Monday, January 31, 2011

Outlaw Tidbits: Win a Gift Card

Jesse James's nickname was Dingus. The legend behind it:  The son of a minister, Jesse, didn't swear.  He would say "Ding it" instead of "Damn it".  The men he rode with during the war, including his older brother, started calling him Dingus.  The nickname stuck with him throughout his life.

Jesse, age 14
Jesse and Frank's father, Robert, graduated from college in 1843 with a degree in art, earned his master of arts degree in 1848. He became one of the founders of William Jewel College near Liberty, Missouri. He was also a licensed Baptist minister.

Jesse and Frank's mother was considered a tomboy, a daring horsewoman and a good dancer in her youth. 

They had two siblings.  A brother, Robert, who died at age 1 month.  And a younger sister, Susan, 1849-1889.  They also had 5 half-siblings born after their widowed mother remarried Dr. Reuben Samuel.

Eight-year-old Archie Samuel, their half-brother, was killed in January 1875, when the Pinkertons threw a bomb through the window of the Samuel home.  The explosion also cost Jesse and Frank's mother her right arm.

Jesse had four children.  A son, Jesse Edward James, 1875-1951, a daughter, Mary Susan James, 1879-1935, and twin sons Gould and Montgomery, who died as infants. They were named after the doctors who tried to save them. 

Jesse was originally buried beside his mother's home so she could keep watch on his grave.  Later, his gravesite was moved to Mount Olivet Cemetery and his daughter, Mary, who lived next to the cemetery, kept watch on his grave.  After her death, souvenir hunters destroyed his gravestone.

Frank could quote Shakespeare at will and he toured with a summer stock company in 1904.

After Jesse's death in 1882, his wife, Zee, wore mourning black the rest of her life.  She died in 1900.

The first movie made about the James gang was filmed in 1908.  In 1921, Jesse's son, starred as his father in a movie about the outlaw.  At least 30 different actors have protrayed Jesse.

During the exhumation of Jesse's body in 1995, security was provided by none other than the Pinkertons, Incorporated. 

The body in the grave was, indeed, Jesse James. 

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed "Outlaw" month.  It's been fun for me and I am going to do my last drawing this week for a $10 iTunes gift card.  Please leave a comment to enter the drawing.


Victoria Bromley said...

Great information and really puts a human touch to someone usually only thought of as an outlaw!


Playground Monitor said...

Just goes to show you have to watch those preacher's kids. ::grin::


Reina said...

You've obviously done a lot of research. Interesting stuff! :)

Mary said...

I never thought of anyone having to watch over someone's grave. At least it was just his headstone. WOW!

Pat said...

Great post! Loved all the neat information. It's no wonder the James boys hated the Pinkerton's.

Shirley Wells said...

A fascinating post. I suspect, however, that I shall be saying "Ding it" for the rest of the day. Love that. :)

The Barn Door said...

Very interesting post! Would love to find the movie where his son played him!

Patricia Preston said...

Glad everyone is enjoying the info about Frank and Jesse. His son played in a silent movie in 1921.

LaTessa said...

Neat info Patricia, I love bits & pieces of info like this. As Victoria said, it helps to add a bit of a human touch to Jesse.

Melinda H Harrison said...

What a great month. I've really enjoyed all the posts. Thanks so much.

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