Speaking for a meeting of Northwest Missouri County Commissioners in December, 2022, retired newspaper editor and publisher Darryl Wilkinson offered comments about outlaws Frank & Jesse James to county officials in a meeting held at Gallatin, MO. The presentation included an overview as well as an explanation of why the James Boys legend began and ended in Daviess County — beginning with the 1969 bank robbery in Gallatin where Jesse James was branded an outlaw with a reward offered for the first time, and ending with the acquittal of Frank James during a trial at held at Gallatin in 1883 for the train robbery which occurred near Winston, MO, in 1881.

Many books have been written about notorious outlaws Frank and Jesse James but few focus sharply on the legal trials authorities brought against the brothers. This book, “The Lost Cause” by James P. Muehlberger (published in 2013) provides outstanding context and summary of the 1883 trial of Frank James which unfolded in Gallatin, MO.

Wilkinson points to three books for those interested in searching for more accurate historical details about the James Boys:

  • “Jesse James Was His Name” by William A. Settle, Jr. (1966)  …for an introductory and general overview
  • “The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank & Jesse James” by James P. Muehlberger  (2013)   …an excellent resource on the Frank James trial
  • “Judgment at Gallatin: The Trial of Frank James” by Gerard S. Petrone (1998)