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Horse Thief Protection Association collection

 Collection — Folder: S1419
Identifier: S1419

Scope and Contents

There are two items in this collection. The first item is a copy of the November 1971 issue of Indiana History Bulletin with Remley Herr's article entitled "A Hoosier Horse Thief," about Bob Green. The second item is an 8-page, handwritten paper by Clifford Willett about that article as well as his remembrances of the real story.

According to Mr. Herr, Bob Green was a model citizen until May 29, 1908 when he was arrested for horse stealing. The National Horse Thief Association, which was organized at Wingate, Indiana, provided protective services to dues-paying members. Bob Green often went along with the Horse Thief Association on the searches for the horse thieves, knowing he was the guilty party. Bob Green was captured, tried, and convicted for one to fourteen years in Michigan City Prison, in 1908.

According to Mr. Willett, he remembered "real well the morning of April 6, 1908," when he was six years old. There was a telephone call to report the thief of two horses. Clifford's paper reports on Bob Green at different times until, on page 7, he wrote: "If Green were living in this year of 1972, he would be 100 years old. He should be presumed dead." Mr. Willett lists the other men who had horses stolen and the counties in which they lived.

On page 8, Clifford Willett wrote: "I thought the horse companies went out with the coming of the State Police. On checking with Steven Kenny, local officer, I find that there was a lapse. First State Police came in 1921. The law concerning the horse companies was repealed in 1924."


  • 1971-1972


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Remley Herr lived in Crawfordsville, Indiana, when his article entitled "A Hoosier Horse Thief" was published in the Indiana History Bulletin, Volume 48, Number 11, November 1971.

Biographical Note

Clifford Willet was born on May 29, 1902 to William T. and Emily Willett, in Fountain County, Indiana. He died in March 1974 in Hillsboro, Fountain County.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Clifford Willett on 1972/01/10.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2015/04/16 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Horse Thief Protection Association collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.