History in Photos
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Employees through the years:
Ed Johnson 1911-?
Mr. Hauschild ? -1921
Dalena Richards 1921-1951
Mary Jones 1951-1979
David Small 1979-?

Left Photo is labeled by the photographer: P.O. Robbery Brunsville, Iowa, Nov. 5, 1910

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, November 8, 1910

Burglars Blow Open Door of Safety Vault With Explosives But Fail to Get Any Cash—Smashed Safe in Grocery Store

When Otto J. Vollmar, the cashier of the Farmers Bank at the new town of Brunsville on the Hawarden cutoff, went on Sunday Morningside to picket out the family cow and happened to look up at the bank windows, something struck him as being wrong.  He noticed the blind over the door was down, and he had left it up the night previous when he left the building.  He also noticed the shade on the big window was drawn down, and it had been left by him partially up.  He went to investigate and quickly perceived that robbers had been at work.  He gave an alarm and that was the first intimation the few inhabitants of the village had of the fact that burglars had been in their midst, while they placidly slept.  An investigation showed that an attempt had been made to blow the safe in the Farmers bank, entrance had been made into the Bank of Brunsville, and the general store run by Ed Johnson, in which is the post office.  It had been ransacked and stamps and money taken.

At the Farmers bank the door of the safety vault had been blown off by a charge of nitro-glycerin or dynamite, but the cannon ball safe had evidently foiled the robbers.  The big plate window in the building was smashed. It measured 110x190 inches, and also the glass in the front door was broken and other damage done to the interior of the building.

The Farmers Bank is allied with the LeMars Savings Bank of this city, and all the damage done is fully covered by insurance.  Men were out on Sunday under the direction of a builder and boarded up the broken windows.

At the Bank of Brunsville apparently no attempt was made to blow the safe. The front door was smashed in to effect an entrance and the drawers in the counters and desk were searched and the contents scattered.  This bank is in charge of C. B. Elsen and Frank Liverman, and is connected with the German-American Savings Bank of this city.

Ed Johnson, proprietor of the general store, in which is located the post office, was the heaviest loser in the amount stolen and damage done.  In this store the robbers blew the safe, an ordinary common square one, utterly wrecking it, and broke all the glass in the building.  They succeeded in getting about ten dollars and fifty dollars worth of stamps which were in the safe, and also took seven or eight dollars out of a slot machine which they broke open.

The loss at this place, including the damage to the building, is estimated about $500.

The safe blowing at the bank is supposed to have taken place about twenty minutes to two Sunday morning, from the fact that the clock on the Farmers Bank stopped at 1:42.  B. H. Luken, a resident, heard a noise during the night, but paid no attention to it as he had no idea of the time and thought the noise was merely a shot from the gun of an early duck hunter, which is a common sound thereabouts these fall mornings, and it was not until long after broad daylight that the robberies were discovered.

The sheriff’s office was notified, and P. E. Arendt and his deputy, N. Gearke, went out to investigate.  There was not much of a clue to work upon. A chisel, crowbar and a sledge were taken from Frank Toel’s blacksmith shop and used by the robbers to make entrance into the buildings.

It is supposed that three or more men were implicated in the job; probably more as it is thought the gang pulled off a double stunt, entering both banks at the same time, but this is only conjecture.

The thieves were supposed to have come in from Sioux City on a freight, either on the Great Northern or the Hawarden cutoff, and got out of town the same way.

A suspicious looking character had been seen hanging around Craig and Struble the past few days, who is supposed to be a member of the gang, and it is believed a plan was on foot to blow the bank at Craig that evening.  There was a big dance at Craig that night and people were up late, and it is presumed the robbers then made a break for Brunsville.