Scott County Heritage Center and Museum

Highway Robbers

Indianapolis Highway Robbers

Captured in Scott County

By Everitt Robbins

In the years 1921 through 1924, our father, Dillard Robbins was Sheriff. Dad and mother, Nellie, and five sons lived at the sheriff’s residence which was attached to the jail – a two story brick building which was torn down to make room for the new jail in 1986.

This building was situated on the southeast corner of the Courthouse Square in Scottsburg. I had been up town, however when I returned home to the sheriff residence I saw a huge crowd of 50 or more people had gathered around the steel spiked fence and a Packard Touring car was parked on the street outside the jail. When it came to finding out why the crowd? I learned that three white men who lived in Indianapolis named, Charley, Pete and Weaver had no jobs so they decided to do some highway robbery. Their plan was rather simple as they headed south, when they would see another car they would pull up along side and inform the persons to pull over and stop whereby they would relieve the person or persons of any cash or other valuables they might have. At this point in time there were no radios however, there was the ever faithful telephone by which the Law Enforcement people could call ahead and inform the sheriff or police that these robbers were coming their way. In those days roads were not as straight as the super highways. It was 85 miles from Indianapolis to Scottsburg however when they reached Scott County, they made a sad mistake by leaving the main roads. They ended in the Guinea Knobs in a dead end road making it easy for Sheriff Dillard Robbins to drive his Model T Ford with his two deputies Elmer Smith and George Amick (both were World War I veterans) and took them prisoner easily.

The three men spent some time in jail before their trial was finished. All received some prison time.

It was evident that Weaver had a bad case of asthma. He would lay his head down on his arms and we could hear him breathing so heavy twenty feet away.

Perhaps a year or more later, a well-dressed man knocked on the door of the sheriff residence. The man stated that he wanted to talk to the sheriff. Dad went to the door. The man stated he was Charley of the robbers – he had severed his time, was out and going straight. Dad was so happy that he invited the man to come in and have supper with him and the family.