Commentary by Robert Bowling
Fishers residents were ecstatic when Sam Trittipo opened his store in 1886 (the site is now State Farm building on 116th Street). His son, Albert Watson (A.W.) Trittipo, went into business with him and eventually took over the store when Sam died. But not everyone in town shared the same joyful sentiment. During the course of three years, two mysterious bombings occurred that almost claimed their lives.
Fishers was a town that loved to drink. The infamous Battle of Mudsock had occurred only five years before Sam’s arrival. Whiskey was to blame for the raucous affair as most people in town were already under the influence by noon. The temperance movement was growing in Hamilton County and the Trittipos made it clear that they were against the saloons.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 23, 1892, A.W. went to the barn to feed the mare that pulled the buggy belonging to his dad like he did every morning. As he opened the south barn door, he was met with a loud noise and bright flash. Someone had filled a 2-inch gas pipe, 18 inches long, with birdshot, nitroglycerine and dynamite. It was attached to the barn door with springs and was designed to detonate as soon as the door opened. A.W. escaped with his life but was very badly burned on his face and hands.
The following Tuesday, A. W. received a note, more than likely written by the person who made the bomb. The note read, “Death will come by powder and lead to both of you. Now get. Traps now fixed to your buildings ready to touch off. Now go.”
The Trittipos stood their ground but that didn’t stop their enemies from trying it again three years later.