Dominica "Minnie" Richetti Sustik
Dominica "Minnie" Frieda Richetti was born on 1 Feb
1906, in Davies Grove W.Va. She was the 4th of the
Richetti children. Minnie grew up in Lehigh, Oklahoma
where she attended school and was the only Richetti
child to complete high school. There while in Lehigh
she met Henry Sustik (born 12 July 1899 in Raj,
Checz) whose family would eventually move to Jug
Run a small hollow just outside of Dillonvale, Ohio.
Minnie at school in Oklahoma,
back row 3rd from right. Notice
kid in front row with no shoes.
It was there that Minnie and Henry walked the railroad tracks into town on 10 November 1923 and were married. Henry Sustik,
and Minnie (Ricchitti) lived out their lives in Jug Run, Ohio. Henry worked in the area coal mines working at the Dunn Glenn mine
for Hanna Coal as a timberman. He was a member of the Eagles in Dillonvale. They adopted Fred L. Simpson, Minnie's sister
Eva's son. Henry retired from the coal mines and died in DEC 28, 1970 at 71 from black lung. Minnie remarried Joe Chrobak,
Henry's cousin. Minnie died in Jun 1992 at 87 in her sleep. She was the last and oldest surviving Richetti of that generation. Joe
Chrobak her last husband died on April 21, 1998. He was born on February 21, 1912, in Lazy, Austria, a son of John and
Anastazie Pollak Chrobak, who was Henry's cousin
Minnie and Henry's lives were affected by her youngest brother and sister, Adam and Eva.
As the years passed by Minnie and Henry were unable to have children of their own. Minnie's youngest sister Eva whose
marriage was failing, and had run into trouble with the law, had lost her son Fred to the Kansas Children's Home in 1932. Once
the family had found out about those circumstances Minnie and Henry decided to help out.
Eventually through a petition to the courts, The Department of Public Welfare in Ohio, through the Kansas Children's Home run by
Miss Shirk located at 617 Mulvane St., in Topeka, Kansas on 29 March 1932, contacted Minnie and Henry Sustik, to care for her
sister Eva's son, Fred L. Simpson Jr. Shortly thereafter Minnie and Henry Sustik where to travel to Topeka, Kansas to pick up their
nephew at the children's home. After four and a half months, Judge Kaster agreed to issue a final order without any further
appearances and on April 11, 1932, Henry and Minnie Sustik called at the office and took their nephew to Oklahoma with them to
visit Minnie's parents before returning to Ohio.
On January 23, 1933, Minnie and Henry Sustik adopted Fred, and he became Henry F. Sustik Jr. Henry F. Sustik Jr. who was
called Junior by everyone, grew up like most other kids during that era, poor but happy. He attended school at Tiltonsville and
Minnie's brother Adam had affected her and her families life also. Already she had adopted her sister's son because of Eva's
involvement with Adam and Charles Floyd. The October 1934 Steubenville Herald Star, reported the local sheriff as saying that
the FBI had been in town since sometime in late summer of 1933, shortly after the June 1933 massacre in Kansas City, to keep
surveillance of the Ricchette, De Matte, and Sustik family in the area as they were sure Adam and Charles would show up
eventually. Several strangers were seen in and around Dillonvale, living in an upstairs apartment in town at that time. It is known
that J. Edgar Hoover had contemplated sending out a pick up order or wanted poster of Adam around the 1st of March 1934. In
that order he had told his agents to tap all of the phone lines and monitor the mail of everyone associated with the Richetti,
Sustik, and De Matte family from Texas, Oklahoma, to Ohio.
It is around this time that the families started to learn that something was going on. Minnie had told me that she had even
became afraid of the local mailman and feared that not only was their mail being opened, but that people were watching every
move they made.
On October 18, 1934 Rose and Beulah Baird had purchased a new car with the money that Charles Floyd and Adam Richitti had
given them and headed south. Several days before, J. Edgar Hoover had intercepted a letter from Minnie Richitti Sustik that she
had sent to her mother and father in Lehigh, Oklahoma.
The letter had been written in Italian, which Hoover had translated.
The letter read:
I have received your letter and I have been very glad to know that you are all at home. Every day I think of you and I was hoping
to receive your letter from the postman. Dear Mother, do not cry, I do not do anything wrong and if Arthur comes here I will not
have him in my home because my home will not shelter robbers. I am enough dishonored without having him here, and I do not
think he will come because he knows I am not his kind. Stolen goods do not last long!
I feel sorry and I often cry for Jack Smalley whom I love so much, he is a good boy but I cannot keep him because of the bad life
he leads. I think it is too late not to do anything for him. I had a letter from Eva who tells me that the trial will be the 1st of October
and that she will come to Ohio.
Dear Mother, I do not want to have people that steal. I am always told that my brother is a robber and Junior tells me the same. I
cry every day, I have no one to speak to except you. I have no one left to console me. I am tired of living and tired of working
although no one believes that I work very hard. I pray God that he may give me good health and enough to eat and I try to rear
Junior so that he will become a good man. Henry treats me well and I cannot say anything against him. The old man speaks of
selling the farm and I am praying that he will sell it. No one has lived like me for eleven years. His daughter does not work for him
like I do, and she always tells me that I am cheap, but I do have to work like a beast.
Dear Mother, do not cry for me, I am well and not as dumb as I was. When people speak ill of me I answer them I am tired of it all
and I threaten to leave them. I am always thinking of you and I would love to speak to you for I have no one here. I have been to
Ralph's home, but I do not go to Devi's. Sophie has bought dresses for the baby. Anna goes to Sophie's home to take care of
Devi who is ill. Sophie says that she cannot be bothered with him. That is another thing in which Devi shows his stupidity.
Mother, write me soon and a long letter but do not mention that I have written you because Frances may read the letter and ask
questions. We are all well and hope the same of you. Geraldine is well and goes to school this year. Write soon and do not
mention anything I have written you. Junior is a beautiful boy and loves Henry. We have had rain every week but too late to do
anything to the garden. I have 500 jars of fruits and other vegetables from the garden.
I am sending a dollar, this being Henry's pay day, you can buy some coffee with it. Burn this letter. Do not write to Frances. Write
soon, best wishes from Henry.
Your Daughter Meni
Four days later On Monday, October 22, 1934, after her brother Adam had been caught in Wellsville, Ohio, at 6am, two car loads
of department of justice agents agents came to Martins Ferry accompanied by Patrolmen George Helt and Edward McElfresh
including Melvin Purvis rushed into the Dillonvale area and immediately conducted an investigation at the homes of Minnie and
Henry Sustik, and other relatives living in the Dillonvale area, looking for Floyd. They proceeded to investigate the area for
approximately 5 hours as to the whereabouts of Charles Floyd and questioned them at length concerning their knowledge of their
brother and his friends. Fred H. Sustik remembered the Agents going to the barn on the Sustik's farm and going through the hay
with pitch forks. Purvis and his men were so afraid that they had family members lead the way into the barn, using them as a
human shield. There were no arrests made of the Richetti, Sustik, or De Mattes in connection with their involvement with Adam
and Floyd, however it was well known that it could happen, as it did with the Dillinger's and Barrow's families
Upon learning of their brothers capture in Wellsville and after they had been searched, Minnie, Dave and Bill De Matte raced to
his side. Minnie would eventually secure several personal articles from Adam while he was in the Wellsville Jail which she
passed down to me.
Minnie died in Jun 1992 at 87, she was the last of the Richetti family. Minnie was born in Davy, West Virgina on Feb 1, 1906. She
was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Dames of Malta.
Minnie, Eva, and Adam abt 1914
Minnie and Henry Sustik
1927 Dillonvale, Ohio
Minnie and Fred 1948