Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

CYRUS: Today is 134th anniversary of Bank of Columbia robbery

Judge Baker saw the brutal slaying of a good and valued citizen, R.A.C. Martin, as a crime so heinous no one should ever think of abolishing the death penalty; Judge Baker recalls the sadness the night the bells tolled in Columbia as the hearse bearing the remains of R.A.C. Martin left this city for the burial in Shelbyville
One hundred and thirty-four years ago, on a sunny Monday afternoon, April 29, 1872, the peace and tranquility of Columbia was shattered as never before when armed bandits brutally gunned Mr. R.A.C. Martin during the now-infamous Bank of Columbia robbery.

In words penned nearly half a century later, Judge H.C. Baker paid touching tribute to Mr. Martin, and, with a few strokes of his pen, laid low the ruthless perpetrators of the crime.

Judge Baker's tribute to R.A.C. Martin,
Bank of Columbia teller brutally slain in robbery

Mr. Martin came to this place from Shelbyville atthe organization of the Bank of Columbia, andwas placed in charge of its business as its cashier.He very soon won the esteem of all who hadbusiness with the bank. He was an excellentbusiness man; kind and gentlemanly in his bearingwith all whom he came in contact.

Only two orthree years before his death he married one of thefair daughters of his old county and brought herinto our midst, and had established a happy home.Without warning and at his post of duty he wassuddenly shot down, and his home was madedesolate. At noon on the 29th of April 1872, hewas seated at his midday meal with his wife --happy in her love and in the prospects of aprosperous future which seemed to await him. Anhour later the assassins had done their bloodywork and his faithful wife, crushed andbrokenhearted, was weeping over his lifeless body.

That night, with the tolling of the bells and withthe sincere sorrow of the community, the hearsedrove out of town carrying his remains forinterment at his old home in Shelby county.

Looking back to-day through the long years thathave intervened, the deed of that bloody afternoonhas lost none of its enormity. Time has notsoftened any of its features, and the fact that itwas done in open day makes it none the less acrime. It was a cruel, cold blooded murder,committed for gain. We have no patience with thefalse and sickly sentiment which would makeheroes of its authors.

It has always seemed to us a misfortune to justicethat their crime here escaped punishment. Wehave always felt, since we saw the lifeless body ofR.A.C. Martin carried out of the bank, that somecrimes deserve the severest punishment, and thatno sentimentality or false sympathy should everlead a government to abolish the death penalty.Men who invade a peaceful community andruthlessly destroy a happy home, as was done inthis instance, should receive at the hands of thelaw death.

Reverently submitted by CYRUS.

This story was posted on 2006-04-29 16:34:50
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.