The Buffalo Bank was established in 1919 and was the only bank established in Buffalo, West Virginia at the time. On October 1, 1953, the bank was robbed by three men who were later arrested with a large sum of money in their getaway car. The bank closed when it was moved to Eleanor, West Virginia, and the building is now operating as the Buffalo Historical Society and Welcome Center.
Backstory and Context
The Buffalo Bank was opened in 1919 and was the only bank in Buffalo, West Virginia at the time. With its yellow brick and beautiful interior architecture, it was the most modern building in town for a long time. The Buffalo Bank was robbed on October 1, 1953 by three armed bandits. The armed robbers were Harold L. Page, Robert E. Combs, and Clair C. Starcher. The bandits made their way inside the bank to the counter with a pearl-handled pistol and demanded cash from the bank tellers.
The tellers Edith Cain, Ann Haer, and Maxine Mitchell, as well as two eleven-year-old girls, were inside the bank during the robbery. The three bandits made off with just over $9,500 and were seen leaving in their getaway car. However, all three man were caught less than two hours later by the local police. The men still had the money they had stolen stuffed into their jackets when they were caught. The Buffalo Bank was later brought out by a bank in Eleanor, West Virginia and the bank was moved and closed.
Harris, John T. . West Virginia Blue Book. Charleston, West Virginia. Tribune Printing Company, 1921.
Charleston Gazette Newspaper Archives, Newspaper Archive. Accessed December 15th 2019. https://newspaperarchive.com/charleston-gazette-oct-02-1953-p-1/.
Friends of Buffalo WV History, Friends of Buffalo WV History. Accessed December 15th 2019. https://www.facebook.com/209437079084858/posts/trivia-the-buffalo-bank-was-robbed-on-october-1-1953-three-armed-bandits-made-of/1076810192347538/.
Charleston Gazette Newspaper Archives, Newspaper Archive. Accessed December 15th 2019. https://newspaperarchive.com/charleston-daily-mail-oct-02-1953-p-15/.
Charleston Gazette Newspaper Archives, Newspaper Archive. Accessed December 15th 2019. https://newspaperarchive.com/charleston-daily-mail-oct-02-1953-p-1/.