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Yes, Dillinger was here

Bullet holes in building at 101 N. Main St., from the 1933 robbery

You've walked past these John Dillinger bullet holes countless times, but never thought to look up.

It is believed that these holes on the side of the outside wall of 101 N. Main St., were made when John Dillinger's gang robbed Citizens National Bank on Monday, Aug. 14, 1933.

In 1969 the Church Street outside wall at 101 N. Main St, was sandblasted, removing blemishes in the bricks.

However, in 1961, Charles Hilty and Rudi Steiner surveyed the building’s wall, noting bullet holes left by the Dillinger gang.

This panorama shows all known bullet holes from the Dillinger robbery.

It is believed that the holes in the photographs were made by the gang member who fired dozens of warning shots while the robbery was underway.

Hilty and Steiner's survey reported:

“When standing on the building’s limestone foundation, reach as high as you can.
You can place four fingers in bullet holes. The holes are close together and are found on the building’s second complete outside wall support west of Main Street.
From the street it appears to be only three holes, but in fact there are four.
To place your fingers in the bullet holes, someone must stand on the sidewalk supporting you as you stand on the narrow foundation.

The height of these bullet holes also confirms that the gunman aimed high, not to hit bystanders, but instead to warn them to stay away.

Dillinger booklet on sale in Bluffton

These photos and this description are part of the booklet "Four guys walk into a Bluffton bank." The 20-page, 5,000 word booklet was created this winter by Fred Steiner and it includes stories of eye-witnesses of the John Dillinger bank robbery.

Copies are $10 each and are available at the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center and the Black Lab.

Persons from out of town may contact Steiner to have copies mailed. E-mail him at

Fred Steiner will present Dillinger program Jan. 29 in Lima

Steiner will present a program on Dillinger's Bluffton bank robbery during the 115th annual meeting of the Allen County Historical Society at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 29. The museum is located at 620 W. Market St., Lima. The program is free and open to the public.

101 N. Main St. - Church Street side

Close-up of bullet holes



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