The “Roaring 20s” presented new challenges to Horizon as Public Enemy No. 1 posed a threat to the bank’s assets.
By the late 1920s, notorious bank robber John Dillinger was a household name in Northwest Indiana. He had already done time in the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City and pulled a sensational escape from the Crown Point jail armed with a “gun” carved from wood.
First National Bank’s new building had opened in 1913 and featured a 12-ton round vault door installed to protect the Bank’s holdings. The huge, sound-proof vault was regulated by four time clocks and two combination locks that kept bank holdings and customer safe deposit boxes secure.
The threat of a Dillinger hold-up or a copy-cat robbery also prompted the Bank to mount a World War I rifle to a rail in the Director’s office above the bank lobby and teller lines.