The James-Younger Gang – Terror in the Heartland

James-Younger Gang

The James-Younger Gang – Left to right: Cole” Younger, Jesse Woodson James, Bob Younger, and Frank James.

Inside the bank, the three outlaws demanded that the vault be opened and the money surrendered. However, Joseph Lee Heywood, the bank clerk on duty, refused to do so and was shot and killed. Hearing shots, Northfield citizens realized that a robbery was in progress and, taking up arms, began to shoot at those outside, killing Miller and Chadwell and hitting Cole Younger in the thigh. In the meantime, Jesse, Frank and Bob Younger fled from the bank, and Bob was shot in the right elbow. Returning the fire, the gang killed Nicholas Gustavson, a Swedish man who was caught in the crossfire.

The surviving gang members then took off and were quickly pursued by posses. Near Mankato, the gang split up with the Younger brothers and Charlie Pitts going one way and the James brothers, another. After covering some 400 miles in the search for the outlaws, the posse caught up with the Younger’s near Madelia, Minnesota on September 21, 1876 and after a gunfight erupted, Charlie Pitts was killed and the Younger brothers further wounded. Finally, they surrendered.

Tried in Faribault, Minnesota, they were found guilty of murder and sentenced to 25 years in the state prison at Stillwater. Bob Younger died in prison in 1889; Jim was pardoned in 1901 but committed suicide the following year; and Cole, who was also pardoned in 1901, lived until 1916.

In the meantime the James brothers had escaped and made their way back to Missouri. They then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they lived peacefully for the next three years. However, the restless Jesse began a new gang in 1879 and renewed his criminal career leading the James Gang. Until his death in 1882, the outlaws again robbed banks, trains and stagecoaches.

Throughout the successful years of the James-Younger Gang, the main members were:

Alexander Franklin James (1843-1915) – Died of a heart attack on February 18, 1915.

Jesse Woodson James (1847-1882) – Murdered by James Gang member Robert Ford on April 3, 1882.

McClelland “Clell” Miller (1850-1876) – He was killed during the Northfield, Minnesota bank robbery on September 7, 1876.

Jim Younger

Jim Younger death photo

James “Jim” Younger (1848-1902) – After serving 25 years in prison for the Northfield, Minnesota attempted robbery, he was released  in 1901 and killed himself on October 19, 1902.

John Harrison Younger (1851-1874) – Killed in a shoot-out with Pinkerton Agents near Roscoe, Missouri on March 17, 1874.

Thomas Coleman “Cole” Younger (1844-1916) – After serving 25 years in prison for the Northfield, Minnesota attempted robbery, he was released and died on March 21, 1916.

Robert “Bob” Ewing Younger (1853-1889) – After the failed robbery attempt in Northfield, Minnesota he was sent to prison and died there of tuberculosis on September 16, 1889.

Other members:

James “Jim” Anderson – Brother to William “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Jim was thought to have been killed by fellow James-Younger Gang member, George Shepherd in Austin, Texas.

Bill Chadwell

Bill Chadwell death photo

Bill Chadwell, aka: William Stiles, Jack Ladd, J. Ward (1840s-1876) – Killed in the attempted bank robbery at Northfield, Minnesota on September 7, 1876.

Archibald J. “Little Archie” Clement (1846-1866) – A federal guerilla under William “Bloody Bill” Anderson in the Civil War, he later was the first leader of the James-Younger Gang. He was killed by Missouri State Militia on December 13, 1866.

Jacob Franklin Gregg (1844-1906) –  He was with the gang in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri. Later moved to Texas, where he died in 1906.

John Jarrette (1836-1868? or 1906?) – After participating in five bank robberies, he is thought to have died in a house fire in 1868. More recently however strong proof surfaced that he actually died in Greenwood,  British Columbia, Canada, where the Greenwood Heritage Society recently unveiled a new grave marker for the elusive outlaw.

Hobbs Kerry –  Participated only in the Otterville, Missouri train robbery and spent two years in prison.

Arthur C. McCoy (1825-1880?) – After participating in several robberies and killing a Pinkerton agent, he moved his family to Texas where he was thought to have died in 1880.

Redmond “Red” Munkirs (or Munkers) (1845-1867) –  He was with the gang in their first robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri. Shot and killed by the Missouri State Militia on May 18, 1867.

Allen H. Parmer (1848-1927) – Rode with William Quantrill during the Civil War and afterward was allegedly present during the robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri on February 13, 1866. Later married Susan Lavinia James, sister of Frank and Jesse James and moved to Texas, where he died on October 25, 1927.

Alexander Doniphan “Donnie” Pence (1847-1896) Rode with William Quantrill during the Civil War and allegedly participated in the Liberty, Missouri Bank Robbery in 1866. He later became a respected sheriff in nelson County, Kentucky and died of typhoid fever in 1896.

Bud Pence

Bud Pence

Thomas Edward “Bud” Pence (1842-1880) – Rode with William Quantrill during the Civil War and allegedly participated in the Liberty, Missouri Bank Robbery in 1866. He died in 1880.

Charles “Charlie” Pitts – He was killed after the failed robbery of the Northfield, Minnesota bank on September 7, 1876.

George Washington Shepherd (1842-1917) – He served three years in prison for the Bank of Columbia robbery in Kentucky in 1872.

Oliver Shepherd (1842-1868) – He was killed by a posse in Jackson County, Missouri on April 4, 1868.

Charles Fletcher Taylor (1842?-1912) – Rode with William Quantrill during the Civil War and allegedly participated in the Liberty, Missouri Bank Robbery in 1866. He was later elected to the State Legislature and died in 1912.

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