Jesse Woodson James was born in Clay County, Missouri, on September 5, 1847, Died: April 3, 1882, Saint Joseph, MO. Before Jesse James was born. His Father lived in Kentucky and moved to Missouri in 1842. His father was a slave-owning farmer and popular Baptist minister in Clay County, Missouri.
Jesse Woodson James was an American outlaw, guerrilla, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the "Little Dixie" area of western Missouri
In 1863 Union soldiers visited the James farm. They were seeking information about Confederate guerrilla bands. The soldiers hurt and threatened Jesse James and his family. Shortly after this incident, James joined his brother, Frank, and a guerrilla unit led by William “Bloody Bill” Anderson. As Confederate supporters, both Jesse and and his older brother Frank joined William Quantrill’s vicious Missouri guerilla force, and Jesse participated in the cold-blooded murder of 25 unarmed Union soldiers in August 1863.
In May 1865, a month after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Jesse was shot in the chest during a skirmish with Union troops near Lexington, Missouri.
On December 7, 1869, 22-year-old Jesse James robbed the Daviess County Savings Association bank in Gallatin, Missouri, and killed the cashier. This crime led him to be labeled an outlaw for the first time in newspapers and prompted the state’s governor to offer rewards for the capture of James and his older brother, Frank. The James-Younger gang conducted a string of robberies from Iowa to Texas, and from Kansas to West Virginia. Jesse James would become one of America’s most famous bandits, sticking up banks, stage coaches and trains.
On July 21, 1873, infamous outlaw and American folk figure Jesse James robbed his first train in Adair, Iowa with the help of his posse, the James-Younger Gang. The outlaws used stolen tools to pry up part of the track, pulling it aside with rope as the train rounded a blind curve. They boarded the crashed train wearing white Ku Klux Klan masks and searched the safe that they believed held gold bullion, only to be disappointed by a meager $2,000. They then collected valuables from the passengers, bringing the total up to about $3,000 (about $50,000 by today’s standards)
Jesse James, was shot in back of head by fellow gang member Bob Ford, who betrayed James for reward money. Died On April 3 1882 at age 34.