On February 28, 1939, 72 years ago today, the Farmer’s bank at Ray City was the scene of a hold-up. The Bank cashier was L.C. Swindle.
Leonard Columbus Swindle was born May 20, 1880, the son of Margaret M. Futch and George Emory Swindle. He was the grand son of Nancy Jane Parker and James Swindle. As a boy, he grew up on the on the Swindle homeplace near Ray City, GA. Later he lived in Cecil, and Valdosta. In Valdosta, L.C. was employed as a store clerk.
As of September 12, 1918, Leonard Columbus Swindle and his wife Mary Coley Swindle were residing in Barretts, GA about five miles south of Ray City when he registered for the WWI draft. He was a farmer, tall and slender with blue eyes and dark hair.
By 1930, L.C. and Mary had moved back to Ray City,GA. Mary worked as a store clerk and L.C. worked in a cotton warehouse, probably for his brother James H. “Jim” Swindle who owned the cotton warehouse at Ray City.
Later, L. C. Swindle drawing on his business experience operated and controlled the Farmers Bank at Ray City. It was there, on February 28, 1939, working as Cashier that he faced the gun of a bank robber.
March 1, 1939
LONE BANDIT ROBS BANK AT RAY CITY
Early Morning Holdup Man Gets $655; Police Take Up Hunt.
RAY CITY, Ga., Feb. 28. Police searched for an armed bandit who robbed the Farmers’ bank here of $633 today when he was admitted before the regular opening hour to get change for a $20 bill.
Cashier L.C. Swindle reported the robbery to police and fixed the time at about 7:15 o’clock. He said he had gone to the bank early to work on some insurance papers. Someone knocked on the door and asked if he could get $20 changed.
Swindle said such requests before the bank opens are frequent and he told the man he would let him in.
“He walked to the cashier’s window and laid a $20 bill on the counter,” Swindle related. “I asked how he wanted the money and as I was counting it out, the man said, ‘wait a minute.’”
When he looked up, Swindle said, a gun was pointed at him and the man said “give it all to me.” Swindle added the man scooped up the cash and warned him to “stay in here,” and fled.
Sheriff N.N. Hughes, of Nashville, came here to investigate the case, and said the cashier described the man. Details were withheld until after search of the vicinity.
Hughes said he would search for two men reported seen near the bank early in the morning. The sheriff said Swindle was unable to tell him whether or not the bandit was in a car, as the blinds were down and a radio playing drowned out possible motor noise. Others said they heard a car about the time of the robbery.