Stanley Robert Smith: Taken To Toledo

On March 15th, 1933, Stanley and his two young co-conspirators were turned over to federal agents1 who transported them the roughly 50 miles from Findlay to Toledo.  The very next day2, they were taken to the federal courthouse, located at 1716 Spielbusch Avenue.


The building was constructed just a year prior to Stanley’s arrival there.  In 2007, it was dedicated as the James M. Ashley and Thomas W. L. Ashley United States Courthouse.  During the Civil War, James Ashley was the first member of Congress to call for a constitutional amendment outlawing slavery; he authored the forerunner of the Thirteenth Amendment.  His great-grandson, Thomas W. L. Ashley, served thirteen terms in Congress.3

Surprisingly, given the building’s large size, it was built to house a single district judge.  A $104 million construction project, planned to begin in January 2018, will update the existing building as well as create a large annex more suitable for current needs4.  The only dedicated courtroom, built in 1932, can be seen below:

Ceremonial Courtroom in the U.S. District Courthouse, Toledo5

The Arraignment

The three men were taken before U.S. Commissioner John C. Budd.  All three pled guilty to charges of violating the Dyer Act (i.e., transporting stolen vehicles across state lines).  Each was held on $1000 bond pending a hearing before the grand jury6.

U.S. Commissioner John C. Budd

At the time, Commissioner Budd had been serving in this role for nearly six years.  Born in 1891 in Perrysburg, Ohio, John C. Budd was one of fourteen children born to a German father.  He grew up helping on his parents’ farm and it was in this manner, hiring himself out as a farm laborer in his neighborhood, that he earned the money to put himself through business school.

After graduating from law school at Toledo University, Budd spent nine years working as the private secretary to federal judge John M. Killits (pictured below), who would later appoint him to the position of U.S. Commissioner.7

John M. Killits, editor of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, 1623-1923. S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1923.

In 1933, Commissioner Budd’s office was located in the Produce Exchange Building8 at the corner of Madison Avenue and North St Clair Street, just over half a mile from the federal courthouse.

produce exchange bldg

The building was demolished in 1984 and has been replaced by a parking lot, across the street from the present-day PNC tower.

location of produce exchange
Former Location of Produce Exchange Building, Toledo, Ohio

1 “3 Turned Over to Federal Officers,” Findlay Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio), 16 Mar 1933, p 3 col 7.
2 “Three Admit Guilt in Federal Court,” Findlay Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio), 17 Mar 1933, p 9 col 4.
3 House Report No. 110-455 (2007).
4“Designer, construction manager named for U.S. courthouse in Toledo”, Toledo Blade, 18 Nov 2016. <;, accessed 31 Oct 2017.
5 Ibid.
6 “Three Admit Guilt in Federal Court.”
7 Story of the Maumee Valley, Toledo and the Sandusky Region, Vol. III. S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929, pp. 14-15.
8 Polk’s Toledo (Ohio) City Directory. Toledo Directory Co., 1932, p. 1363. Entry for John C. Budd.


3 thoughts on “Stanley Robert Smith: Taken To Toledo”

  1. In total agreement with Amy. In fact I noticed the sign ‘New Boody’ across the street in the pic court house which got me googling about it. “Boody House, Toledo, Ohio, ca. 1905 at St. Clair and Madison. The hotel opened in June 1872 with 133 guest rooms, each with its own fireplace. Hot and cold water ran in each room, a novelty for the day. The building was torn down in 1928 to make way for the Ohio Savings Bank and Trust Company.” The picture of the building/street scene on this site is so grand… Really enjoyed the history lesson, thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you both. You should see the planned addition to the courthouse. The style is so incredibly different! It certainly wouldn’t be my choice.

      Thanks for the info on the Boody Hotel. I was wondering what that was supposed to be!


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