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In June of 1939, Delmar GIBSON, 17 from Lee's Summitt, Missouri, had hopped a ride on a freight car of the Chicago Great Western Railroad. Frank DAVIDSON, 67 and a hobo, was also hitching a ride in the same freight car. Somewhere between Benton and Blockton, GIBSON pulled a gun and shot DAVIDSON. DAVIDSON did not die from his wounds. However, GIBSON was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon [and possibly attempted murder or assault with a deadly weapon?] on June 3rd. He was incarcerated at the Ringgold County Jail at the courthouse to serve out his 30-day sentence.

On his 12th day of incarceration, GIBSON had succeeded in filing through the bars with a serrated dinner knife and then pounding at the bars with some unknown object. [Guess the jailers forgot to count the silverware after dinnertime.]

GIBSON climbed through the window and onto the 3rd-story ledge. He pulled himself up onto the roof and then came back into the courthouse through a skylight. Going down the stairs, GIBSON then slipped out a window. Two and a half months later, GIBSON turned himself in. It isn't known how much longer he stayed in Ringgold County's jail on charges of escaping from jail. Nor is it known what happened to him once he was released from jail.

AVITT, Mike. Pages and Pictures from the Past . . . Ringgold County, Iowa: 1885-2005 p. 16. Paragon Publications, Inc. Mount Ayr, Iowa. 2009.

Photograph by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2009

Compiled and submitted by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2009


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