I think most of us have read about the robbery of the Cardington Citizens Bank by part of “the Dillinger” gang in 1933 but another robbery at the Citizens Bank in 1935 was never solved.

A lone bandit entered the bank about 10 am on Friday, January 4, 1935, and ordered the bank employees, E. M. Willits, cashier; Clarence Longshore, assistant cashier; Kenneth Haycook clerk and C.O. Bailey, a farmer making a transaction, the only persons in the bank at the time to lie on the floor. The bandit grabbed all of the cash from the open cash box on the counter behind the cage. He was described as about 35 years of age, five feet ten inches tall and weighing about 155 pounds. He carried a “persuasive looking weapon” they said, which appeared to be a short machine gun.

The holdup, described as one of the most daring ever perpetrated in this part of the state, was over in ten minutes. He escaped with $456.00, running to his car parked down the street with the motor running. The car, with Marion license plates, was later found parked on a mud road near Waldo. A farmer had noticed it sitting there and called the authorities. Its owner said he had driven his car to Marion to shop and when he came out of the store, the car was gone.

The robber was never found. Fingerprints were taken at the bank but they could not be traced. Frank Thomas was the town Marshall and Fred Struble, the county sheriff. Attorney Fannie Myers visited the site along with Nelson Campbell who had just joined the prosecutor’s office.

This was the fourth bank robbery in Morrow County in recent years.

Two years earlier, members of the Dillinger gang had robbed the Citizens Bank of $8,000. Early in 1934 gunmen walked into Peoples Savings Bank, Mount Gilead, threatening employees and customers escaping with $235.00

Looking back: October, 1942: Kensil and Vinnie Russell purchased the old Peoples Store block in Cardington as an investment. The sellers were Charles Heimlich and Henry Axthelm.

October, 1972: Jack Wilhelm resigned from Cardington village council effective November 1. He was elected in 1969; although village council banned trick or treat night, 400 Cardington children in costume participated in a Halloween parade on the 28th.



By Evelyn Long