© 2024 KRCU Public Radio
90.9 Cape Girardeau | 88.9-HD Ste. Genevieve | 88.7 Poplar Bluff
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Almost Yesterday is a glimpse into the rich history of our region. Dr. Frank Nickell takes listeners on a journey to specific moments in time, such as the first radio broadcast on KFVS, the history of Farmington’s Carleton College, and the short-lived safari on a Mississippi River island. A gifted storyteller and local historian, Dr. Nickell’s wit and love for the past are combined with sounds and music that augment his narrative.On Saturday, June 7, 2008, Almost Yesterday received First Place in the "Special Programs" category at the Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet in Kansas City, Missouri.Almost Yesterday airs every Wednesday at 5:42 and 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Almost Yesterday: The Day the Campbell Bank Was Robbed

Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that strangers entered the bank of Campbell, Missouri and made off with some of the community’s money. It was just a few moments after 3:00pm on November 11, 1933 when two men in fancy dark suits walked into the lobby of the small bank on Campbell’s Main Street.

One of the men walked across the lobby, turned, displayed an automatic pistol, and announced “This is a holdup!”

John Ponder and Lulu Davis, cashier and bookkeeper, were attending the windows, taking care of two customers, one of whom was W.A. Shy, the town’s postmaster.

One of the robbers moved behind the tellers and began gathering cash from the drawers and in a loud voice said “Don’t move or I will kill you.

He pointed the gun at the cashier and ordered “Open the vault!” Facing directly into the barrel of a loaded gun, Mr. Ponder said “The vault is locked and can not be opened until 4:00pm.” This was not true but the robbers believed him, took what they had, and directed two of the employees to accompany them to a polished Chevrolet Roadster parked in front of the bank.

The two employees were ordered to stand on the running boards of the car until they reached the edge of town and upon their release the getaway car roared north and out of sight. Several people gave chase, including city marshal Rodney Brown who jumped into Sam Smoot’s brand new Plymouth and gave chase. But the thieves made a clean getaway.

Shortly after 4:00pm the car was seen racing through Bernie.

To this day car, money, and robbers have not been found. Residents of Campbell remain curious about he men who robbed their bank on a quiet autumn afternoon in 1933 that seems like Almost Yesterday.

Frank Nickell is a retired history professor at Southeast Missouri State University.
Related Content
  • It seems like Almost Yesterday that the landscape of Cape Girardeau featured a number of special places where residents could relax and enjoy a pleasant change of scenery. In the middle of the nineteenth century Franck’s Gardens on the hill along Jackson Road, now Broadway, was such a place.
  • It seems like Almost Yesterday that the territory Americans know as Texas began – from its origins in Southeast Missouri.