Bio: Gemmeke, Clarence (1905 - 1935)

Contact: Allan Wessel
Email: AlEllen@att.net

----Source: Paper Unkwown (1935)

Newspaper Article on the Shooting of Clarance Gemmeke. Source maybe the Greenwood Gleaner, but am unable to verify.

Clarence Gemmeke Killed in Hold-Up

Clarence Gemmeke, 30, son of Henry Gemmeke of the town of Hendren, 4 miles west of Greenwood, was instantlhy killed early Sunday evening in a hold-up which he and Ira Radka staged at the Albert Schoolman farm in the town of Loyal, about 7 miles southeast of Greenwood.

Gemmeke and Radka were seen leaving Greenwood at about 6 o'clock Sunday evening and undoubtedly went direct to the Schoolman farm. Albert Schoolman, 70 and his brother William, 65, had just finished their evening meal when two men, both armed, entered and said they wanted money. The brothers replied that they had none. "Come on, we know you've got it hid somewhere," was the robbers' reply. They searched the house and found nothing.

At this point William Schoolman opined that he thought he had a dollar in his car out in the shed, and one robber accompanied him to find it while the other guarded Albert. When they returned with the dollar, William found the other bandit leaning over the stove heating a poker, which was already red hot.

When the robbers announced that they were going to apply the poker to the soles of their victims; bare feet until they were told where their money was hid, Albert "got mad" and grabbed a hatchet, he told the sheriff later.

Albert swung at the man with the poker, and had to dodge a rain of bullets which sent four slugs into the wall. One hit the clock and stopped it at 6:48 P.M. The robber closed with Albert and pounded him on the head and chest with the butt of his gun, breaking three of Alberts ribs. Meanwhile, inspired by his brother's valor, William had grappled with the other assailant. The kitchen became the scene of a rough and tumble battle in which the two robbers dodged wild swings with the hatchet and the two victims ducked gun butts.

The two brothers won the unequal fight and drove the armed pair from the house. Then William stepped to the bedroom and loaded his old, single shot .22 caliber rifle. Raising the kitchen window, he sighted the robbers walking out of the yard. He fired one shot, which pierced Gemmeke thru the heart.

As the robber fell his companion fled for a moment, but soon returned and attempted to drag away Gemmeke's body. But William was ready again with his rifle, and several shots drove the robber away. Although both brothers, believed the second man was shot, sheriff's officers who searched through the snow with flashlights and lanterns were unable to find any trail of blood. Later Ira Radka, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Radka, 2 1/2 miles southeast of Greenwood, entered the Greenwood Clinic for treatment of a gunshot wound which he said he had received while in the woods, claiming to have been accidently shot by an unknown hunter.

The bullet grazed both legs and stomach but the wound is not considered serious. The doctor not knowing about the holdup at the time he treated Radka, allowed him to return to his home. A search for the second robber was begun Monday and by evening Radka was taken into custody. Both robbers, according to the Schoolman brothers, were attired in red rubber boots and wore red rubber gloves. They wore handkerchiefs over the lower parts of their faces when they came in, but these did not stay on long after the fight began.

Gemmeke was released from the state prison three years ago after serving six years for robberies committed in Clark county. Since that time he has been farming on his fathers farm. Funeral services were held from the Schiller Underatking Parlors yesterday afternoon and the body was laid to rest in the Greenwood cemetery.

 

 


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