KONAWA, Okla. (KFOR) – There was a different building on this corner back in 1931 when two bandits strolled into the First National Bank armed with Thompson machine guns and left with $2,000 in cash plus some items from the safe.
It’s all here in this special news bulletin from the Konawa Leader of that day.
At nearly 90 years old it’s a pretty dusty and crumbly document.
But Matthew Treaster has another document, this one from that same bank that he thinks came from that same robbery.
He says, “This document was one of the many I saw thrown away.”
“And I’m a big history fan.”
The bank heist from that day was credited to none other than ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd and his gang, notorious Oklahoma outlaws.
Treaster adds, “I was just researching that time and his name kept coming up in correlation, and I kind of put the two together.”
It’s an internal bank bond, a mortgage that local businessman H.A. Lowery had been paying on for several years.
Regular people in Konawa didn’t trade in these documents.
“Once the bank told me that these couldn’t have come from anywhere but inside a bank I started thinking, ‘Well, somebody had to have stolen them’.”
Now Matthew does a little work from time to time cleaning out old houses for estate sales.
He was just curious enough about these pieces of old paper to start doing a little research.
He had Chase Bank look at them and verify them as actual documents from that time.
“They call them in-house documents,” he says.
Here’s what he thinks happened:
Floyd and his gang robbed the bank, and rather than burn everything but the cash, he might have recognized the name on the mortgage and circled back around to hand the paper to Mr. Lowery as a favor.
Treaster says that meant “they were set free from the debt.”
He admits it’s a reach, but the dates sure line up.
Meanwhile he keeps digging and hoping there might be some treasure left for him in these pieces of yellowed paper.
Treaster says his next step is to find a lawyer to file a motion in federal court to award him, as bond holder, the remainder of the debt, which in 2019 dollars is a princely sum.
‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.