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Winston, Missouri Train Robbery

July 15, 1881---A train belonging to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad departed from Winston, Missouri on this date. As the train began to move along, Jesse and Frank James (who had finally been talked into joining the gang by Jesse) and Wood Hite jumped on board into one of the passenger cars. Meanwhile, fellow gang members Dick Liddil and Clarence Hite jumped into the express car. In the passenger car stood conductor William Westfall, whom the James brothers believed was in charge of the train that brought some Pinkerton agents to their mother's house back in 1875 the night that their little brother was killed. Westfall had his back turned to the outlaws, and instantly Jesse shot him in the back without warning. Westfall fell to the ground and Jesse ran up to him, then fired another shot into Westfall's head, killing him. One of the passengers, Frank McMillan somehow got involved, possibly trying to stop Jesse from shooting Westfall, and was in turn shot and killed by Frank. Back in the express car, Liddil and Clarence Hite ordered the express agent to open the safe. The agent did so and the bandits gathered the money inside into a grain sack. They then knocked the agent unconscious with their pistol butts out of frustration when discovering the amount of money wasn't nearly as much as had been expected. Liddil and Clarence then met up with the other three bandits in the passenger car and Frank had the engineer slam on the brakes. After this, the five bandits jumped off the train and ran to some nearby woods, where they had previously positioned their horses. They rode away, and later divided the loot. That night, a posse left the town of Gallitan with hopes of catching the outlaws. However, they did not. Once again, the outlaws had escaped.


Amount of Money Stolen

Citizens Killed/Wounded