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Source:  Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield, Illinois) Page: 1
Dated:  May 30, 1913

FOUR MASKED MEN SHOOT ONE AND WOUND THREE
Hold Up Pay Wagon of Illinois Zinc Company at LaSalle - Fail to Get Six Thousand Dollars in CAsh.
     LaSalle, Ill., May 29.  - Four masked bandits held up a pay wagon of the Illinois Zinc company, five miles southeast of here this afternoon, killed one man and wounded three others, but $6,000 in cash for semi-monthly pay of 160 miners, was saved by a wild dash of a wounded officer under fire of the robbers, who escaped.
     The dead:
     Ben Dierks, former police chief, Peru, Ill., acting as guard for the Zinc company men; instantly killed by bandits.
     The wounded:
     Elmer West, clerk, Illinois Zinc company; shot in head, neck and chest; brought to LaSalle; condition critical.
     F. D. Richmond, civil engineer, Zinc company, shot in back; flesh wounds; shot removed and able to help pay off men.
     Henry Oesterle, employe of the company, glancing shot in head; also shot in arm and body; condition not serious.
     Money for the payroll was sent to the Black Holloy mine in two buggies in charge of these four men~  A mile from the destination a gang of robbers sprang up from the brush, surrounding the roadway.  Without attempting to take the money from the rigs, the robbers opened fire on the quartette of men in the wagons.
     First Shot Kills
    
The bandits used automatic shot guns and the first shots killed Dierks, who was driving the second rig.  West also fell at the first volley.
     Richmond, who was in the rig, with West, and the woney, whipped up the horse and fled, while the robbers stood in the middle of the road and continued to fire at him.  As soon as they saw the first rig making a successful escape, the bandits left the other rig unmolested and fled through the woods.  When Dierks fell dead in the second buggy Oesterle grabbed the reins and whipped up his horse and followed the other rig to the Zinc company's mine, where they turned the money over to officials.  The miners were paid off and then joined in searching for the robbers.  Richmond's quickness of mind and bravery in making a dash under fire saved the money, and the miners gave him three cheers.  Police officials from LaSalle and Peru started for the scene in automobiles, equipped with rifles.
     Bloodhouds Called.
     Messages have been sent to Springfield for bloodhounds, and the dogs will reach LaSalle at midnight.  In the meantime, the place of the hold-up is being guarded so that it will be untouched when the hounds are put on the trail.  LaSalle has offered Sheriff Mischke a posse of fifty, if needed.
     That, the bandits were former miners familiar with the system of paying at the plant is the opinion of the police.  To confirm this suspicion, the officers point to the fact that the robbers apparently knew the paymaster and, his assistants and, therefore, covered their faces to prevent recognition.
     When the vehicle galloped away, the bandits ceased their efforts, except to fire futilely after the buggies, and dashed into the woods.  The desperate action of the men in firing on the pay rigs before any demands were made for the money leads the police to believe that the men may have had a grievance against the paymaster and others in the party.
     There was great excitement throughout the zinc mines region to-night over the fatal attempt to steal the miners' pay.  There has never been so desperate an attempt at robbery in the mining region that spreads for many miles to the south and west of LaSalle.
 

Source:  Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield, Illinois) Page: 1
Dated:  May 31, 1913

POSSE OF TWENTY-FOUR SEEK TO LOCATE FOUR BANDITS.
Second Death as a Result of Bandits' Attack Near LaSalle Comes When Elmer West Dies.
     LaSalle, Ill., May 30. - Twenty-five men, headed by Sheriff John G. Mischke and police of LaSalle, Peru and Portland, traveled forty-five miles to-day in automobiles, motor boat and on foot in an effort to run down the four bandits who attacked the pay crew of the Illinois Zinc company south of here yesterday.
     Bloodhounds arrived from Springfield this morning and the hunt has been pursued through the surrounding country all day.  The dogs caught a scent from clothing found in fields at the scene of the hold-up, and pursued a course directly north to the bank of flooded bottom lands.  The trail led down steep hills and broken brush and loose earth, and showed where the fleeing bandits had slid over a fifteen foot ledge.
     The dogs came to a halt at the edge of the water, where four men had chased William Morris, a fisherman, from a boat yesterday afternoon.
     Search was then taken up in motor boats to the Illinois and Michigan canal, and carried the posse into Utica, five miles east.  Reports from the Kinder farm, three miles north of LaSalle, said men tallying with descriptions of two of the bandits had passed there on foot.
     The robber shed clothing as they fled through a pasture and today hunting trousers were found in addition to the coats, two derby ha_s, a shotgun and a revolver and a pair of trousers found last night.
     The second death as a result of the bandits' attack came this morning when Elmert West of Peru died at St. Mary's hospital in LaSalle.  West was in the rig which carried the money, and the first volley of shots fired by the robbers struck him in the head, face and chest.  He survived an ambulance trip to the hospital and underwent an operation, but twelve hours after leaving the table he expired.  West was noted in northern Illinois an a semi-professional baseball player and games of the Peru Stars, with whom he played, are cancelled for a week.  Hundreds of people to-day lined the bluff at the edge of the city to watch the posse at work along the river and canal.
     The bloodhounds picked up the trail of the bandits along Vermillion river to-night and followed the scent for three miles, finally losing it on a switch-track of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad.
     The trail was found near Cavein Rock and led through a house in Jonesville to the mouth of the LaSalle County Carbon Coal shaft, then out through Deer park road and along the tracks.
     Officials believe the bandits boarded a train at the switch track.  The search will be resumed to-morrow.

 
 
 

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