BOYHOOD MEMORIES STIRRED BY STORY
By: Delos Wayne Schrader
THE PRESS-NEWS, Osage, Iowa, February 1, 1973
(Remembrances of Otranto – Jesse James – Cole Younger)
EXCERPT: "In researching my forthcoming book, “Jesse James – Man and Myth,” I discovered that in the summer of 1876, a year before Otranto’s birth, Cole Younger and his desperate men followed the Cedar River through Mitchell County enroute to a linkup with Frank and Jesse James in Mankato, Minn. The James boys had headed east from Deadwood City in Dakota Territory.
From Mankato the combined band made its unsuccessful assault on the First National Bank in Northfield, Minn, which was owned by former Union General “Spoons” Butler. Instead of pilfering $500,000 in gold, the James-Younger band met bloody disaster.
Now, historians killed off blood-thirsty Cole Younger at least three times, but he actually lived until 1950 when he died at the incredible age of 127* in Nashville, Tenn., under the alias of Col. James B. Davis. Among his papers he described the trip taken 74 years earlier from Kansas City via Mitchell County to Mankato. He had scribbled, “South of the Minnesota line (Otranto?), we ran into a tame steer along the river. We cut his throat and roasted him over a fire in the woods. It was a hearty meal”.
So if your great-grandfather or grandfather lost a steer, blame it on Cole Younger.
A former Mitchell County farm boy, Delos Wayne Schrader.
P.S. For your information, I attended schools in Otranto, Mitchell, and graduated from St. Ansgar High School. I’m now a reporter with The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner."
*Note: Wikipedia.com says Cole was born January 15, 1844 and died on March 21, 1916 (at the age of 72). Had he been born in 1844 and died at age 127, he would have lived until 1971. If he died in 1950 at age 127, he would have been born in 1823 and been about 37 at the beginning of the Civil War, and in his 50's while hanging around with the James Gang.
Note: Delos Schrader was born in 1917 and died in 1982.
Reproduced with the approval of the: Mitchell County Historical Society
From “The Story of Mitchell County 1851 - 1973”
Transcribed (June 2003) by: Neal Du Shane
REF: 062703 -- BOYHOOD MEMORIES STIRRED BY STORY.doc