(1852-1901) – James Andrew Liddel was born to Milton and Elizabeth Liddil in Jackson County, Missouri on September 15, 1852.
In the mid 1870s he did a stint in prison in Mt. Vernon County, Missouri for stealing horses. After he was released he joined up with the James Gang and participated in the Glendale, Missouri train robbery in October, 1879 that netted the bandits some $6,000. In July, 1881, he was with the gang when they robbed the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad in Gallatin, Missouri. Just two months later, on September 7, 1881, the bandits hit Glendale again, this time taking some $15,000 of the train.
In December, 1881, Liddel argued with Wood Hite over the attention of the attractive widow, Martha Bolton, the sister of Robert and Charlie Ford. When the disagreement escalated, Robert Ford sided with Liddel and Hite was shot and killed.
Liddel turned himself in for the killing and Ford was arrested. To save themselves, Liddel spilled the beans regarding everything he knew of the James Gang’s robberies. Ford also made a deal to bring down Jesse James, which he did on April 3, 1882. Later, Liddel would turn states evidence against Frank James but Frank was acquitted in August, 1883. Liddel died in Kentucky on July 13, 1901.
By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, August, 2017.