Jesse James is shot
in Nashville. After a gun fight with a militia that had come
to his mom's
to his mom's house he decided
to head for the West Coast to hide out. Frank James, his
brother, took the train, and
Jesse took a steamer around the Horn from New York, because
of his gun shot to the lungs
the train or horseback would have been too hard on the ailing
outlaw. In California
his uncle Drury James owned a hot springs in the new town of Paso
Robles. Story goes he
first came to El Paso De Robles in 1951 on a cattle drive, where
he visited the Hot Springs
Hotel, which was at the Stage Coach stop. In 1865, Drury be-
came a partner in the Paso
Robles Inn buying a percentage of the resort.
Drury James hid out the
outlaw Jesse and his brother Frank, and story goes that Jesse came
a few times a week to the hot
springs from his uncles ranch, and healed his gunshot wound
in the hot sulfur
waters that had been healing springs since the Salinan Indians lived
and ancient tribes
prior...then came the Spanish and established Casa del Paso de Robles.
In 1813 they built a shelter
over the springs. Meanwhile back at the Springs...
After Jesse had healed his
wounds and was getting restless in the small town, he and Frank
took the steamer again back
to New York. Still seen as a hero and a "Robin Hood" of
sorts, Jesse James was
assassinated in 1882 by "...the coward Robert Ford." More on
that movie down the page folks...
Jesse and Frank James
"They were dangerous men and killers, but, they
were always kind to the poor people and often helped them. One story
I like was when they stopped at a farm and asked for supper to be
made. In those days that was common and the meals were paid for. The
woman said she didn’t have much in the house to cook as she was just
a poor widow who was about to lose her farm to the local banker. She
cooked what she could find and the boys asked more about her plight.
She said she owed the banker $800.00 she didn’t have and he was
coming at 4:00p.m. that afternoon to get it. Jesse asked her what
this man looked like and how he would be traveling to get to the
farm. She told him and after the meal Jesse gave her $800.00 he said
was a loan. Frank made out a receipt she was to copy in her own
handwriting and told her to be sure to get the skinflint’s signature
on that paper before handing over the money as that was the right
way to do business of that sort.
You can see the rest coming! After the skinflint
left the farm with his money the gang way-layed him and took back
their $800.00. The woman had her farm and another banker had been
Jesse James, whom a special A&E Television program calls, "far and
away the most infamous and best-known outlaw in our history."
Of James, crime historian Jay Robert Nash asserts, "Millions of
words would be written about this handsome, dashing and utterly
ruthless bank and
train robber. To many of his peers, he would appear a folklore hero
who took vengeance in their name upon an industrial society that was
the old agrarian lifestyle to ashes. To others, Jesse James and his
band represented the last vestiges of the Old South and its lost
secession... He was at large for sixteen years. He
committed dozens of daring robberies and killed at least a
half-dozen or more men. He died at
the age of
5, 1847, Jesse James is born in Clay County, Missouri, son of a
Baptist minister and slaveholder Robert James and his wife
Jesse is 5 years younger than his brother Frank. Story goes he
died in Nashville, TN in 1882...assonated so story tells...I heard
stories myself that he was living in Grandbury a Texas hide out for
outlaws for many years...rumors run wild.
Jesse's father was a hemp
farmer and died when Jesse was just 3
years old. Tis said Jesse rode with
the Quantillis Raiders..."He was
raiding Union towns during the Civil War
under the flag of the
Confederate cause." as told by his grandfather... Because he robbed
banks, the railroad and other
big institutions he was a hero to the common man...The dime novel
stories had him as just a bank robber but
doing most of this as part of the war between the North and South it is told...
In the summer of 1863, the James
farm was brutally attacked by Union soldiers.
Jesse was 16 when he and Frank became Confederate guerrilla
riding alongside William Quantrill and “Bloody Bill”
legends in their own time, popular in Missouri for actively
trying to further the Confederate cause.
Movies, books, dime novels, and tall tales of his doings is
what Hollywood is
made of...legendary rumors, hearsay, and what someone heard
tell...another thing we hear is after April 24th, 1874,
Jesse was also a family
man marrying his first cousin, Aerelda "Zee" Mimms, who is
The History Channel said, "The story ofJesse
one of America's most familiar myths..." The myth of
a Colt-packing, six-chambered desperado, yet a Robin Hood, and a Family man,
and most of all a Southerner of the Confederate.
"I hear tell..."
Paso Robles -- "pass of the oaks" -- so
named for the
clusters of oak trees scattered throughout
the rolling hills.
It was established in 1870 by Drury James, uncle
outlaw Jesse James (who reportedly hid out in tunnels
under the original Paso
Robles Inn on Spring Street.)
What makes Jesse a totally fascinating character is the human trait he brought
to outlawry, akin only to Robin Hood. "Like his famous predecessor in folklore
(although in fact James was a real person), Jesse James robbed from the rich and
was kind to the poor," explains Encyclopaedia Britannica's Annals of America
series. "(He) was always willing to help some cowpoke who was 'down on his
Like anyone who has made an incredible dent in his/her own texture of time,
Jesse rose above the realm of mortal fame by playing his own life on a human
level. He preferred to be known as one of earth's seedlings who fought back
against the sequoia of (what he saw) oppression. And by driving his pursuers
crazy with anxiety and anger on their own level, that made his victories and,
yes, the pursuit, too that much more thrilling.
Frank is said to
have visited Paso Robles several times after his release
from prison. Was in
prison for 3 years just waiting to be
tried for 3
years and was finally let out.
Jesse James as he looked when
hiding out in Paso Robles in
(September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882)
Jesse and Frank James
taken in the mid 1870's
said to be 21 years old in this
January 10, 1843 – February 18, 1915
"Paso Robles is sometimes referred to as the wild west of the
California wine industry, but ironically Paso Robles does have a
connection to the wild west that most people don't know about. The
famous outlaw Jessie James had more than one relative who lived and
owned property in the area. Dury James, Jesse's uncle lived on a ranch
in the Adelaida District from 1868 to 1909. Another relative, Dr.
Woodson James, operated a hotel at the Sulfur Hot Springs in town.
History has it that Jessie and his brother Frank were frequent visitors
at the Dury Ranch, which was known as La Ponza Ranch. One such visit had
Jessie laid up at the Sulfur Hot Springs , recovering from a gunshot
wound he sustained during a train heist. The old timers in town remembered him as drinker and gambler
that was rumored to hang out at the Saloons in Paso Robles. Jessie felt
safe knowing that the maze of tunnels under the old inn allowed him
ample escape routes if the need ever arose. In spite of the nationwide
manhunt to capture Jessie, he managed to allude the best of them, and
escape back to Missouri with a new identity, only to be shot in the back
by one of his friends."
Quoted from: www.maloyoneill.com/explore.html
From Pioneer Pages 1996
edition Story has it that Jesse and Frank worked as
for their Uncle Drury, and you hear a number of stories
about tales of Jesse in the hot mud baths to assuage his
many bullet wounds. While staying in Paso Robles area
brothers were law-abiding cowhands and did nothing to discredit
Uncle Drury. As pointed out by the late Paso Robles
his book, The Ghosts of Frank and Jesse James,
Drury James held, "...a highly
respected and influential place in the
community." He would not have tolerated
illegal activities by
his two outlaw nephews.
Tis said the brothers
arrived in Paso Robles in the summer of 1868...stories tell of
them being here through the winter
and some stories say they were here for near 2 years,
we even hear stories of Frank returning to Paso Robles a number of
after Jesse was killed. A
number of stories confirm that they were hiding out from
Missouri State Militia, and worked on their uncle's 30,000 La Panza
Biography of Jesse James see full movie...
Brad Pitt plays the
outlaw Jesse James in "The Assassination of Jesse
James by the
Coward Robert Ford," he will join a formidable fraternity
of celebrities who
have stepped into the shoes of the legendary outlaw,
Leading the list of Hollywood infamy are Robert
Carey, Rob Lowe, Colin Farrell. James Coburn,
Wendell Corey, James
Keach, Kris Kristofferson, Hugh Beaumont and
The two most
provocative names among the James impersonators, however,
are namesakes James
Dean and Jesse James, Jr. Dean, whose brief acting
career and premature
death earned him a celebrity arguably on a par with
that of the Missouri
outlaw, played James in a 1953 segment of the "You Are
series entitled "The Capture of Jesse James."
James Jr., a son of Jesse
James who grew up to be a Los Angeles attorney,
played his father in two 1921
silent films, "Jesse James as the Outlaw" and
"Jesse James Under the
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward
Robert Ford'' apart from two dozen or so other films about
the legendary outlaw. The lingering close-ups, absence of big
shootouts and emphasis on psychology over action will probably
disappoint viewers expecting a traditional Western, but the cerebral
style is also what makes it a distinctive American classic.
The film is based on a novel by Ron Hansen about the final year of
James's life and his relationship with Robert Ford, a young man who
idolized James, joined his gang and ended up shooting his hero in the
back of the head. It's a complex tale, told by screenwriter/director
Andrew Dominik with originality, striking cinematography and sterling
performances by Brad Pitt as James and Casey Affleck as Ford.
James was smart, cunning, moody and ruthless. Toward the end, he also
was extremely paranoid. Pitt manages to convey all those aspects of
James's personality without caricature or cliché and with minimum
dialogue. In this movie, what's going on inside James's head is more
significant than what he's doing with his fists or his pistol.
FROM MOVIE PROMOTIONS
After breakfast on April 3, 1882, Jesse turned to straighten a
picture on a wall of his home, and Bob shot Jesse in the back of the
head. Jesse died instantly at age 34. People in Missouri were
outraged at the method used to capture him and considered it a
cowardly assassination. Within three months, Frank surrendered to
Crittenden. The juries would not convict on the meager evidence, so
Frank resumed a quiet life.
They thought they be famous for
supposedly killing Jesse James but after the fact they were put down and
by people and their lives became
miserable...In 1884 Charles Ford killed himself.
Robert Ford left Missouri for Colorado where he ran a saloon until an admirerof Jesse James- Deputy Sheriff Ed O'
Kelly shot him with a shot
gun in 1982.
At a reunion of the
Jesse James family in 2002 in Paso Robles, California, the start
up of the James Family DNA
Project was announced. It was hosted by a great grandson of Jesse
James, James R.
Ross, a retired Superior Court judge. Two
other great grandsons of the outlaw and other family lines also attended
from all over the country. In 1995 Judge Ross employed DNA technology in
the exhumation of Jesse James' body. DNA then proved the body to be that of
Jesse James, and disproved claims of a family relationship by
At the same time the
James family was able to find the true members. Over
history and the years the James
family had become disconnected. The times including
westward migration, the Civil War, and many
in the James family after his death not wanting to be known as
kin to the outlaw, found the
family being lost.
Joan Beamis, a James
family member, put together the first genealogy, disseminated to
other James family, and In
1970 she published "Background of a Bandit" with William E.
from dates on a
timeline below we can see that he was more than likely on his trip to Paso
March 20, 1868
Credited with getting
away with approximately $14,000, the gang hit the Nimrod Long Banking
Co. of Russellville,.
One person was wounded but there were no fatalities.
December 7, 1869
up Davies County Savings Bank of Gallatin,Missouri,
killing cashier John W. Sheets and wounding clerk William McDowell as he
ran for the door. Making off with only $700, a $3,000 reward is offered
for their capture.
I am working on more research on Frank
James coming back to Paso Robles, and even
being Baptized by the First Baptist
Church. I have a picture of the lake and location