Jesse W. James Timeline
Betty Dorsett Duke © Copyrighted 2011
Due to the eBay photograph of the James family providing visual proof that Jesse Woodson James got away with his own murder, the following chronicle is the most accurate one currently available. This author has relied heavily on primary source “first hand” evidence including documents, personal diaries and photographs, instead of secondary literature offering second or third hand information.
Arthur Schopenhauer’s quote has proved to be true in the case of Jesse James: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” The truth about Jesse James was first published in Texas Monthly magazine’s August 1997 issue and since that time it has been ridiculed and violently opposed, but, thanks to the recently discovered eBay photograph of the James family and the 1921 Quantrill Reunion photograph, it has now become self-evident.
1843- Alexander Franklin “Frank” James born to Rev. Robert Sallee James and Zerelda Cole in Clay County, Missouri.
-1846 31 OCT – The real James L. Courtney born in Washington, Tennessee to Stephen Courtney and Dianah D. Andruss.
-1847 5 SEP- Jesse Woodson James born to Robert Sallee James, an ordained Baptist preacher, and Zerelda Cole on the family farm in Kearney, Clay County, Missouri.
-1850 18 AUG or SEP – Rev. Robert Sallee James reportedly dies in a mining camp called Rough and Ready, (since renamed Placerville) California, and is hastily buried in an unmarked grave.
-1850- Jesse James is living with his parents, Rev. Robert Sallee James and Zerelda Cole James, in Kearney, Clay County, Missouri.
-1850- Robert Sallee James goes to the gold fields of California with a group of his parishioners.
-1850 – Wood Hite, Frank and Jesse James’ paternal first cousin, born in Logan County, Missouri to George B. Hite and Nancy G. James.
-1850 25 NOV- Susan Lavinia James born to Robert Sallee James and Zerelda Cole.
-1850 14 DEC – The real James L. Courtney, four-years-old, is not listed on census records for the household of his parents, Stephen and Dianah Courtney, in Johnson County, Missouri.
-1852 30 SEP – Zerelda Cole James marries Benjamin Simms.
-1854 2 JAN – Benjamin Simms killed in a horse accident.
-1855 25 SEP- Zerelda Cole James Simms marries Dr. Reuben Samuel.
-1858 26 DEC – Sarah Louisa Samuel, Frank and Jesse James’ half-sister, born to Dr. Reuben Samuel and Zerelda Cole James Simms Samuel.
-1860 – James L. Courtney, age 14, lives in the household of his parents Stephen and Dianah D. Andruss Courtney in Johnson County, Warrensburg, Missouri.
-1860 – Jesse W. James lives on the family farm in Clay County, Missouri.
-1861 4 MAY – Frank James joins the Confederate Army.
-1861 26 SEP – Clarence B. Hite (Wood Hite’s brother) born in Logan County, Kentucky to George B. Hite and Nancy G. James.
-1861 25 DEC – John Thomas Samuel, Frank and Jesse’s half-brother, born to Dr. Reuben Samuel and Zerelda Cole James Simms Samuel.
-1862 FALL – Frank James joins Quantrill’s Confederate Partisan Rangers (guerrillas).
-1862 17 DEC – (Union) Brigadier General Ben Loan, Missouri State, writes to [Union] General Clinton B. Fisk stating, “Messrs. Newland and Courtney are notoriously disloyal.” (Again, Stephen Courtney was the real James L. Courtney’s father.)
-1863 – Jesse James joins Quantrill’s guerrillas serving under Chief Lieutenant William T. Anderson.
-1863 27 JAN – (Union) General Ben Loan writes to [Union} Major General Samuel R. Curtis explaining his actions concerning persons claiming to be loyal Unionist, but whom were suspected of being disloyal due to buying and selling of livestock in association with Quantrill. Stephen Courtney is among the men accused of this activity.
-1863 18 JUL – Stephen Courtney is imprisoned in Myrtle Street Prison For Citizens, Confederates, Bushwhackers and Guerrillas in St. Louis, Missouri.
-1863 28 JUL – Stephen Courtney is released after he took the “O & B” (Loyalty Oath and Bond and posted a $5,000 bond.
-1863 SUMMER – A regiment of Union militia hangs Dr. Reuben Samuel causing permanent brain damage, severely beats Jesse, and roughs up his mother because they won’t reveal Frank’s whereabouts.
-1863 18 AUG – Makeshift jail in Kansas City collapses injuring and killing young girls and women related to noted Quantrill guerrillas. The females were jailed there after being arrested as spies. Some claim the building was purposely undermined.
-1863 21 AUG – Quantrill’s raid against Lawrence, Kansas.
-1863 25 AUG – (Union) General Thomas Ewing, Jr., commander of the District of the Border, with headquarters at Kansas City, issues Order No. 11.
-1863 Mid-October – Quantrill and his men, including Jesse James, cross the Red River at Colbert’s Ferry for winter camp.
-1863 18 OCT – Fannie Quantrell Samuel, Frank and Jesse James’ half-sister, born to Dr. Reuben Samuel and Zerelda Cole James Simms Samuel.
-1863 20 DEC – Stephen Courtney testifies regarding “Officers who are too hard on rebels put under arrest and their commands disabled.”
– 1864 – While with William T. Anderson’s company on the way to Howard County, Missouri, Jesse James is reportedly shot in the right lung by an old German Unionist named Heisinger.
-1864 4 JAN – Stephen Courtney signs papers necessary for his son, the real James L. Courtney, to join the Union Army at Warrensburg, Missouri as a bugler.
-1864 8 MAR – Statement from Stephen Courtney to Gen. Rosecrans relating he was arrested, brought to St. Louis, released on parole and without trial, made to give $5000 bonds, mostly illegible.
-1864 27 SEP – Jesse James kills Maj. A. V. E. Johnson at the Centralia Massacre in Centralia, Boone Co., Missouri.
– 1864 01 NOV – Stephen Courtney is arrested for purchasing stolen property from soldiers in Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri.
– Early 1865 – Union authorities banish the James/Samuel family from their Missouri home.
-1865 APR – The Civil War officially ends.
– 1865- Census for Miami County, Kansas lists the real James L. Courtney, age 18, born in Tennessee; 12 months service in militia and living in the household of his parents, Stephen and Dianah Courtney.
-1865 15 FEB – Jesse James is again shot through the right lung by a detachment of Federals belonging to the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry while coming in to surrender. Dr. Reuben Samuel treated him in Rulo, Nebraska.
-1865 18 April- The Drake Constitution is adopted and enforced for ten years.
-1865 – Post Civil War – Jesse James, Quantrill and some of their comrades, are seen in Sherman, Grayson County, Texas.
-1865 – Post Civil War – Gen. J. O. Shelby spurns the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Voluntarily exiling he and 500 of his troops, he marches through Texas following what is now known as I-35 passing through Waco, Austin, San Antonio, on their way to Mexico to join Emperor Maximilian.
– 1865 AUG – Dr. Samuel and Zerelda return to their Clay County, Missouri farm.
– After the 1865 Census – The real James L. Courtney’s parents, (not to be confused as being Jesse James and his parents), Stephen and Dianah Courtney, move from Miami County, Kansas and permanently change their surname to Haun, with the exception of Stephen who changes his full name to Andrew Jackson Haun.
– 1866 13 FEB – A group of men rob the Clay County Savings Association of Liberty, Missouri. Frank James, Jesse James, Oll Shepherd, Bud Pence, Donny Pence, Frank Gregg, James Wilkerson, Joab Perry, Bill Wilkerson, Red Monkus, and Ben Cooper are named as suspects. They later became known as The James Gang.
-1866 26 JUL – Archie Peyton Samuel, Frank and Jesse James’ half-brother, born to Dr. Reuben Samuel and Zerelda Cole James Simms Samuel.
– 1866 30 OCT – The James Gang reportedly robs the Alexander Mitchell and Co. Bank of Lexington, Missouri.
– 1867 2 MAR – The James Gang reportedly robs the Judge John McClain Banking House of Savannah, Missouri.
– 1867 22 MAY – The James Gang reportedly robs the Hughes and Wasson Bank of Richmond, Missouri.
-1868 20 MAR – The Nimrod Long Banking Company of Russellville, Kentucky is reportedly robbed by the James Gang.
-1869 7 DEC – The Daviess County Savings Bank of Gallatin, Missouri bank is reportedly robbed by the James Gang.
-1870 – Frank and Jesse James disappear from Kearney, Missouri.
– 1871- The real James L. Courtney, now known as James Haun, appears to have married Susan Elizabeth Eubanks in Illinois. On the original marriage license, which is pictured on the following page, James Taylor Haun stated that he was a native of Washington, TN…just as the man believed to be the real James L. Courtney’s Certificate of War records states.
– 1870’s – Decatur, Wise County, Texas – Frank and Jesse James camp near the Dan Waggoner ranch.
-1871 FEB – Jesse James AKA James Courtney left Chilhowie, Missouri in February 1871. He and a group of his friends head north for Iowa, and then to Nebraska before heading to Texas.
-1871 FEB – Jesse James AKA James Courtney left Chilhowie, Missouri in February 1871. He and a group of his friends ride north for Iowa, and then to Nebraska before heading to Texas.
This man may have been the real James L. Courtney – he is pictured with his wife Susan Eubanks. He was known as James L. Haun (or possibly T,) in 1880, James Haun in 1900, Taylor S. Haun in 1910 and John T. Haun in 1920 while living in the same house in Meeker, Oklahoma. Judging from all of those aliases he was definitely hiding something. Although much shorter, he bears a resemblance to Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney, which is understandable since the real James L. Courtney AKA James Haun and Jesse James were cousins.
-1871 3 JUN- Jesse James, Frank James, Cole Younger, Jim Cummins, and Clell Miller rob the Ocobock Bank in Corydon, Iowa.
– 1871 28 JUN – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney purchases a blank diary in Decatur, Wise County, Texas. He signs it “J. James”, “JWJ” and “James L. Courtney”. He also mentions cattle barons Dan Waggoner, Burk Burnett, and John and Bill Hittson.
– 1871 4 JUL – Jesse James AKA James Courtney in Ft. Worth, Texas and parts ways with some of his traveling companions.
– 1871 7 JUL – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney’s future father-in-law, Thomas Hudson Barron, an early day Texas Ranger, meets him at a prearranged place near Ft. Worth, Texas.
-1871 8 JUL – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney made camp and then cautiously moves it to another spot after dark.
– 1871 24 JUL – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney and Thomas Hudson Barron arrive at Barron’s ranch in Buttermilk (since renamed Blevins), Texas.
-1871 12 & 13 AUG – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney goes hunting with Bud Singleton, a member of the James Gang.
-1871 31 OCT – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney marries Mary “Ellen” Barron.
-1872- Clay County (Missouri) Deputy Sheriff Oscar Thomason, son of Deputy Sheriff Captain John Thomason, meets Frank and Jesse James in Texas. Jesse pays Oscar $50 for the horse he shot out from under his father sometime after the Gallatin bank robbery on Dec. 7, 1869.
-1872 28 JAN – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney enters in his diary that “Theodore Courtney AKA Theodore Haun was his “cosen” [cousin].”
-1872 4 FEB – Jesse James AKA. James L. Courtney writes in his diary “…i chilled on Saturday nite” (meaning he had fever).
– 1872 20 APR – The Bank of Columbia of Columbia, Kentucky is reportedly robbed by the James Gang.
-1872 16 AUG- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney enters in his diary that he and Ellen’s first child was born – a daughter named Mary.
-1872 28 AUG – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney writes in his diary about his horse “Copperhead”.
-1872 26 SEP – The James Gang reportedly robs the Kansas City, Missouri Exposition ticket office.
– 1873 – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney makes no diary entries.
-1873 21 JUL – The James Gang, which includes a Robert Moore on this date, reportedly robs their first train near Adair, Iowa.
A Robert Moore is mentioned in Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney’s diary.
-1873 27 MAY- The James Gang reportedly robbed the St. Genevieve Savings Bank of St. Genevieve, Missouri.
-1874 5, 6, 7 JAN – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney is on the steamboat Emila LaBarge in Louisiana going to meet Bud. He and Jim Snodgrass spend the night at G. Fontenot’s where Bud had recently spent the night. Cole Younger’s nickname is Bud and he is in Louisiana at this time. G. Fontenot rides with the James Gang.
-1874 8 JAN – The James Gang is credited with robbing a stagecoach between Monroe and Shreveport, Louisiana.
-1874 8 JAN – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney is on a stagecoach between Monroe and Shreveport, Louisiana with Jim Cummins AKA Jim Clark AKA Jim Snodgrass. Jim Cummins is a Quantrill veteran and rides with the James Gang.
-1874 15 JAN – The James Gang reportedly robbed a stagecoach of cash and jewels near Hot Springs, Arkansas.
-1874 30 JAN – The James Gang reportedly robs a Louisiana steamboat at Port Jefferson.
-1874 30 JAN – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney is at home.
-1874 31 JAN – The James Gang reportedly robs a train at Gad’s Hill, Missouri.
-1874 22 FEB – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney enters in his diary that Bill Wilkerson is with him and the rest of the Barron family at Thomas Hudson Barron’s death bed at Mastersville, now known as Bruceville-Eddy (located close to Blevins, Texas). Bill Wilkerson rides with the James Gang.
-1874 22 MAR- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney purchases a 160-acre tract of land from his father-in-law’s (Capt. Thomas Hudson Barron) estate paying for it with “Eight-hundred (gold) dollars.”
-1874 10 MAR – Pinkerton Detective John Whicher sent to capture Frank and Jesse James at the James farm. Before going to the farm he lodged at a boarding house in Liberty owned by W. J. Courtney, former Sheriff of Clay County, Missouri, who served the detective his last meal on earth. Det. Whicher’s body was found the next day. He was unaware that W. J. Courtney was a friend, neighbor and relative of the James/Samuel family.
-1874 MAR, APR & May – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney makes no diary entries.
– 1874 APR – Several stagecoaches are robbed between San Antonio, Texas and Austin, Texas, with at least one credited to a five member James Gang. Several of these robberies happen along the Chisholm Trail a portion of which is now called Interstate -35 (I-35).
Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney lives about seven miles east of I-35 in Blevins, Texas.
– 1874 APR – Jesse James reportedly robbed the Shady Villa Inn, (now called The Stagecoach Inn) which is located at Salado, Texas on the same portion of the I-35 corridor mentioned above.
Salado is approximately 28 miles south of where Jesse James AKA James Courtney lived in Blevins, Texas
-1874 24 APR – Jesse James purportedly marries his first cousin Zee Mimms.
-1874 18 JUL – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney mentions in his diary a man and a mule named Buck. Frank James’ nickname is “Buck”.
-1874 20 & 25 AUG – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney enters in his diary the names of two of his horses – John and Reb.
-1874 30 AUG – Second child, a girl named Louisa Ellen, born to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney.
-1874 25 OCT – Jesse James AKA James Courtney mentions Little Rock, Arkansas in his diary.
– 1874 23 DEC – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney makes his last diary entry for the year.
-1875 26 JAN – Eight year-old Archie Peyton Samuel, (Frank and Jesse James’ half-brother), was killed by a Pinkerton bomb. Their mother lost the lower portion of one of her arms in this tragedy.
-1875 12 APR – Jesse James, Frank James, and Clell Miller, reportedly shoot Daniel Askew dead. Mr. Askew, a Clay County, Missouri farmer lived near the James farm and helped the Pinkerton’s by spying on the James/Samuel family.
– 1875 – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney makes no diary entries this entire year, and he did not make another entry until July 5, 1876. However, thanks to the eBay photograph of the James family, it is now known that Frank and Annie James’ wedding took place at Blevins, Texas sometime this year after his mother’s arm was amputated.
-1875 1 SEP – The James Gang reportedly robs the Huntington Bank in Huntington, West Virginia. Thompson “Tom” McDaniel, a member of the gang, is purportedly shot dead during this robbery.
-1876 5 MAR – The James Gang reportedly bury 2 million in gold in the Wichita Mountains near Lawton, Oklahoma. As a testament to those entitled to a share, they scratch their names on a copper bucket, often referred to as a brass bucket, and Frank and Jesse James bury it.
Some of the surnames etched on the bucket are mentioned in Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney’s diary including Buck (Frank James), Coal/Cole, James, Jones, Miller, Buss/Busse, and Smith.
-1876 07 SEP – The James Gang reportedly robs the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota.
– 1876 07 SEP – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney is at home in Blevins, Texas. This is his first diary entry for the month.
– 1876 – The Sheriff of Clay County, Missouri reports on a wanted poster that Frank James had knee surgery at Waco, Texas following the Northfield bank robbery. He states that Cole Younger rides with the Texas Rangers and knows men in Waco, Texas. Author Carl Breihan wrote: “When Frank James was wounded [at Northfield] they came as far as Waco by train, then Jesse put Frank in a wagon or carriage and left for the ranch.”
Jesse James AKA James Courtney lives about 20 miles south of Waco.
– 1876 6 OCT – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney enters in his diary that he saw Tom McDaniel on the road to Waco, Texas: “We seen mcdanal on the road and we went to Waco and Tom he boried (illegible) dollars.” (Tom McDaniel was a member of the James Gang.)
-1877 10 MAR – Jesse James reportedly writes a letter to an unknown person about cattle asking them to tell Sam to come to Honey Grove, Texas. One of Jesse James’ relatives, Benjamin Patrick Woodson, (a lawyer) lives in Honey Grove, Texas. He once defended a man accused of murder in the small community of Blevins, Falls County, Texas.
– 1877- Summer – Jesse James, along with his wife and son, purportedly rent a house in Humphreys County, Tennessee under the aliases of Mr. and Mrs. John Davis Howard.
-1877 2 DEC- Third child born Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney and Mary Ellen Barron –a daughter named Lillie Jane. This birth took place in Blevins, Texas.
– 1878 FEB – The wife of John Davis Howard gives birth to twin boys named Gould and Montgomery in Tennessee, both of whom die within days of being born.
– 1879 – Jesse James reportedly forms a new gang including Bill Ryan, Liddil, Tucker Bassham, Ed Miller, and his first cousins, Kentuckians Wood and Clarence Hite.
-1879 11 JAN- Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James fourth child, their first son, James William Courtney, commonly referred to as Willy, is born. (Willy was Eldon Courtney’s paternal great-grandfather.)
-1879 NOV – George Shepherd claims he shot Jesse James dead at Short Creek near Shoal Creek, Missouri.
-1879 MID NOV – Jesse James is reported alive and well in Texas.
-1880 – Frank and Jesse James visit their sister and brother-in-law, Susan James Parmer and Allen Parmer, in Archer City, Archer County, Texas.
– 1880 – Census records show Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney, age 33, and M. E. (Mary Ellen Barron), age 25, along their four children, still living in Blevins, Texas.
-1880- The real James L. Courtney AKA James Haun probably moves from Illinois to Chautagua Co., Kansas. By 1900 he and his family probably lived in Meeker, Lincoln Co., Oklahoma. While living in the same house in the same town he was also known as James (L. or T.) Haun, Taylor S. Haun, and John T. Haun.
-1881 7 SEP – The new James Gang reportedly robs a train a mile east of Independence, Missouri near Blue Cut.
– 1881 DEC – Wood Hite was purportedly shot dead by Bob Ford.
– 1882 MAR – Dick Liddil is at Martha Bolton’s, (Bob and Charley Ford’s sister), house in Ray County, Missouri. Wood Hite is also there.
– 1882 3 APR – Bob Ford purportedly shot Jesse James AKA Thomas “Tom” Howard dead in St. Joseph, Missouri at 1318 Lafayette Street between 8 and 9 AM. Charley Ford is present but reportedly did not fire a shot.
– 1882 3 APR – J. W. Graham photographs the reported body of Jesse James in the early afternoon… just thirty minutes after he was killed.
-1882 3 APR – Upon viewing the body Jesse James’ mother said, “Gentlemen, you have made a mistake; that is not my son.”
– 1882 3 APR – Dr. Catlett, superintendent of the mental institution at St. Joseph, and Coroner Heddens make the post mortem examination on the purported body of Jesse James.
He said the reports of the shooting were all wrong, that the ball did not exit the skull and that he had it. The ball went in sideways at one side of the corpse’s head, back of the right ear, lodged just under the skin behind the left, and that is where I found it. The skull was badly shattered due to the bullet passing through the brain.
– 1882 3 APR – Zerelda testifies at the coroner’s inquest that “Jesse was mid-way through his thirty-fifth year.” According to Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney’s tombstone in Blevins Cemetery, Blevins, Texas he was born 1846 31 OCT — the exact date his mother testified he was born.
-1882 3, APR – Zee Mimms testifies at the coroner’s inquest that her husband “neither smoked nor chewed.” She does not how old he was or which of his fingers was missing.
-1882 3 APR – A Winchester rifle Model 1873 retrieved from the house at 1318 Lafayette St., St. Joseph, Missouri has the initials “W.H.” and “T.H” etched in the metal.
-1882 4 April – Jesse James’ friends Harrison Trow, James Wilkerson, William J. Clay, C. D. Axman, and Mrs. Mattie Collins (Dick Liddil’s wife) all of Kansas City come up from the World’s Hotel to view the body, and all identify it positively as that of Jesse James.
-1882 5 APR – Fifth child born to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney AKA James L. Courtney and Mary Ellen Barron in Blevins, Texas – a daughter named Ida Florence Courtney , this author’s paternal grandmother.
-1882 5 April – This is night before Jesse James was buried. The coroner receives a tip that Wood Hite body is buried on the grounds of the old Harbison farm that Bob Ford, Charley Ford, and their sister, Martha Ford Bolton, rent.
-1882 5 APR – Newspapers report that Jim Gibson, the Ford’s hired hand, disappeared about the same time Wood Hite was killed.
-1882 APR – Mr. John G. Morris, constable of Richmond, Missouri, dispatches a message to Gov. Crittenden asking what to do with Wood Hite’s body and claims the reward.
-1882 6 April – Jesse James is buried in the yard of the James farm.
-1882 6 APR – Prudence Samuel Burden, (Jesse James’ aunt who is Dr. Reuben Samuel’s half-sister), notices the body is not that of the Jesse James she knew. She asks Zerelda why she said this man was her son Jesse James, and Zerelda answers, ‘Oh, that’s a rabbit’s foot.”
-1882 6 APR – Cleburne, Texas Train Robbed.
-1882 9 APR – “The Spirit of Jesse Is Apparently Still Around – A Train Robbed In Texas: A special from Dallas to the Gazette says: The north bound train on the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe was robbed a few miles south of Cleburne at 10:00 Friday evening. At a water station called Blum six men wearing masks entered the passenger coaches. All the passengers did as ordered but a conductor entered to see what was going on and a shot was fired at him. The robber jumped off and disappeared. The amount taken was unknown but several parties gave up large amounts.”
– 1882 17 APR – Bob and Charley Ford indicted. Bob for the first degree murder of Jesse W. James and Charley for aiding and abetting. Both brothers plead guilty and are sentenced to be hanged by their necks until dead, but Gov. Crittenden quickly pardons them and they are released.
-1882 5 May – The Galveston Texas News reports, “The real Jesse James has been killed so often that the identification of the body by his mother is no positive assurance that Jesse has finally handed in his checks.”
-1883- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney appointed as road overseer by J.W. Watkins, County Clerk of Falls County. He writes on the front of the citation, “Won’t take it”.
-1884 APR- Sixth child born to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney and Mary Ellen Barron in Blevins, Texas – a son, Byron C. Courtney, commonly called “B. C.”.
-1886 14 JUL – Seventh child born to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James AKA. James L. Courtney and Mary Ellen Courtney in Blevins, Texas – a girl named Nettie Andruss Courtney.
-1887 11 JAN – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney receives a letter from his cousin J. R. Andruss in Lamar, Missouri written on Whitsett & Andruss Livery Stable stationary.
-1891 01 APR- Jesse James AKA James Courtney is appointed Falls County Deputy Sheriff by Sheriff John W. Ward.
-1893 15 JAN – Eighth child born to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney and Mary Ellen Barron in Blevins, Texas – a girl named Emma.
-1900 13 NOV – Zee Mimms dies.
-1902 29 JUL – Before the original grave bearing the name of Jesse James was exhumed a postcard arrives in Kearney, Missouri from “The Original Jesse James ”telling it like it was, “I will not be buried in Carny next Sunday. I am not dead. I was not shot by Bobie Ford. Tom Howard was shot by Bobie Ford, but I wasn’t there, so you can’t bury me.”
-1902 29 JUL – Frank James takes Zee Mimms’ body from a morgue in Kansas City where it had been stored since 1900. Her remains are interred with those of her husband under the tombstone bearing the name of Jesse James.
-1905- Frank James and his wife Annie Ralston purchase a farm north of Fletcher, Oklahoma.
-1906 – Frank starts the horse races at a Comanche Carnival in Comanche, Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Someone asks him about Jesse James and he says, “If I knew no one would molest him, I would introduce him. He is within shooting distance.”
-1906 – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney is in Durant, Oklahoma.
-1906 or 1907 – Frank James and a tall male stranger dressed like a cowboy were looking for loot they buried near Henry Yoder’s property on Cache Creek about seven miles NW of Apache, Oklahoma.
-1910 21 OCT- Mary Ellen Barron Courtney dies. She was also known as Mrs. Jesse James.
– 1911 17 FEB – Mrs. Zerelda James Samuels dies on a Frisco train before reaching Oklahoma City. She had just visited her son Frank James in Fletcher, Oklahoma.
-1912 16 NOV – Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney draws one of his numerous encoded treasure maps with known KGC symbols used to document the location of his buried treasures.
-1914 JUN- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney draws an encoded treasure map with known KGC symbols.
-1915- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney marries Edna Henry.
-1915 18 FEB – Frank James dies in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
– 1918 – Jesse James reportedly buries a safe full of treasure and documents near the Brazos River in Waco, Texas.
-1919- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney marries Ollie Nelson.
-1920’s or 30’s- Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney attends a Wild West show in Belton, Texas. Part of the show features a Jesse James imposter. The Original Jesse James really enjoys the show.
-1933 5 APR – “President Roosevelt issues Executive Order No. 6102 and confiscates everybody’s gold. An individual could keep up to $100 in gold, but anything above that was illegal. Possession was punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years.”
Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney buried his gold.
-1943 14 APR – Jesse James AKA James Courtney dies at the age of 96 or 97, depending on his actual date of birth, and is reportedly buried in Blevins Cemetery at Blevins, Texas.
-1948 16 MAY- Mrs. L. J. (Lilly) “Courtney” Yarbrough, Jesse James AKA James Courtney’s daughter, writes to the Veteran’s Administration in Washington, D. C., telling them she wants the thirteen five-gallon cans of lard that her father’s third wife, (Ollie Nelson), took so she can make soap. According to the family story her father stored gold in those cans.
-1978 14 OCT – Unauthorized second exhumation of Jesse James reported grave headed by Milton Perry, the curator of the James Farm & Museum. The remains he retrieved were later encased in a Tupperware bowl and reburied in the grave.
-1979- Jesse James’ great-niece, Allen Palmer and Susan James Parmer’s granddaughter tells author Jack Loftin of Archer City, Texas that in her mother’s trunk are many letters, some of which prove that Jesse James wrote to Susan James, his sister, after his purported murder on April 3, 1882. The letters are dated and post marked Henrietta, Texas 1884.
-1991- A letter written by Allan Pinkerton to Samuel Hardwick, an attorney in Liberty, Missouri is found by Ted Yeatman in the Library of Congress proving the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s intention was to harm Frank and Jesse James’ family and their dwelling. Allan Pinkerton wrote, “Above everything destroy the house”… “burn the house down”.
-1995 15-17 JUL – Professor James E. Starrs of George Washington University exhumes the purported grave of Jesse James in Mt. Olivet Cemetery located in Kearney, Missouri for the purpose of using DNA testing to determine if the famous outlaw was really buried there.
DNA results on the fourteen or fifteen, (reports vary), retrieved from the Mt. Olivet site were expected by September 15, 1995.
-1995 15 SEP- Prof. James E. Starrs obtains a court order to exhume the original purported grave of Jesse James to retrieve a Tupperware bowl said to contain at least one of Jesse James’ teeth. He is quoted as saying “That tooth could tell the tale.”
-1995 19 JUL – Prof. James E. Starrs expresses disappointment that the tooth was not in the Tupperware bowl. However, Clay County Attorney Steven Caruso said teeth were indeed in the Tupperware bowl.
-1996 23 FEB – Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee. Prof. Starrs announces that he had “Jesse by science” – Jesse James was buried in the grave bearing his name in Kearney, Missouri just as history reports.
-1998 – This author pioneered the investigation and made the subsequent findings proving the 1995 exhumation and subsequent DNA results are tainted and proved absolutely nothing. The teeth and hair submitted to scientists are of unknown origin, and the questionable genealogical validly of the DNA references is highly questionable.
-2005 29 OCT – Retired FBI Analyst Gerald Richards determines that the face of the man in the reported death photo of Jesse James does not match the face of Jesse James in the most famous photo of him alive.
-2005 29 OCT – Katarina Babcock, a New Mexico Department of Public Safety firearms expert, proved on The Discovery Channel’s, Jesse James: Legend, Outlaw, Terrorist, October 29, 2005, that the bullet from either of the pistols Bob Ford claimed to have been the murder weapon would have left large exit wounds. She fired one shot each from a Smith & Wesson 44 and a Colt 45 into two ballistics spheres which simulate the human skull, skin and brain. As stated earlier Ford gave conflicting statements as to which gun was the actual murder weapon. He claimed he fired the fatal shot into the man he claimed was Jesse James from a distance of about six feet, with his arm outstretched cutting the distance the bullet traveled about four feet. The ballistics tests showed that either weapon fired from that distance would have left exit holes. Ms. Babcock’s findings show that something is amiss with the alleged death photos of Jesse James. According to her tests, the highly questioned corpse probably wouldn’t have had much a face left if shot in the back of the head at the close range Bob Ford testified to.
-2010 27 OCT – Dallas Hunt posts a photo of Jesse James AKA James Courtney on Greg Ellison’s Jesse James Photo Discussion Forum picturing him attending the 1921 Quantrill Reunion in Missouri.
-2010 14 NOV – Greg Ellison notifies this author via email that a photo of Jesse James AKA James Courtney pictured with Zerelda James Samuel, Frank James, and Annie Ralston is up for auction on eBay. This photo now belongs to this author and is referred to as the eBay photograph of the James Family.
-2011- Matt Hamlin told this author that Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney’s casket was removed from his grave before it was covered with dirt in 1943. He also said it was sent to another state for burial.
-2011 MAR – Stephen Caruso, Deputy Counselor of Clay County at the time of the 1995 exhumation of the purported grave of Jesse James, reveals that the 1995 DNA results are fraudulent.
-2011 APR – The eBay photo of the James family and the Quantrill Reunion photograph is featured in Wild West magazine. These photos may be viewed at:
– 2012 AUG – Michigander, Matt Hamlin, provided a true sample of Jesse W. James’ handwriting for comparison purposes to the handwriting of the man known as James L. Courtney in Texas…the two samples match. They may be viewed at