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 following item:
    "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.