Cole Younger and Jim Cummins, two of the most noted characters in the Middle West, are visited Gallatin, MO, in 1910. Younger is here with “That Texas Show” of which he is part owner, and Cummins is selling a pamphlet entitled “Jim Cummins, the Guerilla,” written by himself and recounting his experiences with Quantrill and Anderson during the war and with the James and Younger boys in after years.

After the Civil War, the James brothers united with Cole Younger and his brothers, all former Confederate guerrillas. The James-Younger gang conducted a string of robberies from Iowa to Texas, and from Kansas to West Virginia. They robbed banks, stagecoaches, and even a fair in Kansas City. In 1873 they turned to robbing trains. In most cases, they stole money from the train safe rather than from passengers.

Jim Cummins

Both these gentlemen have a number of acquaintances here and are known, by reputation, to nearly all Daviess Countians. They excite no little interest and curiosity and there is generally a crowd around their quarters at the Woodruff House. We received a call last Tuesday from Cole Younger, the only one of the Younger boys living. Instead of the fierce looking, terror-striking “gentleman of the road” he has always been pictured to us, we found him jolly and good natured with a kindly look and smile for everybody, as we can readily believe that, as he says, he is innocent of many of the crimes laid at his door. While here he has met many old war time acquaintances and called on Maj. S. P. Cox to talk over old times, a conversation which was enjoyed by both these battle scarred veterans, and though on opposite sides they could tell each other of many incidents of the war which were interesting to both.

Cole Younger is of large build, rather fleshy but active and young looking considering his age. He has pointed features, is bald headed and smooth shaven and looks like an easy-going, successful, satisfied businessman. Cummins is quite a different type of many from Younger. He is of slender build, sandy complexion, wears stubby gray-tinged mustache, has piercing, restless eyes and an impetuous, nervous temperament, and rather “grouchy” appearing to the casual observer but quite genial on better acquaintance.

The Nichols & Cole Younger Carnival Co., with which these gentlemen are traveling, is playing a week’s engagement here — so greatly handicapped by inclement weather. They have a goodly number of clean, entertaining shows and some splendid free attractions. The tent shows are along the east and south side of the park in the street south of Venable & Co.’s in front of the Townsend block and north of Casteel’s hardware store. The merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and Flying Dutchman are at the southwest corner of the park; high dive tower on north side park and balloon is sent up from east Jackson Street. Excellent music for the shows and entertainments is furnished by two uniformed bands.

The minstrel show is said to be the best one ever put on here. While “The Girls From Dixie” and “The Electric Theatre” and “Younger’s Roman Coliseum” are all worth the money as entertaining features. The animal shows are “The Deep Sea Monster.” The Snake Show and Monkey House — each especially interesting to the children. Cane racks, novelty stands, shooting galleries, fortune tellers’ tents, striking machines, etc., are distributed along the streets and the noise of their “barkers” adds to the tumult and gives a needed tinge to the “gaiety” of this festival of fun and frolic.

The music box on the merry-go-round plays “Dixie” with all the trills and variations. It sounds like “the call to arms” to Cols. Lynn, Shultz, Estes, Luther Robertson and the other “Confeds” — causing a perceptible renewing of their youth.

— reprinted from the Gallatin Democrat, 1910