February 26, 1912: Robbery Averted, Arrest of Troubled Youth Closes Case


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

February 26, 1912: On a lonely road in Earlville, a masked man jumped from behind a clump of bushes, pointed his gun at Morris Haring, and yelled, “Your money or your life.” Without pause, Haring gave the horses a sharp cut with his whip and ducked down in the sleigh as the assailant fired.

A teamster, Haring was driving a full load of merchandise for his employer Samuel Brunner when he was attacked. He drove to the nearest house and gave the alarm. Three men immediately went in pursuit, but they could not find the villain who was described as an English-speaking, well-dressed, slim male of medium height, wearing a dark hat.

A week later, a headline in the Democrat revealed, “The Hold-up Man is Only a Boy,” when William H. Drumheller was arrested for the crime. No mention was made of his actual age, but it was noted that he had a prison record, having served time for forgery. Drumheller denied having committed the attempted robbery, but he did admit to having heard a shot and someone crying murder.

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