By Linda Emley
It’s that time of the year again. On Saturday, Sept. 6, Richmond is going to host its third annual “Outlaw Days.” We will be recreating the 1867 bank robbery of the Hughes & Wasson Bank in Richmond. The 1881 Ray County History Book tells the story of the robbery, and we can assume that since it happened only 14 years before this book was written, it should be an accurate description of the real story. Many details were covered in the 1881 version, but one of the most important details is missing because Frank and Jesse James are not mentioned. I think they were in Richmond for this historic event, but since I was not walking the streets of Richmond in 1867, I will just tell the story as it is in our history book.
After the Civil War ended, the battle still raged on in the hearts of many men in Missouri. Few felt it stronger than Frank and Jesse James. They had fought in the war as Partisan Rangers, and their lives were forever changed because they had lived on the run and the thrill of the chase was hard to shake. They were not famous during the war, but that all changed a few years later.
The first daytime bank robbery was at Liberty on Feb. 14, 1866. The Clay County Savings Bank was robbed by 14 men and $60,000 was taken. Cole Younger and the James brothers were probably involved. The second bank robbery was at Lexington. Oct. 30, 1866. Only $2,011 was taken from the Alexander Mitchell and Company bank. Richmond was the third bank robbery that is credited to the James and Younger gang.
For the complete story, see the July 31 print edition of the Richmond News.