Did you know……..
….that there was a murder and bank robbery in downtown Chagrin Falls?
On Friday, June 19, 1920, Aaron R. ‘A.R.” Chance was gunned down in Chagrin Falls during a daring daylight armed bank robbery.
Scene outside the First National Bank of Chagrin Falls, June 19, 1920 at 5 N. Franklin St
(where Step-in is today)
Interior of the First National Bank of Chagrin Falls - 1920
The robbery happened at 9:15 a.m. at the First National Bank of Chagrin Falls. The bank was located at 5 N. Franklin St. where Step-in is today. There were 3 or 4 men, depending on accounts, armed with guns. 2 or 3 were in the bank, 1 stood watch. The gunmen inside fired twice, one of the shots almost hit teller, A. R. Mountjoy. Mr. Mountjoy had started for a revolver he had under the counter, but had to duck from the shot fired at him. The robbers emptied 2 cash boxes and the teller’s pocketbook. All told, they pocketed $2,500 dollars (about $30,000 in 2015 dollars). They also got $5,000 in Liberty Bonds.
Mr. Chance lived in the apartment above the bank. Hearing the noise, he went downstairs and was met by one of the gunmen who told Mr. Chance to go back upstairs. Mr. Chance turned to go back up. The gunman decided to fire anyways and shot up at Mr. Chance, hitting him in the ankle. The bullet continued up his shin and left his leg at his kneecap.
The robbers made their escape with gun wielding villagers in pursuit. Airplanes were even used to try and find the culprits. Their car, which had been stolen from Public Square on June 6, was recovered the next day at E. 55th and Whittier Ave. The car was the property of John Connors of 3126 W. 86th St. We have not been able to find any record of the robbers being captured.
Mr. Chance was rushed to Carnegie Hospital in a delivery wagon. He was bleeding heavily. He eventually died on June 25th. Mr. Chance is buried in Evergreen Hill Cemetery (Section 14, lot 37, grave 6). His grave was originally unmarked, but a Kenston High school senior, Scott Stoner, Rob Arnold and the Tichy’s from Sheffield Monuments were instrumental in getting the gravestone marker that is there today
Grave marker for "AR" Chance