A Timeline of Events in the History of the James-Younger
- Jan. 10, 1843---Alexander Franklin (Frank) James is born to Rev.
Robert Sallee James and Zerelda Cole James at the family farm in Kearney,
- Jan. 15, 1844---Thomas Coleman (Cole) Younger is born to Henry Washington
Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit,
- 1844 (exact date unknown)---Charlie Pitts is born at Commerce, Oklahoma.
- Sept. 5, 1847---Jesse Woodson James is born to Rev. Robert Salle
James and Zerelda Cole James at the family farm in Kearney, Missouri.
- Jan. 15, 1848---James Hardin (Jim) Younger is born to Henry Washington
Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit,
- 1848 or 1849 (exact date unknown)---Bill Stiles (later known as Bill
Chadwell) is born in Monticello, Minnesota.
- Nov. 25, 1849---Susan Lavenia James is born to Zerelda and Robert
- Jan. 9, 1850---Clelland D. (Clell) Miller is born to Moses Miller
and Emaline Miller at the family farm in Clay County, Missouri.
- Apr. 12, 1850---Robert James leaves Missouri for California, hoping
to strike gold there. He dies soon after arrival there.
- 1851 (exact date unknown)---John Harrison Younger is born to Henry
Washington Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's
- Sept. 30, 1852---Zerelda James marries Ben Simms.
- Oct. 29, 1853---Robert Ewing (Bob) Younger is born to Henry Washington
Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit,
- Jan. 2, 1854---Ben Simms dies in a horse accident. He and Zerelda
were going to divorce soon anyway.
- Sept. 12, 1855---Zerelda married Rueben Samuel. Young Frank, Jesse,
and Susan James all like him
- Aug. 27, 1860---Charles 'Dick' Younger, oldest of the Younger brothers,
dies of appendicitis. Cole is now the oldest brother and feels compelled
to replace his dead older brother.
- May 4, 1861---Frank James joins the Home Guard unit of Centerville,
- 1861 (exact date unknown)---Cole Younger and his brother-in-law,
John Jarrette, join William Clarke Quantrill's Confederate guerrillas.
- Feb. 1862 (exact date unknown)---Frank James is captured by Union
soldiers and forced to take an oath to not reenlist in the Confederate army.
- June 20, 1862---Henry Younger, father of the Younger brothers, is
shot several times and killed while riding a buggy from Kansas City to Lee's
Summit. Although he was more of a Union sympathizer than a Confederate, it's
believed that his killers were Union soldiers. No one is ever charged with
the murder. Young Charlie Pitts and his employer's wife, Mrs. Wells, are the
ones who find the body. While Mrs. Wells goes to look for help, Charlie guards
the body. Afterwards, Henry is buried alongside his late son Charles in an
- May 1863 (exact date unknown)---Frank James joins Quantrill's guerrillas.
- May 25, 1863---Union soldiers rough up Zerelda James Samuel, hang
her husband Rueben Samuel (but don't kill him), and beat up Jesse James for
not giving them the location of Quantrill's guerrillas.
- Aug. 14, 1863---A three-story building in Kansas City that is holding
captive female relatives of several Confederate guerrillas collapses, killing
and injuring many of the women. The guerrillas want revenge and decide to
strike the town of Lawrence, Kansas.
- Aug. 21, 1863---Quantrill's guerrillas raid Lawrence, Kansas, destroying
the town and killing 183 citizens.
- Winter 1863-64---William (Bloody Bill) Anderson, a Quantrill guerrilla,
goes solo with his own bunch of guerrillas. One of his guerrillas is Jesse
- Aug. 1864 (exact date unknown)---Jesse James is shot in his right
lung during a battle. He is back with Bloody Bill by September 1864.
- Sept. 27, 1864---Bloody Bill Anderson and 250 of his guerrillas raid
the town of Centraila, Missouri. A Union train there is halted and 25 Union
soldiers on board are killed. Later, the guerrillas leave Centraila. Union
Major A. V. E. Johnston arrives with a few hundred Union soldiers at Centraila.
They pursue the guerrillas. In the afternoon, the Union soldiers and Bloody
Bill's guerrillas meet up. The guerrillas completely slaughter the Union
soldiers. Jesse James kills several men in this battle, including Major Johnston
- Oct. 1864 (exact date unknown)---Bloody Bill Anderson's guerrillas
are ambushed by Union soldiers under the command of Major S. P. Cox at Independence,
Missouri. Several guerrillas are killed. Bloody Bill is killed himself and
is decapitated later that day. Jesse James and a few other guerrillas escape.
Jesse vows to kill S. P. Cox one day. One of the captured guerrillas is
14 year old Clell Miller, who joined the guerrillas three days before.
- Late Oct. 1864---Jesse James joins a group of guerrillas lead by
Arch (Little Arch) Clements.
- May 7, 1865---Arch Clements's guerrillas ravage the town of Holden,
- May 9 (approximately), 1865---Arch Clements's guerrillas ravage the
town of Kingsville, Missouri.
- May 10, 1865---Quantrill and his guerrillas are ambushed by Union
Captain Edwin Terrell and Union soldiers. Many guerrillas are killed, many
more are captured. Quantrill is shot twice, one of which is mortal. One of
the captured guerrillas is Jim Younger, who recently joined the guerrillas.
- June 6, 1865---Quantrill dies of his wounds.
- May 1865 (exact date unknown)---Jesse James attempts to surrender
at Lexington, Missouri. He is shot in the right lung by Union soldiers while
riding to town holding a white flag. He survives the wound and crawls to
safety. He will never heal 100 percent. He will be near death for several
- Early Feb. 1866---Jesse and Frank James meet with Cole Younger to
plan the first ever bank robbery.
- Feb 13, 1866---Between ten and fourteen men rob the bank at Liberty,
Missouri of Yankee money. A citizen, George Wymore, is killed during the
robbery. The identity of most of the robbers are unknown, but Frank James,
Cole Younger, John Jarrette, George and Oliver Sheppard, and Little Arch
Clements are confirmed as being present. Jesse James was still not fit enough
from his chest wound to participate, although he helped plan the robbery.
- Late Feb. 1866---Most of the robbers from Liberty quit the gang.
Only Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, George and Oliver
Shepard, and Little Arch Clements remain members.
- 1866 (exact date unknown)---Bursheba Younger and her two youngest
sons, John and Bob, go to the town of Independence, Missouri to buy supplies.
At town, a formed Union soldier named Gillcrease verbally assaults the Youngers.
John tells him to shut up, so Gillcrease hits John in the face with a dead
fish. John goes to his wagon and grabs his older brother Cole's pistol,
which John picked up for Cole and the local gunstore only minutes before.
When Gillcrease grabs a slingshot and takes aim at John, John shoots Gillcrease
between the eyes with the pistol. John is arrested for murder, but is acquitted
the next day on the grounds of self-defense.
- June 1866 (exact date unknown)---Frank James travels to Kentucky
to visit family there. On his way, he gets into a gunfight with four Union
soldiers. In the gunfight, Frank killed two of the soldiers and wounded
a third. The fourth escaped, but managed to shoot Frank in the left hip
before he fled. Frank makes it to his relatives' home in Kentucky and heals
- Oct. 30, 1866---The Alexander Mitchell and Company bank in Lexington,
Missouri is robbed by the James-Younger Gang. This is Jesse James's first
robbery. The robbers were Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette,
and possibily George and Oliver Shepard, John and Dave Poole, Jesse Hamlett,
Little Arch Clements, and Hedge Reynolds.
- Dec. 13, 1866---Little Arch Clements is lynched for crimes committed
during the Civil War.
- Feb. 18, 1867---Five men dressed in Union army uniforms arrive at
the James farm at Kearney, Missouri. The men are looking for Jesse and Frank
James. The brothers' step-father, Rueben, says they aren't there. Frank
really isn't there, but Jesse is. Jesse walks to the door the five men are
at. He is carrying two loaded pistols. Rueben slams the door in the mens'
faces. Jesse then fires a few shots through the door. One bullet wounds
one of the five men. Jesse then flings open the door and begins firing into
the group of men. Two men are seriously wounded by bullets. Another man
was killed. The unwounded man and the one that was wounded first get on
their horses and flee. Jesse also flees, knowing more men would come to the
house looking for him.
- 1867---Jesse and Frank James gravitate through Kentucky and California.
Cole Younger rambles around Louisiana and Texas.
- Mar. 20, 1868---Seven or eight members of the James-Younger Gang
rob the Nimrod Long Banking Company at Russellville, Kentucky. Nimrod Long
is slightly wounded in the process as well as citizen O. C. Owens. Jesse
and Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, George and Oliver Shepard,
Arthur McCoy, and possibly Jim White were the robbers.
- 1868, post Russellville robbery---Detectives D. T. (Yankee) Bligh
and John Gallagher are hired to capture the members of the James-Younger Gang.
Bligh and Gallagher arrested George Shepard a few days after the Russellville
robbery. George was sent to prison for three years. A few days later, Oliver
Shepard was shot a dozen times and killed by Bligh and Gallagher when he
resisted arrest. John Jarrette was burned to death in a house fire along
with his wife by unknown men a short time later.
- Late 1868---Jesse and Frank James and Cole Younger visit California.
Arthur McCoy takes a leave of absence from the gang.
- 1869---Jesse and Frank James and Cole Younger leave California.
Cole goes to Texas and Jesse and Frank go to Missouri.
- Dec. 7, 1869---Jesse and Frank James, and possibly Jim Anderson,
rob the Daviess County Savings Association in Gallitan, Missouri. Cashier
John Sheets is instantly shot and killed by Jesse and Frank, who thought
he was Major S. P. Cox, the killer of Bloody Bill Anderson.
- June 6, 1870---Bursheba Younger, mother of the Younger brothers,
dies at her home in Jackson County, Missouri. She is buried at the Lee's
- Jan. 15, 1871---John Younger plays a prank with some friends against
an elderly man in Scyene, Texas. The prank was that John was trying to shoot
a pipe out of the elderly man's mouth. The next day, the elderly man tells
the sheriff that John was trying to kill him. The sheriff sends Deputy Charles
Nichols and James McMahon to arrest John Younger. The two find John eating
breakfast in the local saloon with his friend, Tom McDaniels. John asks
to finish his breakfast before being arrested. The two lawmen agree and
leave the saloon. John and McDaniels then left the saloon and went to the
local livery stable to get their horses. Nichols and McMahon are at the
stable already. A gunfight ensues. When it's over, both Nichols and McMahon
are dead at John's hands. John is wounded in the arm. Both he and McDaniels
mount their horses and flee.
- 1871 (exact date unknown)---Clell Miller, a friend of the Jameses
and Youngers, as well as a former guerrilla, joins the James-Younger Gang.
- June 3, 1871---Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, and Clell Miller
rob the Ocobock Brothers' Bank at Corydon, Iowa. For the first time, the
Pinkerton Detective Agency is hired to catch the James-Younger Gang after
- Late 1871 or Early 1872 (exact date unknown)---John Younger joins
the James-Younger Gang.
- Apr. 29, 1872---Jesse and Frank James, Cole and John Younger, and
Clell Miller rob the Bank of Columbia at Columbia, Kentucky. Jesse and Clell
shoot and kill cashier R. A. C. Martin and wound citizen James Garrett in
- July 1872 (exact date unknown)---A Pinkerton agent named Westphall
captures Clell Miller for the Corydon robbery. Clell is released on bail
and never goes to trial.
- Sept. 26, 1872---Jesse James and Cole and John Younger steal the
money lock box at the Kansas City Exposition. A little girl is accidentally
shot or stepped on by a horse by one of the robbers as they flee.
- Winter of 1872-73---Jim Younger travels to Dallas, Texas, where he
soon joins the police department. In February of 1873, a bank robbery occurs
in the town. Simply because he is a Younger, Jim is named as a suspect,
although he had nothing to do with it. Fearing he would not get a fair trial,
Jim flees Dallas for Missouri.
- May 27, 1873---Jesse and Frank James, Cole and John Younger, and
Clell Miller rob the Ste. Genevieve Savings Bank at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
- Summer of 1873---The James-Younger Gang begins planning their first
train robbery. Jim Younegr rejoins the gang. Bob Younger joins the gang.
Charlie Pitts and Bill Chadwell also join the gang. It's possible that Arthur
McCoy and George Shepard (now out of prison for the Russellville robbery)
rejoined the gang as well.
- July 21, 1873---The nine to eleven members of the James-Younger Gang
rob the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad at Adair, Iowa. They
accidentally derail the train and kill the engineer; John Rafferty. Several
other passengers are wounded in the wreck. Jim Younger soon takes a leave
of absence from the gang.
- Jan. 15, 1874---Five or six members of the James-Younger Gang rob
a stagecoach at Hot Springs, Arkansas. The robbers were likely Jesse and Frank
James, Cole, Bob, and John Younger, Clell Miller, and/or Arthur McCoy.
- Jan. 31, 1874---The James-Younger Gang robs a train at Gad's Hill,
Missouri. The robbers are Jesse and Frank James, Cole, John, and Bob Younger,
Clell Miller, Arthur McCoy, and/or Jim Reed.
- Feb. 1874 (exact date unknown)---The same members of the James-Younger
Gang that robbed the train at Gad's Hill rob the Craig and Son general store
of Bentonville, Arkansas of around two-hundred dollars
- Mar. 10, 1874---Pinkerton agent Joseph Whicher arrives in Clay County,
Missouri. He plans to go to the James farm and become acquainted with Jesse
and Frank; then capture them. He is advised not to do this, but attempts
it anyway. The next day, his body is discovered, shot three times. He was
killed by Jesse James for sure, and two accomplices, most likely Jim Anderson,
and Arthur McCoy.
- Mar. 17, 1874---Jim and John Younger encounter two Pinkerton agents,
Louis J. Lull and James P. Wright, as well as local lawman Edwin B. Daniels,
on a road between Roscoe and Osceola, Missouri. As the two Youngers approach,
Wright flees. Jim fires a shot at him with his pistol, but only succeeds
in knocking off Wright's hat. Jim and John then disarm Lull and Daniels.
As they interogate them about being detectives, Lull draws a small pistol
from his pockett. He shoots John in the neck. John has his double barrel
shotgun aimed at Lull and instinctivly fires. The buckshot catches Lull in
his shoulder and arm. Lull then takes off and Daniels attempts to follow.
Jim shoots and kill Daniels as he flees. John then drops his shotgun and
pulls out his pistol. He chases after Lull. Lull is knocked off his horse
by a low lying tree branch over the road. As Lull crawls on the ground, John
spots him and fires twice with his pistol. The first shot misses, but the
second hits Lull squarely in the chest. John then goes back to where Jim
is, falls from his horse, and dies. Lull dies days after from his wounds.
Jim is devastated and leaves the Roscoe area and goes to look for Cole and
Bob Younger, who are in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The body of John Younger is
buried at the home of Theodrick Snuffer, a family friend of the Youngers,
where Jim and John had been staying the night before the gunfight.
- Apr. 24. 1874---Jesse James marries Zerelda (Zee) Mimms. Lawmen interupt
the ceremony, but Jesse manages to avoid them. The newly-wed couple leaves
for their honeymoon shortly after, which is in Texas.
- Apr./May 1874 (exact date unknown)---The James-Younger Gang robs
a stagecoach near Austin, Texas. The robbers were Jesse James and Bob Younger,
with around three more accomplices, probably Bill Chadwell, Clell Miller,
and Charlie Pitts.
- Spring of 1874---Bob Younger, devasted over his brother John's death,
travels to Texas. He encounters Jesse James there on his honeymoon and the
two bond and become best-friends.
- June 6, 1874---Frank James elopes with Annie Ralston.
- Dec. 8, 1874---The James-Younger Gang robs the Kansas Pacific Railroad
at Muncie, Kansas. The robbers are Jesse and Frank James, Cole and Bob Younger,
Clell Miller, and Bud McDaniels.
- Dec. 11 (approximately), 1874---Bud McDaniels is arrested in Kansas
City for participation in the Muncie robbery. He escapes from jail that
night. As he runs through a farmer's field, the farmer shoots and kills
him with a shotgun.
- Jan. 26, 1875---A group of Pinkerton agents travel to the James farm
in Kearney. Late at night, they through some kind of bomb through the window.
The bomb lands in the fireplace and explodes. Jesse and Frank James's 8
year old half-brother, Archie, is killed by a piece of shrapnel. Their mother
Zerelda gets a lot of shrapnel in her right arm, which later has to be amputated.
Neither Jesse nor Frank were at the farm that night. Shortly afterwards,
a grand jury endicts eight Pinkerton agents for murder. Not one ever faced
- Mar. 17, 1875---An Amnesty Bill is proposed to members of the James-Younger
- Apr. 12, 1875---Jesse and Frank James and Clell Miller shoot and
kill Daniel Askew, a local farmer who helped the Pinkertons. The Amnesty
Bill is revoked due to this.
- Late Apr. 1875 (exact date unknown)---Members of the James-Younger
Gang shoot and kill Pinkerton agent Jack Ladd, one of the agents who participated
in the James-Samuel house bombing.
- Aug. 31, 1875---Zee James gives birth to Jesse Edwards James, Jesse
and Zee's first child.
- Fall of 1875---Tom McDaniels and Tom Webb (AKA Jack Keene) join the
- Tazewell on August
23, 1875, Frank James who had accidentally
fallen in with a company of riders, and with his companion, George Shepard,
had arrived in Tazewell to visit his old companion of the Confederate Army,
Benjamin Schultz. The steely eyed James had given a native a five dollar
gold piece to find him a good seat.
- Sept. 5, 1875---The James-Younger Gang robs a bank at Huntington,
West Virginia. The robbers were Frank James, Cole Younger, Tom Webb, and Tom
McDaniels. A posse pursues the gang and later that day, a member of the posse
spots the gang. This member shoots at the gang. They later discover that
McDaniels was hit by the posse member's bullet and was mortally wounded. He
dies shortly thereafter.
- Sept. 10, 1875 (approximately)---Tom Webb is captured by a posse
- Apr. 19, 1876---Bill Chadwell and Charlie Pitts rob a bank at Baxter
Springs, Kansas. It is very possible that the Jameses and Cole masterminded
this robbery and just sent Bill and Charlie to actually pull it off.
- Spring 1876---Jesse James, Bob Younger, and Bill Chadwell begin planning
a robbery in Minnesota. Frank James, Cole and Jim Younger, Clell Miller,
and Charlie Pitts all disagree with Jesse, Bob, and Bill in their proposition
to go to Minnesota. Cole and Jim fight with Bob about going to Minnesota.
Bob tells them he is going no matter what. Cole and Jim feel they have no
choice but to go to Minnesota to protect their younger brother. Eventually,
Frank, Charlie, and Clell also reluctantly agree to go to Minnesota. Bill
is going to be the gang's guide in Minnesota, since he was born and raised
- July 7, 1876---The James-Younger Gang robs the Missouri Pacific Railroad
at Otterville, Missouri, in order to finance their trip to Minnesota. A
man named Hobbs Kerry joined the gang before this and participated in the
robbery. Kerry is supposed to go to Minnesota, too. Jim Younger did not
participate in this robbery..
- Summer 1876 (exact dates unknown)---Hobbs Kerry is arrested for the
Otterville robbery. He gives the names of the other members of the gang.
Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, Bill Chadwell,
Charlie Pitts, and possibly Jim Cummins leave for Minnesota.
- Summer-Fall 1876---The James-Younger Gang (Jesse and Frank James,
Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts, Bill Chadwell, and
maybe Jim Cummins) arrive in Minnesota. They move from town to town, prospecting
in which town the bank they should rob is in.
- Sept. 7, 1876---The eight or nine member gang attempts to rob the
First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. The citizens of Northfield fight
back and the entire town becomes a shooting gallery. Bill Chadwell and Clell
Miller are shot and killed in the shootout. Citizens Joseph Heywood and Nicholas
Gustavson are also killed. Citizen Alonzo E. Bunker is wounded. Frank James,
Charlie Pitts, Cole Younger, Jim Younger, and Bob Younger are all wounded.
Frank and Charlie are each shot once, Cole five times, Jim three times, and
Bob two times. Bob's right arm is crippled from a rifle slug.
- Mid-Sept. 1876---The six remaining members of the James-Younger Gang
begin heading west, towards the Dakots, all the while dodging posses throughout
Minnesota. Well over 1,000 men are searching the state for the outlaws.
- Sept. 14, 1876 (approximatly)---The gang decides to split into two
parties. Jesse and Frank James will go one way, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger
and Charlie Pitts will go another. The plan is that the posses will follow
Jesse and Frank, since they'll be moving faster, and overlook the Youngers
and Pitts, which will hopefully allow them to escape.
- Sept. 17, 1876---Jesse and Frank James cross the Minnesota border
and enter South Dakota. For the next several days, they will ride most of
the hours of the day, will sleep at various farmers' homes, and will steal
several horses and supplies along the way as they make their way back home
- Sept. 21, 1876---A huge posse surrounds the three Youngers and Charlie
Pitts. They are surrounded in a boggy swamp called Hanska Slough. A full
scale battle ensues. Charlie is shot several times and killed. Cole is shot
six more times for a total of eleven wounds, Jim is shot two more times for
a total of five wounds, and Bob is shot one more time for a total of three
wounds. The three Youngers are captured.
- Sept. 25, 1876---Jesse and Frank James are sited in Sioux City, Iowa.
It will be the last confirmed siting of the James Brothers for the next
few months. From Iowa, they either go to Missouri, Kentucky, Nebraska, or
Texas, where they stay for the next nine months or so.
- Nov. 18, 1876---Their wounds mostly healed, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger
plead guilty to murder and robbing the bank of Northfield. They are sentenced
to life in prisonment in the Minnesota State Penitentiary at Stillwater,
- Nov. 20, 1876---Cole, Jim, and Bob walk into the Stillwater Penitentiary
as prisoners numbers 699, 700, and 701. The three brothers are assigned
to make bathtubs and buckets in the prison. Over the years, all three will
make friends with many prison officials and will be called the standard
of model prisoners. They will also be shifted around to different jobs throughout
the prison through the years. Depsite their amazingly good behavior, they
will remain in prison for a very long time to come.
- Summer 1877 (exact dates unknown)---Jesse James, along with wife
Zee and son Jesse Edwards, travel to Humphreys County, Tennessee, where
Jesse, under the name of John Davis Howard, rents a house and a small farm
from a man named W. H. Link. While living in Tennessee, Jesse decides to
act as a timid coward, the exact opposite of how people thought the infamous
Jesse James would really act. At the same time, Frank James, with wife Annie,
live on the farm of Josiah Walton near Nashville, Tennessee. Frank goes
by the name of Ben J. Woodson and Annie is simply called Fannie. Both Jesse
and Frank want to give up the outlaw life and want to live as low key as
- Feb. 6, 1878---Frank and Annie's first and only child is born at
the Walton farm. The child is a boy and is named Robert Franklin James.
- Feb. 1878 (exact date unknown)---Zee gives birth to twin boys, but
they are both born weak and/or sickley. Two doctors try to help the babies
as best they can, but both babies die within a few days of their birth.
Jesse and Zee had named the boys Gould and Montgomery, after the pair of
doctors that tried to help them. The bodies are buried on the rented Link
- Spring 1878---Jesse contracts maleria from mosquitos and for the
next few months, will be extremely weak and sick. Since Jesse can't work
to support his family, he borrows a thousand dollars from an acquaintance
in Nashville named Steve Johnson. After a while, Johnson demanded that he
be repayed, but Jesse didn't have enough money to do so. In response, Johnson
sues Jesse for the money he owes him. Probably in something of a panic, Jesse
buys a herd of cattle from local farmer Ennis Cooley with a check that ends
up bouncing. Due to the rubber check, Cooley sues Jesse as well. Jesse then
sells the cattle to another buyer, and with the money he receives, pays back
all the money he owes to Johnson. However, Jesse never repays Cooley. Meanwhile,
Frank, Annie, and baby Robert leave the Walton farm and rent a house and
a farm from Felix Smith, also located in Nashville.
- Winter 1878---Jesse, Zee, and Jesse Jr. ditch the rented Link farm
and move to Nashville. Due to Jesse still being sick with maleria, he and
his family move into Frank's rented house. While living in Nashville, Jesse
frequently gambles in the local saloons. He and Frank also visit the horse
race tracks often.
- July 17, 1879---Zee gives birth to a girl at the Felix Smith place.
She is born healthy and Jesse and Zee name her Mary. It is likely that a
few days after Mary's birth, Jesse leaves Tennessee by train to visit New
Mexico Territory, most specifically the Las Vegas area. It's likely that
Jesse goes to Las Vegas to see if it is a good area to his family to relocate
to. The railroad had just recently come through Las Vegas and the town is
turning into quite a boom town.
- July 26, 1879---Jesse is staying at the Old Adobe Hotel near Las
Vegas. An old school friend of Jesse's from Kearney, W. Scott Moore, owns
the hotel. It is here that, according to two witnesses, Jesse meets and
has dinner with one William H. Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. Allegedly,
Jesse asks Billy to return with him to Tennessee. Billy, however, turns
Jesse down, due to the fact that he doesn't want to leave New Mexico and
all of his numerous friends. Jesse excepts his answer and a few days later,
leaves Las Vegas to return East.
- Sept. 1879 (exact date unknown)---Jesse returns to the Nashville
- Apr. 1879---Jesse decides to put a new gang together. Frank James
has a good life going and refuses to reenter the life of outlawry with his
younger brother by joining his new gang. Over the next few months, Jesse ends
up recruiting five men, namely: Bill Ryan, Dick Liddil, Tucker Bassham, Ed
Miller, and Wood Hite.
- Oct. 8, 1879---The new James Gang robs a train belonging to the Chicago
& Alton Railroad at Glendale, Missouri of $6,000. After the robbery,
the gang divides the loot and split into three parties of two.
- Late Oct. 1879 (exact date unknown)---Tucker Bassham flaunts the
money he made off of the Glendale train robbery and is arrested in Jackson
County, Missouri. Upon questioning, he names his accomplices and is soon
sentenced to ten years in the Missouri State Penitentiary.
- Late Oct. 1879/Early 1880---Jesse and Ed Miller hideout in Missouri
for a few days following the robbery and shortly thereafter return to the
Nashville area. Jesse and Ed use their money from the heist to purchase
a race horse, named Jim Malone. At first, the horse wins several races.
Later, however, Jesse and Ed accompany the horse to Atlanta, Georgia, where
the horse loses a race that Jesse and Ed bet heavily on. They end up having
to sell the horse in order to finance their way back to Nashville.
- Nov. 4, 1879---A story appears in a Kansas City newspaper stating
that former James-Younger Gang member George Shepard had killed Jesse James.
Shepard claims that Jesse killed a relative of his and he killed Jesse for
revenge. Shepard's claim is eventually proven false, although few believed
it to begin with. Why he ever claimed to kill Jesse has never been fully understood.
- Early-Mid 1880 (exact dates unknown)---Jesse and Ed learn of Tucker
Bassham's arrest and subsequent confession and decided to ride to Missouri
on horseback, either to meet with other gang members or to silence Bassham.
On the way, near the town of Norbourne, Missouri, Jesse and Ed apparently
into some kind of argument. The argument ends with Jesse shooting Ed dead.
A few weeks later, a decomposed body, believed to be Ed's, is found. There
are several different theories as to why Jesse killed Ed, but the true reason
will probably never be known. Meanwhile, Jesse ends up meeting with Dick
Liddil and Bill Ryan somewhere in Missouri and the three head back to Nashville.
- July 1880---Jesse, Dick, and Bill arrive in Adairville, Kentucky
and stay at the Hite farm, relatives of Jesse and fellow gang member Wood
Hite. After a few days, Jesse and Dick leave the Hite place (Bill stays)
and continue onto Nashville, Tennessee.
- Aug. 1880---A man named Clarence Rutherford, a friend of the Hite
family, is arrested for a murder in Adairville, Kentucky. Rutherford's brother
asks Jesse to brake his brother out of jail. Jesse agrees and rounds up his
gang. A few days before the planned jailbreak, Rutherford's brother tells
Jesse not to go through with it. Jesse feels his time has been wasted and
is furious, since he has already traveled back to Adairville. Eventually,
Jesse and gang members Dick Liddil and Bill Ryan decide to rob a tourist filled
stagecoach in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, so that their trip to the Bluegrass
State isn't a complete loss.
- Sept. 3, 1880---Jesse and Bill rob a sightseeing stagecoach near
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (Dick had backed out of the planned robbery a few
days prior). Jesse and Bill end up stealing several pieces of jewelry from
the passengers (including a watch which is later discovered in Jesse's house
after his murder) and ride off with around $2,000 in cash.
- Oct. 1880---Jesse begins planning to rob the Dovey Coal Mines' payroll,
located in Mercer, Kentucky. He plans to rob the payroll from the general
store owned by the Dovey family. He expects that the take will be a large
- Oct. 15, 1880---Jesse James, Bill Ryan, and Dick Liddil rob the Doveys'
store, expecting the payroll to be there. However, it is not and the trio
ends up stealing only $13 worth of cash and one watch. After the robbery,
the robbers end up fleeing back towards Nashville.
- Late Oct. 1880---Jesse, Bill, and Dick reach Nashville. They stay
at Frank's house and Frank ends up employing Dick and Bill to work on his
ranch, although he doesn't trust them and probably only does so to humor Jesse.
- Nov. 1880---Jesse, Dick Liddil, and friend Jim Cummins travel to
Missouri so Jesse can visit his mother. During the trip, Cummins, who had
been a better friend to Ed Miller than to Jesse himself, begins to believe
that Jesse did indeed kill Miller. The trio returns to the Nashville area
by the end of the month.
- Early Dec. 1880---Jesse, Zee, and their two children move out of
Frank and Annie's house and into their own small boarding house located
on Summer Street in Nashville. With Jesse out of Frank's house, Jim Cummins
takes up a temporary residence there, since Frank is a good friend of his
- Jan. 1881---Jim Cummins hears rumors that Jesse is planning to kill
him, so he flees Frank's home in Nashville and leaves Tennessee all together.
Jesse and Frank get together and fear that Cummins may try to get back at
them by alerting the authorities to their location. The brothers decide
to flee to Alabama to wait and see how the situation developes. Before leaving,
Jesse moves Zee and his children into a new house in Nashville on Woodland
Street. He orders Dick Liddil to stay at the house with his family and to
defend if the need arises. With that, Frank and Jesse, along with Bill Ryan
flee to Alabama. Shortly after arriving in that state, Jesse sends Bill
off to scout for the next robbery site.
- Feb. 14, 1881---An unknown person is throwing rocks at the home of
Jesse's family. Dick Liddil grabs one of Jesse's shotguns and fires a charge
of buckshot through the front door. He then exits the house and fires a
second charge at a fleeing man. When a crowd of neighbors begins to gather,
Dick tells them he was firing a burglar. Fearing that the ‘burglar’ may
know who Jesse is, Dick has the family moved to a new house on Fatherland
- Late Feb. 1881---Jesse and Frank return to their respective homes,
but Jesse again leaves for Alabama shortly thereafter. He is planning to
rob a government payroll in Muscle Shoals along with Bill Ryan and either
Clarence or Wood Hite.
- Mar. 11, 1881---Jesse, Bill, and one of the Hite brothers rob government
paymaster Alexander Smith of the payroll he's carrying near Muscle Shoals,
Alabama. After the robbery, the trio forces Smith to accompany them for
a short amount of time, then ditches him. The bandits soon after return
- Mar. 25, 1881---Bill Ryan is at Adairville, Kentucky. Going to a
local saloon, he gets drunk and obnoxious. Eventually, after pulling a gun
on a fellow patron, he is arrested. Large amounts of money are found on
him, and he is immediatly suspected as being one of the Muscle Shoals robbers.
Although he is confined to jail, he doesn't reveal his true identity or
the identities of his fellow robbers.
- Mar. 26, 1881---Dick Liddil buys a newspaper containing a story about
the capture Bill Ryan. He shows the paper to Jesse, who also shows it to
Frank. Fearing Bill may rat them out, Jesse and Frank send their families
by train to Nelson County, Kentucky to stay with some friends. The James
boys, meanwhile, travel to Adairville, Kentucky where they stay with the
- May 1, 1881---Zee James and her two children arrive in Kansas City,
Missouri. They are escorted by Jesse and Frank's cousin, and fellow gang
member, Clarence Hite. The family stays at the home of Zee's sister. Meanwhile,
Annie James and son Robert stay with Annie's father in Independance, Missouri.
Jesse and Frank take seperate paths back to Clay County, Missouri.
- Early Summer 1881---Bill Ryan is extradicted to Missouri to go to
trial for the 1879 robbery of the Glendale train. He is convicted there sentenced
to twenty-five years in prison. Tucker Bassham, who agreed to testify against
Ryan, was given a pardon. However, his farm was burned to the ground soon
after and he fled to Kansas in fear of his life. Jesse, meanwhile, meets
up with his family in Kansas City.
- June 1, 1881---Jesse rents a small house on Woodland Street in Kansas
City for his family to live in. He is now going by the alias of J. T. Jackson.
Around this time, Jesse begins planning for another train robbery, and,
for some unknown reason, Frank wants to participate and joins the gang.
Why he joined the gang remains a mystery.
- July 15, 1881---The James Gang, Jesse, Frank, Wood and Clarence Hite,
and Dick Liddil, rob a Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad owned
train at Winston, Missouri of $650. During the robbery, conductor William
Westfall is shot and killed by Jesse and passenger Frank McMillan is shot
and killed by Frank. When the robbery is over, the five outlaws flee the
train and disappear. It's not believed that Jesse and Frank ended up retreating
to their mother's homestead in Kearney after the robbery. It's rumored that
Westfall had been the conductor that took the Pinkerton agents to the James-Samuel
farm back in 1875 the night of the infamous bombing raid. Hence, the rumor
goes that Jesse killed Westfall for revenge.
- Mid Summer 1881--The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
offers $50,000 for any and all of the robbers of the Winston train. Two
days later, Missouri governor Thomas T. Crittenden offers $5,000 for the
arrest and delivery of each of the robbers of the Glendale and/or Winston
trains. He especially wants the Jameses. Ever since he took office, Crittenden
has vowed to bring an end to the James Gang. Meanwhile, up north in Minnesota,
the first real parole drive for Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger is started. By
this time, they each had been imprisoned for five years and during that
time, had been the very standard of model prisoners. However, the governor
of Minnesota refuses to parole the brothers at this time.
- Aug. 30, 1881---Jesse and Frank rent a two-story house in Kansas
City for both of their families to live in.
- Sept. 7, 1881---The James Gang, Jesse, Frank, Dick, the two Hite
brothers, and newcome Charlie Ford, rob a Chicago & Alton Railroad owned
train at Blue Cut, Missouri, only a few miles from the site of the Glendale
train robbery of 1879. The robbers end up getting around $950. No civilian
is killed in the foray. After the robbery, the gang breaks up into two parties
of three. Jesse, Frank, and Clarence Hite travel back to Kansas City while
Dick, Wood Hite, and Ford go their own way. Interestingly, the robbey occured
five years to the day after the Northfield robbery. It's unlikely that this
was just a coincidence.
- Early Oct. 1881---Jesse moves his family to a new house on Troost
Avenue in Kansas City. Frank, however, takes his family and leaves Missouri
- Nov. 5, 1881---Jesse, with Charlie Ford's help, moves his family
yet again, this time to a house in Atchison, Kansas.
- Early Dec. 1881---Jesse moves his family to a four-room house located
at 1318 Lafayette Street in St. Joseph, Missouri. Jesse is now going by
the name of Thomas Howard, Zee by the name Josie, little Jesse Jr. by the
name Tim, and little Mary apparently keeps her real name. Around this time,
Zee also begs Jesse to cease his outlaw activities, and it seems that Jesse,
who himself was becoming very paranoid and tired of the whole outlaw way
of living, may have agreed. At the same time, Wood Hite and Dick Liddil are
at the home of Martha Bolton, sister to Charlie Ford. Hite and Dick's relationship
had gone sour since the Blue Cut robbery. They had previously argued about
one getting more money from the robbery than the other. To make matters worse,
both men were attracted to Ms. Bolton. At some point that day, both Hite
and Liddil drew their pistols and commenced firing. Hite was hit in the right
arm and Dick in the right thigh. At that time, Martha and Charlie's little
brother Bob appeared. He pulled his own pistol and ended up shooting Hite
once in the head, killing him. Hite was then buried in a shallow grave on
the property. Both Ford and Liddil now had great reason to fear Jesse, for
if he ever found out what fate befell his cousin, it was believed that both
Dick's and Ford's days would be numbered.
- Jan. 13, 1882---Bob and Charlie Ford meet secretly with Governor
Crittenden and Clay County Sheriff Henry Timberlake. The two brothers agreed
to give whatever information they could on Jesse to the governor and the
sheriff. Bob later said that they were offered $10,000 apiece for Jesse
and Frank, dead or alive. However, both Charlie and Crittenden later say
that the $10,000 was only offered for the capture of the brothers alive,
not dead. Bob also states that if he brings in either of the Jameses, he
wants a pardon for his friend Dick Liddil.
- Jan. 24, 1882---Dick Liddil surrenders to the law, fearing that the
now paranoid and jumpy Jesse will kill him if he ever finds out about Wood
Hite. Due to the fact that the law doesn't want to arouse Jesse's suspicion,
no mention is made in the papers regarding Liddil's surrender. Liddil does
agree to testify against Jesse and/or Frank if either are ever brought to
trial in exchange for a pardon.
- Feb. 11, 1882---Under a tip from the Fords and Liddil, Sheriff Timberlake
travels to Adairville, Kentucky and arrests Clarence Hite at his family's
homestead. Clarence, who is suffering from the later stages of tuberculosis,
is too weak to put up a fight.
- Early Mar. 1882---Jesse becomes interested in buying some 160 acres
of farm land in Lincoln, Nebraska after seeing an advertisement for it in
a local newspaper. He writes the seller, D. H. Calhoun, and tells him he
is interested and will be taking a trip to Nebraska to look over the land
within a few days. Jesse signs his name at the bottom of the letter as Thomas
Howard. It seems that Jesse was planning on settling down on the Nebraska
farmed, but, in order to do so, he would need to pull off one more robbery
for funding. It would mean one last excursion into outlawry.
- Mar. 10, 1882---Jesse, along with Charlie Ford, departs from St.
Joseph and begins heading to Nebraska. According to Charlie, on the way,
Jesse told him he wanted to pull off one more robbery, but he needed some
more men. He went on by asking Charlie if he knew anyone that would be willing
to participate. At once, Charlie suggests his brother Bob.
- Mid Mar. 1882---Jesse and Charlie reach Lincoln, Nebraska and look
over the land. Jesse tells owner Calhoun he is interested, but can't commit
yet. He and Charlie then head back for Missouri. Rather than going directly
to St. Joseph, they go to Kearney. There, they end up meeting Bob Ford,
who begins traveling with them. The trio visits Jesse's mother Zerelda at
her homestead, as well as Jesse's half-sister Sallie. At Sallie's home,
Jesse is given a small puppy to give to his son once he gets back to St.
Joseph. Before the trio leaves Jesse's mother's house, Zerelda tells him
to be careful around the Fords, as she does not trust them. After that,
the trio beings riding back towards St. Joe.
- Late Mar. 1882---Jesse and the Ford brothers arrive back in St. Joseph.
Both Fords are allowed by Jesse to stay at his family's house for the next
- Apr. 2, 1882---Bob Ford reads Jesse a newspaper article that states
that he, Jesse, had recently been arrested. Jesse has a good laugh over
the story. That night, Jesse and the Fords begin making plans for a bank
robbery in the town of Platte City, Missouri. The robbery is planned to
be committed within the next week or so.
- Apr. 3, 1882---In the morning, Jesse, the Fords, Zee, and Jesse's
two kids are eating breakfast. While at the table, Jesse is reading the local
newspaper, which carries an article stating that Dick Liddil had recently
surrendered. Although this makes Bob and Charlie nervous, Jesse apparently
doesn't suspect the Fords of anything. He does, however, say that Liddil
is a traitor and deserves to be hung to death. When breakfast is complete,
Jesse and the Fords go into another room, where Jesse uncharacteristically
removes his guns and lays them on a bed. He then notices that a painting
hanging on the wall is dusty and/or uneven and stands on a chair to adjust
it. While this occurs, Bob and Charlie Ford each pull their pistols. Bob
brings the hammer back on his gun, and just as Jesse begins to turn his head,
Bob fires. The bullet hits Jesse under the right ear and he falls to the
ground. Jesse James is dead at age thirty-four. Zee runs in and Bob, stuttering,
explains the gun went off by accident, but Zee does not buy it. After that,
Bob and Charlie fled the house, ran into town, and sent wires to Gov. Crittenden
and Sheriff Timberlake. They then each surrender to Marshal Enos Craig and
are placed in the local jail. Meanwhile, many citizens have rushed to the
James home and are startled to discover that their neighbor, whom they had
all known as Tom Howard, is the infamous outlaw Jesse James. Jesse's body
is eventually taken to the Sidenfaden Funeral Parlor.
- Apr. 4, 1882---Zerelda Samuel arrives in St. Joe and identifies Jesse's
corpse, as does Sheriff Timberlake, and several friends and associates.
At least four different photos are taken by three different photographers
of the body and later sold to curiousity seekers. Later that day, Jesse's
body is released to his family and is sent by railroad to his mother's home
- Apr. 5, 1882---Jesse's body is layed out in a $500 coffin at the
Kearney Hotel, where hundreds of people come to view the body, some of them
friends, some enemies, and some just curious thrill-seekers. Frank James
is nowhere to be seen.
- Apr. 6, 1882---A huge funeral is held for Jesse at the Mt. Olivet
Baptist Church. Following the funeral, Jesse is buried in the front yard of
his mother's house in Kearney. A large tombstone is erected over the grave.
- Mid-Late Apr. 1882---The distraught Zee James is forced to sell almost
all of her and her husband's possesions to make money. Zee and her two small
chilren then end up living with Zee's brother in Kansas City.
- Apr. 17, 1882---Bob and Charlie Ford are indicted, Bob for the first
degree murder of Jesse W. James, and Charlie for aiding and abetting. Both
brothers plead guilty that day and are sentenced to hang. However, Gov.
Crittenden pardons both men and they are released scot free. Nevertheless,
almost immediatly they are scorned by nearly everyone the nation over for
the cowardly way they killed Jesse.
- Early May 1882---Frank James, who had been in Lynchburg, Virginia
at the time of Jesse's death, decides it's time to surrender. He begins a
correspondence with his friend and newspaper man John Newman Edwards. Frank
believes that Edwards can help him surrender directly to the governor. Edwards
also begins corresponding with Gov. Crittenden, explaining to him Frank's
desire to give himself up.
- Oct. 4, 1882---Frank and Edwards arrive by train at Jefferson City,
- Oct. 5, 1882---Edwards and Frank walk into Crittenden's office. Edwards
introduces the two and Frank hands over his pistol to Crittenden. He simply
tells the governor that he is surrendering his freedom to him.
- Oct. 6, 1882---Frank, Edwards, and Crittenden, leave for Independance
by train. By the time the train arrives that night, Zerelda Samuel, Annie
James, and young Robert James are already there. Frank spends the night
in the Independence jail. He would be staying there for several weeks to
- Nov. 1882---Clarence Hite is pardoned after he supplies Jackson County
prosecuting attorney William Wallace with the information he needs to prosecute
Frank James. Clarence has little time to relish in his new found freedom,
as he dies of tuberculosis shortly after being freed.
- Late 1882---Preparations for Frank's trials begins. William Wallace
will serve as the prosecutor. Frank will first face two charges, one in
the murder of Pinkerton agent Joseph Whicher and one in the robbery of a
bank in Independence, which, ironically, is one of the robberies that the
James-Younger Gang did not participate in.
- Jan. 23, 1883---The charges against Frank for the murder of Joseph
Whicher are officially dropped when not enough evidence comes forward that
would worthy a trial. The charge against Frank for the robbery of the Independence
bank in 1867 is also dismissed for the same reason as the first charge.
However, around the same time, a new charge is brought against Frank, this
one for the robbery of the Blue Cut train robbery of 1881.
- Early 1883---The governor of Minnesota requests that Frank be extradicted
to Minnesota to go to trial for the Northfield bank robbery. Gov. Crittenden
turns down the request. Meanwhile, five new charges are added against Frank.
Namely, the robbery of the Daviess County Savings Association in Gallitan,
Missouri in 1869, the murder of cashier John Sheets (committed during the
Gallitan robbery), the robbery of the Winston train, the murder of conductor
William Westfall, and the murder of passenger Frank McMillan. Frank is transported
to Daviess County to stand trial.
- Aug. 21, 1883---The trial regarding the Winston train robbery begins.
Dick Liddil is scheduled to be the state's lead witness against Frank. Although
several witnesses would end up being called against Frank, only Liddil could
positivly identify him as being a robber. The defense points out that Liddil
himself is a robber, liar, and horse thief, and is not one whom should be
- Sept. 6, 1883---Frank James is acquitted of participating the Winston
train robbery and of having any part in the murders of William Westfall
and Frank McMillan. The jury took only three-and-a-half-hours to reach the
- Dec. 13, 1883---Frank is taken back to Jackson County, where he is
released on bond. Almost immediatly after being released, he is arrested
again though. He was shipped back to Gallatin, but after a few days in jail,
he was released yet again.
- Late 1883---Tom Webb/Jack Keene, who had been captured shortly after
the Huntington, West Virginia bank robbery of 1875, is released from prison
at Moundsville, West Virginia. He soon after disappears.
- Jan. 25, 1884---A large fire breaks out at the Minnesota State Penitentiary
at Stillwater. Most of the prisoners must be evacuated by the prison officials.
During the evacuation, Cole Younger asks head guard George Dodd if he and/or
his brothers could assist in some way. Dodd asks the three Youngers to help
him evacuate the female prisoners, and this the Youngers do. Dodd even gives
Cole a revolver, Jim an iron bar, and Bob an ax as tools that may come in
handy. Once the evacuation is complete, the trio of Youngers immediatly
return their tools.
- Feb. 11, 1884---Gov. Crittenden dismisses all charges on Frank regarding
the Blue Cut train robbery. Crittenden did this after the Missouri Supreme
Court stated that no convicted felon could serve as a witness against someone
in a criminal trial. This meant that Dick Liddil, who had been convicted
of robbing the Muscle Shoals payroll, could not testify against Frank. The
charges Frank faces regarding the murder of cashier John Sheets and the robbery
of the Gallatin bank are also dropped shortly thereafter. Frank can't celebrate
yet, though, since he is going to be sent to Alabama to be prosecuted for
the Muscle Shoals payroll robbery of 1881.
- Apr. 17, 1884---Frank is arraigned at Huntsville, Alabama for the
Muscle Shoals robbery. Due to the fact that Frank actually did not participate
in this robbery, several witnesses were called for the defense which stated
that they had seen Frank on the day of the robbery hundreds of miles from
the crime scene.
- Apr. 26, 1884---Frank is found not guilty of the Mucle Shoals robbery.
Thereafter he is returned to Missouri, where is immediatly arrested by the
sheriff of Cooper County, John Rogers. Frank must now face charges of robbing
a train at Otterville, Missouri in 1876.
- May 4, 1884---Charlie Ford, who is suffering from tuberculosis and
has become very paranoid after being ridiculed for the way he participated
in the murder of Jesse James, shoots himself dead.
- 1884---Bob Ford and Dick Liddil, who had been pardoned of his crimes,
travel to Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory. There, the two co-own a saloon.
- Early 1885---The saloon owned by Bob Ford and Dick Liddil is sold.
Liddil gets himself a new saloon and Ford becomes a Las Vegas city policemen.
The local newspapers often make fun of him in his new job. Eventually, Ford
is challenged to a target shooting match against Jose Chavez y Chavez, a
man with a well-known reputation as a gunfighter. Chavez had even been a
member of the Regulators and ridden with Billy the Kid during the Lincoln
County War. Chavez easily bests Ford in the match, then challenges him to
a duel. Ford wisely backs out and flees town. He later shows up running a
saloon in the town of Cerrillos.
- Feb. 21, 1885---The charges against Frank for participating in the
Otterville train robbery are dropped by Gov. Crittenden himself. The actual
reason for the charges being dropped is still unknown. The actual trial
was supposed to begin two days later. With this last charge dismissed, Frank
is now, for the first time in over twenty years, a completely free man.
- Spring 1885---Frank, Annie, and six-year old Robert move into a house
in Nevada, Missouri. The house had been bought for Frank by a friend named
W. C. Bronaugh.
- Fall 1885---W. C. Bronaugh, Frank's friend, becomes active in lobbying
for the parole of Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger. Many believe that Bronough
began lobbying for the Youngers' parole on Frank's behalf, and this theory
does seem very likely. Eventually, a full scale parole drive is put together
by friends and family of the Younger brothers.
- 1889---Bob Younger, who had never fully recuperated from the wounds
he sustained during the Northfield bank robbery and his subsequent capture,
begins to get more and more weak. Eventually, he is diagnosed with tuberculosis.
It is believed by many that the tuberculosis is a result of the bullet he
received in his right lung while surrendering at Hanska Slough in 1876.
The parole drive becomes more intense now, as Bob does not have long to
live. Many want to at least have Bob released, so he can die in his home
state of Missouri. W. C. Bronaugh and former Minnesota governor William Marshall
go so far as to ask the current governor, William Merriam, to let them stay
in jail in Bob's place while he goes to Missouri to die. Merriam, however,
won't argee to this. It should be noted that Merriam's father had been a
passenger on the train at Gad's Hill that the James-Younger Gang had robbed
in 1874. Throughout the Youngers' parole drive, Merriam stubbornly refuses
to consider paroling the Youngers. It seems likely that Merriam holds a grudge
against the Youngers for robbing and humiliating his father.
- Apr. 15, 1889---Bill Ryan is released from prison in Missouri. Thereafter,
- Sept. 16, 1889---Bob Younger dies of tuberculosis at the prison hospital.
His brothers Cole and Jim and visiting sister Rhetta are at his side. His
friend and deputy warden, Jacob Westby, is there as well. A funeral service
is held for Bob at the prison a few days later, and then his body is sent
by train back to Missouri.
- Late Sept. 1889---After another funeral service for Bob at Lee's
Summit, Missouri, he is buried next to his mother at the Lee's Summit Cemetery.
- 1892---Frank James gets a job working for a livestock importer in
Paris, Texas. His job requires him to travel all over the country.
- June 8, 1892---Bob Ford is operating a saloon in Creede, Colorado.
A few days previously, he had gotten into an argument with one Ed O'Kelly
(or just Kelly). On this day, O'Kelly enters Bob's saloon with a double-barrel
shotgun and without any warning, empties both barrels into Bob and kills
him. O'Kelly is subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment at the Canon
- 1894---Frank James quits his job working for the livestock importer.
He leaves Texas and returns to Missouri. He moves his family to St. Louis,
where he works as a doorman at the Standard Theatre. He works a second part-time
job starting horse races at the local race track.
- 1898---Jesse Edwards James, Jr., son of Jesse James, is accused of
participating in a train robbery. For the most part, he is accused only
because of his father's reputation. He is soon acquitted of the charge.
- Nov. 13, 1900---Zee James, who had been suffering from a deep depression
ever since her husband Jesse's death, dies herself. It is believed that
the recent accusations made against her son for train robbery contributed
to her death as well. Zee is buried at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Mt. Olivet,
- 1900---Jesse Edwards James's book, 'Jesse James My Father' is published.
He soon after marries one Stella McGown. The couple will end up having four
- July 1901---Dick Liddil dies of a sudden heart attack at a horse
- July 10, 1901---The Minnesota Board of Paroles finally elects to
parole Cole and Jim Younger. Cole is by this time fifty-seven and Jim fifty-three.
They had each been in prison for twenty-five years. The news is given to
the two men that night. They are both overjoyed.
- July 11, 1901---Cole and Jim Younger step out of the prison at Stillwater
for the first and last time. The two gets jobs in Stillwater working at
the P. N. Peterson Granite Company making tombstones. Over the next few
years, Cole enjoys his freedom and tries to live every day to its fullest.
Jim, meanwhile, retreats inward and becomes despondent. The bullet in his
head that he received at Hanska Slough had never been removed, and it's believed
that this caused much of his depression. However, Jim does end up falling
in love with a reporter he met while in prison, Alix Mueller. The two plan
to marry soon, although the conditions of Jim's parole forbid him to marry.
- Nov. 1901---Frank James joins a touring theatrical troupe. The troupe
travels the country and Frank has small roles in the plays.
- Early 1902---Frank quits the theatrical troupe and takes Annie and
son Robert to live with him on his mother's old farm in Kearney, Missouri.
Zerelda, in her seventies, still lives there but cannot handle the farm
by herself. Reuben Samuel by this time had been committed to the State Insane
Asylum and would be dead shortly. Since Jesse's death, tourists had come
to the farm by the hundreds to see his grave and visit with his mother. Now,
with Frank living there, even more tourists would arrive. Frank, however,
was uncomfortable by the tourists and often avoided them.
- Jan. 29, 1902---Alix Mueller appeals to the governor of Minnesota
to allow her and Jim Younger to get married. The governor never replies. Soon
after, Alix's parents, who disapprove of her relationship with Jim, make
her move back to the family home in Boise, Idaho. Jim becomes even more depressed
- Spring 1902---Jim Younger takes a job working in Minnesapolis at
a cigar store owned by James Elwin.
- June 29, 1902---Jesse's body is excavated from his grave on his family's
farm. It is moved to the Mt. Olive Cemetery and reburried there beside his
- July 1902---Jim loses his job at the cigar store. He attempts to
get a new job at several places, but can't acquire one.
- Oct. 19, 1902---Jim sends a telegram to Alix Mueller in Idaho. The
entire telegram simply tells Alix not to write him anymore. He then retreats
to his hotel room at the Reardon Hotel. That night, around eight o'clock,
Jim shoots himself in the head with a pistol he acquired. The wound is not
immediatly fatal, and it takes several hours for Jim to actually die.
- Late Oct. 1902---Jim's body is sent to Missouri, where a funeral
service is held. He is then buried along side his mother and brother Bob
at the Lee's Summit Cemetery.
- Jan. 1903---Cole Younger puts in an application for a pardon.
- Feb. 4, 1903---Cole Younger is granted a conditional pardon from
the Minnesota Board of Paroles. The two conditions are that he must leave
Minnesota and never return and that he cannot place himself on any kind
- Feb. 16, 1903---Cole arrives on a train at Kansas City, Missouri,
where he meets his niece and nephew, Harry and Nora Younger Hall. The trio
takes another train to Lee's Summit that same day. Cole is finally home, for
the first time in nearly twenty-seven years. He will spend the next few months
meeting up with old friends and relatives.
- Mar. 1903---Cole write an autobiography called 'Cole Younger, By
Himself.' The book is nearly entirely fictional and sells poorly. Later
that month, Cole telephones Frank James at a Kansas City hotel. The two
met later that day in Independence. The two ancient outlaws and best friends
see each other in person for the first time in nearly three decades. The
two end up deciding to buy an interest in the Buckskin Bill Wild West Show,
owned by H. E. Allott. Cole will end up serving as the show's manager, with
Allott as assistant manager, and Frank as arena manager. The show's name
is changed to 'The Great Cole Younger and Frank James Historical Wild West
Show.' Thereafter, the show begins touring the country.
- Sept. 21, 1903---Cole and Frank demand that they be released from
the Wild West Show. They are not let go and end up staying with the show for
a few more months. The show had become a disaster since it began, and that's
the reason Cole and Frank wanted out.
- Nov. 1903---Cole and Frank leave the Wild West Show. Cole had to
pull a pistol on one of the show's owners in order to be allowed to quit.
- Early 1904---Cole and Frank return to their families in Missouri.
Cole ends up becoming the president of the Hydro-Carbon Old Burner Company,
but soon leaves the job. Frank, meanwhile, simply continues to work on the
old James-Samuel homestead.
- Aug. 1905---Cole is named president of the production company of
the Kansas City, Lee's Summit, & Eastern Railroad. He eventually leaves
the job and begins making nightly appearences with the Lew Nichols Carnival
- 1907---Frank and Annie James buy a ranch in Fletcher, Oklahoma.
- Mar. 1, 1908---Reuben Samuel dies at the State Insane Asylum in St.
Joseph, Missouri. He is buried at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
- 1908---Cole quits the Lew Nichols Carnival Company.
- 1909---Cole begins touring on the lecture circuit. His lecture is
called 'What My Life Has Taught Me' and it basically informs people about
the negative sides of outlaw life and alcohol. He tours throughout the Midwest,
South, and Southwest.
- 1910---Cole's lecture ends and, with the money he made doing it,
purchases a house in Lee's Summit. He lives there with his niece, Nora Younger
Hall. He is known for sitting on his porch often and talking with neighbors
and friends. The neighborhood kids like Cole and begin calling him 'Uncle
- Feb. 10, 1911---Zerelda Samuel is taking a train back to Kearney
after visiting Frank and Annie at their Oklahoma home. On the way, she suffers
a heart-attack and dies. She is eighty-six at the time of her death. Shortly
thereafter, she is buried at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery next to sons Jesse
and Archie, husband Reuben, and daughter-in-law Zee.
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- Spring 1911---Frank and Annie James sell their Oklahoma farm and
return to living on the James-Samuel homestead in Kearney. Frank is visited
there often by old friends. He is also visited by son Robert and nephew
Jesse Jr. Being back in Missouri also allows Frank to travel to Lee's Summit
to visit Cole, which he does quite often.
- Aug. 21, 1913---Cole becomes a confirmed Christian and joins the
Christian Church of Lee's Summit.
- Feb. 18, 1915---Frank James dies of a heart attack at his family
home in Kearney. When Cole hears the news, he retires to his bedroom for
the rest of the day.
- Late Feb. 1915---Frank is cremated in St. Louis and his ashes is
thereafter stored in a vault at the Kearney Trust Company.
- Early 1916---Cole's health begins to steadily decline.
- Mar. 19, 1916---Cole has niece Nora Hall bring Jesse Jr. and friend
Harry Hoffman to his bedside. This she does, and for the next few hours,
Cole confides in the two men by telling him many of his secrets from his
outlaw days. He even ends up confessing that it was Frank James that killed
cashier Joseph Heywood back at Northfield. Both Jesse and Hoffman are sworn
- Mar. 21, 1916---Cole Younger dies of natural cause in his Lee's Summit
home. He is the last member of the James-Younger Gang to die.
- Late Mar. 1916---Cole is buried in the Lee's Summit Cemetery next
to brothers Jim and Bob and his mother.
- Oct. 11, 1935---Mary James Barr, daughter of Jesse James, dies in
- July 6, 1944---Annie James dies of natural causes at the James-Samuel
farm in Kearney. She is shortly thereafter buried at the Hill Cemetery in
Independence. Frank's ashes are buried alongside her.
- Mar. 26, 1951---Jesse Edwards James Junior dies of natural causes
in Las Angeles, California. He had been suffering from severe depression near
the end of his life, brought on mainly by constant men claiming to be his
- Nov. 18, 1959---Robert Franklin James, son of Frank James, dies at
the James-Samuel farm of natural causes.