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James Gang in Clayton co., 1865


Posted By: Sharyl Ferrall (email)
Date: 11/16/2008 at 03:52:58

Jno. Wolter Recalls Jesse James' Visit

John Wolter, Sr., of Guttenberg, recalls a visit the famous James gang made to his home in 1865. One morning in May, 71 years ago, Frank and Jesse James, Cole and Bob Younger and a crippled member of the James band drove into the Frank Wolter farm, five miles west of Guttenberg on the Elkport-Garnavillo road. At that time the elder Wolter operated the farm and in addition conducted a tavern and barroom.

The outlaw band was traveling with a team and wagon and were leading five superb saddle horses behind. They put their horses in the barn and fed them and asked if they could have dinner. Mrs. Wolter started preparing dinner and the outlaws went into the saloon where they drank and smoked until their meal was ready. Following the dinner they had another round of drinks and then Frank James and the Younger boys went out and hitched up the horses. Jesse and the cripple stayed in the tavern with Mr. Wolter. When the horses were ready the Younger boys came in and carried the cripple to the wagon. Jesse James then told Mr. Wolter to destroy the chair upon which the cripple had sat, because the man was badly diseased.

Then Jesse backed out of the door, ran to the wagon and the gang drove away without paying for their fare. They were headed west and after they had gone, Wolter called his hired man, Henry Nienan from the field and followed them. When he arrived at the Fred Clefisch place, three miles farther west the found that the gang had stopped there and drank some more liquor and then continued west. The also refused to pay Clefisch for their purchases. The men then gave up the chase the the matter was dropped.

~Clayton County Register, July 1, 1936

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