On this day in 1882 the famous outlaw of the Wild West, Jesse James, was killed by Robert Ford. James was a member of the James-Younger Gang from Missouri; his gang gained notoriety in the period 1866 to 1876 as they robbed banks, stagecoaches and trains. He first gained national attention after shooting a cashier during a robbery of a Missouri bank. The gang’s decline began with an attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota when the majority of the gang was captured or killed. James and his gang were pursued by law enforcement until the outlaw Robert Ford, who had posed as James’ friend, shot him in the back of the head in order to collect the bounty on him. The governor of Missouri quickly pardoned Ford, which shocked the public as it suggested their governor had conspired to kill a private citizen.
“In Loving Memory of my Beloved Son, Murdered by a Traitor and Coward Whose Name is not Worthy to Appear Here” - epitaph for Jesse James, written by his mother
“Sherrill was named for two brothers, Adam and Isaac Sherrill, and was originally called Sherrill’s Mound or Mount, since the city is sited at the base of a prominent hill. In 1856, Peter Fries, an Austrianimmigrant, built a large, stone inn at the main crossroads of the city. It was popular with newlyweds, and Jesse James and his gang were reported to have stayed there prior to their famous raid on Northfield, Minnesota. The structure has survived and has been restored as the Black Horse Inn. Sherrill and the surrounding rural district received large numbers of German immigrants in the 19th century. German Catholic (SS. Peter and Paul), GermanLutheran (St. Matthew), German Methodist, and German Evangelical churches were founded and remain active. Sherrill was one of ten “Beer Towns” incorporated in Dubuque County in 1933, to ensure that the city’s taverns could serve beer, under a possibly mistaken interpretation of Iowa law that licenses to dispense beer could only be granted to premises inside incorporated places. Sherrill’s post office was established in 1858, with Peter Fries as postmaster. Its Zip Code is 52073.”
The wife smiled her smile, said she was glad to meet Quinn as though she meant it, and then extended her hand to him. He shook it, feeling the uncanny slenderness of her bones, and asked if her name was Norwegian.
‘Not many people know that,’ she said.
'Do you come from Norway?’
'Indirectly,’ she said. 'By way of Northfield, Minnesota.’ And then she laughed her laugh, and Quinn felt a little more of himself collapse.