Friday, July 6, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: July 6

July 6, 1920 – Two little girls sat on the river bank near Medford, Minn., today playing “store.” One was the shopkeeper; the other the shopper.


W. A. Bailey, postmaster of Owatonna, paused as he passed them.  As the “shopper” bought a mud pie she gave her “shopkeeper” pal a glittering piece of water-soaked paper. Bailey blinked and looked again.

It was a $1,000 bond.

The rest of the funds Bailey counted excitedly. There were $100,000 worth, all non-negotiable securities. Inquiry revealed that they were among the loot from the Great Northern State Bank on Rice Street in St. Paul, held up and robbed 10 days ago by five armed men.

A pillow case had floated down the Straight River near Medford where the little girls were wading, they explained, and they towed it to shore. Inside, clogged with wet feathers, the bonds were found, a fat bundle of them. They were pretty—hence the game of “store.” Medford is six miles from Owatonna.

Straight River near Medford2

E. E. Conner, president of the bank, made a trip to Medford and returned with the securities, after paying the reward offered for their return to the two girls. All but a half dozen of the papers, although much water-soaked, have been accounted for, he said this evening.

Five thousand-dollars-worth of Liberty Bonds, $4,900 in cash and the bandits are still missing.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “$100,000 Bank Loot Found By Girls at Play. Pillow, Containing Securities, Pulled Out of River at Medford. Postmaster Sees Mud Pies Sold ‘Shoppers’ for $1,000 Each. St. Paul Financier Rewards Children for Finding Papers.”; July 7, 1920; p. 1.



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