The last surviving grandaughter of Jesse James has given away some priceless family heirlooms, including guns and the pair of handmade boots the outlaw wore when he was shot to death in 1882.
The artifacts went on display last week at the Jesse James Museum at the James Farm historic site near Kearney, Mo. The museum and family farm, now owned by Clay County, are about 30 miles northeast of Kansas City.Ethel Rose Owens, 80, said that her father, Jesse Edward James, was 7 when his notorious father was killed in St. Joseph, Mo., by Robert Ford, a newcomer to the James gang.
"He was in the next room," Mrs. Owens said. "He ran into the next room and saw his father lying there all bloody. . . . I think my father never got over that."
The artifacts, which include Jesse James' Winchester rifle, a shotgun and pistol, had been closely guarded by the James family for generations to keep the items from becoming part of a "sideshow," Owens said.