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Dillinger book signing

December 3 at Senior Center

“Four guys walk into a Bluffton bank,” a collection of stories about the Aug. 14, 1933, John Dillinger robbery of Citizens National Bank, will be released in time for Christmas gift giving.

Fred Steiner compiled the 20-page, 5,000-plus word booklet, which will be available during a book signing from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center, 132 N. Main St.

This is the first time these stories are in one collection. Copies are $10 each.

“This collection contains genuine accounts of what took place during the most infamous Bluffton 20th century event,” said Steiner.

Bluffton News editor Ted Biery witnessed the robbery, watching it unfold as he hid behind an automobile on Main Street. His lengthy and detailed Bluffton News account is part of this collection.

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Over the past decades, Steiner interviewed many persons with other stories of the robbery. Among accounts in the collection include those by robbery witnesses Harry Bogart and Charles Triplehorn.

The booklet includes a downtown Bluffton map, showing where bullets were lodged and where eye-witnesses watched.

It also includes photographs of bullet holes evident today in the Main Street vicinity.

Other brief accounts include stories involving C. Henry Smith, John Hartzler, Fairy Stager, brothers James and Bob West, Harvey Shine and Dick Habegger. 

James Bixel’s story involving his father’s possible unexpected encounter with a Dillinger gunman is also shared.

Thelma Page, the only living person with a recollection of that day, tells a story she experienced. As a young girl, she watched a car, believed to carry the gang, speed quickly past her rural family home following the robbery.

Several other recollections told to them by others include stories from Sam Diller, Charles Hilty, Rudi Steiner, Doug Hahn and Jon Diller.

Following the Saturday book signing, the book will be available at the Senior Center, several other Bluffton locations and from the author. Out-of-town orders are available through the mail. Contact Steiner at [email protected] for ordering details.

Also available Saturday

Steiner’s three other Bluffton history books will be available at discounted prices on Saturday. Those titles are:

 A Good Place to Miss: Bluffton stories 1900-1975
The Bluffton We Never Knew: Photos from our first half century
Bluffton Anthology: A creek runs through it, essays on a small Ohio town 


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