Monthly Archives: January 2017

Based on a True Story…Bandit Killed in Franklin Bank Robbery

Have you ever wondered where the ideas for those “based on a true story” movies come from? Our Archives Technician, Tori Roberts, has been processing Coroner’s Inquests that date back to 1873 and during this project she has come across some interesting cases ranging from bizarre accidents to infamous murders from all over Warren County.

Today’s “based on a true story” movie includes a bank robbery, police pursuit, kidnapping, a shoot out, and escape! Continuing on with our celebration of William C. Schenck’s 244th birthday and his accomplishment of founding Franklin, Ohio, we are highlighting a bank robbery that occurred in Franklin. The Coroner’s Inquest found included information on a victim listed as Tony Ziano, alias Thomas Lee. The summary of his death was “by violence, being shot four times, the bullet which caused his death being thru the head from the right temple to the left.”

This information of course peeked our interest and upon further investigation it was discovered that Tony was part of a trio who robbed the Franklin National Bank on December 5, 1935. It appears that following the robbery the three bandits exchanged fire with a Marshall, which led to the death of Tony and the non-fatal injury of the Marshall. The other two bandits managed to escape this exchange in a stolen vehicle where the owner and her sister were tied up in the car! According to articles in The Western Star the body of Tony Ziano had not been claimed following his death and the trail of the escaped bandit’s went cold after they escaped north past Columbus.


Coroner’s Inquest, December 5, 1935


Western Star Headline, December 5, 1935


Western Star Article, December 5, 1935


Western Star Article, December 16, 1935


Franklin Birthday, Plat Maps, and Transportation Expansion

“The town of Franklin was laid out in the year 1796 by W.C. Schenck and D.C. Cooper as they thought…” – Recorded 12th August 1802

Continuing our celebration of William C. Schenck’s 244th birthday we would like to highlight some plat maps that we have here in the archives. The first of the two plat maps is dated 1802, originally platted in 1796. The second plat map we have is dated 1877, and proposes new corporation limits that will expand on the town.

In the less than 100 years between these maps there are significant differences in the layout of the town. William C. Schenck was a huge proponent of the Miami Erie canal prior to his death in 1821. As you can see the canal in 1877, cuts directly through the center of town. This advancement in transportation through the city led to the growth of Franklin and very likely led to the expansion proposed in the 1877 Plat Map. Another big change is the suspension bridge that crosses the Great Miami River. One change is that is not as obvious are the modifications to the river itself, in the 1877 plat map there is an addition of a hydraulic basin and hydraulic race.


Transcription of Original Franklin Plat Map, Recorder’s Deed Book dated 1802


Franklin Plat Map, Proposed expansion of corporation limits dated 1877


Transcription of Original Franklin Plat Map, Recorder’s Deed Book dated 1802


Franklin Plat Map, Proposed expansion of corporation limits dated 1877