Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Jesse James Connection

Recently, my SIL asked me about a family story that a relative used to do some gunsmithing for Jesse James. Was it true, or was it just something that my oldest brother made up? I assured her it was true, because Aunt Sis told me about it, and she wasn't give to tall tales. However, I couldn't remember the details, so yesterday I asked Dad to give me the scoop.

Dad said my great-great grandfather used to sell guns to the James gang, as well as perform custom gunsmithing for them. As Aunt Sis pointed out, the James brothers were liked in that part of Missouri, because they spent their money there, but didn't cause trouble. Plus, you just didn't say no to Jesse James. Dad said they paid real well, too. When GGGF did some gunsmithing for Jesse, he would leave the guns in a certain hiding place. When he checked back later. the guns would be gone and payment left in their place. However, it didn't end well for great-great-Grandather. He ended up dead at the bottom of a cliff. Jesse James said he was drunk and fell, but no one else was around to see what really happened. The family believed that Jesse knocked him over the head, then pushed him off the cliff. Once the body reached the bottom, it was impossible to tell if the marks were caused from the fall or not.

I suppose there is a moral in there somewhere. Something about staying away from cold-blooded killers, even if they are free with their ill-gotten gains.


At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Donna said...

This is an amazing piece of family history. It's great that your family has kept this memory alive after such a long time.


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