My Blog Posts dedicated to articles on crime & terrorism and the perps who commit crimes

My Blog Posts dedicated to articles on crime & terrorism and the perps who commit crimes
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Monday, November 25, 2019

1921 Unsolved Brutal Murder of Harry Higel On Sarasota Key Fl, Was Harry Pistol Whipped with a Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber Revolver Found in 2019?

COLD CASE HARRY HIGEL UNSOLVED MURDER - UPDATE SATURDAY JAN 18, 2020: The only suspect in the January 1921 brutal murder of Harry Higel on Siesta Key Fl was Rube Allyn. Harry Higel suffered multiple depressed fractures all over his head and face possibly from a pistol whipping on Thursday night January 6, 1921. A Manatee County Coroners Jury inquiry convened by County Judge Cary B. Fish in Bradentown Fl found probable cause to arrest Rube Allyn for Harry Higel's murder on Friday Jan 7, 1921. Rube Allyn's actual birth name is Rubert Royce Allen he grew up in Wellington County Ontario Canada the son of Irish immigrants Alex and Ann Allen. 'Rube Allyn' spent most all of his adult life using an assumed name while publishing exaggerated news stories and we're supposed to believe this eccentric newspaperman when he says he did not kill Harry Higel? The Coroner's Jury heard witness testimony as to Rube Allyn near the crime scene early on Friday morn January 7. Bloody canvas shoes worn by Rube matched prints in the sand near where Harry Higel was found on Beach Rd at about 8:30 am January 7. Private detective Fred Thomas from Tampa interviewed two campers, Mr. Rodman and Mr. Rosener, who had set up tents on Beach Rd who might have information about the murder of Harry Higel. A search of Rube Allyn's house on Friday January 7th 1921 found a pair of trousers belonging to Rube Allyn that had been recently washed and were still wet, possibly washing away any blood evidence. Judge Cary B. Fish was from Itahca NY, he had his law office at 236 Main St Sarasota Fl from 1910 to 1917. Judge Fish would have known Harry Higel and Rube Allyn who had offices nearby on Gulf Stream Blvd during the same time period. A Manatee County Grand Jury later failed to indict Rube Allyn on March 9th 1921. taking only 10 minutes to deliberate, no blood was found on Rube's shoes by a lab in Tampa, no murder weapon was ever found and there was never a trial. Doesn't mean Rube Allyn didn't do it!
Did the Media Influence the Manatee County Grand Jury 99 years ago that failed to indict and then free Rube Allyn in the murder of Harry Higel as claimed by his brother George Higel. Did Fake News help free a sadistic bigoted killer? It was suspected that one of Harry Higel’s known enemies Rube Allyn, the former editor of the Sarasota Sun and editor of Florida Fisherman in the St Pete Times, was responsible for his death. While Rube Allyn’s eccentrics were condemned in Sarasota, co-workers who described him as a “story-book character” heralded him. The St Pete Times describes him as “a man of high romantic imagination, a philosopher, a poet in prose and a lover of nature (BULL CRAP).” Rube Allyn was a man of moods-witty and charming one moment, and venomously bitter the next and known to drink to excess. Harry Higel died on Jan 7th 1921 from the brutal beating he took on Thursday night Jan 6th. Mr Geo. Higel wrote his concerns in a Sarasota County Times article that the media, Sarasota County Times, the Bradentown Manatee River Journal, the Tampa Tribune, the St Pete Times and others had influenced the members of the Grand Jury that set free Rube Allyn the only suspect in Harry Higel's murder. George Higel questioned as to why the press wanted Rube Allyn freed? George Higel wrote: "With the attitude of the Florida Press in general, preceding any trial and the Grand Jury, viewing reports in an unbiased manner, it seems to this writer that the whole trend of the press was to create sympathy and sentiment favorable to Rube Allyn". Everybody read the newspapers in 1921 it was the only form of information. Did 'Fake News' help sway the Manatee County Grand Jury and set Rube Allyn free on March 9th 1921?
The Tampa Tribune wrote a favorable article about Rube Allyn on Feb 27, 1921 while Rube was passing time in jail waiting for the Grand Jury to convene. The Trib wrote how there did not seem to be a motive for Rube Allyn to kill Harry Higel as Rube was just a 'good ole boy' who would not hurt anyone. The Trib wrote of how Rube wired one of his reporter friends for $75 so that an 'Old Drunk' incarcerated with him in the Bradentown Jail could pay his fine and go home. The Trib wrote about how Rube was holding meetings with his reporter friends at the jail and was in good humor and confident of acquittal in the Harry Higel murder. The Trib wrote about how the State has only circumstantial evidence against Rube Allyn and that they knew Rube and Harry Higel had shook hands last year and Rube was just trying to get along with the Higels', what the hell? The Trib wrote that after Harry Higel sold his house in Sarasota and moved to the Island (Siesta Key) that Harry Higel annoyed the Rube Allyn family by various acts the last one was a line fence on Higel's property that cut off the Rube Allyn family. The Trib also wrote on how Harry Higel had put up a line fence at his property across the road and appeared to be cutting off Rube and his family at the north end of Siesta Key as Mrs Allyn was endeavoring to operate a retreat for tourists. The fence was completed just before the attack on Harry Higel that caused his death, (motive?). ST PETE TIMES WROTE March 9, 1921: FLORIDA EDITOR ACQUITTED OF MURDER CHARGE. Rube Allyn, editor of the St. Petersburg 'Florida Fisherman' and former publisher of a Sarasota Newspaper was released from jail after the Grand Jury found insufficient evidence to support a true bill to indict. Rube Allyn is one of the best known paper men in Florida.  

Harry Higel appears to have had multiple depressed skull fractures
according to a report from Dr. Joseph Haldon on Friday Jan 7, 1921. A depressed skull fracture is a type of fracture usually resulting from blunt force trauma, such as getting struck with a hammer, rock or getting kicked in the head (or butt of a pistol). Harry Higel had a gash on his head exposing a crack in his skull above the right eye, multiple broken facial bones and several depressed fractures on the top, side and back of his head. These types of fractures—which occur in 11% of severe head injuries—are comminuted fractures in which broken bones displace inward. Depressed skull fractures present a high risk of increased pressure on the brain, or a hemorrhage to the brain that crushes the delicate tissue and results in death. The butt of a gun like the rusted out 1920's era Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver with a broken grip found buried on north Siesta Key in Nov 2019 could very well have caused the multiple depression fractures to the face and head of Harry Higel during a pistol whipping. Harry Higel was left for dead with head split open on Thursday night January 6, 1921, he wasn't supposed to survive, but he did until mid-day on Friday January 7, 1921. The extensive and multiple brutal depressed fractures to the head and face of Harry Higel indicates great rage and some sort of personal vendetta from the attacker. It is my impression that Mr. Higel received multiple and extended blows to his head and face after he was already down on the sand and unconscious, way overkill, this was payback of some sort. 
The remains of a badly rusted Colt revolver traced to the early and prior 1920's era with a broken grip was found buried on north Siesta Key near Higel Ave in late November 2019. There was a lot of anti-German sentiment (Rube Allyn) resulting from World War I in America, Harry Higel was of direct German heritage, his grandparents on his father and mothers side were German immigrants to America. Rube Allyn hated the Germans, he tried to sign up with the US Military in 1917 to go to the Western Front and kill Germans he was in his 50's at the time. At the time of his barbarous death Harry Higel had just turned 53 years old, he was Director of the Bank of Sarasota and the Seaboard Airline Railway. More on Rube Allyn below who used an assumed name for most of his adult life, the ultimate poser. A poser is someone who tries to fit into a profile they aren't, that's Rube.

Rube Allyn's anti-semitism and extremism were on full display during his statements on Wednesday Feb 20, 1918 before a Senate Committee in Washington D.C.. Rube also admitted to an arrest for attempted murder during the commission of a Hate Crime. Rube hated the German speaking Jews at the Hog Island PA shipyard. The remains of a Colt .32 caliber Police Positive revolver was found buried 98 years later with a broken grip and fully loaded on north Siesta Key Fl in late November 2019. The information that I have compiled in this article is based on facts that have been corroborated and published in various news articles and books on the unsolved murder of Harry Higel. The end result of this article is strictly my opinion that Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was the correct suspect in January 1921 for the murder of Harry Higel. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was a hot tempered Irishman whose parents, Alex and Ann Allen, were Irish immigrantwere refugees to Ontario Canada due to the Great Potato Famine in Ireland from 1845 to 1852. Rube Allyn was born in 1867, he grew up in Mount Forest, Ontario Canada, Rube was born in Canada as per all indications and yet he was an extreme American Patriot, a Nationalist.
    photo credit screenshot Republican Farmer newspaper. 
WWI Jul 28, 1914 – Nov 11, 1918, America, the USA, entered the world war on April 2nd 1917, Rube Allyn tried to join the US Military to go to the Western Front and kill Germans, he was rejected as too old he was in his 50's. On February 13, 1918 President Woodrow Wilson called for a Congressional Inquiry into delays of construction of shipways and Merchant ship building at the U.S. Naval shipyard at Hog Island PA. Somehow the suspect in Harry Higel's unsolved murder, Rube Allyn from Sarasota Fl, got right in the middle of it all. Rube Allyn testified before a Senate Committee Investigation on Wednesday Feb, 20 1918 at 2:00 pm about conditions at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA where he had been working as a dock builder while America and her allies were at war with Germany. Rube's testimony was about 3 years before the murder of Harry Higel and gives the reader an incite into Rube's mindset and bigoted prejudices against Jews and Germans and an admission of guilt to his violent tendencies. Rube blamed all the problems at the Hog Island shipyard on the German speaking Jews on the written record for the Senate Committee inquiry. Murdered Harry Higel of Sarasota Fl and his family were of German heritage. Harry Higel named his prized Hotel the 'Higel-Hurst' to recognize his German ancestry, Higel is the family name and it appears they were from Hurst Germany, somebody burned it down on March 31st 1917. There was a lot of anti-German sentiment (Rube Allyn) resulting from World War I in America prior to Harry Higel's Hotel burning down on March 31st 1917.


America enters WWI on April 6, 1917 joining it's allies in the fight against Germany on the battlefields of France. Rube Allyn, "the liberal newspaper guy",  tried to join the US military to take up a rifle and kill Germans in France, he was rejected, he was too old at 50. Rube Allyn then leaves his Siesta Key family of four in the fall of 1917 to take a job at the US Naval Shipyard Hog Island Philadelphia PA building docks. Rube Allyn had a wife Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn and 3 sons at the time. Times were tough for Rube Allyn his Sarasota Sun newpaper had failed, he was doing odd jobs in and around Sarasota and writing articles for the St Pete Times and apparently he had to go and do his patriotic duty at the Hog Island shipyard. It appears Rube Allyn gave up his newspaper gig in warm Sarasota Fl in November 1917 to build wooden docks and shipways for the US Government at Hog Island PA, about 12 miles from Philadelphia. Rube worked for 2 years outside in the dead of winter and the heat of summer at the Hog Island shipyard, eight hours a day for .60 cents an hour when he was in his 50's, why? Rube Allyn was making about $25 to $30 a week at the Hog Island Shipyard, which was the average weekly salary in 1917 to 1919 for a working man, but not ideal for a guy living in Philadelphia PA and providing for a family of four in Siesta Key Fl, 1,200 miles away. Rube chose his idealistic "patriotic duty" over the needs of his family.
    photo credit philadelphiaencyclopedia.org
Rube Allyn claimed he was as good a man as any man with an axe or crosscut saw, he was a big strong man, he was in his 50's and willing to do hard labor. In 1917, as part of the World War I effort, the US government contracted American International Shipbuilding Corp to build ships and a shipyard at Hog Island PA. Apparently military aged men would receive a deferment from joining the military if they worked at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA in 1917-1918. Rube Allyn was too old for military service in 1917 (50 years old) but he went anyway to work in the mud and cold. Hog Island became the largest shipyard in the world, with 50 slipways. Rube Allyn was working as a dock builder, working on a two man 65 inch crosscut saw (no power tools) to cut the huge lumber for the framework of the shipways by hand for .60 cents an hour, he was in his 50's and had been working as a newspaper guy. 
   photo credit philadelphiaencyclopedia.org
Congress to investigate the goings on at Hog Island. Rube Allyn indicated his permanent home residence as Sarasota Fla to the Senate Committee investigating the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA. Rube Allyn came across as a white nationalist who hated the German speaking Jews working at Hog Island or anyone speaking German. Rube Allyn testified that he was arrested for attempted murder after he threw two German speaking Jews off the trolley and into the street on his way to work at Hog Island PA, it was a 'Hate Crime'. Rube Allyn testified he worked a bit as a night watchman at Hog Island PA and had a firearm, Rube claimed he had the authority to kill somebody. Rube testified he hated hearing the German language spoken at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA. Rube Allyn testified to the Senate Committee in Feb 1918 that the German speaking Jews, the 'foreigners', who came from the slums of New York City and Philadelphia were not suitable as workers for the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA, not like himself an 'American Patriot' and the 30,000 other men who Rube felt should have been provided with uniforms much like the soldiers at battle during WWI. 
   photo credit philadelphiaencyclopedia.org
Rube Allyn was working on a two man 65 inch crosscut saw to cut the huge lumber for the framework of the shipways by hand, as seen above, he was in his 50's. Despite the rancor surrounding the shipyard’s construction and operation, the U.S. Naval Yard at Hog Island only existed because of the backbreaking labor of nearly 30,000 workers laboring throughout the cold winters of 1917-1918 and into 1919 when Rube Allyn was there. Whether it was the poor conditions of the site or a tough winter or contractors’ graft, preparatory construction began to drag on interminably, leading Congress to investigate the goings on at Hog Island. By February of 1918, seven months after the issuance of Hog Island’s contract, a New York Times reporter touring the site was surprised to hear no sound of rivets on steel and only 12 of the planned 50 shipways completed and Sarasota's Rube Allyn got right in the middle of the investigation. The Higel family in Sarasota Fl was of German heritage, Rube Allyn's testimony before a Senate Committee in 1918 indicates he had a big problem with the German speaking Jews or anyone speaking German at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island as America had been at war with Germany. Looks to me like Rube hated Germans.
      photo credit bill warner investigations
Possible Break in 98 Year Old Cold Case Murder of Harry Higel With
Discovery of a Buried Colt Revolver With Broken Grip That Could have Been Used to Pistol Whip and Crush Harry's Skull on Sarasota Key in 1921.
The Colt revolver had been buried with six live .32 caliber rounds and a broken grip, no one would have buried a gun that was easily repairable and cost about a full weeks working man's wages ($24) in 1921, unless it was linked to a murder. NOTE THAT ALL the information in this article was obtained from public records concerning the murder of Harry Higel on Sarasota Key in January 1921. Any items found that may be related to the murder of Harry Higel in 1921 were found on private property and given to me to identify by the property owner late on Saturday Nov 23rd, 2019. The Sarasota Sheriff Dept was notified and all of the remains of a antique revolver (over 100 years old) were presented to them early on Tuesday morn Nov 26th, 2019.
In doing research for this article on the murder of Harry L. Higel information was obtained from vintage 'Sarasota Times' newspaper clippings, the 'Sarasota County Historical Resources', the Colt Firearm Manufacturing Co, vintage newspaper clippings of the 'Philadelphia Inquirer', the New York Times, the 'Alexandria Gazette Newspaper' Alexandria VA on October 24 1892, the book The Story of Sarasota,” published in 1946 by Karl Grimser, the 'Weekly Star' newspaper on October 28 1892, the 'Der Deutsche Correspondent' newspaper in Germany on October 24 1892, the book "An Illustrated History of Siesta Key: The Story of America's Best Beach" by Thomas Philip Farrell and Philip M. Farrell, which I purchased at Barnes and Noble in Sarasota Fl. Information was also obtained from Newspapers where Rube Allyn had worked or published. Rube started in the newspaper business in the 1880's working as a apprentice type setter in Ontario Canada in the office of the 'Mount Forest Representative', later as editor at the 'Daily Times' Crookston, Minnesota in 1898, editor at the 'Reporter' in Rapid City Canada and editor and publisher at the Sarasota Sun in 1913. Most important was Rube Allyn's racist testimony on February 20th, 1918 at the Hearings Before the 65th Congress, Senate Committee on Commerce, United States Senate Capital Building Washington DC concerning working conditions at the Hog Island ship building facility where he was working building docks and his views on the German speaking Jews working there and his admission of an 'Attempted Murder Charge' during a 'Hate Crime', CLICK HERE FOR LINK.
    photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
No one had any idea as to what the remains of the antique revolver found buried on north Siesta Key were until Monday evening Nov 25th, 2019. Permission was obtained from the property owner to turn over the antique revolver early on Tuesday Nov 26th, 2019 to the Sarasota County Sheriff Department. "Harry Higel Unsolved Murder", the Sarasota County Sheriff Department has opened an investigation looking into possible DNA on a pistol grip and possible serial numbers that can be lifted form a 1920's era Colt revolver with a broken grip found buried on north Siesta Key in November 2019. A Sarasota County Sheriff Dept Detective who is a cold case expert has been assigned to the 'Higel Case'.
     photo credit SARASOTA TIMES NEWSPAPER.
In the Obituary for Harry L. Higel published in the Sarasota Times on January 13, 1921, the writer (who appears to be very close to Mr. Higel) strongly indicated that the murder of Harry Higel was planned, "Mr. Higel was struck down in a moment of insane frenzy or a deliberately planned and cruel murder, left bleeding and dying alone, only a short distance from those dearest to him, at his house." In 1921 the Harry Higel compound was and still is in the 3300 block of Higel Avenue on the very north end of Sarasota Key (Siesta Key). Back in the day old Beach Rd ran all along the shoreline on Sarasota Key (Siesta Key) from where the Siesta Key Public Beach is at 948 Beach Rd Siesta Key all the way up to the north end of the Key. Harry Higel was not killed way down near the Siesta Key Public Beach at 948 Beach Rd Siesta Key which is a 1 hour and 10 min walk from his house, one way. The beaten and bloodied body of Harry Higel was found on Beach Rd in the northwest section of Sarasota Key. Harry Higel who went out for a short walk Thursday night Jan 6, 1921 was killed near his house on old Beach Rd near the Higel compound in the 3300 block of Higel Avenue on the very north end of Sarasota Key (Siesta Key), where Rube Allyn lived. In 1913 Rube Allyn and his family were living in the old Sarasota Yacht Club building on the north end of Sarasota Key. At its inception the Sarasota Yacht Club was organized in the summer of 1907 on the north end of Siesta Key. It closed for several years during the depression, but was revived in December 1911. In 1913 the Club purchased a tract of land on Gulf Stream Blvd in downtown Sarasota (moved from Siesta Key), and erected a large clubhouse which soon became known as the center of social life in Sarasota. Sarasota Yacht and Automobile Club, 339 N Gulf Stream Blv'd Sarasota Fl.
     photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
The first issue of Rube Allyn's weekly Sarasota Sun appeared on Saturday, February 6, 1913. Rose Wilson, editor and publisher of the established Sarasota Times 221 Main, Sarasota, announced the advent of her competition on the bottom page of page 4 and opined that Allyn "is a good writer and has a newsy paper." Some time after Feb 1913, Rube Allyn his wife and two children moved to Siesta Key from Palmetto and made a home in the old Sarasota Yacht Club building on the north end of Siesta Key near Harry Higel's home. Rube Allyn had purchased his printing press from the White Springs Messenger and moved it into the building at the end of a dock off North Gulf Stream Blvd Sarasota and later he moved the newspaper operation right next to Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel on Sarasota Key in 1915. In late 1919 and through 1920 Harry Higel quarreled with Rube Allyn over an unpaid debt after he’d lent Allyn money for a home near his prized Higelhurst Hotel (that burned down) on the north end of Sarasota Key. Rube Allyn not only lived at the location, he also printed the Sarasota Sun inside a dockside office. Rube blamed all the problems at the Hog Island shipyard where he was working in 1918 on the German speaking Jews, on the written record, to the Senate Committee. Rube's adversary Harry Higel of Sarasota Fl and his family were of German heritage. Harry Higel named his prized hotel the 'Higel-Hurst' to recognize his German ancestry, Higel is the family name and it appears they were from Hurst Germany. There was a lot of anti-German sentiment resulting from World War I in America. Rube Allyn and his wife left Sarasota and the Key after the Grand Jury failed to indict with a true bill on March 9th 1921 in the murder of Harry Higel. On or about January 10th, 1924 Rube Allyn and his wife returned to Sarasota Key to sell their house on the north end of Sarasota Key near the Higel compound to H. E. Walton as reported by the Sarasota Times. 
     photo credit archives Sarasota Sun newspaper. 1914
1916 Manatee County Fl City of Sarasota Directory
1). Mayor H.L. Higel, 
2). Chief of Police - L. D. Hodges. 
3). Harry L Higel (wife Gertrude), Mayor and real estate, 107 N Gulf Stream Blvd Sarasota Fl, home Siesta Key.  
4). Higelhurst Hotel, Siesta Key, H. L. Higel, proprietor. 
5). Rube Allyn (wife Evelyn), editor The Sarasota Sun, home Siesta Key - phone 73-M, (Rube Allyn had a phone in 1916). 
6). Street Address directory: 120 N Gulf Stream Blvd, Rube Allyn, Sarasota Sun (The). Harry L Higel. Land Developer, was Mayor of Sarasota Fl from 1911-1914 and then again Harry L. Higel, Land Developer, 1916-1917. It looks like everyplace Harry Higel shows up living or having a business in the Sarasota area Rube Allyn was following close behind. Rube Allyn's Sarasota Sun newspaper at 120 N. Gulf Stream Blvd Sarasota first publication was Saturday Feb 1913, Allyn stopped the Sarasota Sun newspaper publication in early 1916. In 1914 Rube Allyn ran a column that caricatured the political leaders and countries that contributed to the recent outbreak of World War I. Rube Allyn put out a lively paper, but could not resist employing satire in many stories and poking fun at political figures. He was particularly fond of gossip and social items. He was pointedly harsh on European leaders and their conduct during World War I. Harry Higel was mayor of the city of Sarasota when it was incorporated in 1913, he was elected mayor two more times in 1916 and 1917. During elections of 1916 and 1917 Mr. Higel had a bitter battle against Rube Allyn who published the Sarasota Sun according to “The Story of Sarasota,” a 1946 book by Karl Grimser. 
1916 Manatee County Fl Newspapers and Periodicals:
Bradentown Herald (weekly), 220 Main
Manatee Record (The), Central av, Manatee
Manatee River Journal (The), 414 Pine - phone 28
Palmetto News (The) (weekly), 207 e Bay - phone 26, Palmetto
Sarasota Sun (The), 120 n Gulf Stream Blvd, Sarasota
Sarasota Times (The), 221 Main, Sarasota.

After America entered WWI in April 1917 Rube Allyn tried to register and join the US Military, he was rejected as he was too old, he was in his 50's. Rube Allyn was an extreme American Patriot he hated the Germans. Since Rube could not join the US Forces in their fight against the Germans he traveled to Philadelphia in late 1917 and went to work as a dock builder at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA for .60 cents an hour, he stayed for 2 years doing his patriotic service so say him.
    photo credit library of congress the 65th Congress Washington.

On Wednesday February 20, 1918 Sarasota's Rube Allyn testified before the 65th Congress in Washington DC at a Senate Committee investigating delays in ship building at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA during WWI with Germany, Rube Allyn blamed the German speaking Jews at the work site for all the problems, he hated them. Presiding was Senator Duncan U. Fletcher (D-FL), with Senator Knute Nelson (R-MN), Senator Morris Sheppard (D-TX), Senator James K. Vardaman (D-MISS), Senator John H. Bankhead (D-ALA), Senator William M. Calder (R-NY), with Senators, Martin, Johnson and Jones. Hiram Johnson had a stark evaluation, "Hog Island is the most reckless waste of public funds which has ever come to my attention," announced the Senator from California. On April 6, 1917 the Congress of the United States had declared war on Imperial Germany, in accord with the impassioned entreaties of President Woodrow Wilson. Barely five months after winning re-election, mainly on the slogan "He kept us out of war," the first of the great liberal heroes of the 20th century turgidly proclaimed the necessity of joining the great war now 2 1/2 years under way in the rest of the world. WWI lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918. The entry of the USA into the First World War on the side of France and England immediately led to immense demands for men and materials to help them fight a successful war against the Germans.
   photo credit testimony rube allyn 65th Congress Washington DC
Rear Admiral Francis T. Bowles was Managing Director of the EFC with full responsibility for overseeing the work at Hog Island starting around February 7, 1918. On February 19, 1918 Attorney General Gregory announced in Washington that the Hog Island investigation ordered by President Wilson would "begin at once." The next day Rube Allyn from Sarasota Fl testified on February 20th, 1918 at the Hearings before the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate Washington D.C. concerning conditions at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA ship building facility. Rube Allyn was working as skilled labor making .60 cents an hour at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA building docks and had been there since at least November 1917. Rube Allyn testified he was a dock builder able to work a crosscut saw or an axe and not afraid to get down in the mud or work near the pile drivers. Rube Allyn's testimony indicates he was a very strong individual working at a very hard and difficult job when he was in his 50's, Rube Allyn was born in 1867 in Ontario Canada, his parents were Irish immigrants to Canada.

  photo credit testimony rube allyn 65th Congress Washington DC
Rube Allyn testified before the Senate Committee that he had been a publisher prior to coming to Hog Island PA. Senator James K. Vardaman (D-MISS) a renowned racist questioned Rube Allyn about the "Jews". Rube Allyn testified that he had serious problems with the Jews, the Jews who spoke German, the "foreigners" whom he designated as Jews, he claimed they were Bolsheviks and delayed work on the ship building, Rube had what appears to be manic patriotism and Germanophobic sentiment. Rube claimed he hated hearing the German language spoken at Hog Island, "not exactly a highly dignified language", Rube Allyn was a bigoted racist. (Murdered Harry Higel was of German heritage).

   photo credit testimony rube allyn 65th Congress Washington DC
Rube Allyn testified before the Senate Committe in Feb 2018 that he was arrested for attempted murder after he threw two German speaking Jews off the trolley going to work at Hog island from his hotel in Philadelphia. Rube Allyn's testimony indicates he was a rough and tough guy in his 50's that took no guff from anyone at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA and he hated and detested anyone speaking German at the job site. Rube Allyn was employed for a time as a night watchman at Hog Island it appears he was assigned a firearm for night watchman work as the Hog Island shipyard was dangerous. Many men were robbed and murdered coming from the Hog Island shipyard at night after being paid in cash, claimed Rube Allyn. In 1918 the Colt Police Positive Revolver .32 Caliber with hard rubber grips was used by watchmen. Rube Allyn claimed he had the authority to kill somebody. Rube Allyn comes across in his testimony as a extreme white nationalist who hated the German speaking Jews working at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA and anybody speaking German. Rube Allyn came across in his testimony as a racist bigot who had tried to kill several Jews who spoke German at the Hog Island shipyard.

    photo credit testimony rube allyn 65th Congress Washington DC
In one statement made by Rube Allyn in his Senate Committee testimony he claimed "the work at Hog Island was overrun with Russian Jews speaking the German language overrun to such an extent that he feels his life is in absolute danger of being smothered by them (Jews) in the the cars (trolley) going to and from work." In the movie 'Gangs of New York' Bill the Butcher is played by the Anglo-Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis who rules the Five-Points NY. The character is a 'Nativist' and wants America to remain a white Anglo-Saxon country. He despises the recent and numerous foreign emigrants in New York. Rube Allyn's rants against the German speaking Jews, the foreigners, at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA before Congress in February 1918 mimics "Bill the Butcher' In the movie 'Gangs of New York'. Rube Allyn was a white nationalist who identifies with America even though he was born in Canada. Rube Allyn spoke to the Senate Committee that the German speaking Jews, the 'foreigners', who came from the slums of New York City and Philadelphia were not suitable workers for the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island not like the Americans and the Irish, not like him an American Patriot. The German speaking Jews were the cause of the ship building delays at Hog Island claimed Rube Allyn in his testimony. 

    photo credit testimony rube allyn 65th Congress Washington DC
In one statement made by Rube Allyn to the Senate Committee he claimed he was glad when the Jews finally disappeared from the job site at Hog Island, he said he did not know where they went "whether they got across the Jordan or not but if so, I hope the waters closed on them (killing them)." The 'Jordan' is the Jordan River in Israel. Rube Allyn went on to say that they (the Jews who spoke German) are dangerous in every way and ought not to be associated with public work in any way. We American workmen have acquired a hatred for them (the Jews who spoke German). I frankly acknowledge that I detest them (the Jews who spoke German). Sarasota's Rube Allyn was speaking racist KKK propaganda concerning the German speaking Jews at Hog Island in front of the Senate Committee in February 1918 blaming the Jews for all the problems at Hog Island, it is in the Congressional record forever. Sarasota's Rube Allyn blamed the Jews for all the problems at Hog Island shipyard in 1918 just like Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party blamed the Jews for all the problems in Germany 15 years later in 1933. In Florida, Rube Allyn’s jail time while awaiting the results of the Grand Jury investigation into the murder of Harry Higel in March of 1921 meant the end of his career at the old Sarasota Sun. Rube Allyn was still working as an editor of the Florida Fisherman, a publication put out by the St. Petersburg Times beginning in August 1920. The St Pete Times stood by Rube Allyn, considering that he had spent much of his time surrounding the murder in St. Petersburg perfecting the start-up magazine.  
     photo credit Hog Island shipyard Library Company of Philadelphia
Apparently Rube Allyn's suspicions about the German speaking Jewish workers at the Hog Island shipyard in 1918 had some validity. "As of 1914 in view of the nature of the czarist regime and the large proportion of Polish and Russian Jews, the sympathy of most Jewish leaders lay with Germany and the Austro­-Hungarian Empire during the begining of WWI. The German Foreign Office was aware of this, and during the first years of the war tried to exploit this to further German interests. German Jews all over the world founded the “Committee for the East” which disseminated pro‑German propaganda among the Jews in Poland. Zionists in Germany conducted negotiations with the Foreign Office concerning cooperation over Palestine, and in 1915 the Jewish philosopher, Hermann Cohen, went to the United States to ask the Jews to try to persuade the American government to enter the war on Germany’s side".
    photo credit philadelphia.com
HATE CRIME: Was Rube Allyn's Jew hating bigoted testimony before the Senate Committee in Washington DC published in the Sarasota Times or by his pals at the St Petersburg Times in 1918, I doubt it. Rube Allyn was a very dangerous man, he was no 'liberal' as portrayed in the Florida newspapers. UNSOLVED MURDER OF HARRY HIGEL: I wonder how the media in Sarasota and St Pete will try to spin the racist Senate Committee testimony of murder suspect Rube Allyn who admits in his testimony to an 'Attempted Murder Charge' during the commission of what today would most assuredly be classified a 'Hate Crime'. Rube Allyn threw two Jews off a moving Trolley Car and into the street on his way to work at Hog Island PA just to make room for himself. Rube Allyn came back to Sarasota Fl in late 1919 after working two years at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA with a hatred of German speaking Jews and anyone who spoke German. Rube Allyn "was a loaded gun just waiting to go off", see his racist testimony CLICK HERE.
See Rube Allyn's billing above for his time and travel to Washington D.C.. On Wednesday February 20, 1918 Sarasota's Rube Allyn testified before the 65th Congress in Washington DC at a Senate Committee investigating delays in ship building at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA. Rube Allyn blamed all the problems at the shipyard on the German speaking Jews. It appears that Rube Allyn was in Washington D.C. for 3 days, Feb 19 to Feb 21, as per his billing at $3.00 per day for $9.00 and he charged $10.40 for round trip travel from Philadelphia PA to Washington D.C.. There was no explanation given as to why Rube Allyn was chosen out of 30,000 workers at the Hog Island shipyard to testify before the 65th Congress in Washington DC at a Senate Committee investigating delays in ship building at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA during WWI with Germany.
 
       photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
Harry Higel was born on the last day of 1867 in Philadelphia, to Frank and Adelaide Higel. In 1884, at age 17, he moved to Venice, Florida with his parents. Harry Higel in the 1890s bought the dock at the end of Main Street in Sarasota for his steamship Vandalia to take potential land buyers over to Sarasota Key and to his Hotel Higelhurst which opened its doors on March 9, 1915, there was no north bridge to Sarasota Key until later in 1917. The steamship Vandalia appears to be the vessel in the photo above with twin steam pipes. Harry Higel was one of the most prominent developers in Sarasota and the first city mayor who served during Sarasota’s 1913 incorporation. Harry Higel was Mr. Sarasota he was integral to the City of Sarasota and Sarasota Keys development, he was Mayor 3 times back in the days when the citizens actually voted for the position. 
      photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
EARLY TRAGEDY IN HIGEL FAMILY 'ATTEMPTED MURDER AND SUICIDE' WITH A REVOLVER IN 1892 PHILADELPHIA PA. Born in Philadelphia from a German immigrant parents, Francis 'Frank' Higel Sr married Adelaide (Addie) Kirchoff in 1863, Frank would have been 24 years of age. Frank Higel was born on December 20, 1839. Frank Higel married 23-year-old Adelaide (“Addie”) Kirchoff, from another German immigrant family in 1863. Their son Harry L. Higel was of direct German linage. Francis "Frank" Higel (father of Harry Higel) was a skilled chemist and discovered a process by which starch could be obtained profitably from the roots of the cassava plant. This plant had been grown in the Venice area successfully by early pioneers. Frank Higel saw the money-making potential in this process and went looking for investors. Frank Higel arrived in Venice in 1883 with his wife Addie and six sons one of which was Harry Lee Higel. Frank Higel had six sons: Frank, Jr., Harry L, Ralph, Eugene, George and Wesley. Of these men, George and Harry became prominent residents of the Venice-Sarasota region. Francis 'Frank' Higel Sr did not see Venice grow because he died on a trip to Philadelphia in 1892, (he committed suicide with a revolver). By 1892 apparently the winters in Venice had been extremely cold and Addie Higel being a city girl did not like the rural and harsh lifestyle of early Venice Fl, she left Frank and returned to Philadelphia. Frank Higel was furious and found Addie on October 22, 1892 in Philadelphia and demanded she return to Venice, she refused so Frank shot Addie twice with a revolver, thinking she was dead he then shot himself in the head and died, as per his obit in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The attempted murder of Addie Higel was also reported in the 'Alexandria Gazette Newspaper' Alexandria VA, on October 24, 1892, Frank Higel of Florida, 53, shot his wife Addie in the head and neck in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It was also reported in the 'Weekly Star' on October 28, 1892...Frank Higel aged 53 years of Florida shot his wife who is visiting here in Philadelphia. Francis 'Frank' Higel and his son Harry L. Higel both succumbed to violent deaths at the exact same age, 53. Frank Higel shot himself in the head with a revolver after trying to kill his wife Addie in Philadelphia and his son Harry Higel was beaten to death possibly with a revolver on Siesta Key Fl in January 1921. Rube Allyn was and remains the only suspect in Mr Higel's brutal murder on Siesta Key Fl, the murder weapon used to bludgeon Harry Higel to death was never found.
The attempted murder of Addie Higel and the suicide of Frank Higel was reported in the Baltimore 'Der Deutsche Correspondent Newspaper', in German, on October 24, 1892. Der Deutsche Correspondent was a German-language newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the most influential newspaper among Germans in Baltimore, lasting longer than any of the other German newspapers in Maryland. The paper closed April 28, 1918, due to anti-German sentiment resulting from World War I. There does not appear to be any reports of the attempted murder of Addie Higel by Frank Higel or the suicide of Frank Higel in Florida newspapers, wonder why? Addie Higel somehow survived the horrific shooting, a bullet in neck and one in her head, and eventually returned to Venice Fl where she died in 1928. The vicious attack on Addie Higel by Frank Higel in Philadelphia with a firearm on October 22, 1892 was verified from 4 different sources. Francis 'Frank' Higel and his son Harry L. Higel both succumbed to violent deaths at the exact same age, 53. The Higel men appear to have carried a revolver, possibly Frank Higel carried a Colt M1877 Rainmaker .32 caliber “Storekeeper’s Model.”
   photo credit Colt Firearm mfg Hartford Conn
A revolver that Francis 'Frank' Higel could have carried in 1892 in Venice Fl and Philadelphia PA was the Colt M1877 Rainmaker a double-action revolver manufactured by Colt's Patent Fire Arms from January 1877 to 1909 in different calibers including .32 caliber and various barrel lengths. There was also a variant with a sub-4-inch barrel, unofficially called “Storekeeper’s Model,” an easier-to-carry concealable revolver with hard rubber grips useful in the Frontier era for short engagements that might not demand quick reloading, no cartridge ejector.
The 1921 Unsolved Brutal Murder of Harry Higel On Sarasota Key Fl, Was Harry Pistol Whipped with a Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber Revolver the Rusted Parts Found 98 years later in Nov 2019 on north Siesta Key with a broken grip? Harry Higel appears to have had multiple depressed skull fractures according to a report from Dr. Joseph Haldon on Jan 7th, 1921 which could have been caused during a pistol whipping. Did Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn kill Harry Lee Higel on north west Siesta Key in Jan 1921? Rube Allyn was his stage name. Is it a Break in the Harry Higel 99 Year Old Cold Case With Discovery of Possible Murder Weapon on north Siesta Key? NOTE: Apparently there are no records of any kind at the Sarasota County Sheriff Dept or the Manatee County Sheriff Dept which actually investigated the attack Thursday January 6th and subsequent death of Harry Higel on Friday January 7th, 1921 on Sarasota Key. The Sarasota County Sheriff Dept was not formed until July 1921, six months after Mr. Higel's murder. So who owned the 1920's era Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver with FANCY grips found buried with 6 live bullets and a broken grip in November 2019 on north Siesta Key? Did Harry Higel run into Rube Allyn on north Siesta Key on Thursday night January 6 1921, they both lived in the same area? Was there a confrontation between the two men? Did Rube Allyn, a much larger and stronger man in a fit of rage beat Harry Higel to death? Did Rube Allyn ambush Harry Higel when he was out for a walk and beat him to death the Colt revolver? Ultimately Harry was found by accident at about 8:30 am on Beach Rd on north west Siesta Key by a father and son going to work on Friday January 7, 1921.
    photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
At a Coroners Jury inquiry investigating the murder of Harry Higel several witnesses gave testimony as to have seen Rube Allyn near the Higel crime scene. Manatee County Judge Cary B. Fish convened the jury at about 3:00 pm Friday Jan 7, 1921 in Bradentown Fl. The Coroners Jury viewed the remains of Mr Harry Higel at the morgue and returned to the Bradentown City Hall to take testimony. Sheriff Brown testified he found tracks at Bayou Louise that reassembled the tracks of Rube Allyn found near the crime scene. Mr Reed who was doing work on a house of his on Siesta Key and two other men working for the Palmer Company claimed they saw Rube Allyn in the woods at about 7:45 am Friday Jan 7, 1921. The last time Harry Higel was seen alive was at about 8:15 pm Thursday Jan 6, 1921 when he left the shell pit where he was working on the beach. The Manatee County Coroners Jury convened by Judge Cary B. Fish found probable cause to arrest Rube Allyn for Harry Higel's murder on Friday Jan 7, 1921. A Manatee County Grand Jury later failed to indict Rube Allyn on March 9th 1921, no murder weapon ever found and there was never a trial. After the arrest of Rube Allyn for the murder of Harry Higel in Jan 1921, the Bradentown Manatee River Journal printed an article that was in strong support of Allyn. It stated, “There is not, we will be willing to take oath, a newspaper man in the state who knows Allyn, and that includes all of us, who believes he is guilty of murder.” Possibly if the boys at the Manatee River Journal knew of Rube Allyn's racist testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee 3 years earlier in Feb 1918 and his admission of an arrest for 'Attempted Murder' of two Jews on the trolley to the Hog Island work site they might think differently, or would they?

    photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
"DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER": "I am not the person who found the old, rusted, and corroded parts of an antique gun (over 100 years old) on Siesta Key in November 2019 that was apparently buried near a salt water canal sometime in the 1920's. The rusted antique gun parts were passed on to me late in the day on Saturday Nov. 23rd, 2019 to figure out what it was. But I am the person who took the old, rusted, and corroded parts of the antique gun to the Sarasota County Sheriff Dept and turned them in on the morning of Tuesday Nov. 26th, 2019 and gave the Sheriff Dept all my information and details of the antique gun parts as soon as I found out what they were and possibly linked to the murder of Harry Higel in January 1921". "Before Saturday Nov. 23rd, 2019 I had never heard of Rube Allyn or the unsolved murder of Harry Higel. Everything in my article grew out of the discovery of the rusted remains of the 1920's era Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver with FANCY hard rubber grips and one grip that just happened to be broken".
     photo credit Colt Firearm mfg Hartford Conn
Seen above is what the rusted antique gun parts found on Siesta Key most likely looked like when new, this is a 1919 production Colt Police Positive revolver chambered in Colt's .32 caliber Police cartridge. The Colt firearm was rugged and manufactured with a jointless solid frame, one piece construction that would cause significant damage during a "pistol whipping". Harry Higel appears to have had multiple depressed skull fractures according to a report from Dr. Joseph Haldon on Jan 7th, 1921. The firearm seen above is a 1st issue model Colt .32 caliber revolver with a 5" inch barrel. The 1st issue Colt Police Positive revolver was introduced in 1907 and remained in production until 1922 with the FANCY hard rubber grips seen above. It was a successful model for Colt, as it proved to be very reliable, well-made, and accurate it featured a square-butt frame, and FANCY hard rubber grips with the Colt logo initially. Checkered American Walnut grips became standard in 1923 till 1945 and over 450,000 total units were sold from 1907 to 1945 to anyone and everyone.  
I obtained a 1920's aerial map of Sarasota Key showing old Beach Rd on north end of Sarasota Key, running parallel to Higel Ave, possible location where Harry Higel was murdered. Information and a map obtained Dec. 5th, 2019 from the Sarasota County Historical Resources on Porter Way indicates that back in 1925 (and prior) old Beach Rd ran parallel from the top of north Higel Ave, as you come across the north bridge on Sarasota Key, all the way around the perimeter of the Island down to past the village and then runs along the Siesta Public Beach and connects to Midnight Pass Rd. On the old map above on the left you can see Midnight Pass Rd as the straight line coming form the bottom right hand corner going north west crossing over Higel Ave, where the traffic light is now, and continuing to link up with old Beach Rd on north end of Sarasota Key.
     photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
Aerial map of north end of Sarasota Key from 1925 showing old Beach Rd courtesy of the Sarasota County Historical Resources.'SHELL BEACH' Public Beach Access #1 on N. Shell Rd is nearest to Siesta Key’s north bridge, and offers terrific views of Big Sarasota Pass at the end of N Shell Rd. Harry Higel had his house located all the way to the very north end of Higel Ave on Sarasota Key. It appears that Harry Higel was murdered on Thursday Jan 6th, 1921 while he was out for a walk on old Beach Rd on north Sarasota Key and near where Harry Higel's house was located at the very north end of Higel Ave. Harry Higel was not found on Beach Rd below the Siesta Key village near what is now the Siesta Key Public Beach, he never would have walked that far at night, over 1 hour one way. 
Mr. Higel's HIGELHURST HOTEL appears to have been on N Beach Rd somewhere south of N. Shell Rd on the north end of Siesta Key Fl facing Big Pass and the Gulf of Mexico. Sarasota County has been involved in controversy over beach access on Siesta Key since the early 1970s. Until 1972, Shell Road was an approximately ¾-mile long unpaved road that ran along on the western edge of northern Siesta Key. At that time, the majority of Shell Road ran parallel with Higel Road (today’s main thruway in that area), connecting to Higel Road at its north and south ends. In 1972, the large, middle portion of the U-shaped road was closed to vehicular traffic due to complaints from local residents about excessive noise and danger from careless drivers. The road remained open to pedestrians and bicyclists. Many local residents who did not live along Shell Road were upset with the closure, having used the road for more than 60 years as a means of accessing the quiet and uncrowded shoreline. 
     photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
Platted in 1907, the subdivision where eventually Harry Higel lived was located on the north end of Siesta (Sarasota) Key and was two and a half miles across Sarasota Bay from the mainland. There was a small bridge that connected the tip of Siesta (Sarasota) Key where Harry Higel lived to the small barrier island to the West. There were also small bridges at Mangrove, Ogden and N. Shell Rd/Roberts to the small barrier island to the West. Harry Higel's HigelHurst Hotel was on on Gulf Ave just south of N. Beach Rd from 1915 to 1917. There was a road at the time that went all along the shoreline of North Siesta Key it was called GULF AVE it later became BEACH RD it was not paved it was rough, just crushed sea shells. At the time it was conceived in 1907, the only access to Siesta Key was by boat and that is why every homeowner owned the beach in front of their home to dock their boat, no bridge from Sarasota.
The trip by ferry from downtown Sarasota to Sarasota Key, where the development was located, took 20 minutes. The Suspect Rube Allyn lived in the same area where Harry Higel died, near Higel Ave and old Beach Rd on north Sarasota Key in 1921. The house as Higel built it was a 20-by-30-foot dwelling with a center staircase leading to three small bedrooms upstairs. It was about 1,500 square feet. It was always envisioned by Higel as part of a residential waterside development called Siesta on the Gulf and he unofficially gave the name of Siesta Key to the barrier island known as Sarasota Key. The land for the development (79 acres) was part of an inheritance that came to his wife Gertrude Edmondson, who was a granddaughter of the earliest Sarasota settlers William and Jane Whitaker. The murder of Harry Higel remains unsolved. He left a mother, wife and three children.
Photo courtesy of the Sarasota County Historical Resources showing the Higelhurst Hotel aka Higel-Hurst Inn on old Beach Rd on north Sarasota Key near where Harry Higel's house was located at the north end of Higel Ave. Harry Higel would have made sure there was a road to his Hotel on the beach. The Hotel was located facing the Gulf of Mexico overlooking Big Pass and with a view of Sarasota Bay to the right. The Higelhurst Hotel appears to have been on old Beach Rd just south of where N. Shell Rd is now on Siesta Key. 
Photo #1 above on Left is a view from end of N. Shell Rd looking at Lido Key to the right, Gulf of Mexico to the left, Sarasota Bay would be to the far right. Photo #2  above on Right is a view from the end of N. Shell Rd looking south to where Higelhurst Hotel aka Higel-Hurst Inn would have stood before burning down on March 31st 1917. N Shell Rd connected to old Beach Rd in 1921 on Sarasota Key. 
    photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
Fishing was a big part of the HigelHurst Hotel's allure, it appears to have been built on the beach just south of N. Shell Rd on Sarasota Key. Just outside the front door of the Hotel was a well known fishing spot just a 1/4 mile off the beach in Big Pass. Harry Higel's house on Higel Ave is near to old Beach Rd. It is a 10 minute walk from Harry Higel's house at the north end of Higel Ave to the end of N. Shell Rd on the Gulf of Mexico and where old Beach Rd would have been along with Harry's prized HigelHurst Hotel, I walked it Friday Dec. 6th. Rumors have it Rube Allyn was responsible for burning down the Hotel on March 31st 1917. There was a lot of anti-German sentiment (Rube Allyn) resulting from World War I in America. Harry Higel was found unconscious and severely beaten around the face and head on January 6th 1921 lying in the middle of old Beach Rd on north Sarasota Key, Rube Allyn was arrested for the murder.

Harry Higel had his hotel built on the Gulf side of north Sarasota Key overlooking Big Sarasota Pass, the hotel would have been on old Beach Rd, there would have been a road to the
HigelHurst Hotel aka Higel-Hurst Inn especially from Harry Higel's house just to the north on the Key at the end of Higel Ave. Back in 1921 on Sarasota Key it appears that old Beach Rd also ran south somewhat parallel to Ocean Blvd around Sarasota Key Village.
                  photo credit new york times newspaper march 1st 1917
1917 WAR FEVER SARASOTA FL: Rube Allyn was a newspaper guy and linked to the St Pete Times in March of 1917 he would have been well aware of the "Zimmerman Note" and the German WWI plot against America. On March 1st 1917, an explosive story hit the front pages of all major U.S. newspapers, about a German telegram that had fallen into the hands of the American government. By then, the United States was already on its slow and inexorable path to WWI with Germany and in the telegram German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann instructed his ambassador in Mexico on what to do if America failed to maintain its neutrality and joined the Allied forces. “In the event of this not succeeding,” Zimmermann’s note read, “we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.” 
1917 WAR FEVER SARASOTA FL: The German ambassador was also directed to urge Mexico to strike up an alliance with Japan in an eventual fight against America. 30 days later on March 31st, 2017 Harry Higel's prized Higel-Hurst Hotel was burned down (Rube Allyn suspect), the Hurst part of the name links to Hurst Germany. Rube Allyn was a self proclaimed "American Patriot" and had extreme Germanophobic sentiment. There was a lot of anti-German sentiment (Rube Allyn) resulting from World War I in America. Four days after the HigelHurst Hotel burns down President Woodrow Wilson declared America's war on Germany, April 4, 1917. 
1917 WAR FEVER SARASOTA FL: Rising German hostilities in early 1917 — aggressive submarine warfare and the publication of the Zimmerman telegram — signaled the increasing likelihood of war and propelled President Wilson to adopt a policy of armed neutrality. Floridians weighed in, and the majority of the state’s leading newspapers endorsed President Wilson’s move towards military engagement. Of the president’s actions, the St. Petersburg Daily Times pledged in the spring of 1917 “the undivided loyalty of the American public.” Just two days later, the Florida Naval Militia deployed from training bases in Sarasota, Key West and Jacksonville and reported for duty in Charleston, South Carolina. In May 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, requiring all men between the ages of 21 and 31 to register for the draft. Rube Allyn signed up to fight the Germans but was turned down as he was too old, he was in his 50's. More than a year before the United States entered World War I Sarasota began to organize a naval militia division. In March 1916 an announcement in the Sarasota Times invited young men to meet at the Sarasota Yacht and Automobile Club to become part of the Florida Naval Militia. Within a month nearly sixty men enlisted in the group, making Sarasota the nation’s smallest city (population approximately 2,500) to form a military unit from its own population. 
            photograph, courtesy of Sarasota County Historical Resources, Sarasota, Florida.
1917 WAR FEVER SARASOTA FL: Warren F. Purdy, with twenty years of active and reserve military experience, commanded the Florida Naval Militia group. Initially, the militia held weekly drills upstairs over Turner’s store on Main Street Sarasota. In May, Governor Park Trammel approved the application for the militia and on June 16, 1916, Capt. John Bland administered the oath of allegiance to each of the members and the Third Division of the First Battalion of the Florida Naval Militia was established in Sarasota at the northwestern end of Gulf Stream Avenue. The local militia increased their drills to twice a week to prepare for two weeks in July on a Navy-sponsored training cruise, but threat of war with Mexico prevented any ships from being freed for such training. That same month the militia acquired an armory. The Sarasota Yacht and Automobile Club had fallen on financial difficulties and failed to maintain interest payments on the loan for their building. The Florida Naval Militia was the official naval militia of the state of Florida. Naval militias were organized as naval parallels to the National Guard as dual federal and state obligations, with the naval militias normally being under state control but subject to federal activation. The Florida Naval Militia was active during three periods in Florida history: between 1897 and 1903; between 1911 and 1917; and between 1934 and 1941. The Florida Naval Militia reinstated in 1911 with three divisions located in Key West, Jacksonville, and Sarasota. After the onset of World War I, the entire naval militia was activated for the duration of the war, and not reconstituted under state service after the war ended. Today the Governor of Florida could theoretically reactivate the Florida Naval Militia based on existing legal permission at any time.

SARASOTA April 7 1917-(Special Edition)--Sarasota's naval militia will leave Sunday afternoon at 1:10 o'clock for the Charleston Navy Yard, where it was ordered to report for duty. Thursday evening, at 8:16, Lieutenant Warren F. Purdy received a telegram from J. B. Christian, attorney-general. Mayor Harry L. Higel said that in the case of Harry C. Green, Commissioner of Public Service, he would introduce in the Council a resolution that Council pay him his usual salary while he is with his company, and that the money be paid to his wife. This is the way that all of the business men and merchants are doing, and it means that none of Sarasota's young wives and mothers will suffer for the necessities of life while their husbands are at the front. The stigma of charity will also be eliminated in that they are made to see that the money is earned by the husbands and that there is no place in the work for charity. Roster of Company Florida Naval Militia Sarasota Fl. The following is the roster of the company and the names of the officers: Lieutenant and commanding officer, Warren F. Puddy, ensign, John W. Phillips; Gunner's Mate, first class A. B. Keiserman; Yeoman, first class, H. C. Grinton; Quartermaster, second class, Arthur R. Clark; Machinist's Mate second class, B. S. Olson; Coxswains, W. W. Liddell and R. E. Halton; Buglar, Homer L. Hebb; Seamen, first class, P. R. Fattig, C. J. Hebb, W. C. Hodges, T. R. Martin. Jr., G. D. Maus and W.R. Roehr; Seamen, second class, A. D. Albritton, L. K. Barber, W. A. Bispham, Ernest A. Bright, W. C. Frost, C. W. Gaskill, H. C. Green, L. O. Hodges, J. G. James, Frank P. Lacey, J. K. Martin, C. C. McCloud, E. L. Parsons, J. C. Pelot, G. E. Scott, W. Whitted, S. F. Williams and E. S. Kraft. Seamen of the third class I.V. Biorseth, R. E. Bradley, V. Hartman, H. Howard, C. C. and J. B. Lacey, C. D. May, F. A. Riegel, G. S. Willis, J. B. Martin, G. S. Clark, J. Gonzales and C. Peacon. They were entering a terrible war,
on April 22, 1915, German forces shock Allied soldiers along the western front by firing more than 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas against two French colonial divisions at Ypres, Belgium. This was the first major gas attack by the Germans, and it devastated the Allied line. Mustard gas, introduced by the Germans in 1917, blistered the skin, eyes, and lungs, causing blindness and killed thousands.
In 1916 thru 1917 the Manatee Sarasota Street Address directory listed Rube Allyn and the Sarasota Sun at 120 N Gulf Stream Blvd. The Florida Naval Militia was using the Sarasota Yacht Club building in Sarasota. The Florida Naval Militia was listed at 339 N. Gulf Stream Blvd Sarasota Fl. Rube Allyn and the Naval Militia were neighbors he would have had access to all kinds of war stories as to what the Germans were doing to the Allied forces with weapons of mass destruction. Rube Allyn wanted to join the US Military and kill Germans. The Germans used mustard gas for the first time during war in 1917 on Allied Troops. By the end of the war, more than two dozen chemical agents had injured 1 million soldiers and civilians, killed 100,000 people and earned the well-deserved title of weapons of mass destruction, Rube Allyn hated the Germans, all Germans.

                           photograph, courtesy of Sarasota County Historical Resources, Sarasota, Florida.
1917 WAR FEVER SARASOTA FL: Located on the northwestern end of Gulf Stream Avenue and with a long dock into the bay was the Florida Naval Militia. Rube Allyn of course would have been quite aware of all this military activity in Sarasota and would have wanted to do his part. Rube Allyn's 'prized' Sarasota Sun newspaper folded in late 1916, he wanted very badly to go to war against Germany in 1917 and kill Germans. Harry Higel's two story HigelHurst Hotel was situated on the western side of Siesta Key with clear views of the Gulf of Mexico and Big Pass into Sarasota Bay, Harry Higel was of German ancestry. Whose not to think that in Rube Allyn's boozed soaked brain that Harry Higel's HigelHurst hotel might end up being a German spy station watching the activity of the Florida Naval Militia stationed at the northwestern end of Gulf Stream Avenue on Sarasota Bay. Most likely that's why Rube Allyn burnt down the HigelHurst Hotel on March 31st 1917. Rube Allyn testified before the Senate Committee in Feb 2018 that he was arrested for attempted murder after he threw two German speaking Jews off the trolley going to work at Hog island from his hotel in Philadelphia. Rube Allyn's testimony indicates he was a rough and tough bigoted guy in his 50's that took no guff from anyone at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA, he hated German speaking Jews and detested anyone speaking German at the job site.
    photo Image: Wm. Hartman Gallery
Harry Higel was known to always be a dapper dresser and dress for any occasion with his ever present bow tie, even fishing with the Bay Island Hotel gang on Sarasota Key, see photo above. Harry Higel was not a tall man, he is seen in the photo above and appears to be the shortest man out of the 13 fishermen, he is probably around 5' 6" tall. Apparently Harry Higel was murdered along the stretch of old Beach Rd somewhere near the north end of Sarasota Key, he was out walking Thursday night Jan 6th by himself. Harry Higel was not found until the next morning Friday Jan 7th, old Beach Rd on north Sarasota Key which was a very sparsely populated area back in 1921.
     photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
The north bridge to Sarasota Key was completed in May 1917, it was first known as Higel Bridge. Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel aka HigelHurst Inn had burned down (suspiciously) just one month before the bridge was completed. Everybody now wanted to visit Sarasota Key by car. During the 1920's the car to have for the 'everyman' was the Ford Model T, it appears from old photos that the car was very popular in Sarasota Fl. Between 1908 and 1927 the Ford Motor Company made about 15 million cars with the Model T engine. In the 1920s, according to some estimates, every other car on the road was a Model T. Harry Higel and Rube Allyn, who both lived on north Sarasota Key, would have had a car most likely a Ford Model T to get back and forth to Sarasota by the north bridge starting in 1917.
Everybody had one. The Colt 'Pocket Positive' .32 Caliber revolver with FANCY hard rubber grips as seen in a 1914 catalog ad above on left from the Wm. Frankfurth Hardware Co in Milwaukee Wis. was manufactured from 1896 to 1907 which then morphed into the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver from 1907 to 1922 as seen in the catalog ad above on the right, it sold for $24.00.  
 
Colt began manufacturing the Colt Police Positive Revolver .32 Caliber in 1907 with the FANCY hard rubber Colt grips until 1922, the gun was available to purchase for Home Protection. The FANCY grips on the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver seen above in the Wm. Frankfurth Hardware Co catalog ad matches exactly the FANCY grips on the Colt .32 caliber revolver found buried on north Siesta Key in November 2019

     photo credit of Colt revolver for home protection GUNS.COM ARCHIVES.
The Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver was a favorite of the 1900's era for Home Protection (not just for Law Enforcement), and best yet, you could buy it by mail order and have it shipped to your front door, no questions asked. In the 1900's there were multiple catalog order houses in the US where you could purchase the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver with the FANCY grips from 1907 to 1922. Everybody had a Colt firearm in the 1900's, there was mass marketing of the Colt firearm company products via newspaper ads and sporting catalogs, WORLDWIDE. No one was monitoring these sales. The government had no part in regulation. No one conducted background checks on the buyers. Indeed, Sears Catalog states that it is “the headquarter for everything in guns,” that their prices are below all others, and that “we will send any revolver to any address.”
The Colt 'New Police' .32 Caliber revolver with FANCY hard rubber grips was heavily mass marketed to the general public from 1896. See ad above from the Abercrombie & Fitch 1906 New York City catalog above where that particular firearm was on sale for $12.70 net, you could order via mail and have the firearm sent to you, no questions asked. The Colt 'New Police' .32 Caliber revolver seen in the ad above was manufactured from 1896 to 1907 which then morphed into the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver with FANCY hard rubber grips which began manufacturing in 1907 until 1922
The Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver was manufactured from 1907 to 1922 with the FANCY hard rubber grips and was featured in hunting and camping catalogs and newspaper ads from New York City to as far away a London England, see ad above. The Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver featured an ejector for the bullets and a solid joint-less steel frame. The Colt .32 Police Positive incorporated Colt’s “Positive Lock” safety which prevented the firing pin from hitting the primer unless the trigger was deliberately pulled. Colt's Positive Lock prevented an accidental discharge even if the lowered hammer was struck or the pistol was dropped, (or used to hit someone) allowing the revolver to be safely carried with all six chambers loaded, the gun was ahead of it's time. The Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver was not just for use by Law Enforcement. The Colt Manufacturing Company used the fact that their firearms were the choice of Law Enforcement nationwide (NYPD) in the 1900's as a sales tool to sell their guns to the general public.
    photo credit grips Colt Firearm mfg Hartford Conn
Bear in mind that between 1907 and what we tend to regard as the end of the “Old West” in the early 1920s there were already more than 150,000 Colt .32 caliber Police Positive revolvers with FANCY hard rubber grips in use and on the streets of the US. When its production ended, it was by far the most ubiquitous Colt revolver carried by lawmen—as well as those outside the law in the "Old West"—and private citizens alike (Rube Allyn?). Everybody had a Colt firearm in the 1900's, there was mass marketing of the Colt firearm company products via newspaper ads, sporting & hardware catalogs and even the Sears 1916 catalog.  
The only suspect arrested in the murder of Harry Higel was Rube Allyn who had traveled all around the US from the 1890's to 1910 and as far to the west in Iowa and Crookston, Minnesota in 1901 in the "Old West". Rube Allyn was many things in his life in the run up to the murder of Harry Higel in January 1921, but one thing that was a constant in Rube Allyn's life was that he was a newspaper guy who wrote a lot about fishing and outdoor life, he would know about guns. In 1927 Congress reacted to the mob violence of 1920's Prohibition with the first federal gun restriction ever. The law banned the mail-order sale of handguns or any other concealable firearm. This act was the first federal legislation aimed at controlling guns. Also known as the Miller Act, it sought to prohibit the interstate shipment of handguns. It is doubtful that the Colt .32 caliber Police Positive revolver found buried on Siesta Key and tracked to production in the years 1907 to 1922 will have a serial number that could even be traced to anyone as handgun sales prior to 1927 were not registered by the US Federal Government, especially mail-order sales.
In Florida you can still open carry a handgun while fishing: Florida Statute 790.25 addresses lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms and other weapons, and section 3(h) specifies: Anyone "engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition" can openly carry a firearm, I'm sure this law would have made Rube Allyn happy. Rube Allyn published a bi-monthly newspaper called the 'Florida Fisherman' in 1920's St Petersburg Fl, he would have been well aware of the Colt revolver newspaper ads of the times. 
      photo credit Sarasota Sun newspaper
Rube Allyn was the Editor and Publisher of the SARASOTA SUN NEWSPAPER at 120 Gulf Stream Ave Sarasota Fl (1st issue Sat June 28, 1913) that came out every Saturday, it appears it was mailed via the USPS. You could purchase a one year subscription to the SARASOTA SUN NEWSPAPER for just $1.00 as seen in the Saturday June 28, 1913 issue above, it only lasted a couple of years. Rube Allyn would have been aware of the mass marketing of the Colt firearm company products via newspaper ads and sporting goods catalogs in the 1900's. The Lakeland evening telegram, March 10, 1914, Rube Allyn of the Sarasota Sun, attended the recent Gasparilla festivities in Tampa and for the first time met some of the big men of Florida. Rube was impressed and had this to say: "By the way, I cannot refrain from calling attention to the fact that Florida has for State officers some of the largest men physically of any state of the Union" A GRATUITOUS SLANDER. Rube could/would have placed Colt firearm ads in one of his many different newspaper publishing efforts in Canada. Rube started in the newspaper business working as a apprentice type setter in Ontario Canada in the office of the Mount Forest Representative in the 1880's, later as editor at the 'Daily Times' Crookston, Minnesota in 1898, the 'Reporter' in Rapid City Canada in 1902 as editor, Sarasota Florida the 'Sarasota Sun' in 1913 as publisher-editor and the 'Florida Fisherman' in 1920's St Petersburg Fl as editor, Rube would have known how to get a gun in the 1920's.
1921 Unsolved Brutal Murder of Harry Higel On Sarasota Key Fl. Although he is now now largely forgotten, except as the name on the Higel Avenue street sign, Harry L. Higel was one of the most important people in Sarasota’s early growth and development. Was Harry Lee Higel pistol whipped with a revolver on Sarasota Key on Jan. 6, 1921. It was an unusually cold night Thursday Jan. 6, 1921, the kind of day that made one’s extremities go numb. In previous years during the month of January record lows in the 20's and 30's were recorded on Sarasota Key. Harry Higel was severely beaten around the face and head. Mr Higel had a deep laceration over his right eye and a skull fracture, his face was so badly bludgeoned he was unidentifiable, a footprint found in the sand next to Higel's body appeared to match one of Rube Allyn's rubber soled canvas shoes. Harry Higel died Friday January 7th, 1921 from his injuries 99 years ago.  
   photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
The remains of a rusted antique Colt revolver were found in late November 2019 buried on the north end of Siesta Key off of Higel Avenue with a broken grip. Nothing in this article indicates that anyone linked to Law Enforcement was involved in the murder of Harry Higel. The sidearms chosen by law enforcement agencies usually mark the next stage of handgun innovation, when police departments start carrying a new type of handgun civilian ownership is often not far behind. This is the case of the rusted remains of a antique Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber Revolver found buried on Siesta Key in November 2019. By 1921 over 150,000 of the mass marketed Colt revolvers were on the streets of the US, the gun was first manufactured in 1907, everyone had one. Nothing in this article is meant to disparage or disrespect anyone in Law Enforcement. 
    photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations.
The remains of the antique Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber Revolver found buried on Siesta Key in November 2019, apparently the gun was buried with 6 live rounds in the cylinder. The Colt revolver had at least one live round still visible in the #1 cylinder before it fell out. As this firearm was made to rotate to the right the next time the trigger was pulled a live round would have fired back in the day, see photo above. No one buries a firearm with live rounds unless it is linked to a crime.  As it was in 1921, the main suspect in the brutal bludgeoning murder of Harry Higel was and is Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn who had been Mr. Higel's adversary and antagonist since 1911 when Rube shows up in Sarasota. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was an Irishman 'through and through' with all the baggage from heavy drinking, he was married to the long suffering Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn.
Sometime during the evening of Thursday January 6th, 1921, Harry Higel was severely beaten around the head and face, falling limp by the side of Beach Road, fatally beaten on Sarasota Key. Harry Higel had a  gash on his head exposing a two-inch wide crack in his skull above the right eye, several broken facial bones and several wounds on the back of his head according to a report from Dr. Joseph Haldon. Harry appears from the description of the wounds to have had severe brain damage from the beating. Harry was found the next day Friday January 7th, 1921 laying in a pool of blood, but still alive. The Colt .32 caliber Police Positive revolver was introduced into the firearms market by the Colt's Manufacturing Company in 1907 as seen in this article and by 1921 over 150,000 were on the streets.
Apparently Harry Higel did not have any injuries to his body below his neck, he was not hit by a car, no broken arms or legs, no mention of defensive wounds on his arms or shoulders, some investigators have indicated he was hit with a shovel but if he was, there most likely would have been other wounds to the body like his shoulders and neck, there were not. When someone is pistol whipped it is up close and personal. The victim usually is held by his shirt collar and blows are reigned down on the head and face area with the revolver and as the victim falls to the ground more blows can be inflicted on the face and head fracturing the skull, breaking teeth, breaking nose, fracturing the eye orbits, breaking jaw, making the face unrecognizable, just like the skull fractures in the simulated skull in the photo above.  One detail accurately portrayed in Movies and TV is "Old West" Marshal Wyatt Earp's Dodge City KS method of administering an NFL-style concussion through a practice known as pistol-whipping. Earp was renowned for this brutal and debilitating technique. It involved slamming his long-barreled Colt revolver into the side of a misbehaving cowboy’s head with such force that the victim was knocked unconscious, if not permanently comatose.
   photo credit Sarasota Times
An article published in the Sarasota Times in early January 1921 went into some detail of the wounds Harry Higel suffered to his head and face during the fatal attack Thursday Jan 6th, 1921 on Sarasota Key. According to the article Harry Higel had an ugly cut over his right eye with the top of the skull being split open for about two inches and gaping apart. The wound on the left side of his head was equally dangerous, the skull crushed in BUT the skin not being broken. The wounds on the back of the head indicated the head had been beaten with a club or some instrument (possibly a steel hardened revolver?).
      photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
Harry Higel had a gash on his head exposing a crack in his skull above the right eye, several broken facial bones and several wounds on the top and back of his head. The butt of a gun like the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber revolver could very well have caused the multiple depression wounds to the face and head of Harry Higel during a pistol whipping including a two-inch gash above the right eye. The murder weapon was never found, was it an axe, a shovel, a club or a hard steel revolver? Rumors had it that the murder weapon that killed Harry Higel was buried somewhere near what is now the Siesta Key Village on Beach Rd. When you look at a revolver for identification, the best place to locate latent fingerprints is on the smooth surface of the barrel, the cylinder or the ammunition. Conversely, DNA-containing material is best found on uneven or rough surfaces where cells have rubbed off or collected in low spots. The best place to locate DNA evidence on a gun is in the ridges of the grip, hammer or trigger. When DNA is analyzed for criminal-case purposes, the result is termed a “DNA profile.” The DNA profile can then be compared to known DNA profiles, commonly called standards, obtained from victims and suspects associated with the case. 
    photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources
Photos above of Harry Higel and Rube Allyn when both men were in their 20's. Harry Higel was born in 1867 in Philadelphia PA. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was born 1867 in Canada as per all indications (or Ohio as Rube indicated on the 1940 Census). Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn grew up in the small town of Mount Forest, Ontario Canada. Rube Allyn has a history with Philadelphia PA, Hog Island PA, Crookston, Minnesota and New York City NY. Harry Higel and Rube Allyn were both born after the end of the US Civil War that wrapped up in 1865, sort of war babies. Harry Higel is of German heritage while Rube Allyn was an Irishman 'through and through' with all the baggage from heavy drinking. The portrait photo of Rube Allyn, on the right above, was taken in New York City sometime between 1889 to 1890 when Rube Allyn would have been in his 20's. Rube Allyn from all accounts was a tall man, apparently much taller than Harry Higel. Rube Allyn's real name is Rubert Royce Allen he grew up in Mount Forest, Wellington County Ontario Canada. Rube Allyn was his stage name. Rube Allyn aka Robert Royce Allen's parents were Irish refugees to Ontario Canada from the potato famine in Ireland, Rube was born in Canada.  
By 1867 when Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was born, the Irish were the second largest ethnic group (after the French), and comprised 24% of Canada's population, mostly due to the Potato Famine in Ireland. The 1931 national census counted 1,230,000 Canadians of Irish descent, half of whom lived in Ontario. During the Great Potato Famine, Ontario Canada received the most destitute Irish Catholics, who left Ireland in grave circumstances. Rube Allyn aka Robert Royce Allen started out as an apprentice type setter in Ontario Canada working in the office of the Mount Forest Representative, but got himself in trouble with the law and moved to Philadelphia where he enrolled in acting school, he graduated in 1888 and moved to New York City to attended drama school in 1889 when he was about 22 years old.  
      photo credit florida fisherman magazine
Photo above on left shows Rube Allyn in later life, photo appears to be from the 1940's, he died in 1947 he had been living in Ruskin Fl. Rube Allyn appears to be a rather large man, well over 6 feet tall with long arms. Harry Higel was a much smaller man, at most he was 5' 6" tall. Rupert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn died in 1947 he was 80 or 81 years old. After Rube Allyn went to drama school in Philadelphia in 1887 and in New York City in 1889 he eventually became a vaudeville actor and at one time lectured on the Chautauqua circuit all around the north east. 
      photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
The first time Rube Allyn grew weary of the stage he took over a newspaper in 1898 at about age 32, the Daily Times, of Crookston, Minnesota, in the western part of the state near East Grand Forks MN, an area rich in Canadian immigrants and railroad workers. The Crookston Daily Times is the smallest daily newspaper in Minnesota, and one of the smallest daily newspapers in the United States it was founded in 1891. Rube Allyn's  venture lasted from late 1898 to 1901. Related Titles: 'The Crookston Times' Crookston, Minn 1885-1914. Over his time, late 1898 to 1901 in Crookston, Minnesota, Rube Allyn built on what he had learned at the Mount Forest Representative in Ontario Canada regarding the editing and publishing of a paper. The nearby city of East Grand Forks MN was just 9 years old in 1896, but it had a powerful allure of lawlessness. During the city's early days in the late 1890s and through the first few decades of the past century, the dusty frontier town across the Red River was booming with bootleg booze, loose women and illegal gambling. Beatings, stabbings and robberies were common, especially in the alleys behind the saloons and near the bridges. Though regular bar brawls did not make the papers, editorials often "complained of noisy saloons, unconscious drunks and blood on the sidewalks."
Crookston MN became a boom town in the 1890′s and the first decade of the 1900′s. In 1904, the population reached 7,377 with train service to Winnipeg Canada. Crookston was/is partially a commuter town to the larger city of Grand Forks, North Dakota. The city of Grand Forks ND and the twin city of East Grand Forks MN are separated by the Red River. The Battle of Sugar Point, or the Battle of Leech Lake MN, was fought on October 5, 1898 between 80 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry and 19 members of the Pillager Band of Chippewa Indians. The Indians won killing 7 soldiers, they suffered no casualties. The initial report of the skirmish sparked a panic and fears of a general uprising and attacks on the nearby settlements. This battle location is just west of where Rube Allyn was in Crookston, Minnesota at about the same time in 1898, do you really think Rube Allyn did not own a gun? Tired of the routine of the 'Daily Times' newspaper in Crookston, Minnesota near East Grand Forks MN and its meager profits, Rube took to the road again as a performer in 1901, mostly in the south.
   photo credit Sarasota High School 1910.
In "The Story of Sarasota," Karl Grismer described Rube Allyn as " a cross between a genius and a bum...(with) the eloquence of an old-time Shakespearean actor...a man of mood...long hair...seldom if ever bathed...never wore socks...an excellent writer." In October 1911, the Sarasota Times ran a notice that Rube Allyn, humorist and impersonator, would be entertaining at the Sarasota school hall. Tickets were 25 cents, 15 cents for children.
   photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
When not on the stage, Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn plied his trade as a typesetter. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn worked in the Mid West, all over the East Coast and over time eventually covered much of the United States on travels as far west as Crookston, Minnesota in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn would sometimes pause on his travels for a year or more in a town but never really settle down. Over the years, 1890 to 1910, Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn became increasingly eccentric and combative. He wore his hair long, and bore a resemblance to his fellow Irishman, Oscar Wilde, in appearance, mannerisms, and wit. He had frequent bad moods and a fierce Irish temper flared up when anyone disagreed with him. In 1911 he landed in Sarasota Fl and decided to stay. By then Rube was long married, and he and his wife the long suffering Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn reconciled again: they had separated several times over the previous 15 years most likely due to his heavy drinking. Rube Allyn started a newspaper in Sarasota called the 'SARASOTA SUN' in 1913 that eventuality failed in early 1916, just like others he had started in Canada. Rube was supposedly liberal and progressive but unstable and not dependable, most likely linked to his drinking. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn left Sarasota in Nov. 1917 and found work in the U.S. Navel Hog Island PA shipyard until after the end of World War I in 1918 and then into 1919, the shipbuilding continued until 1921. Rube was making .60 cents an hour as skilled labor with Board and Lodging advanced against wages, he would have been in his 50's at this time. After the war and the eventual shipyard layoffs he returned to Sarasota Fl in late 1919. Rube began publishing the 'Florida Fisherman' in August 1920 with help from his pals at the St Petersburg Times. During the travels of Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn all over the US, it is my opinion that at one time or another he obtained a firearm for protection, very possibly the remains of a Colt .32 caliber Police Positive revolver found buried 99 years later with a broken grip on north Siesta Key.
       photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn is an Irishman, he was born in 1867 in Canada as per all indications (or in Ohio as he indicated on the 1940 US Census). Rube's parents, Alex and Ann Allen, born in Ireland were refugees from the Great Potato Famine who settled in Mount Forest, Ontario Canada where Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn grew up. Rube Allyn was an Irishman through and through including all the baggage associated with heavy drinking. Harry Higel, born December 31st 1867, was the polar opposite of Rube Allyn who is about the same exact age as Harry. Harry Higel was of German heritage. Harry Higel and his wife came from affluent families, they were land owners and very influential members of the Venice, Sarasota and Sarasota Key area, Rube Allyn was not. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn and Harry Higel would butt heads on several issues beginning in 1911 when Rube shows up in Sarasota Fl. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was a hard drinking Irishman. Drinking in Ireland is not simply a convivial pastime, it is a ritualistic alternative to real life and Rube Allyn brought that lifestyle with him to Sarasota. In North America, alcoholism and chronic drunkenness took a frightful toll on the Irish immigrants and their off spring like Rube Allyn in terms of economic failure, pathological family relationships, intimate and public violence, and crime. Rube Allyn had to borrow money from Harry Higel to buy his house on the north end of Sarasota Key. Rube had been delinquent in paying back the loan before Harry Higel ends up dead in January 1921. Was Mr Higel going to foreclose on the house loan to Rube, did Rube's fiery Irish temper get the best of him, was Rube Allyn drunk Thursday night January 6th, 1921, did Rube Allyn kill Harry Higel in January 1921? There was a lot of anti-German sentiment resulting from World War I in America. Rube Allyn identified himself as an 'America Patriot' who worked hard labor at US Naval shipyard Hogs Island PA as his patriotic duty, Harry Higel was of German heritage.
      photo credit Colt firearm parts bill warner investigations
Photo above of the front and back of loaded cylinder of the remains of a Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver found buried on Siesta Key in late November 2019, it had been in the ground for at least 90+ years, with a broken grip and 6 live rounds in the cylinder. In late November 2019, I was made aware of a rusted out antique gun found buried off of Higel Ave just south of the 'Out of Door Academy' on north Siesta Key. The rusted remains of the antique gun turned out to be a Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver with one live round still in the six shot cylinder, the other 5 bullets had rusted out. The gun appears to have been fully loaded when it was buried 90+ years ago, it has a broken hard rubber grip on the right side of the gun. The metal on the remains of the rusted antique Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver has oxidized quickly since pulled out of the ground. 

        photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources
Many small parts of the Colt revolver found buried near Higel Ave have already turned to dust since the homeowners found the gun during some excavation work in their front yard. I came in contact and possession of the Colt gun late on Saturday November 23rd, 2019 and it wasn't till Monday evening November 25th, 2019, after a lot of research with the Colt Mfg company and every printed article concerning the murder of Harry Higel and deep background on Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn did I understand that the antique firearm could be linked to Mr. Higel's death. I took the old rusted Colt firearm remains, parts and pieces, to the Sarasota County Sheriff Dept 6010 Cattleridge Blvd the morning of Tuesday November 26th, 2019 and explained it's origin on Siesta Key and that I had the permission from the property owner to deliver the remains of the revolver to the Sheriff.
     photo credit Colt grips bill warner investigations
The rusted remains of a Colt .32 caliber revolver that had been buried on private property on Siesta Key for 90+ years was identified from it's distinctive brown hard rubber grips and the word COLT circled high up on one of the grips. Typical to the time period of early and prior 1920's. The hard Colt rubber grips with the COLT logo were made from 1907 to 1922 and then changed in 1923 to Walnut wood stock grips. If the Colt gun found buried had wooden grips they would have been long gone and made identification of the revolver very difficult as any serial number or identification on the barrel was corroded. The live round was identified as a .32 caliber long, it was not operable. The gun appears to have been coated with cement and buried, the gun dates to at least 1907 thru early 1920's. The area where the gun was found on north Siesta Key is near salt water canals, it is surprising that anything at all remains of the Colt revolver. 
    photo credit Colt Firearm mfg Hartford Conn
Over 150,000 Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolvers were manufactured and sold between 1907 and 1922 with the hard rubber FANCY grips which changed to Walnut wooden grips in 1923, 300,000 more were sold from 1923 to 1945. Anyone including Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn could have been the owner of the gun found buried on north Siesta Key in November 2019. But why would anyone bury a Colt revolver with 6 live rounds in the cylinder and a broken grip and do everything possible to make it disappear when the cost of the Colt revolver ($25.00) was equal to a full weeks wages of a working man in the 1920's and it was easy to repair? Was it covered in blood? Was it the murder weapon used to beat Harry Higel to death?
        photo credit Colt grips bill warner investigations
Photo above, left and right side of hard rubber grip of a rusted antique Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver found buried in a yard off of Higel Ave on north Siesta Key in late November 2019. The right side grip had what appears to be cement stuck to the back of the grip, it crumbled and fell off during examination. The right side of the hard rubber grip appears to have broken off a little over halfway up, apparently the part that broke off was not recovered. The two hard rubber grips seen above were not connected, they are standing and held up by the glass paper weight on the right. The left side of the grip is intact the right side is broken, as if the gun was used to hit something (or someone's head), the part that broke off of the hard rubber grip was not recovered, to my knowledge. Several people on Sarasota Key reported that they had seen Rube Allyn close to the crime scene in a nearby Palmetto thicket Friday morning the day after Harry Higel was beaten on Thursday January 6th 2019. What was Rube Allyn looking for in the Palmetto thicket, why was he back there early on Friday morn? The formative Colt .32 Police Positives took off like rockets and rapidly became law enforcement favorites as well as civilian staples over 450,000 were sold to anyone and everyone. They were (and are) also widely seen in motion pictures-especially in 1920's Depression-era gangster movies and film noir.
The Colt Police Positive .32 caliber was not only a favorite with beat cops, but also happened to be the revolver of choice for mobsters like Al Capone who had a nickel plated one with Walnut grips, it sold at auction in June 2011 for $110,000. In 1920 during the height of Prohibition, Capone's multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling dominated the organized crime scene. The Colt .32 Police Positive incorporated Colt’s “Positive Lock” safety which prevented the firing pin from hitting the primer unless the trigger was deliberately pulled. Colt's Positive Lock prevented an accidental discharge even if the lowered hammer was struck or the pistol was dropped, (or used to hit someone) allowing the revolver to be safely carried with all six chambers loaded, the gun was ahead of it's time. "That Colt .32—you go out and hammer nails with it all day, come back and it will cut dead center on target every time. It's got a really nice action to it and a hell of a wallop."
        photo credit Colt Firearm mfg Hartford Conn
See newspaper ad from 1907 for the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber Revolver, it was sold to the general public during that time period for about $25 to $35 dollars, anyone and everyone had one as sales reached 150,000 units from 1907 to 1922. From the 1870s until the middle of the 20th century, 1950, the terms "Colt" and "revolver" were synonymous in the police world. Colt revolvers were the most popular law enforcement sidearms in the world, and no Colt product personified the law enforcement handgun better than the Colt Official Police Positive Revolver.

      photo credit Colt Firearm mfg Hartford Conn
In 1895 the NYPD placed an order for 4,500 Colt New Police revolvers, which evolved into the Colt Police Positive .32 Caliber Revolver in 1907. This six-shot, double-action revolver was chambered in .32 S&W Long, had checkered hard rubber grips with the Colt logo. The Colt New Police was manufactured from 1896-1907 by Colt’s Manufacturing Company in Hartford, CT and then the Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver, as seen in this article, was manufactured starting in 1907 to 1922 with the hard rubber grips. Colt used the fact that the NYPD used his gun in all of his advertising during that time period for the general public.
            photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources  
Who bludgeoned Harry Higel about the face and head on that cold Thursday evening, January 6th, 1921, and left him for dead on the side of Beach Road, in north Sarasota Key (now Siesta Key). To this day, no one knows! Harry Higel was born on December 31, 1867 in Philadelphia, to Frank and Adelaide Higel. In 1884, at age 17, he moved to Venice, Florida with his parents where he and his brothers helped his father start a canning business. He moved to Sarasota in 1890 and became an entrepreneur developer. He purchased the dock at the foot of Main Street that had been built by the (Scottish) Florida Mortgage and Investment Co. and had the first gasoline and kerosene tanks installed. Higel operated and docked his boat, the Nemo here, and later he bought and operated the steamer Vandalia. He also purchased a large amount of property on the north end of Sarasota Key, which he renamed Siesta Key. At the time of his barbarous death, he was 53 years old, Director of the Bank of Sarasota and the Seaboard Airline Railway. He had been Postmaster, City Commissioner, and elected Mayor of Sarasota three times. 
Bert Luzier and his son Merle were loading and trucking shell on north Sarasota Key on that chilly day, early on Friday January 7th 1921 when they found Harry Higel lying by the side of the road at about 8:30 am, unconscious, and so bloody that he was unrecognizable, he had been there overnight. Harry was moaning and making gurgling sounds, he had been out by the road all night after the Thursday night January 6th, 1921 beating.  
Bert Luzier and his son Merle loaded Harry in their truck and sped him to Dr. Jack Halton’s office across the Sarasota Key North bridge (Higel bridge) to the foot of Main Street in Sarasota. When Dr. Halton cleaned the injured person, (Harry Higel), he discovered the gold signet ring with the initials HH, proving that it was Harry Higel. The fact that the ring, a gold watch, and other valuables were still on the body established that the object of the crime was not robbery. 
    photo credit Sarasota Times newspaper...Colt grips bill warner investigations
Who committed this violent over the top beating murder of Harry Higel and why did he do it? The extent of damage done by the multiple blows to the face and head of Harry Higel indicates great rage and hatred by the perp. Hot tempered Irishman Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn had been in bitter disagreements with Harry Higel, and was known for fierce outbursts of his Irish temper. Dr Halton rushed Harry Higel to the hospital in Bradenton (there was no hospital in Sarasota yet) where he died shortly after his arrival on January 7th, 1921. 
Manatee County was created in 1855 and Sarasota County was created much later in July 1921 as was the Sheriff Dept. Any investigation of the murder of Harry Higel by suspect Rube Allyn would have had to been conducted by the Manatee County Sheriff, there was no Sarasota County or Sarasota County Sheriff in January 1921. Manatee County Chief Deputy Sheriff D.R. Brown was on the Harry Higel murder scene Friday January 7th 1921 with men and bloodhounds within 20 minutes of being notified, and they found no clues. Several people reported that they had seen Rube Allyn in a nearby Palmetto thicket early in the morning on Friday January 7th 1921 noting that Higel and Allyn had been quarreling heatedly ever since the 1915 election on north Sarasota Key.
    photo credit Manatee County Fair, 104th edition in Jan 2020
On Friday January 7th 1921 Manatee County Chief Deputy Sheriff D.R. Brown went to Rube Allyn’s house on Sarasota Key where he found what was purported to be a pair of blood-soaked rubber soled canvas shoes that appeared to be similar to the shoes that left tracks at the scene of the crime and that led in the direction to Rube Allyn's house nearby on north Sarasota Key. There was also a pair of wet work pants with some sort of stains on the front. This was enough evidence for Rube Allyn to be arrested at about 2:00 pm on Friday January 7, 1921. Although the Manatee County Sheriff deputy reported that the shoes had been covered in blood, when they were sent to Tampa for examination, no trace of blood was found, no chain of evidence?

Read more here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article149809234.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article149809234.html#storylink=cpy The Manatee County Deputy Sheriff, thinking that he remembered tracks on the scene that could have been made by the shoes, arrested Rube Allyn Friday January 7th 1921 and took him to the City of Sarasota’s small jail. 
    photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
The Sarasota Police Dept was formed in 1913 and would not have investigated the murder of Harry Higel as Sarasota Key in January 1921 was part of Manatee County and under control of the Manatee County Sheriff. The City of Sarasota Fl had a total population of 2,149 people in 1920, Sarasota Key was reported to have about 3 dozen year round residents, Rube Allyn was one of them. Despite the fact that Rube Allyn declared his innocence and said that he had just returned to downtown Sarasota shortly before the crime was discovered the morning of Friday January 7th, about 14 hours after Harry Higel was attacked on the evening of January 6th 1921.
              photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
Rube Allyn was taken to the City of Sarasota jail, as seen in photo above on Friday night January 7th, 1921 by the Manatee County Deputy Sheriff, there was no Sarasota County jail at this time. The jail looks like it had 2 cells with lockable doors and an opening for wooden shutters also lockable, there were 'no windows'. The jail looks like an outhouse with padlocks which it probably doubled as. A crowd gathered at the jail, which soon became a mob, and a rope with a noose was seen. The Manatee County Deputy Sheriff and a few men spirited Rube Allyn to the more secure jail in Bradenton, Manatee County. Judge Reeves called for a Grand Jury to hear the evidence, and Rube Allyn's  shoes were sent to Tampa for analysis.
    photo credit Sarasota Times
Friends and Family of murdered Harry Higel provided a notable array of legal talent to assist the prosecution of Rube Allyn. The service of the Fred Thomas National Detective Agency and the Hon. Tom Palmer of Tampa to assist States Attorney McMullen in the prosecution of Rube Allyn. Private detective Fred Thomas from Tampa interviewed two campers, Mr. Rodman and Mr. Rosener, who had set up tents on Beach Rd who might have information about the murder of Harry Higel. A iron pipe found near the crime scene with what appeared to have blood on it was discounted. A search of Rube Allyn's house on Friday January 7th 1921 found a pair of trousers belonging to Rube Allyn that had been recently washed and were still wet, possibly washing away any blood evidence. Dr Allen in Tampa the brother of Rube Allyn provided legal defense in the form of Hon. J.B. Singletary for Rube at his Grand Jury hearing.

      credit Article Sarasota Times March 9, 1921, photo credit Pach Bros 841 Broadway NY, NY
After 61 days in jail, Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn appeared before the Manatee County Grand Jury (Sarasota was part of Manatee County in January 1921) and the report on the shoes was read. No indication of blood was found. Since no evidence to indict was found, Rube Allyn was freed on March 9th, 1921, see Sarasota Times article above. On June 2nd 1921 Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn with his wife Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn and son Robert who assumed the name Rube Allyn Jr, moved to Ruskin Fl. Rube Allyn Sr continued to publish the small bimonthly magazine called "The Florida Fisherman" in Ruskin that he started in the summer of 1920 with the help of the St Petersburg Times. ST PETE TIMES WROTE March 9, 1921: FLORIDA EDITOR ACQUITTED OF MURDER CHARGE. Rube Allyn, editor of the St. Petersburg 'Florida Fisherman' and former publisher of a Sarasota Newspaper was released from jail after the Grand Jury found insufficient evidence to support a true bill to indict. Rube Allyn is one of the best known paper men in Florida. While Allyn’s jail time meant the end of his career at the Sarasota Sun, he was still working as an editor of Florida Fisherman, a publication put out by the St. Petersburg Times. The Times stood by Allyn, considering that he had spent much of his time surrounding the murder in St. Petersburg perfecting the start-up magazine.
See portrait photo above of Rube Allyn above taken at Pach Bros Photography 841 Broadway NY, NY. Pach Bros was at the 841 Broadway location from 1877 to 1890 when they went out of business, Rube Allyn would have been in his 20's when he had his glamour photo, portrait photo taken. Rube appears to have been a news editor, type setter, vaudevillian, humorist, entertainer, shipyard worker, night watchman and published a small bimonthly magazine called "The Florida Fisherman". He once attempted to float his publishing office across Sarasota Bay to elude creditors, by cutting it loose from the pier it sat on. It sank. In "The Story of Sarasota," Karl Grismer described Rube Allyn as " a cross between a genius and a bum...(with) the eloquence of an old-time Shakespearean actor...a man of bad Irish moods...long hair...seldom if ever bathed...never wore socks...an excellent writer." In October 1911, the Sarasota Times ran a notice that Rube Allyn, humorist and impersonator, would be entertaining at the Sarasota High School hall, Rube Allyn would have been 45 years old at this time.
     photo credit Sarasota Times newspaper
Sarasota County Times Newspaper issue Thursday June 16, 1921. The Sarasota County Sheriff's office was established in July 1921 upon the creation of Sarasota County's break from the southern portion of Manatee County. This was 6 months after the murder of Harry Higel, some speculate the break from Manatee County was the result of the poor handling of Mr. Higel's death investigation. One of the first acts of the Sarasota County Commission, which was formed in June 1921, was a July 21, 1921, resolution offering a $1,000 reward for evidence leading to the capture of Harry Higel’s murderer — more than $12,000 today. But since that day there have not been any new leads in the murder mystery. Florida Governor Cary A. Hardee appointed Burna Dale "Heinie" Levi as the first Sheriff of Sarasota County in July 1921, he had no prior law enforcement background. On August 22, 1921, Sarasota City Marshal L.D. Hodges became the agency's first deputy. Sarasota City Marshal L. D. Hodges was elected Sheriff and took office in December 1922.
In the movie 'Goodfella

     photo credit Colt mfg Hartford Conn
On Thursday January 6th, 1921, Harry Higel was severely beaten around the head and face, falling limp by the side of Beach Road on Sarasota Key (Siesta Key). His face was so badly bludgeoned he was unidentifiable. Harry had a two-inch gash above the right eye splitting his skull according to a report from Dr. Joseph Haldon. Harry Higel's multiple facial and head wounds, front and back, could very possibly have been caused by someone pistol whipping Harry with a revolver. The base of the hard rubber butt grip of a 1920's Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver covers a heavy metal frame, there are several sharp edges on the heavy and rugged gun that would cause severe damage to one's face and head in a pistol whipping.
       photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources
The Sarasota Times reported on September 17, 1914, "that plans have been drawn by a local architect and the Higelhurst Hotel aka Higel-Hurst Inn was assured. The hotel will have 20 bedrooms and a dining room large enough to accommodate 100 people." The estimated cost would be between $10,000 and $15,000. Work on the hotel began immediately. The contract for the foundation was awarded within a week. Plans were also drawn up for several guest bungalows to be built close to the hotel. Higel's plan included streets along which the bungalows would be built and sidewalks to the hotel from Higel Ave. His idea was to make Siesta Key a settlement where every comfort would be provided. Higel believed that this type of plan would be popular with tourists. Hotel Higelhurst opened its doors on March 9, 1915, with more than 200 people attending the grand opening reception. Since the bridge to the key was not finished, ferry boats provided transportation to the hotel. In Higel's promotional brochure, Siesta on the Gulf, he claimed that his hotel was on of the most modern in Manatee County. The daily rates were $2.50 and up. The hotel had hot and cold running water in every room, large baths, gas and electric lights and telephones. Also, it was less than 50 yards to the Gulf Pass. The Higelhurst proved to be very popular and was a success for Higel. For some reason Rube Allyn put up a ramshackle house/office near the Higelhurst Hotel aka Higel-Hurst Inn. In 1917 Harry Higel was planning an expansion when the hotel caught fire on March 31st, Rube Allyn was nearby that night. Harry Higel's Higelhurst Hotel aka Higel-Hurst Inn on the Gulf located on north Sarasota Key at Big Pass burnt to the ground on March 31st 1917. Harry Higel's son, Gordon Higel, a retired postmaster, recalled that tears ran down his father's face as they watched the hotel burn to the ground from the mainland. Although he announced plans to rebuild, there was very little insurance on the building. Higel never rebuilt the hotel.

     photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources
In 1920 and 1921 Harry Higel quarreled with Rube Allyn over an unpaid debt after he’d lent Rube Allyn money for a home on the north end of Sarasota Key. The HigelHurst Hotel overlooked Big Pass and suspiciously burned down in March 1917. Rube Allyn not only lived at the location near the Hotel, he also printed the Sarasota Sun inside a dockside office, a mention in the 1917 City Council minutes that Rube’s building was declared to be a menace and he was ordered to remove it. Harry Higel's loan to Rube Allyn was coming due just before Higel was murdered in January 1921. 
VIDEO ABOVE POSSIBLE LOCATION OF WHERE HIGELHURST HOTEL WAS LOCATED IN 1917 ON N BEACH RD JUST SOUTH OF N SHELL RD SIESTA KEY FL. Rube Allyn was known for erratic behavior, bad moods, drinking, combative nature, and a fierce and short Irish temper. Often a donkey-drawn cart carrying Rube Allyn’s disabled son would pass through Higel’s property on Higel Avenue and the gate to a chicken coop was often left open further inciting Harry. In 1917, the Higelhurst Hotel mysteriously burned down one month before the bridge to Sarasota Key was completed in May 2917. Higel suffered a major financial loss. No one knew whom or what was responsible for the fire, but many folks believed it was Rube Allyn, mostly because of his close proximity to the property and his assertiveness toward Higel. During the 1916 local elections, Allyn is said to have criticized Harry Higel’s character in his newspaper. 
Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was born in 1887 he grew up in Ontario Canada where his Irish immigrate parents had settled, he also has early links Philadelphia in 1887 and to New York City in 1889 and Crookston, Minnesota in 1901 and Philadelphia again from 1917 to late 1919. World War I lasted from July 1914 to November 1918. Rube Allyn worked at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA building docks for the Navy Contractor from November 1917 to late in 1919, the shipbuilding continued until 1921. Rube Allyn was making .60 cents and hour for a 10 hour day with Board and Lodging advanced against wages. Rube would have been in his 50's at this time working at a very dangerous, hard and dirty job for .60 cents and hour, many men were killed during the shipbuilding. During his time at Hog Island, about 12 miles from Philadelphia, Rube voiced a strong hatred for the German speaking Jews who worked with him. He admitted to having been arrested for attempted murder when he threw two German speaking Jews off the trolley on the way to Hog Island in 1918. The U.S. Naval Yard at Hog Island: in September 1918, cases of the influenza pandemic were reported at the Naval Yard and began to spread. Mortality on some days at Hog Island was several hundred people and, by the time the pandemic began to subside in October 2018, more than 12,000 people had died. Rube Allyn from Sarasota Fl was at the U.S. Naval Yard at Hog Island from November 1917 to late in 1919 and somehow survived all of this.
While Rube Allyn was toiling away (outside in heat or cold) at the U.S. Naval shipyard Hog Island PA for .60 cents an hour from November 1917 to late in 1919 when he was in his 50's. Harry Higel was the king of Sarasota Key and very, very influential in the booming City of Sarasota during the same time frame. Rube Allyn returned to Sarasota Key in late 1919 and set up the Florida Fisherman magazine in August 1920 with the help of the St Petersburg Times. Did Rube bring a gun back with him? The Colt Police Positive would have been used by the police department in Philadelphia in the 1900's and by night watchmen at the Hog Island shipyard. Did Rube Allyn 'pick up' a Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver while he was working at the Hog Island Philadelphia shipyard as a night watchman. In 1917, as part of the World War I effort, the US government contracted American International Shipbuilding Corp to build ships and a shipyard at Hog Island. At the time Hog Island became the largest shipyard in the world, with 50 slipways. The shipbuilding continued until 1921, after which the facility was rapidly demolished. 
On March 14, 1918 when Sarasota's Rube Allyn was still working at the U.S. Naval shipyard at Hog Island PA there was a huge bomb plot to blow up the shipyard. 245 pounds of dynamite was discovered that had been hidden by German agents in and around the shipyard. The massive bomb plot at the shipyard was discovered just a little over a month after Sarasota's Rube Allyn had testified before the Senate Committee instigation of Hog Island when he voiced his racist comments about the German speaking Jews he worked with. Rube Allyn left Philadelphia for Sarasota in late 1919. When Rube Allyn returned to Sarasota in late 1919 he returned with a great hatred of the German speaking Jews he encountered at the Hog Island PA shipyard. Rube appears to have had a hatred of anyone speaking German or anyone of German ancestry after the German bomb plot at the Hog Island shipyard where he was working. All of Rube's encounters with Germans or German speaking people occurred during the first World War against Germany. Rube Allyn did not like Germans when he came back to Sarasota in late 1919. Rube was a "loaded gun just waiting to go off".
      photo credit Sarasota County Historical Resources
In "The Story of Sarasota," Karl Grismer wrote after returning to Sarasota Key from Philadelphia, Rube Allyn began publishing the Florida Fisherman in August 1920. four months later on January 7, 1921, Rube Allyn was arrested for the brutal bludgeoning murder of Harry Higel, a respected community leader and three-term mayor of Sarasota. When the announcement of Higel’s murder was made, Rube Allyn was the focal suspect. “All the fingers were pointing at him,” LaHurd said. In 1921 only about 3 dozen people actually lived on Sarasota Key, Rube Allyn was one of them and he was there on Thursday night January 6th. Rube Allyn traveled to Sarasota on Friday morning January 7th 1921 crossing the north bridge from Sarasota Key. According to Grismer’s book, an enraged mob captured Rube Allyn in downtown Sarasota on Friday and draped a noose around his neck before authorities interrupted and transported Rube Allyn to Bradenton in Manatee County for the trial. Sixty-one days later, a jury acquitted Allyn of the murder, because the evidence presented was circumstantial, including reported sightings of Rube Allyn in palmetto plants near the crime scene Thursday night. Rumors by locals in Sarasota had it that Rube Allyn confessed to murdering Harry Lee Higel while in the Sarasota jail but Rube later took it back.
       photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources
Why would someone/anyone bury a Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver with 6 live rounds in the cylinder and a broken grip that dates to 1907 and the early 1920's in a field, just south of where The Outdoor Academy is located now off of a street that runs west from Higel Ave on the North end of Sarasota Key. Was the antique Colt gun with the broken grip, loaded with 6 rounds the Harry Lee Higel murder weapon? A $1,000 reward was offered for the murderer of Harry Higel, but no one else was ever arrested other than Rube Allyn.
According to Colt literature of the 1920s, the .32 caliber Police Positive Special was, "Adopted as standard by many large and hundreds of smaller city Police Departments due to its rugged, sturdy frame, accuracy and hard-hitting qualities. During the early 1900's the Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver was very popular among just about everyone who wanted a reliable firearm, Express Messengers, Paymasters, Watchmen, and Special officers. The Colt Police Positive .32 caliber revolver was also the choice for Home, Store, Motoring and Beach/Camping protection. Rube Allyn took his show on the road for over 20 years. Rube Allyn traveled all over the US, apparently traveling by train and car from at least the late 1890''s to 1906 and then again from about 1917 to 1919, it is not a reach by any means to think he 'picked up a gun' somewhere in his travels. 
      photo credit movie 'Goodfellas' Warner Bros.
In the movie 'Goodfellas' Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) pistol-whips Karen's neighbor Bruce with a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver with a square butt, which he gives to Karen (Lorraine Bracco) to hide. The Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver would appear to inflict serious injury to the victim with blows to the head and face, which would include broken nose, deep gashes in the face and head and multiple depressed skull fracturesPistols and revolvers are not only used to discharge cartridges, but also for hits to the victims head. In such cases, the blows preferably affect the head. The impact is mostly exerted either by the grip of a pistol or the butt of a revolver. As in other kinds of pistol-whipping, the scalp wounds may be associated with fractures of the skull and even with brain contusions and as such could cause death. The Colt .32 Positive Special incorporated Colt’s “Positive Lock” safety which prevented the firing pin from hitting the primer unless the trigger was deliberately pulled. Colt's Positive Lock prevented an accidental discharge even if the lowered hammer was struck or the pistol was dropped, (or used to hit someone). 
It is my opinion that Rupert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn ambushed Harry Higel while Harry was out for a walk near his house on the end of Higel Ave on north Sarasota Key. A planed and calculated attack on Thursday January 6th, 1921 that resulted in Mr Higel's death the next day. In my experiences with physical confrontations, if a person is hit with a shovel or a lead pipe or even a baseball bat the assailant is standing about 2 to 3 feet from the victim to be able to swing down on the victim. Usually one or two whacks to the victims head quickly ends the confrontation with the victim experiencing a fractured skull and lying unconscious or dead on the ground. Most likely the blows to the victims head will be in the same general area, the right side or the left side of the head, because once you get hit you go down. In the brutal murder of Harry Higel, Mr. Higel had multiple depressed skull fractures on the top of his head, the side of his head and several more on the back of his head along with his face beat in. Which in my opinion indicates Harry Higel was held up by one hand of the assailant, (grabbing a shirt collar), while multiple blows were reigned down to Mr Higel's face and head from all sides with the assailants free hand holding a smaller hard object object, up close and personal, a pistol whipping.
When examining Rube Allyn’s house the Deputy Sheriff noted a pair of blood-soaked canvas shoes (which would have indicated a pistol whipping) with a rubber sole that appeared to be similar to those that left tracks at the scene of the crime. This was enough evidence for Rube Allyn to be arrested. Although the Deputy Sheriff reported that the shoes had been covered in blood, and they would have been shown at the Coroner's inquiry on Friday Jan 7, 1921 convened by County Judge Cary B. Fish in Bradentown Fl, when the shoes were sent to Tampa for examination no trace of blood was found? Rube Allyn did the dastardly deed he murdered Harry Higel in my opinion during a pistol whipping. Rube Allyn had motive (default on loan to Mr Higel and he hated Germans), opportunity (lives near Mr Higel and was there Thursday night) and the physical ability (big strong man) to beat Harry Higel to death most likely with the loaded Colt revolver with the broken grip found 98 years later buried on the north end of Siesta Key. PRIOR BAD ACT: Rube Allyn admitted in sworn testimony before a Senate Committee in Feb. 1918 that he had been arrested for 'Attempted Murder' during a Hate Crime at the Hogs Island PA shipyard, he hated German speaking people, he hated Germans.
    photo credit Harry Higel Sarasota County Historical Resources
Rube Allyn was a big man well over 6 feet tall and very strong, Harry Higel was a much smaller man, most likely in the 5' 6'' tall range, which would explain all the damage to Harry Higel's head, multiple depressed skull fractures on the top, sides and back of his head from what appears to be a pistol whipping. Blows appeared to have rained down on Harry's head from the much taller Rube Allyn. It is my opinion that Rube Allyn buried the murder weapon, a Colt revolver with a broken grip, that was found 98 years later on north Siesta Key. I am convinced that Rube Allyn confronted Harry Higel and beat him all over his face and head and into a bloody pulp and left him for dead on Beach Rd. I am also convinced that Rube Allyn burned down Harry Higel's prized Higel-Hurst Hotel on March 31, 1917, he was there on the Island that night and he despised Harry and Germans. There was a lot of anti-German sentiment resulting from World War I in America (Jul 28, 1914 – Nov 11, 1918). Rube Allyn identified as an 'America Patriot' who worked hard labor at the US Naval shipyard Hogs Island PA as his patriotic duty. Harry Higel was of German heritage. The Hurst part of the Higel-Hurst Hotel name appears to link to Hurst Germany. Rube Allyn was a newspaper guy and linked to the St Pete Times in March of 1917 he would have been well aware of the "Zimmerman Note" and the German plot in America. On March 1, 1917, an explosive story hit the front pages of major U.S. newspapers about a German telegram that had fallen into the hands of the American government. By then, the United States was already on its slow and inexorable path to WWI with Germany. Curiously 30 days later on March 31st, 1917, Harry Higel's prized Higel-Hurst Hotel was burned down. Rube Allyn was a self proclaimed "American Patriot" and had extreme Germanophobic sentiment, there are no coincidences here. Four days later, demanding that "the world must be made safe for democracy," President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany on April 4, 1917. Congress quickly complied by a wide margin, and the United States joined the carnage of World War I. Just a few months after Harry's Hotel burns down in March 2017 Rube Allyn leaves Sarasota and is off to the U.S. Naval Shipyard at Hogs Island PA for two years of hard labor at .60 cents an hour sawing timber and building docks, big change for a newspaper guy in his 50's. Rube claimed in testimony before a Senate Committee that he was an "American Patriot" and hated Germans, there are no coincidences here.
    screenshot 1940 census Ruslin Fl
1940 US CENSUS: Rube Allyn had moved to Ruskin Fl in Mach 1921 with his wife
Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn and sons after his release from jail as the suspect in the January 1921 murder of Harry Higel. In the 1940 US Census Ruskin Fl, Rube Allyn, whose birth name is Rupert Royce Allen and appears to have been born in 1867 in Ontario Canada to Irish immigrant parents Alex and Ann Allen, indicated that his name was Rube Allyn and he was born in Ohio and that he was 73 years old (born in 1867). Rube also indicated that he was retired newspaper publisher on the 1940 Census. Rube's wife Rose Evelyn Knestrick (Allyn) was born in Ohio. Rube Allyn was the stage name of Rubert Royce Allen which was his birth name. Rubert is Irish for Robert. Rube Allyn died in 1947 he was an self proclaimed "America Patriot" to the end. Rube Allyn indicated on the 1940 Census that his Marital Status was Widowed, but Rube's wife Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn (1868–1957) did not die until 17 years later (after 1940 census) in 1957? Rube's wife Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn (1868–1957) was born on April 2nd 1868 in Wayne County Ohio, she was born in Ohio not Rube.



   photo credit screenshot Wellington Advertiser Ontario Canada
RE: Rube Allyn aka Rupert Royce Allen Newspaper account, Among the notable people who grew up in Wellington County, Ontario Canada was a fellow named Rubert Royce Allen. He was born in 1867. His parents, Alex and Ann Allen, were Irish immigrants. The family, with young Rubert Allen and two sisters, eventually settled in Mount Forest, Canada where the father Alex Allen found employment at his trade as a shoemaker. Young Rubert Allen spent most of his childhood and youth in Mount Forest Ontario Canada. Rubert Allen moved to the Midwest (Ohio), traveling for a few years as a performer under the name of Rube Allyn. Rubert Royce Allen Sr kept the stage name 'Rube Allyn' as his own 'true name' till his death in 1947 and even passed it on to his son Rubert Royce Allyn Jr..During the early years of Rube Allyn's Sr career the Mount Forest newspapers in Ontario Canada had carried occasional reports of his activities. The Mount Forest Confederate newspaper published a full obituary a few weeks after Rube Allyn Sr's death in 1947. The Mount Forest Confederate newspaper was first printed in 1867.
Rube Allyn died in 1947 after a brief illness he was survived by his long-suffering wife Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn, his two sons, and a sister in Mount Forest Ontario Canada. Rubert Royce Allen aka Rube Allyn was born in 1867 in Ontario Canada and died in 1947 in Florida, he had been living in Ruskin Fl, he was 80 or 81. Rube is buried in Manasota Memorial Park, Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida, USA. Rube Allyn Sr. Family Members include Spouse Rose Evelyn Knestrick Allyn 1868–1957. Rube Allyn Sr. started a newspaper in Sarasota called the 'SARASOTA SUN' in 1913 that eventuality failed in early 1916, just like others he had started in Canada. Rube was supposedly liberal and progressive but unstable and not dependable, most likely linked to his drinking. Rube was also a bigoted racist who hated the German speaking Jews he had to work with at the Hog Island PA shipyard from 1917 to 1919. Rube Allyn was a self proclaimed "American Patriot" and had extreme Germanophobic sentiment
Harry Lee Higel was born December 31st, 1867 in Philadelphia and died January 7th, 1921 in Sarasota Fl he had just turned 53, he and several members of his family are buried in Rosemary Cemetery Sarasota on the Central Ave side. Francis 'Frank' Higel and his son Harry L. Higel both succumbed to violent deaths at the exact same age, 53. Harry Lee Higel and his family members are buried in Section C, Lot 14 which as you face the Cemetery standing on Central Ave is to your left. Lot 14 – The Higels: Gertrude E. Higel, Harry Lee Higel, H. Gordon Higel, Louise K. Higel and Marcia Rader Higel. The murder of Harry Higel remains cloaked in secrecy and always will be one of Southwest Florida’s greatest mysteries.


Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota 941-926-1926 - SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at http://www.billwarnerpi.com/