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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Oklahoma: Ottawa County

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Bank Robbery in Fairland and Wyandotte
Posted by: Rick J. Gunter (ID *****3586) Date: May 27, 2004 at 07:08:42
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I am in the early stages of researching a little known outlaw gang of the gangster era known as the Lando Gunter gang. Lando was born and raised in Ozark County Missouri and was my grandpa, John Israel Gunter’s first cousin. He went on a crime spree in 1934 and 1935 and robbed 5 banks as well as other misc. crimes along the way.

A lot of his crimes seemed to be concentrated along US highway 60 in Ottawa County, OK. It looks as if he might have picked this area so that he could hit a bank and then make a quick get away back into Missouri. He robbed the Bank of Wyandotte on Jan. 29, 1935. He robbed the Fairland State Bank twice, on Nov. 28, 1934 and Feb. 12, 1935.

Soon after the second Fairland band robbery, the gang was captured at Lando’s mother’s house near Dora, Missouri. There was a shootout between the gang and eight law enforcement officers, which included state patrol officers and local sheriff deputies. Lando’s brother Clarence was wounded in the gun battle and at that point the others surrendered. The gang members included Lando Gunter (age 23), Clarence Gunter (age 31), Richard “Dick” Johnson, Jack White, and Rena Kimes.

The reason for this project is to include the information in a book that I am writing on my family history. In addition, I may also submit an article to a historical journal on this subject. I have interviewed several older member of my family and have recorded some info about this. Much of what I have is somewhat sketchy and I really need to find some other evidence now to collaborate and fill in between the lines of what I already have.

I do not have any details of the Oklahoma bank robberies. I have access to Ancestory.com's historic newspaper database, but it has proven to be rather worthless for researching Oklahoma history. They only have one newspaper online for OK. It is for the city of Ada, OK and the range of years is very limited. If anyone has access to another newspaper database, or might have info from somewhere else (such as a local history book or newspaper on microfilm), I would certainly appreciate a lookup on this. Also, if anyone has any old photographs of these banks, I would certainly appreciate having a copy (scan or color photocopy would be OK).


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