1936 Powder House Blast
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member GPX Navigators
N 43° 31.981 W 096° 39.121
14T E 689720 N 4822686
Quick Description: A gang from Sioux City shot two of their members and blew up Larson's Hardware powderhouse storage to cover up the crime. Over $20,000 worth of glass was broken all over Sioux Falls. Windows were broken as far away as Dell Rapids.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 5/12/2006 9:48:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMCFB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
Views: 51

Long Description:
William Raymond Nesbit, a man who failed to choose his partners and their girlfriends wisely. After relieving a Sioux Falls, Iowa, jewelry store of $37,000 worth of baubles in 1936, Nesbit and gang hatched another scheme, one that involved the use of the explosive nitroglycerin. Still hanging around Sioux Falls, they drove five miles outside of town to obtain dynamite and gunpowder to make the nitro. In the process of purchasing the materials, an argument ensued among the thieves. They began brawling. The girlfriend of bandit Harold Baker decided to wade into the fury and try to stop the fight. Bad idea. Nesbit clubbed her on the skull with a hammer, and another gang member shot her. To cover their tracks, both Baker and the girl were dragged into the store's powder house. One of the gang lit a fuse, and those who remained took off. Despite her severe injuries, the lady managed to crawl away before the sparks hit the powder. Her boyfriend wasn't so lucky. In a classic case of literal overkill, 3,500 pounds of dynamite and 7,000 pounds of black gunpowder erupted, incinerating Harold Baker and shattering windows in Sioux Falls.

It was not the most ingenious way for a gang of burglars to lay low after a successful robbery. Aside from alerting half the state, Nesbit and crew had also left a very angry, very determined witness. Baker's girlfriend survived the hammering, the shooting, and the massive explosion, and helped the authorities identify the culprits.

A book has been written on this subject as well. This was a defining moment for many Siouxlanders - the "Where were you when...?" question.
Marker Name: 1936 Powder House Blast

Marker Type: City

Marker Text: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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