Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Ongoing Search For The Truth About Jesse James

Several years ago rumor had it that Jesse James had not been killed by Bob Ford, but had escaped, living out his life in the Texas town of Granbury.

This rumor ran so far amok that at one point in time somehow an exhumation order was issued with the grave in a Granbury cemetery, thought to be Jesse James, was dug up. It was quickly determined that this was a mistake, with the digger claiming the wrong grave had been opened, but no further exhumation orders were issued, so no further grave digging was done.

Earlier in this century I made a webpage titled "The Truth About Jesse James" on my Eyes on Texas website.

The webpage about Jesse James has generated some interesting feedback over the years, including an email this morning from someone named Jsradan Radan. I have no clue how one might pronounce that first name.

Below is the email from Jsradan, followed by a couple other interesting emails I've received regarding Jesse James....

My grandmother was Gladys Parker, married name, her maiden name was Biggerstaff.  She died in 1985 in Newport, Washington. The closest birth record had her born around 1889.  Before she past away she said she had a letter from Jesse James after he supposedly died.  But shortly after she said something she "past away" at the old folks home and all of her stuff was taken and "sold" to pay for what they said she owed.  History is written by the winners or what the government wants you to know.  Think about the lies that are told as fact even in your own lifetime.  I think he escaped the tyranny of Pinkerton and the government.  GOD bless the USA, but condemn the socialistic government. If you have anything you can share with me about my grandmother so I can find my own history I would appreciate it. 

If you have anything to share with Jsradan you can email him here.

And then there was the following from Doug Bigelow...

I found your website "Eye on Texas; The Truth About Jesse James" and thought you might be able to help me with a few questions. 

As you are certainly aware one of the stories / legends about Jesse James is that Charlie Bigelow was killed in his place. Although there has been much said about the life of Jesse James and his history I have not been able to discover much about the supposed Charlie Bigelow. 

I have read that he may have been from Bigelow, MO and that the town was named after his family. I have also found that the town may have been named after a wealthy English businessman that invested in the railroad. This leads me to believe that there may have not even been Bigelows in the small town. 

With all of the alias that the outlaws used I wonder if “Charlie Bigelow” might have been one that Jesse James used thus confusing who was actually murdered. They say that Charlie looked liked Jesse, maybe it WAS Jesse? 

My hopes are that you can help me with my research on Charlie Bigelow. Did he even exist? If so, where was he actually from? If Jesse was the one actually killed by Bob Ford then what happened to Charlie? Was he even a Bigelow or was it an alias that Jesse or some other outlaw used at one time? 

Any light you can shed on this mystery would be greatly appreciated. I hope to write an article for the Bigelow Genealogical Society’s newsletter, Forge. 

Thanks for your time and efforts on this matter.

Doug Bigelow

If you can shed any light on this mystery you can email Doug Bigelow here.

And then there was the email from a lady married to the great great great granddaughter of Geronimo...

The man known as deacon reminds me of some of the Jennings. They were in Kansas City, Missouri at that time, left in 1869. Albert A. Jennings, who is a cousin of the James Brother, as well and the Youngers, he was there in Missouri for while since he left Reddish River North Carolina after his marriage to his wife Mary Pollyanna Muse. 1853, the son of John Thomas Jennings and Nancy I. Irving or Irvin, one of the founding people probably founded the place between Fort Worth and Dallas. I suspect Albert A. Jennings was a member of the James gang. For some reason he changed his last name from Jennings to Gennings or Gennins, like he was on the lam.

Also have you heard the story were Jesse James sold the rifles and ammo to the Lakota Sioux that ended in the destruction of another cousin, General George Armstrong Custer, even though he really deserved what he had did to my red brothers?

Guess I would classify myself part Indian, for interest sake, i am married to the great great great granddaughter of Geronimo, through his second wife and daughter Tosey, who married Jose Ramirez. Of course my wife was born in a place called Idabel, Oklahoma.

On your page you should have the photo of Jesse James when he was there, took with some sheriff or somebody of that time.

The above email with the connection to Geronimo, plus the reference to Custer and what he did to the red brothers, may be my all time favorite feedback email I've received from my Eyes on Texas website.

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