E.S. Bank Robbery
The Great Eureka Springs Bank Robbery
by Edwin Tolle & Kevin Hatfield
What the Newspapers said ...
The Wichita Eagle September 30, 1922
Five bandits robbed the bank the other day and thought things were going about as usual. But just as they headed for their car at the curb, in the customary manner, they suddenly realized that they had made a mistake. They were in Arkansas! No helpless crowd of hopeless citizens stood agape while the dashing bandits sailed right out of their ken like a meteor on a starry night. That's not the way they do it in Arkansas. Two pedestrians on the way to visit a sick friend saw what was going on and stepped inside the hank door in time to open the battle with a fcw wcll directed bullets toward the bandit's vital organs. A lawyer in an office overhead said to his earnest client, "excuse me a moment please," stepped to a front window and put a half dozen bullets where they would do the most good. A dentist asked his patient to keep open wide please just one moment, and rested his rifle on the window sill long enough to make sure that at least one of the bandits would fail to leave town that day. A school boy hustling home to lunch whipped out his automatic and joined the attack."
Now the merchants began issuing from the lunch counters and their kitchens. Each individual had his pistol spitting fire and steel as soon as he came within range. And not an innocent bystander was scratched. No wild shooting down at Eureka Springs. Needless to add, not one of the five bandits got away, and all the money, $70,000, was carried back into the bank.
The Congress of the United States should vote a medal to the town of Eureka Springs, and a diploma to Arkansas, where . . .
The Tulsa World September 29, 1922
Law makers have for years attempted to prescribe a cure for banditry. They have been unifonnly ineffective or only partially effective. There is but one really successful cure for the atrocious practice some worthless citizens have of forcibly taking from other citizens the means of subsistence. That cure was administered in the orthodox fashion to a band of worthless citizens by the citizens of Eureka Springs Wednesday. Whenever a citizen has the opportunity to kill a highwayman, a house breaker or other species of the criminal element, in thc act of . . .
The Grand Rapids Herald September 28, 1922
Yesterdays's news report from Eureka Springs, Arkansas, read like a leaf out of the yellow-back Atlas of the Old West; but in the news was a lesson for every community large or small.
The Arkansas Gazette September 29, 1922
Eureka Springs deserves the prominence it won in the news. For its handling of this desperate emergency was remarkable. It is doubtful whether there is a case in the history of outlawry in the United States equal to it.
" . . . . We imagine it will be difficult to tell just who fired the fatal shot. Nevertheless honor is due to all who participated in the shooting."
The Great Eureka Springs Bank Robbery
by Edwin Tolle & Kevin Hatfield
It may have been the "Roaring Twenties" in most of the United States, but in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, it was a quiet autumn morning, Wednesday, September 27, 1922. Eureka Springs, Arkansas was the center of a great fruit and cattle raising district. It was also a nationally known health spa and sportsmen came from far and wide during the summer months to participate in matches on the rifle and pistol ranges. A successful tourist season had come to an end and the fruit and cattle markets were at their heights. The First National Bank of Eureka Springs and the Bank of Eureka Springs were highly capitalized due to a successful season.
Shortly after 11:00 on this fateful morning, Eureka Springs would be cast upon the front page of nearly every major newspaper in the United States, when five strangers drove into downtown to rob the First National Bank. Before it was over, three of the strangers would be dead and the other two would be wounded.
The news of the robbery and the uniqueness of it would be carried over the wire services and the accompanying stories and newspaper editorials would become ‘larger than life.” Eureka Springs would be called the modern day Dodge City or Tombstone, and newspaper accounts would lead the reader to believe that evervone in town carried a gun and was ready to shoot on sight to protect their property and their hard earned savings.
While largely forgotten, The Great Eureka Springs Bank Robbery is one of the most sensationalized, highly publicized robberies in the annals of American journalism. The story was covered in nearly every major newspaper - from the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Herald to the Wichita Eagle, from the Salt Lake City Tribune to the Tulsa World; from the Joplin Globe to the Kansas City Star. It was even featured in an article entitled "Death Trap" which was published in the Startling Detective Magazine.
“While western folklore has sensationalized and even romanticized the old west with its daring daylight bank robberies and gun fights at high noon, a "foiled" bank robbery rarely met with much publicity. After all, not many bank robberies were brought to an end by the citizens of the town who were not going to allow a gang of outlaws to pilfer their assets and leave unscathed. Perhaps this is why the bank robbery of September 27, 1922 in Eureka Springs was so highly publicized by much of the country. In fact, many of the town's people still remembered hanging Judge Parker at Fort Smith where frontier justice was more than just theory, it was a practice of the harshest kind.”
“It had been scarcely thirty years since the Indian Territory had been opened to settlement and the record of the old wild west was being left to the writers to excite our imagination. Be there no doubt, the days of the old gangs were coming to an end and coming to and end fast. This is the story of the demise of the remnants of the Henry Starr Gang.”
The Fatal Plan
It was a balmy Tuesday night in the Ozark hills and five men from Oklahoma were camped in the woods northwest of Eureka Springs on Leatherwood Creek. Autumn had officially arrived in the hills and with it the expectation of cooler days and nights. Autumn brings to the mountains a beauty and serenity that only the Ozarks can provide. There is nothing comparable to an Ozark fall morning with the fog in the valleys and the scattered traces of light frost in the trees. It bestows on all who gaze upon its grandeur an inner peace and sense that all is right with the world.
The Autumn of 1922 seemed a little different than the previous fall as the lingering of an Indian summer was still in the air. Any native of the hills will tell you that during the change of seasons, Ozark nights and days can be as unpredictable as a man's destiny. The events of the next day would forever change the destiny of the campers on Leatherwood Creek and the peace and tranquility often associated with Autumn and the small Ozark hill town of Eureka Springs.
The quintet of campers from Oklahoma had made the trek to Eureka Springs on business, specifically, to rob the First National Bank of Eureka Springs. Sitting around the campfire were Cy Wilson of Cookson Hills; Charles and George Price, brothers from Salisaw: Mark Hendricks of Parkhill and John Cowan of Tahlequah. The Price brothers and Cy Wilson were no amateurs when it came to robbing banks. They had been members of the Henry Starr gang, the most notorious band of bank robbers ever to come out of the Cookson Hills district of Oklahoma, famed hide-out of outlaws. The Starr gang had broken up after Starr's death in a bank robbery attempt at Harrison, Arkansas (just a 45 minute drive from Eureka Springs). The three were wanted by Oklahoma authorities in connection with the robbing of the Bank of Muldrow (Oklahoma) and were also suspects in the robbery of the Bank of Everton, Arkansas. The Oklahoma Banker's Association had employed a detective agency to seek out the outlaws, and had offered a substantial reward to anyone having information as to the gang's whereabouts. Mark Hendricks, a quarter Cherokee Indian, not yet 21 years old, joined the gang on the Sunday before. John Cowan, a sharecropper from Tahlequah, left his crops in the field to join the gang.
There are more questions than answers surrounding the great bank robbery of Eureka Springs. Why the Price brothers selected Eureka Springs as their next target has been the subject of much speculation. Why did they select the First National Bank rather than the Bank of Eureka Springs? Why did Cy Wilson not arrive until the night before the fatal attempt and where had he been hiding and how was he contacted? Why were two novices, Mark Hendricks and John Cowan, who had never been involved in a bank holdup, selected as gang members? Who told authorities about the untimely "pocket watch incident" or was it just another fabrication?
From all accounts it appears that Charlie and George Price and John Cowan had been camping in the dense woods surrounding Eureka Springs for quite some time. All three were making daily trips into Eureka Springs to scout out the lay of the town. Horace B. Brown, writing in the tabloid Startling Detective Magazine wrote of the following conversation the night before the fatal attempt:
"Presently he turned to the four companions behind him and pointed a horny finger toward the cluster of buildings below which composed the sleepy town of Eureka Springs, tucked away behind natural battlements of precipitous mountain sides and dense pine and maple forests. The village was accessible only over that winding trail."
"I guess you fellows know your stuff, but don't forget that Henry Starr called that town a “death trap!” I've never been here before but now I know what he meant."
Charlie Price, standing at the red-faced giant's elbow, merely grinned at the older man's ominous remark.
"It's simple the way we'll handle it. I cased the burg and the bank so I know 'em like myoId man's back yard. I been play'n poker at the Southern Club there every day and night for a week." Price laughed raucously before going on. "Why those nitwits even leave a poker game to go home to dinner at noon. Fact is, everybody in town goes home to eat at 12 o'clock. You can set your watch and bet it's the right time when you see'em walking up the hill. In five minutes the streets are as dead as a graveyard and there ain't a soul in the bank but one girl. I know what old Henry always said about this place and Henry was nobody's fool. But neither am I, and I've got this one figured out."
"By five minutes after twelve, the whole business section is deserted. We won't have any trouble getting the dough from the bank. But we have to work fast and get away faster. That's the rub. The getaway! Our car is in good shape and as fast as anything up around here. But we have to have a good, coolheaded driver to make itA”
He turned to the young Indian, Mark Hendricks, 21 years old.
“You're going to be the driver, Hendricks . . . . . and don't forget that the car and you will be the only thing between this gang and the bone yard.”
So the fatal plan was laid to rest. At five minutes past noon, when all the towns people were gone home to dinner and only one girl was left in the bank, the Price Mob would strike and strike fast. They would leave their camping spot in their Model T touring car, drive past the red brick school and the big white hospital, then at the big 'S' turn where the old street car barns were located, they would turn onto Spring Street. Once on Spring street, they would drive past the many churches, stores, hotels, and fina1ly the bank. Once the bank had been robbed, they would drive past Basin Park then turn up the hill to once again connect with Highway 62 thus making their escape into Missouri.
It was now 10:00 p.m., the night before the bank robbery, and the gang was getting ready for bed at the campsite. There was little chance of their camp attracting attention as the spot selected by Charlie Price was used frequently by campers. As they sat around the campfire, Price emphasized the necessity that everything go like clockwork. At EXACTLY 12:05, the Price Brothers, Cy Wilson, and John Cowan would enter the bank, approach the lone girl left in the bank during the noon hour, empty the four teller cages and the vault while Mark Hendricks pulled up to the front with the car. Then make their escape up what is known today as Benton Street, connecting with Highway 62 where the High School now stands. It was a simple, concise, and foolproof plan.
The First Fatal Mistake
The fire was dying down as the gang retired, each rolled into his own blanket. The only sound was the crackling of the fading embers of the fire. Suddenly, Price rose from his slumber and reached for his watch.
"I almost forgot to wind it", he mused. "Good thing I remembered. "
We will never know exactly what happened at this point. For sure, one of two things did occur. In the darkness of the pine grove, he started turning the stem slowly, carefully until the spring was tight. All published reports concerning the bank robbery reported that by a fateful little pressure on the stem as he wound his watch in the darkness, Charlie Price did indeed accidentally turn the hands of his watch ahead one hour. Although this was possible with time pieces of the era, it is highly doubtful that this is what happened. What is more plausible is that Charlie Prices's watch had been gaining time all along and as they were camping out the week before the robbery attempt, he probably did not set his watch with the clocks in town. Whatever the reason, Charlie Prices's watch was an hour fast and they would arrive in town tomorrow to rob the First National Bank of Eureka Springs at 11:05 instead of 12:05. A mistake that would cost him his life.
The day of the big shoot-out started like any other day in a small town. Two doors down the street from the bank, young Cyrus Montgomery had opened Bill Matney's Cleaning and Pressing Shop where he was sweeping the floors and tidying up the place before Mr. Matney arrived. Young Cyrus, who earned $4.00 a week, never thought much about the bank as he had no need for its services. Banks were for people with money and means, not for those who necessarily needed money. Cyrus understood that. Between the bank and Matney's establishment was a barber shop which usually had more visitors than clients. On down the street, business was as usual at the Basin Park Hotel. Even though the height of the tourist season had ended, the hotel was still doing a brisk business as curious city dwellers awaited a breath-taking autumn in the Ozarks. Robert Bowman, manager of the hotel, was busy checking out guests and carrying on a lively conversation with Claude Arbuckle between guests. Sam Harmon, a local taxi driver, was awaiting a fare. Ernest Jordan was working at his repair bench in his jewelry store which was two doors from the bank. Jesse Litterell, who owned a confectionery shop, was busy preparing his wares. F.O. Butt, president of the First National Bank and an Attorney at Law, along with his.son John and his law partner Joe McKimmey, were busy in their office which was located directly above the bank on the second floor. Up the street, Glen Burson, cashier of the Bank of Eureka Springs, was getting ready for a typical day of banking. Homer Brittain, town constable, was in his office, no doubt expecting a quiet and pleasant day. All in all, it was just another peaceful Fall day in Eureka Springs.
The First National Bank of Eureka Springs was a busy place as the hands of the clock on the wall pointed to 11 o'clock. E.T. (Tobe) Smith, the cashier of the bank, was inside one of the cages waiting on a line of customers. Next to Smith was teller Fred M. Sawyer, who was assisting Smith with several area cattlemen who had come into the bank to make deposits. Through the thick glass windows, guarded with ominous looking steel bars, piles of currency and stacks of silver were plainly visible. As in all banks of the era, the great vault door stood open as was customary during banking hours. Inside the vault was $ 10,000 in cash and $60,000 in negotiable Liberty Bonds. Among the customers were Robert Easley and his son James, stockmen Luther B. Wilson, and Sam S. Holland. Mrs. Maude Shuman and Miss Loma Sawyer, the bank's bookkeepers, along with the bank stenographer, Miss Jewel Davidson, worked at desks in the rear in what was known as the counting room.
Smith was finishing with one of the customers and happened to glance at the clock on the wall across the room. It was exactly 11:05 0' clock and, as he greeted his next customer, the Price brothers, Cy Wilson, and John Cowan entered the bank. He immediately noticed their rough looks and the dirty overalls and jumpers they wore, but believed them to be workmen with checks to be cashed. After all, times were good in Eureka Springs and there was plenty of work for those who wanted it, and strangers were as common as a crowd.
The robbers stopped by one of the service desks and appeared to be endorsing checks and visiting about something. Actually, they were waiting until the four customers had finished their business and had left the bank. None of the gang members noticed that the clock on the wall pointed to 11 :05 and not 12:05. Why were there still five employees in the bank? Everyone but one girl should have gone home for noon dinner by now.
With the bank now empty of customers, Tobe Smith politely greeted the robbers as he would any customer of the bank. There was no time to change the plan. They either made their move now or the bank employees would become suspicious of strangers hanging around the lobby. Tobe Smith reached out for the expected checks to be cashed but instead found himself staring down the muzzle of a blue-barreled gun and gazing into the eyes of one of the Southwest's most cold-blooded bank robbers.
"Stick 'em up, you!. . . . . All of you! . . . . . . Not a move from any of you . . . . . . !
And everybody did because four pistols were leveled at them.
But Tobe Smith's hands came up a little slower than the others. He had taken a fraction of a second to push the alarm button by his cage which would sound in three places: upstairs in the office of bank president F.O. Butt; a few doors away behind the clerk's desk at the Basin Park Hotel; and in the Bank of Eureka Springs, a block up the street.
Five pairs of hands were in the air. Charlie Price's voice cracked as he ordered his five hostages into the counting room.
"Get out from behind the counter . . . AII ofyou! . . . . Quick, into the back room . . . . Move!
Although it had been less than a minute, it must have seemed like an eternity to the five bank employees. They were herded into the back room. There, Cy Wilson stood guard while the Price Brothers and John Cowan emptied the teller cages of all of the silver and currency. They moved quickly into the vault where they filled up their white canvas bag with the remaining currency and bonds. The nervous shuffle of their feet and the crackle and rustling of paper were the only sounds in the room.
Then suddenly, the deafening silence was broken by the ringing of the bank telephone. No one moved and the phone remained unanswered. This would prove to be their second fatal mistake.
Not quite two minutes had passed since cashier Tobe Smith had pressed the alarm button. Upstairs over the bank, the alarm sounded in the office of the bank president F.O. Butt who, along with his son John and his law partner, Joe McKimmey, were busying themselves with a full day's work.
"John, go down and tell those fools to shut off that buzzer. Someone is always setting it off," ordered the bank president.
At that very moment, Sam Bowman, manager of the Basin Park Hotel, hung up his telephone. As soon as the buzzer had gone off behind his desk, he phoned the bank to see if everything was all right. No one answered his call. It was only a little after 11:00. Someone should have answered the phone. He sensed that everything was not all right and headed up the street to the bank, sounding his personal alarm to all passersby.
Up the street, Glen E. Burson, cashier of the Bank of Eureka Springs, reached into his desk drawer and removed a small revolver and walked to the front of the bank. Looking out of the window towards the First National Bank, he spotted a strange car parked near the bank entrance. Sitting at the wheel of the Model T touring car was a nervous looking, dark skinned stranger. What was he up to?
Burson quickly reasoned that this may not be a false alarm and left the bank, walking slowly towards the car. He noticed the fairly robust Bowman running toward the First National Bank. He was yelling something but Burson could not understand him. Something was definitely wrong!
Bowman and young John Butt reached the entrance to The First National Bank at the same time and pushed their way inside. They were immediately confronted by John Cowan with his drawn revolver who ordered them against the wall. Now there were two more hostages in the bank.
Glen Burson was still watching Mark Hendricks and the car. Whether Hendricks made some sort of move, or Burson could see what was going on in the bank is not known. Some reports said that news of a bank robbery in progress was quickly spread by the local telephone operator, another Miss Sawyer, and in seconds everyone on the street was aware of what was happening in the bank. For whatever reason, Burson drew his gun and fired at the tires of the get-away car. Bang' and the first shot was fired.
The Shoot Out
At the first shot fired by cashier Burson, Mark Hendricks, the young Indian who was assigned to drive the get-away car, panicked and began to pull the car away from the curb. Burson then opened fire on the car. As he would later say:
"Honest men don't run when you shoot at their tires. They get out and give you a good cussin'! But this man was trying to get a\vay. "
And with this thought in mind, Burson fired not only at the car but at Hendricks as well. Hendricks drifted down the street before running over the curb between the Yellow Taxicab office and the Basin Park Hotel because of a punctured tire. It was there that Bill Roach, manager of the cab company recognized what was going on and yelled for Sam Harmon, an assistant and taxi driver, who was sitting in the office.
"Quick, Sam, get your shotgun. Here's the bandits car!"
Jesse Littrell, a confectioner, blazed away at the car from his store. A second later, Harmon came out, gun in hand. He saw Hendricks attempting to drive the car off of the curb. He raised his weapon and let go with both barrels. The charge struck Hendricks in the right shoulder, riddling it. The steering wheel jerked from his hands as he was struck from the blast of Sam Harmon's shotgun. Hendricks was caught in a cross fire with no where to go. He stomped on the accelerator but the tires were hit and the car careened and crashed into a telephone pole coming to an immediate halt. Jesse Littrell aimed his shotgun at Hendrick's head and fired. The blast knocked the already desperately wounded youth out of his car. He climbed back on his feet, staggered momentarily and attempted an instinctive yet futile attempt at escape. He then toppled to the cobblestones.
At the sound of the first explosion of gun fire outside, George Price grabbed the bag of money from his brother and rushed toward the front door of the bank. No doubt panic seized him as he saw Burson blazing away at the get-away car.
"They got us trapped", he screamed. "They'll kill us all." What had happened? No one was supposed to be in town at noon. They were all supposed to be at home having their dinner.
"Look at the time you fool", Wilson shouted to Price. Price glanced at the clock and was speechless. It was not yet 11: 1 0 a.m.
Charlie and Cy Wilson, older and steadier hands at this sort of business, appeared calm even in the face of danger. It was Charlie that finally spoke. "We'll take the cashiers . . . .. push 'em out in front . . . . . those yaps won't dare shoot", he barked.
As the Prices, followed by Wilson and Cowan with Smith and Sawyer in front, emerged from the doorway, they saw for the first time that Hendricks had driven away. They were about to make their final mistake.
The robbers were on the sidewalk with two of the local citizens in front of them. No doubt if they had pointed their guns to the heads of their hostages, firing from the citizenry of Eureka Springs would have ceased for fear of losing two of their own. But the usually level headed Charlie Price, panicked by the absence of his get-away car and driver shouted,
“W'eve got to run for it . . . . . the stairway . . . . come on!”
Charlie and George Price immediately abandoned their only hope by shoving their hostages aside, thereby abandoning their human shields. They dashed across the street, heading for a stone staircase that led between the Ellis Building and the Crow Brothers Bakery to a street further down the mountainside.
Shooting as they ran across the street, Wilson and Cowan grabbed the bank employees, Smith and Sawyer, and followed the Price brothers toward the staircase. During the flight across the street, Wilson lost Smith and Sawyer, who threw themselves flat in the street to avoid the ensuing crossfire. By the time they had reached the head of the staircase, Ernest Jordan, operator of a Jewelry store two doors away from the bank, heard the commotion and grabbing his revolver, rushed to the door. He saw the four bandits as they approached the staircase. Jordan dropped to his knee, took deliberate aim and opened fire on Wilson who was covering the other three bandits. With a final curse through blood stained lips, Cy Wilson fell dead in his tracks, his body riddled with bullets. While Littrell was rising to his feet, he was shot at by one of the bandits but suffered only minor powder burns.
Town constable Homer Brittain, hearing the shooting, had circled around the combatants and came up on the far side to see George Price running down the stairs with the white canvas bag still in his hand. The constable ordered Price to halt and when the bandit kept on running, Brittain fired his gun, stopping Price cold, with a bullet in the head. The canvas bag dropped from his hand and rolled down to the bottom of the stairs where it would be later recovered. Price's body fell over the railing of the staircase and hung there much like a sack of grain.
Attorney Joe McKimmey, who had been in his office over the bank when the alarm sounded, had grabbed his .38 caliber revolver and rushed out to see what the shooting was all about. He had served 13 months in France during WWI and was no stranger to combat. He turned his gun at the staircase on the cornered gang and opened fire.
Sam Bowman, who had been left behind in the bank, had brought his weapon with him and opencd fire through the screen door of the bank as the bandits fled the scene. It was a bullet from his gun that first hit John Cowan. The bullet later removed from the body of Cowan showed the markings of the screen wire through which it had passed. Cowan was hit but had not been fatally wounded. In a desperate move, he got up and joined Charlie Price at the head of the staircase.
Caught in a crossfire and with no avenue of escape, Price and Cowan desperately returned fire as they were assaulted on all sides by the riveting gunfire of the towns people. In less than a minute, both went down. Price fell first with over a dozen bullets in him and then Cowan fell when a heavy caliber slug decimated his hip.
Now the battle stopped as quickly as it had begun and silence and gun smoke spread over the the downtown area where but a moment before, the sounds of gun fire and shouts of fighting men echoed against the stalwart and ancient cliffs of this once peaceful and serene town.
Ten minutes after the five members of the Price gang had ridden high-handed into Eureka Springs, everything was over. The battle had been fast and furious.
George Price was hanging over the staircase railing which he had hoped would lead to his escape. Cy Wilson, who had remembered the warning of old Henry Starr, lay dead on the blood covered cobblestones of Spring Street. Charlie Price, mortally wounded, lay crumpled against a telephone pole begging for water. John Cowan, his hip shattered and his heel shot away, was stretched out at the head of the blood covered staircase, in immense pain, where just minutes before, he and Charlie Price had made their last stand. A block away, Mark Hendricks. who had been peppered with bird shot, lay in agony on a park bench in Basin Park where he had been carried by his assailants.
Constable Homer Brittain approached the body of George Price, whom he had just moments before, shot in the head. George Price was still alive and barely breathing. The editor of the Eureka Springs Times-Echo, S.A. Diehl, assisted the constable in carrying Price up the stairs to street level. Within moments people were everywhere. Vehicles were summonsed to transport the wounded to the Huntington Hospital, at the top of the hill. Less than 15 minutes before, the gang had driven past its shining white walls probably never thinking they would be its next patients.
It was reported that hundreds accompanied the wounded to the hospital. George Price died twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital. Dr. Albert Tatman performed surgery on Hendricks, Cowan and Charlie Price. Hendricks wounds proved to be more serious than thought at first. Dr. Tatman removed a quantity of bird shot from under his skin, and discovered that he had been shot through the lung. Several bones in the hip area of John Cowan were shattered beyond repair. Charlie Price died four days later of extensive internal injuries. Both bodies were taken to the Blocksom-Newton Undertaking Establishment in Eureka Springs where they laid in state until being e1aimed by family members and taken back to Salisaw, Oklahoma for burial. The body of Cy Wilson was never claimed and he was buried in the "Potter's field" section of the Odd Fellows Cemetery at the expense of Carroll County.
Hendricks and Cowan recovered from their wounds and were transported to the Carroll County jail in Berryville where they were held until their trial during the February term of Circuit Court, the following year. Both pleaded guilty and Cowan was sentenced from 12 to 21 years in the state penitentiary while Hendricks, because of his age, was sentenced to 3-5 years.
Despite national publicity resulting from the Great Bank Robbery, the First National Bank was not to have a history of long service to Eureka Springs. Part of a group of 14 banks with headquarters in Harrison, it was to be an Early-Depression casualty, closing its doors for the last time in 1931.
At the time of the robbery another bank, the Bank of Eureka Springs, was located above and across Spring Street from the First National. In 1946 that bank moved from its original location at 75 Spring Street into the former First National Bank Building at 40 Spring Street, and remained there until 1967. That year it moved to its present location, 70 South Main Street. Currently on display in its lobby is the safe of the First National Bank that was in use at the time of the Great Bank Robbery.
The Bank of Eureka Springs is the only bank operating during the Great Bank Robbery era that is still in service today. Chartered in 1912, its first location, at 75 Spring Street, is now "Granny's Place Gift Shop." Its second location (the fonner First National Bank) at 40 Spring Street, is now the "Made on Earth, Inc., Gift Shop". At "Granny's", the vault is now a store room; at "Made on Earth", the vault now protects rows of shelves that display a variety of gifts.