Back in the day: Another bombing hits Fishers in late 1800s

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Commentary by Robert Bowling

Albert Trittipo survived an attempt on his life in 1892 when a pipe bomb exploded, causing injury. Many people speculated it was because of his opposition to the saloons where “whiskey flowed freely.” Whatever the reason, the intended effect failed and the Trittipos stayed their ground.

On June 13, 1895, there was another attempt to take the life of Albert Trittipo by the use of an “infernal machine.” He received a package mailed from Cincinnati. It was a box about “4 by 2 by 2.5 inches.” The package itself did not raise suspicions. The words “open this end” were written on the box. He couldn’t explain why, but he opened the package from the other end. That decision saved his life.

Inside the package were sticks of dynamite wrapped tightly together with twine. The core of dynamite was placed into a small wooden box filled with gunpowder until it snugly fit. Matches were attached to the lid of the box, held tightly against a piece of sandpaper. If Trittipo had opened the correct end, the sandpaper would have ignited the matches. The matches then would have ignited the gunpowder, which would have then exploded the dynamite, which was enough to level an entire building.

Unlike the 1892 bombing, this incident made national headlines. Trittipo had been appointed postmaster of Fishers Station in 1893. The attempted assassination of a federal employee was major news. The suspect(s) were never apprehended in either bombing attempt. It is suspected that this was the work of a Fishers Station resident who mailed it from Cincinnati to avoid being traced. Although there wasn’t another attempt on Trittipo’s life, another relative, Ora Trittipo, was the victim of a bombing incident in 1914. The Trittipo bombings will always remain a Fishers’ mystery.

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