Despite threatening weather, the third reenactment of the infamous Jesse James bank robbery played out on streets of Gallatin, MO on Sept. 21, 2019.
A crowd gathered at the northwest corner of the town square on Sept. 21, 2019 to mark the 150th anniversary of a significant historical event involving outlaws Frank & Jesse James. This was the third reenactment of the bank robbery, the first in 1971 by local volunteers and then 20 years later in 1990 by reenactors from the Kansas City area.
An opening scene of the reenactment of the 1869 Gallatin bank robbery involved town folk going about their normal business.
On the morning of Dec. 7, 1869, two strangers rode into Gallatin and approached the Daviess County Savings Association as shown during this reenactment performed in 2019.
Two strangers entered the Daviess County Savings Association on the pretense of requesting change for a $100 bill, as shown during this reenactment performed in 2019.
The two strangers confronted the bank’s cashier, Capt. John Sheets, and William McDowell. One of the strangers, apparently mistaking Sheets for Major Samuel P. Cox, shot and killed Sheets to avenge the death of Confederate guerilla William “Bloody Bill” Anderson, as shown during this reenactment performed in 2019.
In this reenactment scene, bank employee William McDowell shouted an alarm to alert others about the murder of Capt. Sheets as the two strangers tried to escape on horseback.
The strangers, whom authorities later declared were Frank and Jesse James, left Gallatin heading southwest towards Cameron in this reenactment scene. In reality, one of the horses bolted away and the two gunmen doubled up to ride away on the remaining horse.
Daviess County Sheriff William Flint led a posse in pursuit of the gunmen fleeing from the bank robbery, as this reenactment scene depicts. The posse’s efforts eventually fizzled as the miles and miles of chase increased.
Daniel Smoote happened to meet the gunmen rushing away, forcing the Daviess County farmer to exchange their spent horse for Smoote’s fresh mount. The horse Smoote brought back to Gallatin was later identified the bay mare as “Kate,” owned by Jesse James. This, along with Jesse James’ boast to kill Major Cox, prompted lawmen to declare the James brothers as wanted criminals for the very first time.