January 27, 2023

 

Packed in ice, Jesse James’ body was put on display for the public over 125 years ago. St. Joseph City Marshal Enos Craig stands guard with two deputies.

Robbing the Yankees:http://bit.ly/136Hzyw

In the late 19th century, the notorious outlaw Jesse James was shot and killed by a member of his own gang. After his death, his body was packed in ice and put on display for the public to see.

James, whose real name was Jesse Woodson James, was born in Missouri in 1847. He rose to fame as a member of the James-Younger Gang, which was known for robbing banks, stagecoaches, and trains across the Midwest. Despite his criminal activities, James was seen as a Robin Hood-like figure by some, as he was believed to have taken from the rich and given to the poor.

However, James’ criminal career came to an end on April 3, 1882, when he was shot and killed by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang. Ford and his brother had joined the gang in hopes of collecting the $10,000 reward for James’ capture.

After James’ death, his body was put on display for the public to see. He was packed in ice to preserve his remains, and people came from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the infamous outlaw. The display was set up in a local undertaker’s parlor, and it is said that thousands of people came to see the body before it was buried.

The public display of James’ body was not without controversy. Some criticized the practice, arguing that it was disrespectful to the dead and that it served to further exploit James’ notoriety. Others, however, saw it as a way to get closure on the life of a notorious criminal and to put an end to the James Gang’s reign of terror.

Today, James’ legacy lives on, and he remains a popular figure in American folklore. While his body may no longer be on display, his story continues to be told through books, films, and television shows. The life and death of Jesse James serves as a reminder of the complex and often contradictory nature of historical figures and the way their legacies are shaped by time and popular culture.