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Pleasant Green - Cooper County’s First Bank robbery took place in Pleasant Green in 1926. The Robbers were finally captured by a Cooper County Sheriff with one arm.


Jesse James - The James Gang hits Otterville:


Jesse James is probably one of the most notorious outlaws of the Wild West. He is credited with the first daylight bank robbery in the US, although it was probably his "gang" that pulled off the $60,000 heist in Liberty, Missouri, and not Jesse himself.


However, there is little doubt that Jesse was an active participant of the 1876 train robbery near Otterville. Wanting to rob a bank in Minnesota, the James-Younger Gang set out to arrange financing for their trip up north by robbing a train in Missouri. They chose a dangerous stretch of tracks called Rocky Cut near Otterville, Missouri, to hold up the train.


On the evening of July 7, 1876, eight members of the gang captured the night guard at Rocky Cut and used his lantern to flag down the train. Once stopped, the gang boarded the train, robbed both safes, then disappeared into the night. Not far from there, the gang stopped to split up the money before riding off in separate directions. Today, that location is marked by a stone in a roadside park just east of Otterville. 


Hobbs Kerry, a new member of the gang, was arrested a few days later and gave up the names of the other seven men involved in the robbery. They were Frank and Jesse James, Cole and Bob Younger, Bill Chadwell, Clell Miller, and Charlie Pitts. For some reason, the third Younger brother, Jim, had not been among them. However, by that time, the gang was headed north to Northfield, Minnesota, where their planned bank robbery ended in failure in more ways than one.


Bill Chadwell and Clell Miller were killed during the hold up. Charlie Pitts was killed when Bob, Jim, and Cole Younger were captured. Only Frank and Jesse James made it out of Minnesota.


Bob Younger died of tuberculosis on September 16, 1889, while still in prison. Jim and Cole Younger were paroled, but Jim committed suicide on October 19, 1902.


Jesse James was murdered on April 3, 1882, by gang member Robert Ford for the $5,000 reward on Jesse's head. However, Ford was never able to collect.


After giving up their lives of crime, Frank James died February 18, 1915, and Cole Younger died March 21, 1916.

Source: Discover Cooper County by Ann Betteridge

Zerelda James Samuel & Mary James, daughter of Jesse James at the James Home in Kearney MO. Zerelda lost her right hand when a bomb that the Pinkerton's tossed through one of the windows in the home.
Zerelda picked up the bomb trying to get rid of it when it went off.

Reuben & Zerelda James Samuel at the James Home.
Lady on right unknown, possibly Mary James, daughter of Jesse James.

A blackberry cobbler recipe by Zerelda James, Jesse James' mother.

Zerelda James Samuel mother of Jesse James standing by his gravestone at the James Home in Kerney, MO.

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