Stories of Jesse James
The Wife of Jesse James
At the Chamber of Commerce booth in
Pineville, Mr. William Jesse James Ralston of Brilliant, Ohio, gave the
"Zelda (sometimes called Zee, for Zerelda), was
found, when a little girl, by General Ralston after an Indian
massacre. He took her to his home and raised her as his own
daughter. She was his adopted child. But Anna, the wife of
Frank James, was the real child of Col. Samuel Ralston.
"I was named after Jesse James and my full name is
William Jesse James Ralston, but I seldom use the whole title.
Zelda was a fourth cousin to me."
Jesse James Still Alive?
Among the claimants who contend that they are
the original Jesse James in person, is one old fellow of Chattanooga,
Tenn., about 94 years old, whose story and photo recently appeared in
"Life" magazine. He has legal documents to present, and states
that it was a case of "clothes swapping" when Jesse was supposed to
have been shot by Ford, thus giving the law release from further
criticism, as well as giving Jesse a new lease on life, and a financial
reward to be split up.
As the years roll by, there are fewer persons who
claim to be Jesse James, perhaps the Chattanooga man is the last, but
since the real Jesse James was killed, several have impersonated
him. Even were it true that Jesse James was not killed, there
must have been some imposters.
The Samuels' Home
A lady from Neosho stated she talked with the
niece of Jesse James (by marriage), who informed her that the little
log house (the Samuels' home), had almost fallen down but sightseers
were paying 50 cents to see it. The fireplace was still there,
into which Jesse's mother kicked the bomb which exploded and tore off
her hand and killed the little boy also.
"She had been back in the room of the house, and
heard a noise, which upon investigation proved to be a gunny sack lying
there upon the floor smoking. Thinking the authorities were
intent on merely burning her out, as they had threatened to do, she
tried to hurl the bag out of the way, when the bomb inside exploded,
killing the baby instantly. Mrs. Samuels (Jesse's mother) was in
the hospital about six months on account of blood poisoning resulting
from this wounding of her hand and arm.
C. W. Whitaker and son of Oelwein, Iowa, Mr. and
Mrs. Jess Whitaker and family of Glencoe, Mrs. Edith Scrimsher and
daughter, Nowata, Oklahoma, and Chester Whitaker, Anthony, Kansas, were
all called here by the death of their father, Daniel Whitaker.