Carroll County IAGenWeb
History Journal

Did the Jesse James Gang Visit Carroll Co.


 by Kathrine Hedges Evers 1969

Uncle Will Stephenson and Aunt Jane
On September 1, 1865, he married my father's oldest sister, Jane.  Like all the other early settlers, they had a small log house.  He did quite a lot of trapping of fur-bearing animals-raccoon, fox wolf, otter, beaver, mink, muskrat, skunk, and squirrel.  One day while he was on the rounds of the trap line, Aunt Jane was there alone in the cabin when four men on horses rode into the yard.  They were strangers.  They all came to the house and asked her to cook them some food.  The were hungry and would pay for it.  She fixed them dinner, and before they left, they put a ten-dollar bill on the table.  About three hours later the sheriff and a posse rode in and asked about any strangers that might have been there lately.  She found she had cooked for Jesse James and his brothers!  They were wanted that time for horse stealing.

Story provided by Carma Astleford" <  May 2001



From a newspaper clipping:

Mrs. Al Bruch, granddaughter of  the late Henry Baumhover who was one of the founders of Mt. Carmel parish, tells a story of how the James Brothers, famed Missouri outlaws, are believed to have stayed overnight in her grandfather's barn.
According to legend in the Baumhover family, a band of several men riding beautiful horses stopped at the Baumhover farm near Mt. Carmel and asked to be sheltered for the night. This was before Mr. Baumhover had built the large brick house which now is occupied by the Louis Baumhover family.
The visitors were told that there was no room in the house but they were welcome to sleep in the barn. Herman and Lambert Baumhover were small boys at the time and like all small boys they were curious.  After the visitors had retired to the barn, they investigated and noticed that the men all were carrying elaborate guns.  Next morning, the travelers paid Mrs. Baumhover generously for food she had served them and went on their way south.  Sometime later it was learned that the James Brothers had committed a bank robbery in Minnesota shortly before the men stopped at Mt. Carmel.  Descriptions of the outlaws tallied with the party of men who had spent the night in the Baumhover barn.

FACT OR FICTION???  Only Jessie and Frank excaped the Northfield Minnesota raid, but both were wounded.  However, Herman and Lambert Baumhover would have been little boys in the 1870's, so the timing was right.

From a biography:  he was born in 1847, rode with Quantrill in 1863 or 1864 and joined with the Younger's in 1866.  The Northfield, Minnesota Raid was on September 7, 1876.  Jessie died in 1882.

Story provided by Carma Astleford" <, May 2001



My great grandfather James H. Foster and his wife Deborah settled in Newton Twp, P45(799) Newton children and 2 died. My grandfather Jessie Grant Foster was born 27 July 1867 in Coon Rapids, Carroll Co. It has been the talk in our family about our Jessie, a blacksmith, put the horseshoes on backward on Jessie James' horse as per his requests.  Some of the family said it was in time life book.  I have no proof.

Darrell Tuttle thought it was his Tuttle grandfather at first and found out from his mother Avis Foster Tuttle, that is was the other grandfather.  It could of even been James H. Foster and blamed on his son at 15 or so.

Story provided by Rowena Foster King <>, July 2001



Coppocks came from Missouri to Guthrie and Carroll Co,  IA.  The James gang came through and traded horses for a fresh one, (a white horse named Ponti)  The Coppocks were afraid for people to know, for fear that people would think they were friends of the James boys as they were also from Missouri.  Aunt Dessie  (Coppock) Sexton told me & Mom the same story, so did Uncle Claude at our 1978 Cousins Reunion in Fort Collins, CO.  This was the first time the Coppock kids ever had store-bought hard candies which was given to them by the men.

Story provided by Carma Astleford" <> Jan 2002


Rasmussen Rendezvous

My grandfather was a very small boy when this story took place, and they lived just west of the Carroll County Line on a farm 1 mile south of West Side, Crawford Co.  This story would have occurred in 1881.  In 1890 the family moved to a farm southwest of Coon Rapids.  Here is the way he told it:

When he was a very young boy they were living near West Side and were visited by four men on horseback.  They asked for supper and feed for their horses.  They were soft-spoken, polite men, but insisted that the table be moved near the door so they could watch down the road while
they ate.  Grandpa recalls that they had roast duck, potatoes and gravy for supper. Their horses were the prettiest he had ever seen, certainly better than anything in their farming community.  They made no secret of their identity and admitted they were Jesse and Frank James and two of the Younger brothers. Although they were offered hospitality free, as was the custom, Jesse threw a $20 gold piece on the table.  This was quite a lot of money in those days and was not turned down.

Story provided by Gary Ramthun < >, Jan 2003   

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