Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Exchange Bank Robbery, October 1931

The Morning News , (Danville, Pennsylvania), 
30 Oct 1931, Fri • Page 1

I came across this photo in the booklet Old Photos Of Montour County Pa, at the Montgomery House Library in McEwensville. The book gave no further explanation, so I did a little research, which is shown below.

On October 30 1931, three unmasked bandits robbed the Exchange Bank, in Exchange, Montour County PA, of $1100.  




Two men were arrested in Tioga County, they were similar in description to the robbers,and were driving a blue oakland sedan, similar to the one used in the robbery.  James Dennen, the cashier who was bound during the robbery, could not identify the men, so they were released.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
2 Nov 1931, Mon • Page 1

The bandits had lived for a few days in the dense woods on a farm owned by McCarty, in the Northern end of Northumberland County PA.
The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
16 Nov 1931, Mon • Page 1

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
20 Nov 1931, Fri • Page 3



Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
8 Feb 1932, Mon • Page 1
The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
9 Feb 1932, Tue • Page 1

I do not know where the Allenwood bank was/is located.  A July 26 1932 article in the Morning News tells us that the assets were bought by the Watsontown National Bank.  It says that the Allenwood bank was established in the "horse and buggy days, when it was practically necessary in order to carry on business of the community to have a bank near the center of the community."

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
10 Feb 1932, Wed • Page 1

Two women are linked to the Allenwood & Exchange Robberies. Two women picked up the men after they hid the car in Orangeville.  Fred Ungard, the postmaster and Allenwood merchant followed the bandits as far as Blue Ball where he grave up the chase. One of the men had fired a gun at him.

Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
11 Feb 1932, Thu • Page 2

The Allenwood Bank robbery & Exchange Bank Robbery are believed to be committed by the same bandits. (and they were correct - the Shooks were the primaries in both)
The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
11 Feb 1932, Thu • Page 1


When the Wilkes Barre Bank robbers were caught, James Brennen, and a cashier from the Allenwood bank that was also robbed, went to Wilkes Barre to see if they were the same bandits that robbed them,but they were not.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
19 Feb 1932, Fri • Page 1

Reuben & Luther Shook, John Maley & Floyd Hoover confess to robbing the Allenwood & Exchange banks. They were planning to rob the banks at Picture and Laporte.

The Wilkes-Barre Record 
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
6 Apr 1932, Wed • Page 1

The Allenwood bank was robbed February 8 1932.  Floyd Hoover helped Reuben & Luther Shook with the Allenwood robbery, John Maley was not involved at Allenwood, he was only the driver for the Exchange robbery.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
7 Apr 1932, Thu • Page 1

Luther paid his $80 fine, for destroying light stands in a car accident in Williamsport, with the stolen money.  Luther Shook was married a month after the first robbery, on Thanksgiving day, to a 16 year old girl.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
9 Apr 1932, Sat • Page 1

Reuben Shook, who was partially deaf, had trouble hearing the questions in court, his son would repeat them to him.  Reuben testified that it was his suggestion that they rob the bank. He  testified that Luther Shook was his only child, and that his wife was still living. He was employed by Neyhards Hardware Company, Williamsport Pa
He was in jail March 1-June 3 1930, for violation of the Voistead Act.

The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was enacted to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment, which established prohibition in the United States.

Luther's 16 year old wife, married just 4 months earlier, was in the court room.

John Krouse, a neighbor, often talked of robbing the Exchange Bank. He was in the penitentiary for another crime at the time of the trail.

Reuben testified that his son Luther broke two light stand in Williamsport, and was fined $82.  They did not have the money for the fine, so they decided to rob the Exchange bank for the money to pay the fine. Krouse was away from home, but John Maley was at the Shook place, and agreed to drive the car.

The first time they drove up to the bank they lost their nerve.

The second time, Luther Shook tied up the clerk, Maley remained in the car.  When fleeing the bank, Reuben said Maley drove 55 and 60 miles an hour.  Shook became nervous, and asked to drive, saying he knew the roads better.  Shook drove at 40-45 miles per an hour.

The three men divided the loot, and returned to the Shook residence.


Note - "Dark Moleskin pants"appear,from a google search,to be what we think of as Docker style pants.  "Red Mackinaw" is what we refer to as "Woolrich Plaid" - the typical red and black plaid.


The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
13 Apr 1932, Wed • Page 1 & 6

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
15 Apr 1932, Fri • Page 1




Samuel Fischer of Montoursville purchased $200 from John Maley, one of the Exchange Bank Robbers, and took it to New York to launder it.
Shamokin News-Dispatch 
(Shamokin, Pennsylvania)
21 Apr 1932, Thu • Page 1


Luther Shoop is arrested again in 1940. He was sentenced 10-20 years for the Exchange Bank Robbery, but was released on parole in 1938, 7 years after the robbery.  In 1940, he committed another robbery.

The Morning News 
(Danville, Pennsylvania)
22 Jan 1940, Mon • Page 1

====================================================================

Reuben Henry Shook was the son of Henry H. & Mary Anna Shook.  He was the grandson of Jacob & Mary Snyder Shook.
He married Mabel Weller.
He died on May 2 1980 in Florida, age 87.


Luther Delay Shook was born December 8 1912 to parents Reuben Henry & Mabel (Weller) Shook.
In 1925 he lived at 1525 High St, Williamsport Pa
He married a 16 year old girl in 1931.
He was listed as divorced in 1940, when he was in the Penitentiary in Philadelphia.
Luther Died December 12 1967 and is buried in Lycoming County Pa.










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