A Guide to the Rankin First State Bank Robbery Collection, 1928
In the early morning hours of January 11, 1928, two men were interrupted while allegedly trying to rob the Rankin First State Bank in Rankin, Texas. Both men were shot and killed by the sheriff and his deputies and left where they fell until daylight. The two men's identities were never known, according to a Rankin resident, and they were buried in a pauper’s grave. Frank Hamer, the legendary Texas Ranger, cast doubt on whether the killings were legitimate or a set up perpetuated to claim the $10,000 reward offered by the Texas Bankers Association for dead bank robbers. The recipients of the reward were indicted but never charged.
The collection consists of five photographs. One shows damage to the bank’s door, one is of the car used by the alleged bandits, two are of one of the dead bandits and one appears to be unrelated (a wagon with mules pulling it).
Rankin First State Bank Robbery Collection, 1928, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers