Thursday, November 14, 2013



John Dillinger escaped from the Crown Point, IN jail 3 March 1934, Mom was 14. She told us many stories as kids and then when she was older we would drive the roads of Kankakee and Iroquois counties and talk about everything. Dillinger was one subject. Her Dad hated the banks and liked Dillinger and often said if he was on the run and came to his house he would hide him in his barn. John was seen coming in from Indiana crossing into nearby Wichert several times then he went north on to Chicago. When he broke out of the jail he broke federal law for the first time by transporting a stolen car across a state line. He went through St John, IN and crossed over the state line on the Kankakee/Will County Line road going west. Uncle Nels Nelson lived on his Dads farm on that same road near to the spot the hostage talked about in this newsreel. The Area Police Command Center for the Dillinger search at this time was in Bradley. The cops all reported in to their jails because Dillinger had previously raided some jails for their weapons. Grandpa said they really went there to hide out! Mom told these family stories many times. Many years later the movie about Dillinger, "Public Enemies", had a very brief flash of a big old house just south of Wichert that oddly, Grandpa used to live in back in the 1940's. It was the Cote Place, named after the family that owned the Tile Yard, a few other business and many, many acres of farmland. The scene is in the first few minutes of the movie and I'm posting a picture I took of it a few years ago. I remembered it well from my youth. It's gone now. We used to live in Ohio and I have an old newspaper from there, an EXTRA EDITION about the killing of Dillinger, hanging on my wall.

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