View Full Version : Robbing banks in 1895

01-23-2006, 08:49 PM
I am trying to find out what would happen when a bank was robbed in the year 1895. If the bank robber got away, what happened to everyone who put their money into the bank? Were completely out of luck, or did the bank replace it somehow? I THOUGHT that the banks would reimburse some of it, but I can't seen to find this obscure detail on a google search.

The FDIC came out in 1934 to help situations like bank failures, but what about 1895?


01-23-2006, 10:32 PM
Now you know why those posses in many Western movies were frequently so large. :)

Cathy C
01-23-2006, 10:37 PM
Yep. The money was just gone. It was why investigative companies like Pinkertons became famous. They would track down the people, for a percentage of the pie, as long as it took, so the posses could go back to their jobs/ranches, etc.

Kathie Freeman
01-29-2006, 03:26 AM
That's not completely true. Banks back then operated much as they do now, taking in deposits and lending out money as needed. There was rarely a lot of cash on hand to rob, and if some was stolen, it was part of the cost of doing business. A bank usually would not go out of business just because it was robbed. The main problem would come if they were robbed of a major payroll or cash shipment, and that's when the Pinkerton types came in. The question then as now was had the money been officially deposited before the robbery?
If people didn't think their money was safe, they'd keep it under the mattress

01-30-2006, 11:27 AM
I am trying to find out what would happen when a bank was robbed in the year 1895.

I don't have much info on what happened to the depositors, but I've got a great book if you need to know how banks were robbed in 1895 -- safe cracking techniques and that sort of thing.

Mac H.
01-30-2006, 12:27 PM
That might have applied to money deposited, but many of the papers etc deposited at the bank were irreplacable.

Australian terrorist Ned Kelly used to burn all the mortgage papers whenever he robbed a bank, so that the bank would have no proof of the money owed to them. (I don't know if it was ever successful in that aim, but the thought was there)

He did this several times in the late 1870s.


01-30-2006, 11:35 PM
Jesse James is rumored to have done the same (destroyed mortgage papers) when he robbed banks. He was killed by a man he called friend in April 1882.

In a later period, Charley Floyd (best known as Pretty Boy) was often rumored to destroy mortgage and note documents.

Such acts of seeming kindness were why both robbers were often dubbed "Robin Hoods".