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.

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Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ something fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net