A Timeline of Events in the History of the James-Younger Gang, Page 1
At this section of my site, I have a chronological listing of important events in the history of the James-Younger Gang.
Jan. 10, 1843---Alexander Franklin (Frank) James is born to Rev. Robert Sallee James and Zerelda Cole James at the family farm in Kearney, Missouri.
Jan. 15, 1844---Thomas Coleman (Cole) Younger is born to Henry Washington Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
1844 (exact date unknown)---Charlie Pitts is born at Commerce, Oklahoma.
Sept. 5, 1847---Jesse Woodson James is born to Rev. Robert Salle James and Zerelda Cole James at the family farm in Kearney, Missouri.
Jan. 15, 1848---James Hardin (Jim) Younger is born to Henry Washington Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
1848 or 1849 (exact date unknown)---Bill Stiles (later known as Bill Chadwell) is born in Monticello, Minnesota.
Nov. 25, 1849---Susan Lavenia James is born to Zerelda and Robert James.
Jan. 9, 1850---Clelland D. (Clell) Miller is born to Moses Miller and Emaline Miller at the family farm in Clay County, Missouri.
Apr. 12, 1850---Robert James leaves Missouri for California, hoping to strike gold there. He dies soon after arrival there.
1851 (exact date unknown)---John Harrison Younger is born to Henry Washington Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
Sept. 30, 1852---Zerelda James marries Ben Simms.
Oct. 29, 1853---Robert Ewing (Bob) Younger is born to Henry Washington Younger and Bursheba Fristoe Younger at the family farm in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
Jan. 2, 1854---Ben Simms dies in a horse accident. He and Zerelda were going to divorce soon anyway.
Sept. 12, 1855---Zerelda married Rueben Samuel. Young Frank, Jesse, and Susan James all like him
Aug. 27, 1860---Charles 'Dick' Younger, oldest of the Younger brothers, dies of appendicitis. Cole is now the oldest brother and feels compelled to replace his dead older brother.
May 4, 1861---Frank James joins the Home Guard unit of Centerville, Missouri.
1861 (exact date unknown)---Cole Younger and his brother-in-law, John Jarrette, join William Clarke Quantrill's Confederate guerrillas.
Feb. 1862 (exact date unknown)---Frank James is captured by Union soldiers and forced to take an oath to not reenlist in the Confederate army.
June 20, 1862---Henry Younger, father of the Younger brothers, is shot several times and killed while riding a buggy from Kansas City to Lee's Summit. Although he was more of a Union sympathizer than a Confederate, it's believed that his killers were Union soldiers. No one is ever charged with the murder. Young Charlie Pitts and his employer's wife, Mrs. Wells, are the ones who find the body. While Mrs. Wells goes to look for help, Charlie guards the body. Afterwards, Henry is buried alongside his late son Charles in an unmarked grave.
May 1863 (exact date unknown)---Frank James joins Quantrill's guerrillas.
May 25, 1863---Union soldiers rough up Zerelda James Samuel, hang her husband Rueben Samuel (but don't kill him), and beat up Jesse James for not giving them the location of Quantrill's guerrillas.
Aug. 14, 1863---A three-story building in Kansas City that is holding captive female relatives of several Confederate guerrillas collapses, killing and injuring many of the women. The guerrillas want revenge and decide to strike the town of Lawrence, Kansas.
Aug. 21, 1863---Quantrill's guerrillas raid Lawrence, Kansas, destroying the town and killing 183 citizens.
Winter 1863-64---William (Bloody Bill) Anderson, a Quantrill guerrilla, goes solo with his own bunch of guerrillas. One of his guerrillas is Jesse James.
Aug. 1864 (exact date unknown)---Jesse James is shot in his right lung during a battle. He is back with Bloody Bill by September 1864.
Sept. 27, 1864---Bloody Bill Anderson and 250 of his guerrillas raid the town of Centraila, Missouri. A Union train there is halted and 25 Union soldiers on board are killed. Later, the guerrillas leave Centraila. Union Major A. V. E. Johnston arrives with a few hundred Union soldiers at Centraila. They pursue the guerrillas. In the afternoon, the Union soldiers and Bloody Bill's guerrillas meet up. The guerrillas completely slaughter the Union soldiers. Jesse James kills several men in this battle, including Major Johnston himself.
Oct. 1864 (exact date unknown)---Bloody Bill Anderson's guerrillas are ambushed by Union soldiers under the command of Major S. P. Cox at Independence, Missouri. Several guerrillas are killed. Bloody Bill is killed himself and is decapitated later that day. Jesse James and a few other guerrillas escape. Jesse vows to kill S. P. Cox one day. One of the captured guerrillas is 14 year old Clell Miller, who joined the guerrillas three days before.
Late Oct. 1864---Jesse James joins a group of guerrillas lead by Arch (Little Arch) Clements.
May 7, 1865---Arch Clements's guerrillas ravage the town of Holden, Missouri.
May 9 (approximately), 1865---Arch Clements's guerrillas ravage the town of Kingsville, Missouri.
May 10, 1865---Quantrill and his guerrillas are ambushed by Union Captain Edwin Terrell and Union soldiers. Many guerrillas are killed, many more are captured. Quantrill is shot twice, one of which is mortal. One of the captured guerrillas is Jim Younger, who recently joined the guerrillas.
June 6, 1865---Quantrill dies of his wounds.
May 1865 (exact date unknown)---Jesse James attempts to surrender at Lexington, Missouri. He is shot in the right lung by Union soldiers while riding to town holding a white flag. He survives the wound and crawls to safety. He will never heal 100 percent. He will be near death for several months.
Early Feb. 1866---Jesse and Frank James meet with Cole Younger to plan the first ever bank robbery.
Feb 13, 1866---Between ten and fourteen men rob the bank at Liberty, Missouri of Yankee money. A citizen, George Wymore, is killed during the robbery. The identity of most of the robbers are unknown, but Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, George and Oliver Sheppard, and Little Arch Clements are confirmed as being present. Jesse James was still not fit enough from his chest wound to participate, although he helped plan the robbery.
Late Feb. 1866---Most of the robbers from Liberty quit the gang. Only Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, George and Oliver Shepard, and Little Arch Clements remain members.
1866 (exact date unknown)---Bursheba Younger and her two youngest sons, John and Bob, go to the town of Independence, Missouri to buy supplies. At town, a formed Union soldier named Gillcrease verbally assaults the Youngers. John tells him to shut up, so Gillcrease hits John in the face with a dead fish. John goes to his wagon and grabs his older brother Cole's pistol, which John picked up for Cole and the local gunstore only minutes before. When Gillcrease grabs a slingshot and takes aim at John, John shoots Gillcrease between the eyes with the pistol. John is arrested for murder, but is acquitted the next day on the grounds of self-defense.
June 1866 (exact date unknown)---Frank James travels to Kentucky to visit family there. On his way, he gets into a gunfight with four Union soldiers. In the gunfight, Frank killed two of the soldiers and wounded a third. The fourth escaped, but managed to shoot Frank in the left hip before he fled. Frank makes it to his relatives' home in Kentucky and heals up there.
Oct. 30, 1866---The Alexander Mitchell and Company bank in Lexington, Missouri is robbed by the James-Younger Gang. This is Jesse James's first robbery. The robbers were Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, and possibily George and Oliver Shepard, John and Dave Poole, Jesse Hamlett, Little Arch Clements, and Hedge Reynolds.
Dec. 13, 1866---Little Arch Clements is lynched for crimes committed during the Civil War.
Feb. 18, 1867---Five men dressed in Union army uniforms arrive at the James farm at Kearney, Missouri. The men are looking for Jesse and Frank James. The brothers' step-father, Rueben, says they aren't there. Frank really isn't there, but Jesse is. Jesse walks to the door the five men are at. He is carrying two loaded pistols. Rueben slams the door in the mens' faces. Jesse then fires a few shots through the door. One bullet wounds one of the five men. Jesse then flings open the door and begins firing into the group of men. Two men are seriously wounded by bullets. Another man was killed. The unwounded man and the one that was wounded first get on their horses and flee. Jesse also flees, knowing more men would come to the house looking for him.
1867---Jesse and Frank James gravitate through Kentucky and California. Cole Younger rambles around Louisiana and Texas.
Mar. 20, 1868---Seven or eight members of the James-Younger Gang rob the Nimrod Long Banking Company at Russellville, Kentucky. Nimrod Long is slightly wounded in the process as well as citizen O. C. Owens. Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, George and Oliver Shepard, Arthur McCoy, and possibly Jim White were the robbers.
1868, post Russellville robbery---Detectives D. T. (Yankee) Bligh and John Gallagher are hired to capture the members of the James-Younger Gang. Bligh and Gallagher arrested George Shepard a few days after the Russellville robbery. George was sent to prison for three years. A few days later, Oliver Shepard was shot a dozen times and killed by Bligh and Gallagher when he resisted arrest. John Jarrette was burned to death in a house fire along with his wife by unknown men a short time later.
Late 1868---Jesse and Frank James and Cole Younger visit California. Arthur McCoy takes a leave of absence from the gang.
1869---Jesse and Frank James and Cole Younger leave California. Cole goes to Texas and Jesse and Frank go to Missouri.
Dec. 7, 1869---Jesse and Frank James, and possibly Jim Anderson, rob the Daviess County Savings Association in Gallitan, Missouri. Cashier John Sheets is instantly shot and killed by Jesse and Frank, who thought he was Major S. P. Cox, the killer of Bloody Bill Anderson.
June 6, 1870---Bursheba Younger, mother of the Younger brothers, dies at her home in Jackson County, Missouri. She is buried at the Lee's Summit Cemetery.
Jan. 15, 1871---John Younger plays a prank with some friends against an elderly man in Scyene, Texas. The prank was that John was trying to shoot a pipe out of the elderly man's mouth. The next day, the elderly man tells the sheriff that John was trying to kill him. The sheriff sends Deputy Charles Nichols and James McMahon to arrest John Younger. The two find John eating breakfast in the local saloon with his friend, Tom McDaniels. John asks to finish his breakfast before being arrested. The two lawmen agree and leave the saloon. John and McDaniels then left the saloon and went to the local livery stable to get their horses. Nichols and McMahon are at the stable already. A gunfight ensues. When it's over, both Nichols and McMahon are dead at John's hands. John is wounded in the arm. Both he and McDaniels mount their horses and flee.
1871 (exact date unknown)---Clell Miller, a friend of the Jameses and Youngers, as well as a former guerrilla, joins the James-Younger Gang.
June 3, 1871---Jesse and Frank James, Cole Younger, and Clell Miller rob the Ocobock Brothers' Bank at Corydon, Iowa. For the first time, the Pinkerton Detective Agency is hired to catch the James-Younger Gang after this robbery.
Late 1871 or Early 1872 (exact date unknown)---John Younger joins the James-Younger Gang.
Apr. 29, 1872---Jesse and Frank James, Cole and John Younger, and Clell Miller rob the Bank of Columbia at Columbia, Kentucky. Jesse and Clell shoot and kill cashier R. A. C. Martin and wound citizen James Garrett in the process.
July 1872 (exact date unknown)---A Pinkerton agent named Westphall captures Clell Miller for the Corydon robbery. Clell is released on bail and never goes to trial.
Sept. 26, 1872---Jesse James and Cole and John Younger steal the money lock box at the Kansas City Exposition. A little girl is accidentally shot or stepped on by a horse by one of the robbers as they flee.
Winter of 1872-73---Jim Younger travels to Dallas, Texas, where he soon joins the police department. In February of 1873, a bank robbery occurs in the town. Simply because he is a Younger, Jim is named as a suspect, although he had nothing to do with it. Fearing he would not get a fair trial, Jim flees Dallas for Missouri.
May 27, 1873---Jesse and Frank James, Cole and John Younger, and Clell Miller rob the Ste. Genevieve Savings Bank at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
Summer of 1873---The James-Younger Gang begins planning their first train robbery. Jim Younegr rejoins the gang. Bob Younger joins the gang. Charlie Pitts and Bill Chadwell also join the gang. It's possible that Arthur McCoy and George Shepard (now out of prison for the Russellville robbery) rejoined the gang as well.
July 21, 1873---The nine to eleven members of the James-Younger Gang rob the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad at Adair, Iowa. They accidentally derail the train and kill the engineer; John Rafferty. Several other passengers are wounded in the wreck. Jim Younger soon takes a leave of absence from the gang.
Jan. 15, 1874---Five or six members of the James-Younger Gang rob a stagecoach at Hot Springs, Arkansas. The robbers were likely Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Bob, and John Younger, Clell Miller, and/or Arthur McCoy.
Jan. 31, 1874---The James-Younger Gang robs a train at Gad's Hill, Missouri. The robbers are Jesse and Frank James, Cole, John, and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, Arthur McCoy, and/or Jim Reed.
Feb. 1874 (exact date unknown)---The same members of the James-Younger Gang that robbed the train at Gad's Hill rob the Craig and Son general store of Bentonville, Arkansas of around two-hundred dollars
Mar. 10, 1874---Pinkerton agent Joseph Whicher arrives in Clay County, Missouri. He plans to go to the James farm and become acquainted with Jesse and Frank; then capture them. He is advised not to do this, but attempts it anyway. The next day, his body is discovered, shot three times. He was killed by Jesse James for sure, and two accomplices, most likely Jim Anderson, and Arthur McCoy.
Mar. 17, 1874---Jim and John Younger encounter two Pinkerton agents, Louis J. Lull and James P. Wright, as well as local lawman Edwin B. Daniels, on a road between Roscoe and Osceola, Missouri. As the two Youngers approach, Wright flees. Jim fires a shot at him with his pistol, but only succeeds in knocking off Wright's hat. Jim and John then disarm Lull and Daniels. As they interogate them about being detectives, Lull draws a small pistol from his pockett. He shoots John in the neck. John has his double barrel shotgun aimed at Lull and instinctivly fires. The buckshot catches Lull in his shoulder and arm. Lull then takes off and Daniels attempts to follow. Jim shoots and kill Daniels as he flees. John then drops his shotgun and pulls out his pistol. He chases after Lull. Lull is knocked off his horse by a low lying tree branch over the road. As Lull crawls on the ground, John spots him and fires twice with his pistol. The first shot misses, but the second hits Lull squarely in the chest. John then goes back to where Jim is, falls from his horse, and dies. Lull dies days after from his wounds. Jim is devastated and leaves the Roscoe area and goes to look for Cole and Bob Younger, who are in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The body of John Younger is buried at the home of Theodrick Snuffer, a family friend of the Youngers, where Jim and John had been staying the night before the gunfight.
Apr. 24. 1874---Jesse James marries Zerelda (Zee) Mimms. Lawmen interupt the ceremony, but Jesse manages to avoid them. The newly-wed couple leaves for their honeymoon shortly after, which is in Texas.
Apr./May 1874 (exact date unknown)---The James-Younger Gang robs a stagecoach near Austin, Texas. The robbers were Jesse James and Bob Younger, with around three more accomplices, probably Bill Chadwell, Clell Miller, and Charlie Pitts.
Spring of 1874---Bob Younger, devasted over his brother John's death, travels to Texas. He encounters Jesse James there on his honeymoon and the two bond and become best-friends.
June 6, 1874---Frank James elopes with Annie Ralston.
Dec. 8, 1874---The James-Younger Gang robs the Kansas Pacific Railroad at Muncie, Kansas. The robbers are Jesse and Frank James, Cole and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, and Bud McDaniels.
Dec. 11 (approximately), 1874---Bud McDaniels is arrested in Kansas City for participation in the Muncie robbery. He escapes from jail that night. As he runs through a farmer's field, the farmer shoots and kills him with a shotgun.
Jan. 26, 1875---A group of Pinkerton agents travel to the James farm in Kearney. Late at night, they through some kind of bomb through the window. The bomb lands in the fireplace and explodes. Jesse and Frank James's 8 year old half-brother, Archie, is killed by a piece of shrapnel. Their mother Zerelda gets a lot of shrapnel in her right arm, which later has to be amputated. Neither Jesse nor Frank were at the farm that night. Shortly afterwards, a grand jury endicts eight Pinkerton agents for murder. Not one ever faced a trial.
Mar. 17, 1875---An Amnesty Bill is proposed to members of the James-Younger Gang.
Apr. 12, 1875---Jesse and Frank James and Clell Miller shoot and kill Daniel Askew, a local farmer who helped the Pinkertons. The Amnesty Bill is revoked due to this.
Late Apr. 1875 (exact date unknown)---Members of the James-Younger Gang shoot and kill Pinkerton agent Jack Ladd, one of the agents who participated in the James-Samuel house bombing.
Aug. 31, 1875---Zee James gives birth to Jesse Edwards James, Jesse and Zee's first child.
Fall of 1875---Tom McDaniels and Tom Webb (AKA Jack Keene) join the James-Younger Gang.
Sept. 5, 1875---The James-Younger Gang robs a bank at Huntington, West Virginia. The robbers were Frank James, Cole Younger, Tom Webb, and Tom McDaniels. A posse pursues the gang and later that day, a member of the posse spots the gang. This member shoots at the gang. They later discover that McDaniels was hit by the posse member's bullet and was mortally wounded. He dies shortly thereafter.
Sept. 10, 1875 (approximately)---Tom Webb is captured by a posse in Tennessee.
Apr. 19, 1876---Bill Chadwell and Charlie Pitts rob a bank at Baxter Springs, Kansas. It is very possible that the Jameses and Cole masterminded this robbery and just sent Bill and Charlie to actually pull it off.
Spring 1876---Jesse James, Bob Younger, and Bill Chadwell begin planning a robbery in Minnesota. Frank James, Cole and Jim Younger, Clell Miller, and Charlie Pitts all disagree with Jesse, Bob, and Bill in their proposition to go to Minnesota. Cole and Jim fight with Bob about going to Minnesota. Bob tells them he is going no matter what. Cole and Jim feel they have no choice but to go to Minnesota to protect their younger brother. Eventually, Frank, Charlie, and Clell also reluctantly agree to go to Minnesota. Bill is going to be the gang's guide in Minnesota, since he was born and raised there.
July 7, 1876---The James-Younger Gang robs the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Otterville, Missouri, in order to finance their trip to Minnesota. A man named Hobbs Kerry joined the gang before this and participated in the robbery. Kerry is supposed to go to Minnesota, too. Jim Younger did not participate in this robbery. Click Here to Move Onto the Second Timeline Page