Florence Martin wrote from her home in St. Joseph, Mo. She wanted me to know that in the 1870s her grandfather, who farmed near Villisca, was visited by the Jesse James gang. There were four of them, she said, traveling light and riding hard. They wanted food and water and offered to pay.
There are other similar accounts. I was once told that Jesse and cohorts put up for the night in my great-grandfather’s barn near Elliott. Chances are, if you had ancestors in the area during Jesse’s robbing years a