‘Reno Gang’ author set to visit library

Their first robbery was the Jonesville post office.

And then the lawbreaking and marauding Notorious Reno Gang grew bolder from there.

Rachel Dickinson, author of “The Notorious Reno Gang,” will have those details and more when she speaks during a free presentation at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Red Room of the Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 Fifth St. in Columbus. The writer, who lives in upstate New York, will discuss her research in Seymour and elsewhere for the book and take questions from the audience.

Research for the book also took Dickinson to the National Archives, Indiana State Library, various southern Indiana counties and other sites with data on the Reno era. The book’s subtitle is “The Wild Story of the West’s First Brotherhood of Thieves, Assassins and Train Robbers.”

Active during the time period after the Civil War, the Reno Gang, based in Rockford and then Seymour, terrorized southern Indiana and neighboring states, robbing individuals and killing people.

The gang is noted for the first peacetime train robbery in 1866.

They were so violent that in July 1865 the Seymour Times wrote: “Be wary of thieves and assassins that infest the place.”

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.