Old West Lifestyle & Stories


The movies show frontier town folk as being meek and easily intimated. But this was not so. These were people who were tough enough to brave the trip to the frontier, as well as being tough enough to endure frontier life. And after 1865 many were ex-soldiers.

A good example of the toughness of the frontier people is an event that took back in 1876 on September 7.

The James-Youngers were the “cock of the walk.” They were robbing everything in sight. And even though the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency was after them, the Pinkertons were stymied at every turn.
So, the gang decided to go to Northfield, Minnesota and rob a bank there.

From the moment they walked into the bank, they encountered resistance. The bank cashier said the safe was on a time clock. Then a bank teller ran out the back door and sounded the alarm.

The citizens of Northfield surrounded the bank and shot the robbers as they tried to escape. The result was that, with the exception of Jesse and Frank James, the gang was either shot up in Northfield or was captured by a posse some two weeks later.

It seems there was another gang known as the Daltons who had a similar problem in Coffeeville, Kansas.

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