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One Hundred Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, August 15, 1923.)
The town of Redding was a scene of terror between the hours of 12 o’clock midnight Saturday night and 3 o’clock Sunday morning, while a gang of 5 bandits was engaged in looting the Redding bank.
The bandits succeeded in their attempt to blow open the vault and escaped with $2,000 in currency and from $2,500-$3,000 in Liberty Bonds (From Wikipedia: A Liberty bond (or liberty loan) was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the Allied cause in World War I. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time.), besides a considerable amount in notes.
The robbers, in a Buick six, reached Redding just before midnight and leaving the car a short distance from the business district, walked up town.
Charles Smith, who conducts a barber shop in Redding, was on his way home and seeing one of the men near the front of the bank asked him for a cigarette. “Sure,” said the bandit and directed him to step around the corner of the building where he encountered another member of the gang and was taken in charge and into the bank where he was bound and placed in a chair with instructions to keep quiet.
Entrance to the bank was effected through a window and the robbers seemed to make little effort to avoid arousing the citizens of the town.
The proceeding was watched by Smith, who was able to furnish a good description of the men. One was an older man, two middle-aged and two probably twenty-two to twenty-five years of age. Three of the robbers were stationed at convenient points to guard the bank, one in front, one at the rear and one near the monument in the square, while the other two entered the building and after digging a hole in the side of the vault, placed a charge of explosive in an attempt to reach the money vault.
The first charge was not effective and this was followed by four charges in succession before the vault was opened.
The first charge awakened citizens of the town. James Miller, appearing a the window of his restaurant, asked the robber on guard at the rear what was the matter and was told to get his head back or it would be blown off. D.M. Rich, cashier of the bank, after reaching the square and taking in the situation fired a shot from a revolver in the hope of frightening the bandits, and this was answered by the bandit near the monument with a load of buckshot which literally shattered the front of the hardware store on the west side, entailing a loss of probably $300.
J.N. Hoover also approached the square and his appearance was the signal for another shot from a bandit.
Telegraph and telephone wires had been cut and communication with the outside world was completely cut off, with the exception of the Bell telephone line which it was later found had been missed.
For more than 2 hours the bandits held the citizens terrorized and at bay, until they had completed the job of looting the vault, when they, after instructing Smith to continue to keep quiet and facetiously remarking they would send him some money, went to their car about a half a mile distance and drove south.
The alarm was at once given and county officers were called to the scene. Officers in towns in all directions were notified. Sheriff Marion Stephens and Deputy Sheriff C.M. King responded and a posse was organized to pursue the bandits who drove south.
The officers at Denver had received word to be on the alert and when they approached a shot was fired by the town Marshall as a warning for the men to stop. Instead a quick turn was made and at the first by-road the bandits drove east.
As they approached New Hampton they were delayed by a blowout and car trouble continued until they reached a point southeast of New Hampton where they abandoned the car and went into a cornfield.
Officers from all directions were hot in pursuit and farmers joined in the search. The cornfield was soon surrounded and the search commenced.
The men were easily tracked into a cornfield, but nearby was a patch of tall weeds through which it was not easy to trace them.
Late in the afternoon two of the men, young fellows probably 25 years of age were located in a clump of weeds. At the command of the officers they came out, offering no resistance and leaving their guns on the ground.
They were taken in charge and gave their names as Fred Stacy and William Fuller. Stacy gave his residence as Kansas City, but Fuller declined to give his place of residence. The men were placed in jail at Bethany and it became necessary to obtain extradition papers before they were released to the officers of this county.
County attorney Grant Hayes went yesterday to Des Moines, where the necessary papers were signed by Governor Kendall and word was received today the governor of Missouri had granted the request for the release of the men to the officers of Ringgold County. The two men will probably be brought to Mount Ayr this evening or tomorrow morning. In the abandoned car was a large pocketbook containing Liberty Bonds and notes and small amount of loose change was found, but the larger part of the currency is thought to be in the possession of the three bandits who have not been captured.
A thorough search of the cornfield and adjacent territory was made Monday, and it is said information has been received that the three men made their escape south from New Hampton in a Ford car for several miles until they found opportunity to exchange the Ford for a Buick and then continued southward.
It is said the two men arrested have the appearance of being in poor health.
The robbery of the Redding bank was the boldest robbery committed in this part of the county in many years and the only bank robbery committed in Iowa this year.
Marriages: August 13, Mina Lynch and Karl Jappe.
Obituary in this edition was, Albert Taylor Hancock.
Seventy-Five Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, August 12, 1948.)
Roy Larson purchased at public auction 220 acres of the Ringgold County poor farm, Thursday August 5 for a consideration of $16,170. The property was offered for sale as a unit or in 3 tracts and was sold as a 220 acre unit.
The Mount Ayr Public Library announces the purchase of the 1948 edition of the encyclopedia Britannica, a 24 volume set of the very best reference books obtainable. The books are a memorial to the late trustee, C.A. Campbell, through whose generous bequest the purchase was made possible.
Marriage: July 2, Alice Sornson and Sgt. Richard Hayes.
Births: August 4, a daughter, Cynthia, to Mr. and Mrs. Russell Rissinger.
Obituaries in this edition: Calvin Arthur Gunter, J.D. Hatch, Lewis Edgar Alexander, Charles O. Hall, and Perry Oliver Brooks.
Fifty Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, August 16, 1973.)
Tom Greene has been promoted to a combination man for the Iowa Telephone Company, announces Chuck Meacham, plant supervisor in Mount Ayr.
In his new position as combination man, he will be responsible for installing and repairing telephones in Mount Ayr area, which serves 14 communities.
Twelve girls have been announced as letter winners in summer softball at the Mount Ayr Community high school by coach Mark Larsen. They are as follows: Seniors-Linda Dolecheck and Brenda Roe; juniors-Sandie Terry, Sally Hunt, Sue Swanson, and Susan Harover; sophmores-Cathy Foltz, Dee Dee Frost, and Debbie Ballard; freshman-Jenifer Parker, Diane Wilson; and eighth grade, Ruthie Bryan.
Marriage: July 8, Peggy Martin and Jerry Overholser.
Births: August 8, a daughter, to Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Bedier.
Obituaries in this edition were: Ralph Lee Merritt, Wilbur Ethridge Lynch, and Cleo Maxine Hawley Gepner.
Twenty-Five Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, August 6, 1998.)
Winners were named in two bucket calf categories at the Ringgold County Fair.
Winning the junior competition was Steven Greene and the intermediate and the senior champion was Nick Botkin. Pen of 3 lamb champions were named in two classes-feeder lambs and market lambs at the Ringgold County Fair recently. Dara Creveling showed the champion market lamb pen of 3 and Matthew Weeda showed the champion feeder lamb pen of 3.
A 1968 Mount Ayr Community graduate, Larry D. Hunter, has been elected chairman of Direct TV Japan Management, Inc., by its board of directors effective August 1.
Obituaries in this edition were: Maude Ann Groves Andrews, Rex Clouse, and Russell Coleman Rice.
Ten Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News, Thursday, August 15, 2013.)
For the second year in a row Jillian and Tessa Kniep won the 7-8 year old division of the Iowa State Fair for the twins or triplets who look the least alike.
Most readers of Mount Ayr Record News are familiar with the history behind the mural that adorns the east wall in the lobby of the Mount Ayr post office. However, some people may not know Orr Fisher was commissioned to paint a second post office mural, this one in Forest City.
Obituaries in this edition were: Gladys Elizabeth Wickett Faris, Cleta Lavaun Burch Force, Raelin Jo Sumpter and Roger Allan Horne.