Farmers and Merchants Bank Robbery

Date in History: 1929

At noontime on Nov. 7th, 1929, a white Cadillac pulled up in front of the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Jefferson. Three men with machine guns boldly ran into the bank without disguise, ordered everyone on the floor and robbed the bank in broad daylight.

Though an alarm sounded when the vault was opened, no help arrived. It appears that the bank had recently been warned that its alarms were faulty. So when the police chief, who was just across the street, heard the alarm going off, he decided it was just another test that the bank was running.

The well-armed bandits made off with over $300,000 in cash and securities, making it, at the time, the biggest bank robbery in Wisconsin. A month later, police on another case raided a house in St. Joseph’s, Michigan and found the Jefferson securities but, alas, not the cash.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 01/31/2005.

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