Timeline: Life and Times of the James Boys

  • Dec. 28, 1841 — Robert James and Zerelda Cole married in Logan County, KY
  • Jan 10, 1843 — Alexander Franklin James born
  • 1845 — Robert James purchased the James Farm
  • July 7, 1845 — Robert R. James born
  • Aug. 21, 1845 — Robert R. James died
  • Sept. 5, 1847 — Jesse Woodson James born on James Farm
  • Nov. 25, 1847 — Susan Lavenia James born
  • Aug. 18, 1850 — Robert James dies of cholera
  • Sept. 30, 1852 — Zerelda Cole James married Benjamin Simms; marriage lasted around nine months, and Simms died after they separated
  • Sept. 25, 1855 — Zerelda Cole James Simms married Dr. Reuben Samuel
  • Dec. 26, 1858 — Sarah (Sallie) Louisa Samuel was born
  • May 4, 1861 — Frank James joined the Confederate army
  • Dec. 25, 1861– John Thomas Samuel was born
  • April 1862 — After being captured by Union troops, Frank James took the loyalty oath and gave a $1,000 bond
  • Fall of 1862 — Frank James joins Quantrill’s guerillas after being jailed for not joining the Union army
  • Summer 1863 — A regiment of Federal militia came to the James Farm looking for the whereabouts of Quantrill’s guerillas; they hang Dr. Samuel and severely beat Jesse. A few weeks later, Zerelda and their children are jailed in St. Joseph
  • Oct. 18, 1863 — Fannie Quantrill Samuel is born
  • 1863 of 1864 — Jesse James joins Quantrill’s guerillas
  • May 15, 1865 — Jesse James shot in the chest while surrendering in Lexington, MO
  • May 21, 1865 — Jesse James surrenders
  • July 26, 1865 — Frank James is paroled in Kentucky
  • Feb. 13, 1866 — Bank robbery in Liberty (MO) done by ex-guerillas ($62,000 from Clay County Savings Association)
  • July 26,1866 — Archie Payton Samuel is born
  • Oct. 30, 1866 — Lexington (MO) bank robbery ($2,000 from Alexander Mitchell & Co. Bank)
  • March 2, 1867 — Savannah (MO) bank robbery (no record on loss, Judge John McClain Banking House)
  • Feb. 18, 1867 — Five militia men come to James Farm after Jesse because he has served as a guerilla during the war
  • May 22, 1867 — Richmond (MO) bank ($4,000 from Hughes an Wasson Bank)
  • June 1867 — Jesse James in Nashville (TN) under the care of Dr. Paul Eve for a lung wound he received at the end of the war
  • March 20, 1868 — Russellville (KY) bank robbery ( $14,000 from Nimrod Long Banking Co.)
  • 1868-69 — Frank and Jesse James in California
  • Dec. 7, 1869 — Gallatin (MO) bank robbery (estimated $700 from Daviess County Savings Association)
  • June 3, 1871 — Corydon (IA) bank robbery ($6,000 from Ocobock Brothers’ Bank)
  • April 29, 1872 –Columbia (KY) bank ($600 from Bank of Columbia)
  • Sept. 26, 1872 — Kansas City (MO) Fair robbery ($10,000 from fair office)
  • Sept. 27, 1873 — St. Genevieve (MO) bank robbery ($4,100 from Ste. Genevieve Savings Bank)
  • July 21, 1873 — Adair (IA) train robbery ($6,000 from Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad)
  • Jan. 1874 — Hot Springs (AR) stagecoach robbery ($3,000)
  • Jan. 31, 1874 — Gad’s Hill (MO) train robbery ($12,000 from Iron Mountain Railroad)
  • April, 1874 — Austin (TX) stagecoach robbery ($3,000)
  • April 24, 1874 — Jesse James marries Zerelda (Zee) Amanda Mimms in Kearney (MO)
  • Spring 1874 — Frank James marries Anna Ralston
  • Aug. 30, 1874 — Waverly (MO) and Carrollton (MO) stagecoach robbery (unconfirmed involvement by James)
  • Aug. 30, 1874 — Lexington (MO) stage robbery
  • Dec. 7, 1874 — Corinth (MS) bank robbery (unconfirmed involvement by James at Tishomingo Savings Bank)
  • Dec. 8, 1874 — Muncie (KS) train robbery ($55,000 from Kansas Pacific Railroad)
  • Jan. 26, 1875 — Pinkerton raid at James farm; detectives throw a bomb through the kitchen window killing 8-year-old Archie and mangling Zerelda’s (Jesse’s mother) right hand so badly it had to be amputated
  • Aug. 31, 1875 — Jesse James Jr. born in Nashville (TN)
  • Sept. 5, 1875 — Huntington (WV) bank robbery ($10,000 from Huntington Bank)
  • July 7, 1876 — Blue Cut (Otterville, MO) train robbery ($15,000 from Missouri Pacific Railroad)
  • Sept. 5, 1876 — Northfield (MN) bank robbery attempt
  • 1878 — Zee James gives birth to twin sons, Gould and Montgomery; they lived about a month before they died
  • Feb. 6, 1878 — Frank’s son, Robert Franklin James, was born
  • June 17, 1879 — Jesse’s daughter, Mary Susan James, is born
  • Oct. 8, 1879 — Glendale (MO) train robbery ($40,000 from Chicago & Alton Railroad)
  • Sept. 1880 — Mammoth Cave (MO) stagecoach robbery $1,800)
  • March 11, 1881 — Muscle Shaols (AL) robbery of federal paymaster
One of the scenes painted by Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) featured in the Missouri State Capitol at Jefferson City features outlaw Jesse James in a mythical train/bank robbery. Benton’s work adorns the House Lounge on the third floor of the Capitol. The murals were commissioned by the legislature in early 1935 for $16,000 and completed in December 1936.
  • July 15, 1881 — Winston (MO) train robbery ($2,000 from Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad)
  • Sept. 7, 1881 — Glendale (MO) train robbery ($15,000 from Chicago & Alton Railroad)
  • April 3, 1882 — Jesse James is shot and killed by Bob Ford at his rented home in St. Joseph; Jesse was unarmed and was shot in the back of the head
  • April 6, 1882 — Jesse James funeral held at the Baptist Church in Kearney (MO); burial at the family farm
  • Oct. 5, 1882 — Frank James surrenders to Gov. Crittenden at the governor’s office in Jefferson City
  • Aug. 21 – Sept. 6, 1883 — Frank James stands trial at Gallatin, MO, for the murder of train passenger McMillan during the 1881 robbery at Winston, MO; he is found not guilty
  • April 17-25, 1864 — Frank James stands trial in Huntsville, AL, for the robbery of federal paymaster Alexander Smith; he is found not guilty
  • Nov. 13, 190 — Zee James dies
  • June 29, 1902 — Jesse James body is moved from the family farm to Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Kearney, MO; Zee’s body was moved from a vault at Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City to Mt. Olivet
  • 1903 — Frank James and Cole Younger travel with the James-Younger Wild West Show
This is the farm home of the James family, where Frank & Jesse James grew up east of Kearney, MO, and later a place of refuge as the boys became wanted outlaws. Today the James Farm is a historic site and museum maintained by Clay County.
  • 1903-08 — Frank James makes his home on the James Farm in Kearney (MO)
  • March 1, 1908 — Dr. Reuben Samuel dies
  • Feb. 10, 1911 — Zerelda Simms James Samuel dies
  • Feb. 15, 1915 — Frank James dies on the James Farm following a stroke
  • Sept. 15, 1915 — Sallie Samuel Nicholson dies
  • May 30, 1932 — Fannie Quantrill Samuel Hall dies
  • March 15, 1935 — John T. Samuel dies
  • Oct. 11, 1935 — Mary James Barr dies
  • July 6, 1944 — Anna Ralston James dies
  • March 26, 1951 — Jesse James Jr. dies
  • Nov. 18, 1959 — Robert James dies
  • March 1978 — Clay County buys the James Farm
  • 1979 — Jesse’s original grave site is excavated
  • July 19, 1995 — Corpse exhumed from the grave in Mt. Olivet Cemetery to identify remains using DNA testing