Jesse James

We stayed at a hotel in Kearney Missouri that turned out to be just down the road from the burial place of the famous outlaw Jesse James. The story of Jesse James has made for many a movie, but I was interested to learn that he is seen as something of a hero in the southern US.

Jesse was born in Clay County, Missouri, on September 5, 1847, to Zerelda and Robert James, hemp farmers who owned six slaves. When the Civil War came, young Jesse watched his older brother Frank march off to fight for the rebellion — and likely chafed that he himself was too young to go.

At the end of the war, the bands surrendered, but Jesse was reportedly shot and severely wounded by Federal soldiers while under a flag of truce. He and Frank, joined by eight other men, then began their outlaw career by robbing a bank in Liberty, Missouri, on February 13, 1866.

One of America’s most famous criminals, Jesse James, is shot to death by fellow gang member Bob Ford, who betrayed James for reward money. For 16 years, Jesse and his brother, Frank, committed robberies and murders throughout the Midwest.

We drove around to the cemetery where we found good signage to the grave site.

Nearby were these markers…

I found this to be a fascinating place with some fascinating stories caught on the stones.

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