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4 great books about Bluffton - order your set today!

We can thank Public Enemy Number 1, John Dillinger, for Bluffton’s 20th century 15-minutes-of-fame. His brief visit in August of 1933 places us forever in the Dillinger legend.

Because of my own interest in his visit, as a journalist I’ve made a special point to seek out persons with John Dillinger stories. This is the first attempt to gather these stories into one collection. There are many stories and I continue to collect them, now hearing them from second- generation sources.

The stories in this collection are those I believe to be genuine, or very close to it. You will see a few notes stating some situations shared may not have occurred the way they are told. In most instances, the storyteller also admits that fact.

This short-run edition intends to reach others with stories for a more complete future edition. This collection illustrates the best in oral history that a small town can offer.

If you have a John Dillinger story, let me know. Contact me at

New in 2023!!!
Four guys walk into a Bluffton bank...
and the rest is Bluffton oral history

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And, there are 3 other great

Blufffton history books 

Here's how to order your copies:

• –

Click the author link here:


• – Contact the author


• – Books available at
Bluffton Senior Citizens Center,
132 N. Main St., Bluffton 
– Copies for pick-up only 


Bluffton Anthology -
A creek runs through it

Essays on a small Ohio town











Containing short essays about Bluffton collected by Fred Steiner.


It brings together more than a dozen writers whose own Bluffton experiences deserve retelling.


“For anyone who calls Bluffton home, these stories need no further introduction,” said Steiner, about the book. “For people needing to have Bluffton explained to them, this is a great starting point.”


Contributing essays are from current and previous residents including:

• Rick Emmert                     

• Dave Essinger                  

• Ron Geiser                        

• Jeff Gundy                                                             

• Brendon Matthews

• Ruth Bundy Naylor

• Joanne Niswander

• Rick Ramseyer

• Carolyn Urich Rich

• David Rempel Smucker


In addition, the book includes an essay on Bluffton’s relationship with Riley Creek by the late Robert Kreider, several stories given to Steiner from his late, life-long friend, Charles Hilty, and an introduction by Bluffton science fiction author, Tobias Buckell.


The book also includes a section on Bluffton in the 1950s written by Rudi Steiner, now of Homewood, Illinois. That section includes the account of a Bluffton legend: “Did Elvis stop in Bluffton between his Toledo and Troy performances on Saturday, Nov. 24, 1956?”


Several 15-minute interviews in this collection, originally posted on Bluffton Icon, include:

• Ben Luginbuhl once beat Ben Roethlisberger in a game of horse

• Ron Edinger participated in the overthrow of Manuel Noriega 


• Richard Minck may have created jewelry for Marlon Brandon

• John Triplehorn sat on the OSU bench with some frozen rabbits in the 1950 OSU-Michigan snow bowl


In a chapter “Bluffton Askew” the book offers additional 15-minute interviews, columns and brief accounts of shorter Bluffton incidents told by over 25 persons.


Highlights range from brief interviews and
incidents recalled from:
Megan Weisenbarger Gustitis 
Roger Triplett 
Jim Kinn 
John Moser 
Gordon E. Alderfer 
Lauren Canaday Johnson 
Dave Bracy
Diana Hilty Marshall
Jamil Bazzy 
Amanda Rhonemus 
Scott Hey
Tim Neufeld 
Jessica Edmiston
Joe Goodman
Alee Gratz-Collier 
Courtney Goode 
Micah Sommer 
Ben Kruse
James Pannabecker 
Sam Diller
Jeremy Szabo and 
Jaye Bumbaugh

The Bluffton We Never Knew

Photographs from our first half century 

1861-1911 – includes nearly 175 photos













The photographic work of Bluffton pioneer photographer Will A. Triplett comes alive in this photo history collection.


It includes Bluffton scenes, people, businesses, churches, Main Street, the college, railroads, early vehicles and residences from Bluffton, and 18 Bluffton school class photos taken before 1901.


The book has many photos that few residents today have ever seen and  placing these in one collection reveals a very interest story of the early growth the village of Bluffton.


Former Bluffton resident and Bluffton College faculty member, Von Hardesty, retired from the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., contributed the Foreword.


Tomm Triplett, who grew up in Bluffton and now lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, wrote the Preface. He is a great-grandson of Will Triplett.


Each of the photos include a description of the Bluffton scene portrayed. When possible persons in the photos are also identified. Many residents will find their grandparents and great-grandparents in the collection.


Many of the photos are reproduced directly from Will Triplett’s glass negatives. He was a Bluffton photographer for 53 years, working from 1881 to 1934.    


Chapter titles in the book include:

• Main Street –

   businesses and buildings on Main Street

• Churches                  

• Our neighbors –

   photos of village residents

• Where we lived –

   photos of early Bluffton houses

• The Riley and our quarries 

• The old school –
   18 class photographs

• A college town         

• Going places –
   horse & wagons, automobiles, railroads &interurbans

• One Bluffton family –
   some photos of the author’s Bluffton ancestors


A Good Place To Miss

Bluffton stories 1900-1975
















Released as part of Bluffton’s sesquicentennial, the book includes Bluffton stories from each decade from 1900 to 1975. Several persons with Bluffton connections have contributed stories.


They include: 
Jim “Spike” Berry
Richard Boehr
Sam Diller 
Charles Hilty 
Richard Jordan
Mary Pannabecker Steiner 
Darvin Luginbuhl 
Robert Kreider and others.


In addition, in offers many other shorter stories related to Bluffton during this 75-year period. Rudi Steiner contributed the book’s introduction and explanation of the book’s title.


“Think if it as a collection of stories that for whatever reason were cut from the official histories of Bluffton,” said Fred Steiner. “The stories in this collection are too good to miss.”


In addition, the book lists every Bluffton High School graduate by class from 1881 to 1930, which represents the first 50 years of graduates.