Clay County Savings Association Building

Clay County Savings Association Building

Clay County Savings Association building
Location Liberty, MO
Coordinates 39°14′49.58″N 94°25′8.36″W / 39.2471056°N 94.4189889°W / 39.2471056; -94.4189889Coordinates: 39°14′49.58″N 94°25′8.36″W / 39.2471056°N 94.4189889°W / 39.2471056; -94.4189889
Area less than one acre
Built 1859 (1859)
Architectural style Federal
MPS Liberty MPS
NRHP Reference # 92001675[1]
Added to NRHP December 28, 1992

The Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri, was robbed on February 13, 1866, making it one of the earliest documented daylight bank robberies. The robbers escaped with at least $60,000 (equivalent to $971,000 in 2015[2]) and killed a bystander outside. The robbery is believed to have been conducted by a group of former Confederate guerrillas, possibly led by Jesse James[3] or Archie Clement, which became known as the James–Younger Gang.

According to accounts of the day:

The entire maneuver lasted no more than 15 minutes.[3]

In total, the robbers collected at least $60,000.[4] Reportedly they collected government bonds worth $42,000[3] to $45,000,[4] $518 in tax stamps,[3] gold, silver coins, and banknotes.[3]

The bank offered a $5,000 reward for recovery of the money.[4] Attempts to track the robbers were hindered by snow that covered their tracks.[4] Articles in local newspapers implicated both former Confederate bushwackers[4] and Kansas Redlegs of the crime. Later, some townspeople admitted to recognizing some of the robbers but withholding the information out of fear.[3] The robbers were never caught, and no money was ever recovered. The Association eventually settled with creditors for 60 cents on the dollar and closed.[3]

The building is located at 104 East Franklin Street, a block northeast of the Clay County Courthouse. It was built in 1859, and is a two-story, Federal style rectangular brick building with a gable roof.[5]:2 It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.[1]


  1. 1 2 National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Clay County Savings Association Bank Liberty, Missouri". The James-Younger Gang: Come Ride With Us. Archived from the original on 22 December 1996. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 National Historical Company (1885). History of Clay and Platte Counties, Missouri. St. Louis, Missouri: Press of Nixon-Jones Printing Co. pp. 259–260.
  5. Deon K. Wolfenbarger (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Clay County Savings Association Building" (PDF). Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
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