The Great Guthrie Mail Robbery of 1938
Don’t miss the Great Guthrie Mail Robbery of 1938 Reenactment held during the Annual Guthrie Heritage Days Celebration!
In the waning hours of a bleak winter day of January 5, 1938, fate brought three desperadoes, armed to the teeth, face-to-face with two ordinary employees of the U.S. Postal Service and one Town Marshal. This was to become known as the largest U.S. Mail robbery in U.S. history prior to the famous Brinks robbery on January 17th, 1950. It resulted in the largest man hunt in the 100 year history of the Postal Inspection Service.
The three highwaymen, bent on robbing the U.S. Mail, waited in silence as Marshall C.M. Sherrod, Guy Escue, and Arthur Mimms took their typical daily path from the U.S. Post Office on S. Ewing St. down the two block trek to the Railway Express Office at the L&N depot.
As the postal employees and town marshal rounded the last corner onto Kendall St., the bandits brought their 1936 Ford to life and roared in first gear up to the trio behind a cart bearing a pouch containing $25,000.00.
Arthur Mimms, pushing the cart, at the command “stick-em-up,” reached for his sidearm and was immediately shot dead in the middle of the street. Guy Escue threw his hands in the air on the command and remained motionless. Marshal Sherrod, attempted to run for cover and was machine-gunned in both legs as he reached scant cover on the sidewalk.
Seizing the mail pouch containing the cash one bandit took Escue hostage throwing him into the back seat of the Ford as the driver quickly floored the accelerator and gunned the car full-speed northward up Ewing St. turning west on Hwy. 41. The Guthrie Postal Robbery touched off the greatest manhunt ever carried out by 815 U.S. post-office inspectors—17 months in length. It became known in their offices as The Bruce Case.