even the operator of the filling station, directly across the street, seven bandits, young, unmasked, well dressed, believed to be the same gang at Converse a week ago, held up the officers, and two customers of the South Marion State Bank, at Thirty-first and Washington streets, about 2:45 o'clock, robbed the bank of approximately $4,000 in currency, thereupon, in a cool and collected manner, just as if they were transacting an ordinary business affair, they jumped into their purring Nash motor car at the curbside, and drove rapidly away, less than five minutes passing from the time they entered the bank until they were on their way out of the city, followed closely by the police.

Clues galore have come in, the police are working desperately on the case, through the late afternoon and long hours of the night they scoured the countryside for miles around but no definite trace of the band had been received.

No One is Hurt

No one was injured, not a shot was fired, the employees and customers of the bank who were there at the time scarcely had an opportunity to suffer from the nervous shock, for almost before the robbery occurred, it was over.

Five of the men went inside, two stayed outside.

The first of the five, probably the leader, walked to the door of the cash room and ordered "hands up."

The other four followed closely behind.

The cashier and bookkeeper and one of the customers were ordered into the vault.  Still another customer, a woman, was forced into the back room.

No one there attempted to resist, it was realized such would be ridiculous.

The thieves talked little, little was said by anyone, the gang had evidently studied the situation, knew the surroundings and carried out their job with clockwork precision, and almost uncanny accuracy.

They failed in trying to lock up the force and one of the customers in the vault, but they raised the revolvers and eyed them closely.

Is Fully Insured

The loss is fully protected, the board of directors carrying the heavy and reliable burglar insurance.

Following a report that several men answering the description of the bandits in a car said to be a Nash, had stopped at Thirty eighth and Washington streets before the noon hour yesterday and inquired the road to Muncie, Chief of Police Frank Brandon and Captain Jake Campbell left for Muncie last night, but had not returned at a late hour.  The bandits worked so smooth and fast, that but very few clues were left to work upon.

Soon on the Trail

Immediately after the robbery the police were notified.  Chief Brandon, accompanied by Captain Campbell and Patrolmen Braden and Marsh, armed with riot guns and shot guns left the police station and reached the bank within ten minutes, where a description of the car and bandits was given.  They then drove south, in which direction the bandits left after the robbery, and for more than two hours covered many roads in every direction from Marion to Anderson and Muncie, but failed to get sight of a clue of the robbers.  They returned to the city after dark.

Many Towns Notified

Sixteen towns and cities within a fifty mile radius of Marion were notified by the police of the robbery within a short time.  A few minutes later a telephone call was received from Liberty Center, near Bluffton, that a Nash car had been driven at a fast rate of speed east through that town and was been the bandits.  Another report brought in was that a Nash car was seen going west on State Road No. 35 a short time after three o'clock.

From reports received by South Marion residents, the bandits, after leaving the bank drove south on Washington street.  At the Scientific Milling company plant at Thirty-second and Washington streets, Harry Jones, manager stated that a large car with yellow license plates, corresponding to the plates seen on the bandit car, had narrowly missed hitting a team standing at that place and were travelling at a fast rate.

Near the corner of Thirty-fourth and Washington streets, where a number of city employees were at work in a ditch, the same car narrowly escaped going into the ditch.

Employes [sic] remarked that the party in the car must be trying to get out of town for some good reason.

Residents along East Thirty-eighth street, reported a car of this description as going east on that street, near the Home corner.

Byron Baxter, cashier of the bank stated that the loss is fully covered by insurance and that no loss would be sustained by bank patrons or the bank.

When It Happened

At two forty-five, within fifteen minutes of the closing hour of the bank, Mr. Baxter, cashier, and Miss Margie Warren, assistant cashier, were in the bank, as were two customers, M.E. Pope of the Pope Grey Iron foundary [sic], and Mrs. George Van Cleave, each of whom came into the bank to make deposits.  As the patrons were at the windows, five men, none masked, entered the bank, one of whom appeared to be the leader marched ahead of the four others, who were grouped together.

They walked back to the side door leading into the bank cage, when they drew guns on the bank officers and customers and gave a command for them to turn their faces to the walls.  

An instant later, the bank officers were told to come back and walk into the vault in the rear.

Shoved Into Vault

They were shoved in, together with Mr. Pope.

An attempt was then made by the bandits to lock the vault, but their efforts failed and the three persons were ordered to obey their commands.

Mrs. Van Cleave was ordered to step into a rear room.

Two of the men then walked to the cash drawer, where they gathered all of the money in sight, including $50 which Mr. Pope had just deposited.

While they were busy at the cash drawer, the three other bandits told Cashier Baxter to open the safe, which he did.

Valuable bonds and papers, which were picked up by them were thrown down on the floor, while a box of silver money amounting to $200 was picked up and then set down again, not being taken on account of its weight.

The bandits then walked out of the bank and jumped into their auto and drove rapidly south on Washington street.

Bandits Described

Mr. Baxter described the bandits as being from 25 to 30 years old and well dressed.  He said that they worked with a system and that the robbery was completed in a little more than a minute.  According to persons outside, the bandits' car was a Nash, blue body with wire wheels and carried a yellow license plate.  No one secured the license number or the state from which it was issued, but it was stated that Michigan license plates as well as Pennsylvania are of a yellow color, while Illinois license plates of yellow lettering.

From the description given of the bandits and of the apparent circling around the county after the robbery, it is thought that they are the same robbers who held up and robbed the Farmers National Bank at Converse a week ago yesterday.

According to citizens who were in the vicinity at the time, the bandits' car came up to the bank from the north and parked in front of the bank.  The robbery was done so quickly that not one person in the community, even the persons in the filling station across the street, were aware of what was taking place until the robbers had completed their work and disappeared.

The report of the robbery spread quickly throughout the city and the news that the robbers were using a Nash car was also spread quickly and many people began to look for Nash cars.  Last night a man who resides on Thirty-eighth street, reported to the police that he was the owner of a Nash car which had a Michigan license plate on and he desired to tell the police that it was not his car which was used in the robbery.

The board of directors of the bank had just held a meeting at the bank last Monday night, when the subject of the recent bank robberies in the state was taken up and a special inquiry was made to see that the bank customers were well protected and that there was sufficient insurance carried by the bank to insure no loss to anyone.

Officers of Bank

The officers of the bank, which is located at Thirty-first and Washington streets, are Ernest Prior, president; Carl F. Barney, vice-president, and Byron W. Baxter, cashier.  The directors are Ernest Prior, Carl Barney, E.S. Townsend, J.D. Williams, William Berger, W.B. Stephenson, Guy Boots, M.A. Bartels and John Hungerford.  The bank is a member of the Indiana Bankers Association.

This account of cousin Harry PIERPONT (1902-1934) and his gang of bank robbers was located at the Marion Public Library.  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.