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Gun Collection Worthy of Display in Courthouse

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
The Putnam County Sheriff’s office is taking its guns out. The antique ones anyway.

The sheriff’s office will soon display a set of antique guns and police equipment in the lobby. The county board this week approved spending $750 on a secure display case.

The guns include dueling pistols, German guns, an Ithaca automatic and burglar gun and a 1921 Thompson submachine gun believed to be the oldest in existence.

“It’s the lowest serial numbered tommy gun in the country,” said sheriff’s Deputy Josh Randall. It is numbered 100.

“That gun (the tommy gun) supposedly came from Trader Jack,” Putnam County sheriff Kevin Doyle said. Trader Jack Redshaw was a globally renowned businessman from Granville who was killed in his office in an unsolved murder in 1955.

The guns have been displayed in county treasurer Kevin Kunkel’s office.

“Most of them came from Mrs. Redshaw when she died.  She gave them to the sheriff, Buck Spratt at the time,” Kunkel said. “Her husband was Trader Jack.

“He was killed, supposedly reaching for the Thompson.

“It was originally sold to the Bloomington police department in 1921, and was then sold to a gun dealer in Marshall County in 1929.

“How it got to Trader Jack?  Your guess is as good as ours,” said Kunkel. “The .22 ‘cowboy pistol’ was from a murder trial that went on in Putnam County. That was in evidence.”

The guns will be moved to a more secure cabinet in the lobby where they can be watched, both by dispatchers and cameras, to ensure their safety.

“The county board didn’t think the office was a safe place to keep them because of their value,” Doyle said.

The gun cabinet is in the process of being built, and the display should be in place in the near future.

Source: News Tribune