Unearthing Alapaha’s eye-popping shootout with Jesse James Roberts

Always-on-the-go Bank of Alapaha Senior Vice President and board member Sylvia Roberts coolly squeezes the trigger of the genuine Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver used by former Vice President Charlie Matthews to thwart a failed robbery attempt by Jesse James Roberts. According to Sylvia, “Besides the pile of stuff in my pink hospital bag, I was on my way to Fitzgerald to have the gun cleaned and mounted in a box. I asked my son if he wanted to see the gun. He said, ‘I bet you can’t even pick that up.’ Of course I took the bait, not knowing he took a picture. In 2018 I was honored at the Georgia Bankers Association convention for 50 years of employment with Bank of Alapaha. Much to my embarrassment and dismay, this is the candid they showed on a large screen.” Photography by Jeremy Roberts

Ex-convict Jesse James Roberts robbed the Bank of Lenox in South Georgia of $38,000 on January 10, 1966 and thought it might be a wonderful idea to also relieve the Bank of Alapaha of its invaluable assets. Unfortunately, he had never made the acquaintance of bank president J. P. Culpepper.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store