Two family stories about Jesse James

Jesse James stories shared by Moses Orr and his wife, Liza, of Hamilton, MO. (taken from “The Orr Family — Then and Now” printed 1978 by Beck Printing in Richmond, MO. Page 80.)

Jesse James stories shared by Moses Orr and his wife, Liza, of Hamilton, MO. (taken from “The Orr Family — Then and Now” printed 1978 by Beck Printing in Richmond, MO. Page 80.)

Jesse James, rideing a very weary horse and being pursued, stopped by their home and bought a horse. After he left, the family was afraid he might return for the money so they hid it in the clock. Days, months, or years later, he returned, again weary but not hotly pursued, and he stayed overnight. This time he was very relaxed and sat around through the evening with children o?n his knee and probably spinning stories.

Another incident credited to Jesse but not absolutely confirmed was an unusal occurrence. o?nce when Jesse had been there, he had wanted to buy a certain horse but Moses refused to sell because it was the girls’ pet. After an unusual plea for the horse, James rode off. o?ne monring sometime later, the family went to the barn and found the pet horse missing. In its place was a mare about to foal. The girls were obviously heartbroken but the family believed they at least had an honest trade. A month passed, the mare had foaled and had a nice healthy colt at her side. o?ne morning the Orrs found the horses had been exchanged again. The girls were happy to have their pet returned in good health and the family never knew who had switched the horses.

These stories are certainly not meant to make a hero of James but merely prove a point that he could not operate in a hostile countryside and the Orrs possibly qualified as "friends."