Bank Robbery In Proctor, Texas!

Proctor Well

Proctor Well

This week I have borrowed from a “Wagon Wheels” article published in the Comanche Chief in 1987. It caught my eye because my grandparents’ Proctor home was featured on the same page and because John Croft whose family is tied into many of my memories of Proctor played a role in the story.

Other names such as Rackley, Evans, Reid, and Carleton, at least for a moment, served to remind me of lazy days, and walking to the store to get a popsicle…maybe even stopping for a minute to visit with a sweet, sweet woman whom we were allowed to call Lilly Belle. (McCamey) Just today did I stop to think how odd that was because my grandmother (who was born a century too late) always insisted that we call everyone Aunt or Uncle, regardless if they were part of the family or not.

The day of the big bank robbery in Proctor was also a fairly lazy day with very little happening. It was a spring day in the early ‘30’s, and Fred Rackley was seated on a bench in front of the Mercantile; Paul Hornburg was inside. John Croft and his cousin, Wesley Briscoe, were shooting a game of marbles, and Roger Evans was working alone inside the bank.

No one was paying a bit of attention when the armed robber entered the bank and demanded that Evans give him the money. Before Roger could get all of the money for him, the robber noticed a customer coming in the door. He jumped behind the counter with the gun pointing a silent threat if the teller gave him away.

The customer was Will Carleton who had a $20 check to cash for a crisp new bill. Unfortunately, the only $20 that Evans still had in the drawer was old and wrinkled and did not please Carleton in the least! However, Roger just couldn’t be bothered about that as he did his best to get Carleton out of the bank without both of them being killed.

As soon as Will Carleton was gone and Roger Evans had given the gunman all of the money, he fled the bank, threatening Evans if he said a word. He then jumped into his auto and raced away.

Of course the roads weren’t much better than sand fields in those days, and it wasn’t long until the man was stuck in the sand. He borrowed a shovel from Buddy Weeks, dug himself out, returned the shovel, and resumed his get away.

Two more miles and the over taxed auto was overheated. The man walked to the Hughes’ home, borrowed a bucket of water, returned the bucket, and took off again.

Yep. You guessed it…stuck again, and by this time Roger Evans had sounded the alarm. The law was called, and the man was arrested. Now, here’s the strange part. Witnesses recognized the man and the car; it had only been a short while since he had left the bank. However, the money was never found, and the man was sent to prison, shouting his innocence.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for and marketing small-town Texas.
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12 Responses to Bank Robbery In Proctor, Texas!

  1. Jean LeBlanc says:

    I love your stories. I’m from Sydney born 1938 to Elbert & Gertrude Scott. Our BIG family gather in Comanche the 4th weekend in July and when it is over can’t wait for another reunion. J Newt Scott & Elbert Scott. I call Comanche/Sidney my home.

  2. April McCamy says:

    I was very pleased to see the mention of my grandmother (Lilly Bell McCamey). I, unfortunately, was only 10 years old when she passed away. Thank you for article. I would be very happy to know more about my grandmother. Please contact me.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      April, I actually believe that we have met when you were a little girl! However, if you will tell me your parents names I will know for sure. I thought that your grandmother was the sweetest woman in the world when I was little. She was so soft spoken and just “dripped” with sweetness, or so it seemed when I was a little girl. I’m so sorry that I did not visit her after I was grown, but I suppose life gets in the way…I don’t know. If you read the article about my walking down to the store to get a popsicle, on those days and on my way back, I would often stop by LB’s and have a good “over the fence” visit!

  3. Sue Evans Darwin says:

    I recognize those names! Funny thing is that the one name that I do not know if Roger Evans even though my maiden name is Evans. I heard that there was an Evans back in the old days that ran the bank in Proctor so my cousin, Doris Evans Pairish, and I have tried to figure out how he might have fit into our family but we can find no trace of him.

    I never heard the story of the bank robbery. When I was growing up there in Proctor, the old ones would talk about the bank and the stores in Proctor but I could not imagine it.

  4. Sue Evans Darwin says:

    Fredda, I believe that April is the daughter of Ted McCamey, Lillie Belle’s youngest son. Her mother’s name is Lina Duncan. I knew Ted but not Lina.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      I knew Ted, as well. In fact, I had a little girl crush on Ted! I did not know he had passed away until I happened upon his tombstone one day.

      • Sue Evans Darwin says:

        He and his sister, Jan, both died way too young. They had an older brother who was not living in Proctor when I was growing up there although he did come there sometimes. I used to know his name, but have forgotten it now.

        • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

          Sue, LB used to talk about Jan a lot. I completely lost touch with everyone and did not know when she passed away either. She was David’s “Davie’s” mom, right?

          • Sue Evans Darwin says:

            Jan was David’s mother. Lily Bell had him for some part of his life and Jan was off somewhere. I did not know where. I do not know what year Jan died or what ended up with David. We left Proctor when he was still a little boy. in 1963.

  5. April McCamey says:

    Yes, Ms. Darwin is correct. I am the daughter of Ted McCamey and Lina Duncan. My granny was a special lady, my dad always spoke of her sweetness and honesty. My mother actually still lives on the land that we inherited from dad (that he inherited from Lilly Belle) that is right beside the Croft land.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      I thought that must be who you are. Your dad was enough older than I for me to think he was the cutest and coolest thing around! I had no idea that you had lost him until I accidentally came upon his stone at Board Church. You have a younger brother, right?

      I think you are distantly related to my husband. I had no idea until recently that Lily B. was a Lane. She grew up across the road from my great-grandparents on the Davis side so my grandfather was friends with her family all of his life.

      Also, someone has asked me several times if your family is related to a McCamey that is teaching at Tarleton. I don’t know that answer.

    • Sue Evans Darwin says:

      April, your Dad was 4 years older than me. He and his sister, Jan, both died way too soon. I grew up in Proctor. I used to go to Alton McCamey’s store and buy things and say “Put it on my Daddy’s bill.” He had a little ticket book that he would write it on. Every now and then my Daddy would go there and clear up the ticket book.

      I adored them all. Jan could really make a piano come alive. She had one in the store. She used to come to our house. She was very entertaining to my sister and me. Did you know her son, David Menefee? Do you know where he is and if he is OK?

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