Posts Tagged ‘Jesse James’

James “Wood” Hite (1850-1881) was born in Logan County Kentucky and was first cousin to the James Bros. He joined the James-Younger gang, was killed by Robert “Bob” Ford. At the time, Jesse James was living as Mr. Howard and had given up on crime. The Governor of Missouri offered Bob Ford a pardon if he would get rid of Jesse James. After killing Jesse James, Bob Ford became a hunted man and was later killed. Charles Ford, his brother, was hunted by Frank James and later committed suicide. What tangled webs we weave….

[Wood Hite has a hat, Jesse James’s home]

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The James gang in Kentucky: The parents of the James Bros were Robert James and Zerelda Cole—both born in central Kentucky. After Robert’s death, Zerelda married Dr. Rueben Samuels of Chaplin Kentucky, giving the Bros 4 Kentucky half siblings. The town of Samuels Kentuck is named after the family. The Samuels family is involved with Maker’s Mark distillery.

The Pence Bros. settled in the Chaplin area. 100 miles to the north is Columbus, Indiana where some of the Pence family settled, including Veep Mike Pence (nothing political is implied—I am cousin to a famous Confederate outlaw, Beanie Short)

[TW Samuels mansion, Cox’s Creek, visited by the James Bros]

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Jesse James, spelunker

In 1880, Jesse James toured Mammoth Cave. The next day, he robbed the Mammoth Cave stagecoach. A graffiti was found in the cave: Jessie James 1872—scouting for a holdup? (call to see if the stage and signature are open to the public)https://www.facebook.com/MammothCaveNPS/posts/its-documented-that-in-1880-the-outlaw-jesse-james-took-a-tour-at-mammoth-cave-a/3160788030606392/

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May 1865, when William Quantrill was mortally wounded in Wakefield, Kentucky, his men fled  8 miles to Chaplin, Kentucky where they’d stayed for several weeks. This included Frank and Jesse James whose father and step-father were both from Chaplin. In 1886, during the Russellville bank raid, both men were in Chaplin to recover from wounds. Once a prosperous town, Chaplin dried up after the Bluegrass Turnpike bypassed it. (pictured home is of cousin Mary Cole Graves, where they no doubt spent some time)

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Mystery of William Quantrill of Quantrill’s Raiders: He led his band of Rebel guerrillas until May 1865. Union soldiers found him in Wakefield Kentucky. He was wounded and taken to Louisville where he died—maybe. 2 men living under aliases claimed to be him. He has 3 graves. In 1973, I was visiting the Wakefield Grocery. The grocery owner pinted adross the road to the farm and barn where Quantrill had died. The grocery had been the 1865 Wakefield railroad station (you could still see where tracks had been). I didn’t visit the farm—I doubt if the farm or the grocery are still there. (the James Brothers were with Quantrill)

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