© 2023
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

August 31: Maddock Bank Robbery

Ways To Subscribe

North Dakota saw a rash of bank robberies in 1935 and 1936 in Denhoff, Zap, Cummings, New Leipzig, Dickey and Maddock.

In the Denhoff case, the robbers must have gotten spooked, because two boys found loot from the Denhoff robbery in a haystack!

The robberies in Dickey and Maddock took place in May of 1936 hours apart, one at night and the other in broad daylight. Four men had pried open a window at the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Dickey at night and burned their way into the vault. They took $166. Fifty dollars of that was in pennies! An elevator man heard the robbers and shot at their car with a .22-caliber rifle.

Later that same day in the early afternoon, two men held up the Farmers State Bank in Maddock. The cashier opened the vault at gunpoint with the assistant cashier and bookkeeper held on the floor, also at gunpoint. The robbers made off with $4,800. They shut the bank’s three workers in the vault before they left.

Investigators made several arrests in the Maddock robbery, including one as far away as Indiana. On this date in 1936, Bismarck Tribune readers learned of a third arrest. Earl Phipps, alias Ray Smith, had been arrested by federal agents at a nightclub near Williston and jailed him in Fargo.

Ultimately, three men were indicted that fall, and weeks later they were sentenced to federal prison terms from 20 years to 30 years, including stints at McNeil Island federal prison in Washington State and Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura

Sources:
The Bismarck Tribune. 1935, November 26. Page 2
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, April 16. Page 1
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, May 13. Page 1
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, May 22. Page 7
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, May 27. Page 1
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, May 28. Page 1
The Hope Pioneer. 1936, June 4. Page 2
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, August 21. Page 7
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, August 31. Page 1
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, September 4. Page 11
The Hope Pioneer. 1936, September 10. Page 7
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, September 21. Page 2
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, September 24. Page 2
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, October 14. Page 7
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, October 15. Page 4
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, October 22. Page 1
The Bismarck Tribune. 1936, December 5. Page 10

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Related Content