Pence Brothers and the James-Younger Gang

 

The Pence brothers — Donnie and Bud rode with William Quantrill during the Civil War and allegedly participated in the Liberty, Missouri Bank Robbery with the  James-Younger Gang in 1866.

Donnie Pence

Donnie Pence

Alexander Doniphan “Donnie” Pence (1847-1896) – Born on August 15, 1847, in Clay County, Missouri to Adam and Ann Pence, he was the younger of Bud Pence and had at least 8 other siblings. Bud and Donnie grew up as neighbors to Frank and Jesse James and because of their proximity in ages, became fast friends with the James brothers. Both Frank James and Bud Pence joined up with Quantrill’s Raiders in 1863, and Donnie and Jesse James followed in their footsteps about six months later. After the war, both Bud and Donnie made their way to Nelson County, Kentucky but soon joined up with the James-Younger Gang and were involved in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Bank in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. Both he and his brother bud were identified as participants in the robbery, and quickly fled back to Kentucky. Though Missouri authorities tried to extradite his brother Bud back to Missouri, Bud escaped from jail. Donnie married Sarah Isabel Samuels on November 10, 1870, and lived at the Samuels Depot in Nelson County, Kentucky. By this time, Donnie had gone “straight,” and in 1871 became a respected sheriff, a position he held for more than two decades. He died of typhoid pneumonia on February 25, 1896, and was buried at Stoner’s Chapel Cemetery in Nelson County, Kentucky.

Thomas Edward “Bud” Pence (1842-1880) – Born on November 28, 1842, in Clay County, Missouri to Adam and Ann Pence, he was the older brother to Donnie Pence and had at least 8 other siblings. Bud and Donnie grew up as neighbors to Frank and Jesse James and because of their proximity in ages, became fast friends with the James brothers. Pence joined up with Quantrill’s Raiders in 1863, shortly after his boyhood friend, Frank James. After the war, Bud moved to Nelson County, Kentucky, but soon joined up with the James-Younger Gang and was involved in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Bank in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. Both he and his brother Donnie were identified as participants in the robbery, and quickly fled back to Kentucky. Missouri authorities quickly sent a notice and Bud was arrested and jailed. After extradition proceedings, a Missouri deputy traveled to Kentucky to transport him back to Missouri, but Pence had escaped, probably with the help of sympathetic local authorities. On December 1, 1867, he married Mary Rachel Samuels and by 1880, were living with Mary’s widowed mother in Nelson County, Kentucky. He died of unknown causes on September 15, 1880.

Also See:

Adventures of the Old West

James-Younger Gang

Outlaws on the Frontier

Outlaw & Scoundrel Photo Galleries