No one can truly say what it is about the James boys that makes them stand out so much, but nearly everybody knows the name if not the deeds. Guess that's what it means to be a legend.
Jesse James was larger than life—so much that his body required two graves.
Few outlaws were as notorious during their own lifetimes as Jesse James. Though he lived a quiet existence in Kearney, Missouri, after his bank robbing days were over, old friends—and enemies—never forgot him. After Jesse was murdered, he was buried in the front yard of his farm to thwart grave robbers. As the years passed and his enemies died off, he was reinterred in a Kearney cemetery by his family. So who’s that lying in the Jesse James grave in Granbury, Texas? A man named J. Frank Dalton who came forward around 1948, at age 101, claiming he was the “real” Jesse James. A court even allowed him to legally adopt the bandit’s name. No one knows why Dalton made this claim or if he ever had any link to Jesse James, although there is a very small chance he was the youngest member of the Dalton gang James rode with in the bank raid of Northfield, Minnesota. Regardless, mitochondrial DNA showed decades later that James is indeed buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney—but his legend also lives on in Granbury.
I wonder if it really matters just where these folks are buried or how they died. The main thing to most people is that the memory of Jesse James is alive and well in their minds, right? Everyone needs a hero or legend, I reckon.
Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Hot oven fresh cinnamon rolls are available, OK?