Infamous History
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Infamous History

Two of Clay County’s top historic destinations are the Jesse James Birthplace Museum and the Jesse James Bank Museum. Most know at least a little about the infamous outlaw, but here’s a list of 7 James history facts that we think you’ll find interesting.
1. He was originally buried outside of his childhood home in Kearney, Missouri in 1882. His mother, Zerelda, sold rocks from Jesse’s gravesite for 25 cents. Jesse James was exhumed and relocated to Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Kearney in 1902.
2. Jesse James was 34 years old and lived in St. Joseph, Missouri when he was killed. The house he was living in at the time is now open as a museum.
3. The house Jesse and Frank James grew up in is open as a museum where educated guides provide guests with informative and engaging tours. Though much of the house has been reconstructed, Clay County was able to preserve parts of the flooring the were original to the home when Jesse James was alive; guests visiting can stand on the original wood floors placed in front of the fireplace where the Pinkerton bomb went off in 1875.
4. The James Gang committed over 20 robberies and stole over $200,000 during their time.
5. If you visit the Jesse James Bank Museum today, you will see that the rare Seth Thomas clock hanging on the wall is forever set to the exact date—February 13th, 1866—and time that the James Gang committed the first successful daylight peacetime robbery in United States History at the Clay County Savings Association.
6. More than 50 movies have been made about Jesse James.
7. Though not a Jesse James fact, there’s an exciting event held annually at the Jesse James Birthplace; the Black Powder Shoot. The first shoot was April 6th; there are two more shoots scheduled for 2019, one on June 15th and the other on September 21st. Learn more about this event at: https://jessejamesmuseum.org/calendar/
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