• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Clearfield County National Bank Robbed



Incorporated in 1840, Clearfield is a borough in and the county seat of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census the population was 6,215 people making it the second most populous community in Clearfield County behind DuBois.

On the night of May 12, 1869, the County National Bank of Clearfield was broken into, the door of the safe ripped open, and $15,000 in currency and $4,500 in U.S. Bonds taken.  This story is pieced together from newspaper articles of the time. Note that some reports mistakenly have the bank robbed as the First National Bank. A sizeable reward of $1,000, or possibly $5,000 was reported.  Two men were arrested near Centerville on the 19th by Deputy Sheriff Huzzard and John Defibaugh.  They took passage on the stage some distance from Bedford, and the driver being suspicious of them sent word to the Deputy Sheriff and drove slowly until he was overtaken by the official. The two were taken to Bedford and jailed and the officers of the bank were notified. Cashier D.W. Moore, Esq., arrived the next day. A third robber with over $15,000 was still at large. In the meantime, D.R. Anderson and John B. Whip of Centerville found a package containing $4,500 in U.S. Bonds and $60 in new postal currency [known better now as Fractional Currency, issued from 1862-1876] hidden in the hollow of a stump near where the two men were arrested.  A preliminary hearing was held before Justice Nicodemus and the parties gave their names as J.M. Newman and Jacob [possibly James] Wilson. District Attorney Kerr made an application to have them removed to Clearfield County for trial and Sheriff Steckman was directed to convey them to the county jail in Clearfield.  It would come out that one of the two robbers was the notorious safe-blower known as Jack Nelson, alias "California Jack" and the third man named Jeddie E. Lamoine had made his way to St. Louis.

Governor Geary of Pennsylvania made requisition to Governor McClurg of Missouri for return of Lamoine to Clearfield for trial.  Cashier D.M. Moore was dispatched to Jefferson City and with this document was able to procure an arrest warrant.  Lamoine was arrested by officers in his residence on Franklin near Garrison Ave., making no resistance.  Officers Harrigan and Tracy made the arrest.  Lamoine had previously been arrested on suspicion of having been connected with the safe robbery of the Franklin County, Missouri treasury of some $10,000, but was acquitted.  He had since been engaged in the liquor business under the firm of Lamoine & Co.  He was about 35 years of age with a wife and children.  Mr. Moore, accompanied by Officer Tracy departed St. Louis for Clearfield with the prisoner.

By July 16, 1869, two of the Clearfield bank robbers were found guilty and sentenced to four years in the penitentiary.  The third party, "California Jack," turned States evidence and escaped punishment.

Altoona Tribune, Altoona, PA, Mon. Apr. 4, 1892.
Clearfield bank robbery The Daily Evening Express, Lancaster, PA, Thu., June 10, 1869.
Bedford Inquirer, Bedford, PA, Fri., June 25, 1869.
Bedford Gazette, Bedford, PA, Fri., July 16, 1869.
The Clarion , Clarion, PA, Sat., June 5, 1869.
Clearfield , Clearfield, PA, Wed., June 2, 1869.
Valley Spirit, Chambersburg, PA, Wed., May 19, 1869.
In December of 1869, perhaps tiring of his duties as cashier, Daniel W. Moore purchased the Altoona Vindicator and changed the name to the Altoona Sun.  He had been associated from 1838-1865 with the Clearfield as sole or part owner.  He would become best known as a prominent citizen of Clearfield County and veteran Democratic Editor.

About a day ago I submitted this on the bank wiki here:  County National Bank, Clearfield, PA (Charter 855) - Bank Note History


1 Comment

Recommended Comments

If I was going to put together a gang I'd look for people with nicknames like "Doesn't Welch Steve" or "Won't Leave With Out You Charlie".

Didn't know there was a banknote wiki, looks like they needed some content. Thanks for the link.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now