Sometimes, these entries are pretty quick affairs, which is the case for today’s entry. Most of these involve day trips across state lines, and are usually strategically grouped together so I can maximize my time. This one was basically akin to a detour on my way home from and errand, which is cool for this series. Last week, I was attending a model building club meeting recently at a local anime store, and realized I was pretty close to a Cemetery with a fairly famous person buried inside. In a small plot in the corner of the lot, there is a old stone wall and fence surrounding a small row of graves. You can tell this goes largely unseen by most, but the plot is the home for the remains of none other than Frank James, legendary outlaw, and brother to Jesse James.
Frank James Gravesite; Independence, Missouri
“During his years as a bandit, James was involved in at least four robberies between 1868 and 1876 that resulted in the deaths of bank employees or citizens. The most famous incident was the disastrous Northfield, Minnesota, raid on September 7, 1876, that ended with the death or capture of most of the gang.
Five months after the killing of his brother Jesse in 1882, Frank James boarded a train to Jefferson City, Missouri, where he had an appointment with the governor in the state capitol. Placing his holster in Governor Crittenden’s hands, he explained:
‘I have been hunted for twenty-one years, have literally lived in the saddle, have never known a day of perfect peace. It was one long, anxious, inexorable, eternal vigil.’ He then ended his statement by saying, ‘Governor, I haven’t let another man touch my gun since 1861.’
Accounts say that James surrendered with the understanding that he would not be extradited to Northfield, Minnesota”
I actually have a different book I am planning on reading soon, but as of this moment I am going to reference a book I recently read from Netgalley called Outlaws of the Wild West (2021) Click there for a link to my review. I’m sure there are better books out there, but it was an interesting look at some of the more notorious Outlaws of the Wild West. Another book that discusses Frank, is Lockdown: Outlaws, Lawmen & Frontier Justice in Jackson County Missouri, which discusses James’ short stay in The Jackson County Jail.
Not much to say other than, it’s real easy to fins, and right in the middle of Independence, MO. I don’t live too far from here, so I don’t have a big travel story for this one.
There’s not a lot to say about this other than it’s surprising that such a famous person, obviously overshadowed by his brother, is buried in such an innocuous place as a random cemetery in Independence, MO. Aside from the obvious sites in Kearney, Missouri related to the family farm, and final resting place for Jesse, This area is a hotbed for sites related to the James Gang. There is a section in the 1859 Jail in Independence, and a Bank Robbery Museum in Liberty I have yet to make an entry on. If you are a fan of Missouri Outlaws, this is definitely a good area to look around in. Stay tuned for more!
This article is part of my summer series History Boy Summer, which you can keep up with by following this LINK.