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Ties to Dillinger memorialized in Carbon museum

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A photograph of the damage done to the Carbon State Bank following an alleged robbery by John Dillinger, hangs inside the Carbon Museum. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
Clay County's ties to John Dillinger are deeper than just one of his confidants living here for a period of time.

In fact, a picture hanging in the Carbon Museum shows the aftermath of a bank robbery alleged to have been the work of Dillinger.

Lifelong Carbon resident Josephine Rightsell said she didn't know who took the picture, but it depicts the inside of the Carbon State Bank following a robbery.

The bank was owned at the time by J.B. Marshall and sat on Main Street, where the Carbon Post Office currently is.

Rightsell said her father, Pete Dalton, talked to her about the alleged robbery.

"They always said he came one night. Dad talked about it," Rightsell said. "They always said he got with a local Carbon boy."

Rightsell said the robbery took place in the evening and several items in the bank were knocked over.

"We always knew it happened," Rightsell said.

The book, "Hoosier Folk Legends," by Ronald L. Baker, has an excerpt in it regarding Dillinger not robbing the Carbon bank.

The legend, according to the book, stated Dillinger walked into the bank to get change for some $50 bills he had stolen elsewhere.

The book also includes an excerpt regarding one of Dillinger's hideouts, Rocky Fork, which sits in Parke County close to a stone's throw from Carbon.

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that is all I'm going to say

-- Posted by Sand mann on Wed, Jul 1, 2009, at 7:47 AM

Great stories about local Dillinger ties. Ronald L. Baker is a 1950s BHS graduate who wrote several books as chairperson of the ISU Department of English. He lives about a mile north of US 40 between Brazil and Terre Haute. His wife still is a member of the ISU staff. They can be seen on the second row at ISU basketball games. You should meet him. He's an expert on folklore. Ask him about "spook light" at Carbon. Or have you and your fiance already seen it?

-- Posted by brazil1 on Thu, Jul 2, 2009, at 1:38 PM

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