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Glendale, Missouri Train Robbery

October 8, 1879---It had been three years and one month since the attempted bank robbery at Northfield, Minnesota. Since that time, both Jesse and Frank James had been lying low, living law-abiding lives under assumed names, in Tennessee. However, in the fall of 1879, it became apparent that Jesse was in need of some money, and fast. He knew of only one way to get some fast money: robbery. The only problem was that, unlike before, Jesse didn't simply have a gang waiting for the next "mission." An all-new gang was needed. Jesse first went to brother Frank, but Frank was unwilling to throw away his current way of life to go back to the outlaw ways. In short time, Jesse ended up recruiting five men to his gang, namely: Dick Liddil, a horse thief; Bill Ryan, an alcoholic gunfighter; Wood Hite, Jesse and Frank's first cousin on their father's side; Daniel "Tucker" Bassham, a local, slow-witted farmer who had older brothers in the guerrilla ranks that Jesse knew; and Ed Miller, the younger brother of the late Clell Miller. Unlike the old James-Younger Gang, this new James Gang included members who did not serve as Confederate guerrillas and were not nearly as trustworthy and loyal as members of the old gang. Jesse decided that the new gang's first robbery would be that of a train belonging to the Chicago & Alton Railroad at Glendale, Missouri on the eighth of October. It was decided that the gang would take over the train station, bring the train to a halt, rob it, and make a fast getaway. The six member gang reached the station quietly and without incident on the planned date. Jesse ordered Ryan, Liddil, and Bassham to take over a store at the station and make sure no one left. At the store, the bandits discovered eight or ten men and held them all at gunpoint. Jesse, Miller, and Hite meanwhile went over to the depot to secure it. Ten minutes later, Jesse had Miller and Hite go back to the store and tell the other three bandits to escourt the eight or ten men in the store over to the depot, where they would be locked into a shed and thereby secured. This was done and all six robbers were reunited at the depot. After that, some of the robbers went to the telegraph office, held of the operator and robbed him, and destroyed the telegraphing equipment. On the second floor of the depot, an auditor for the railroad, W. E. Bridges, was discovered by the outlaws, taken hostage and also robbed. Also on the second story of the depot was the wife and teen-age son of the telegraph operator. Jesse ordered the boy to find a signal that would allow the gang to stop the train. The boy found a green light and gave it to Ryan to use as the signal. The boy then asked if the gang was going to kill him, to which Ryan replied in the negative. The boy then asked if they were the infamous gang led by Jesse James. This time, Ryan replied in the affirmative. Meanwhile, Jesse and Miller rolled a large boulder onto the tracks, just in case the train didn't stop at the signal. Shortly thereafter, the train approached. Ryan and Liddil got the train to stop by waving the signal, and then grabbed both the brakeman and engineer and pulled them out of the train. Bassham and Hite took positions on the platform while Jesse and Miller boarded the express car of the train. The pair were able to get the express messenger, William Grimes, to open the door and told him to get the key that would open the safe. Because he was somewhat slow, Jesse and/or Miller pistol-whipped the old man. After being knocked to the ground, Grimes told Jesse and Miller that the safe contained $60,000, and, needless to say, the outlaws were very excited over this. Jesse and Miller soon after used the key Grimes had to open the safe and discovered only $6,000, but since Jesse didn't take the time to count it immediatly, he thought it was $60,000. After this, Jesse ordered some railroad workers on board the train to get off board and roll the boulder on the tracks away so they could leave. This was done and immediatly after, Jesse and Miller left the train, where they met up with Hite, Bassham, Ryan, and Liddil. With the six outlaws all together, they all mounted up on their horses and took off. They had not robbed a single passanger this time. Several miles away, the gang stopped at a deserted farm house to divide the money up. They must have been pretty unhappy to discover the take was much less than originally thought. After the money was divided, Jesse and Ed Miller rode off in one direction, Bill Ryan and Tucker Bassham another, and Dick Liddil and Wood Hite another. Shortly thereafter, Bassham was arrested for the robbery and named his accomplices. Ed Miller was killed by Jesse himself not too long after the robbery as well. However, no other member of the gang would be captured for a few more years. The first robbery of the new James Gang was a success, and Jesse James was back in the public's eye, and imagination, once again.


Amount of Money Stolen

Citizens Killed/Wounded