By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Robber and hero; the story of the raid on the First National Bank of - Northfield, Minnesota, by the James-Younger band of robbers, in - 1876.
Author: Huntington, George. S.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Robber and hero; the story of the raid on the First National Bank of - Northfield, Minnesota, by the James-Younger band of robbers, in - 1876." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                          [JOSEPH LEE HEYWOOD.]

                           JOSEPH LEE HEYWOOD.

                             Robber and Hero

                          The story of the raid
                                 on the
                   First National Bank of Northfield,
              By the James-Younger Band of Robbers in 1876

                         The Tragedy in the Bank
                        The Battle in the Street
                          The Two-Weeks Pursuit
                           The Final Capture

                          By George Huntington

Northfield, Minnesota
The Christian Way Company



Accounts of bank-robberies and other exploits of outlaws and desperadoes
are usually supposed to belong to the criminal-news columns of the daily
paper and to the writer of sensational literature. When the robber is the
only or the principal actor in the scene, and his prowess or brutality the
only feature worth mentioning, the less said of it the better. But when a
great crime is the occasion of great heroism, courage, fidelity, intrepid
resistance, and the triumph of virtue over violence, then there is a story
worth telling, and a lesson worth learning.

It is such a story that is unfolded in the following pages. The attempted
robbery of the Northfield bank, the refusal of Mr. Heywood to open the
safe, his brutal murder by the baffled robber, the brave and successful
fight made by the citizens, the flight, pursuit and capture of the
bandits,—all this was familiar enough to the whole nation eighteen years
ago. But such events easily pass from the recollection of men; while to a
generation of young people now growing up it has never been known. To some
of us it has seemed, therefore, that the time has come to tell the story
again, not from the sensational point of view, but from that of heroism
and loyalty to duty.

The aim of the author has been to give a correct account of the facts
involved, and leave them to convey their own lesson and inspiration.
Revolting details have been omitted. All important statements are made
upon the authority of eye-witnesses, where such testimony was accessible,
and in most cases by the collation of a number of independent accounts.

The author takes pleasure in acknowledging his indebtedness for various
services and courtesies, the loan of photographs, the furnishing of
information, and many valuable aids and suggestions, to the following
persons among others:—Messrs. G. M. Phillips, A. R. Manning, F. J. Wilcox,
S. Trussell, H. S. French, Rev. J. W. Strong, D. D., and Miss M. J. Evans,
of Northfield, Minnesota; Messrs. W. W. Murphy, C. A. Pomeroy, G. A.
Bradford, W. J. McCarthy, of Madelia, Minnesota; Mr. S. J. Severson, of
Brookings, South Dakota; Col. T. L. Vought and Mr. T. L. Vought, Jr., of
La Crosse, Wisconsin; Mr. A. E. Bunker, of Chicago, Illinois; Dr. H. M.
Wheeler, of Grand Forks, North Dakota; Mr. H. M. Serkland, of St. James,
Minnesota; Messrs. S. L. Heywood, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and J. C.
Heywood, of Alta, Iowa; Hon. W. D. Rice and G. S. Thompson, Esq., of Sioux
City, Iowa; and Marshall W. K. Holmes, of Spokane, Wash. Hearty
acknowledgment is also made of the important assistance derived from Rev.
D. L. Leonard’s funeral discourse on Mr. Heywood, from files of the
Pioneer Press and Tribune of the time of the raid, and from the excellent
and accurate history of it and its related events, entitled “The
Northfield Tragedy,” by Mr. John Jay Lemon.

It only remains to say that the book herewith presented to the public is
intended both as a memorial of Mr. Heywood and as a tribute to the valor
and heroic endeavor of all those who helped or tried to help in resisting,
pursuing or capturing his assailants and their confederates. Whatever
pecuniary profits may accrue from it sale will be sacredly devoted to the
erection of a monument to the memory of Mr. Heywood.


BRIDGE SQUARE, NORTHFIELD. (Proposed Location Heywood Monument.)
Bank Floorplan
THE SEVEN CAPTORS. (From Recent Photographs).
Brass Tablet in Library Building, Carleton College




In the latter part of August, 1876, a mysterious company of men made their
appearance in southern Minnesota, and proceeded to visit various cities
and villages in that part of the state. There were certainly eight of
them, and possibly nine, some of them hard, vicious-looking fellows, from
whom people instinctively shrank, others gentlemanly, handsome, and even
imposing in personal appearance. They travelled on horseback and rode like
men accustomed to live in the saddle. They had the finest of horses and
equipment, part of it brought with them, the rest purchased after they
entered the state. They had plenty of money and spent it lavishly. In
their progress from place to place they did not go like an organized band,
but wandered here and there, sometimes two by two, sometimes four or five
together. When several of them visited a town together, they went to
different hotels and avoided all appearance of collusion or of common
design. Often they avoided towns and sought entertainment at the houses of
farmers or other citizens, where they found no difficulty in making
themselves agreeable and in giving a plausible account of themselves.
Wherever they went, they attracted more or less attention, excited the
curiosity of the inquisitive, and occasionally the suspicions of the wary;
but upon most people they made the impression of well-bred respectability.
They passed for civil engineers looking up railway routes, for capitalists
in search of land, for stockmen dealing in horses and cattle. Their outfit
and mode of travel made either of these suppositions reasonable, and their
smooth courtesy, affability and apparent frankness were accepted in lieu
of credentials of character. That they were not all that they pretended to
be many people suspected; but that they were a band of outlaws, or rather
a combination of three bands, comprising the most notorious desperadoes in
the country, laying their plans for a great robbery, no one suspected.
Still less did they themselves suspect that their career of crime was so
near its close, or that they were making deliberate plans for their own

Of course they passed under assumed names, introducing themselves as J. C.
King, Jack Ward, etc. It is now known that the band consisted of the
following men: Jesse James and his brother Frank, Thomas C. Younger
(commonly known as Cole Younger) and his brothers James and Robert, Clel
Miller, William Stiles, alias Chadwell, and Charles Pitts, alias Geo.
Wells. Some persons maintain that there was a ninth man, but he has never
been identified, and is commonly believed to be mythical. The eight whose
names are given were all men of criminal antecedents, and some of them
with a record for deeds of the most revolting atrocity; though several of
them were connected with highly respectable families.

In prospecting for a favorable opening, they visited a number of places,
going as far north as St. Paul and Minneapolis, and as far east as Red
Wing. In each place they made a careful study of the chances for
successful operations in their line and of routes of escape, visiting the
banks on one pretext or another, and familiarizing themselves with all
facts that had any bearing on their scheme. They took special pains to
make themselves acquainted with such features of the country as would aid
or hinder them in going and coming on their intended raid; as, for
instance, the location of lakes, streams, swamps or forests, on the one
hand, and that of roads, bridges and fords, on the other. The situation
and the resources of villages, the extent of country population, and the
nationality and character of the people also interested them. With the aid
of maps, printed statements and minute inquiries, they succeeded in
gaining a large amount of information, without betraying their
purpose,—information which they found exceedingly convenient at a later
day. They also had the advantage of being to a certain extent personally
conducted. Stiles, one of their number, had formerly lived in Rice county,
and was therefore able to act as a sort of guide for the expedition, if,
indeed, he was not, as some think, its instigator. Their reliance upon
him, however, proved in the end, as we shall see, a source of danger
rather than of safety.

Finding nothing to their mind in the great cities, they turned their
attention to a group of country towns lying farther south, including St.
Peter, Mankato, Lake Crystal, Madelia, St. James, Garden City, Janesville,
Cordova, Waterville, Millersburg, Cannon City and Northfield. These,
again, divide themselves into two smaller groups, having direct or
indirect relation to the two points of attack selected by the robbers, and
all of them being on or near a diagonal line, extending about thirty or
forty miles southwest and about forty or fifty miles northeast of Mankato.

Having completed their preliminary survey, they prepared for their grand
exploit. Their first project was the robbery of one or more of the banks
of Mankato, a thriving town at the great bend of the Minnesota River. Five
of the band appeared in Mankato on Saturday, September 2nd, and, as usual,
created a sensation with their fine horses and horsemanship. They made
purchases at some of the stores, and paid a visit to the First National
Bank, where they got change for a fifty dollar bill. According to their
custom, they stayed at different hotels, at least four of them did, while
the fifth sought some other resort not identified. On Sunday night two of
them were known to be at a notorious resort on the opposite side of the
river, a rendezvous of the lowest criminals, where, as is believed, they
were in consultation with confederates with reference to their intended
raid and subsequent escape. Meantime, Jesse James had been recognized by a
man who knew him by sight, and the fact was reported to the police who
shadowed the men until midnight, and put some of the bank people on their
guard against possible burglaries; though no one anticipated an open
attack by daylight.

On Monday, the 4th, the robbers mounted their horses and rode forth to
their intended attack. Their plan was to make it about noon, when the bank
force would be reduced and the streets would be most free of citizens.
They had already arrived opposite the First National Bank, when they
noticed a number of citizens on the sidewalk, and saw one of them
apparently calling another’s attention to the approaching horsemen. The
robbers, fearing that they were suspected and watched, deferred the attack
till a later hour. On returning, however, they saw the same citizens
again, seeming, as before, to be keeping close watch upon the strangers.
Convinced now that their purpose was discovered and that the citizens were
prepared for them, the robbers abandoned their project and left Mankato as
speedily as possible. The truth was that they were at that moment the
object of no suspicion whatever. The regular weekly meeting of the Board
of Trade, and some repairs on an adjoining building, had called together
the unusual number of persons whom the robbers observed, and the man who
was supposed to be directing his companion’s attention to the bandits was
simply remarking upon the fine quality of their horses. No doubt, however,
the presence of so large a number of spectators would have seriously
embarrassed the gang in beginning operations. As it was, they sensed just
as good a purpose in repelling the attack as if they had been a company of
armed militia on duty.


Abandoning Mankato, the robbers now moved upon Northfield as directly as
roads and available stopping-places would permit. Monday night found them
in Janesville, eighteen miles east of Mankato; Tuesday night in Cordova,
about the same distance north of Janesville; Wednesday night in
Millersburg, northeast of Cordova. The rest of the band spent the same
Wednesday night in Cannon City. Millersburg is eleven miles west of
Northfield, Cannon City ten miles south.

Northfield is a quiet but enterprising little city, in the heart of a rich
and well cultivated agricultural region which is tributary to it. It has
good railroad facilities; and the Cannon River, flowing through the town,
affords power for its mills and adds a picturesque feature to its scenery.
A bridge crosses the river in the centre of the town, connecting its
eastern and its western divisions, and leading, on the eastern side, into
an open space known as Bridge Square, where many of the stores are to be
found. On the eastern side of the Square runs Division Street, the
principal business street of the city, along the foot of a bluff some
fifty feet in height, ascended by various streets, and crowned with
residences, churches and educational buildings. Prominent among the public
edifices are those of Carleton College, in the northeastern part of the
city; while St. Olaf surmounts a high eminence in the northwestern. An
observant stranger, entering the city for the first time, could hardly
fail to get the impression of intelligence, thrift and commercial
enterprise. This was precisely the impression made upon the robbers; and
it was this impression which led them to select Northfield as a field of

    [BRIDGE SQUARE, NORTHFIELD. (Proposed Location Heywood Monument.)]

     BRIDGE SQUARE, NORTHFIELD. (Proposed Location Heywood Monument.)

Ten or twelve days before the final attempt upon the bank, two members of
the band had visited the town for a preliminary survey. They conversed
with citizens, as their custom was, making inquiries about roads, etc.,
particularly about the route to Mankato, and awakened the suspicion of at
least one or two of the citizens as to the truth of their pretension. They
found a bank doing a large business, and presumably carrying a large
volume of cash; and they saw the people quiet and industrious, and
presumably neither prepared nor disposed to meet force with force. What
plans they then formed for the subsequent raid it is impossible to say;
but it is certain that they were no sooner foiled in Mankato than they
started for Northfield.

As we have already seen, the two divisions of the band spent the night of
Wednesday, September 6th, in neighboring villages, within easy reach of
their next day’s destination. Early on the morning of Thursday, the 7th,
they took up their march along the roads converging upon Northfield,
meeting in the woods west of the town. In the course of the forenoon, some
of them appeared upon the streets and in the stores, where two of them
were recognized as the same two that had made the previous visit of
inspection already referred to. They all wore linen dusters, a garment
much more common with the traveler in those days than in our own, and one
that seemed entirely suitable for the sultry weather then prevailing,
while it served to conceal the pistols and cartridge-belts, with which the
robbers were so liberally supplied. Five of the men dined together at a
restaurant on the west side of the river, waiting contentedly for their
dinner to be cooked, conversing with the proprietor on politics and other
indifferent subjects, and, after they had finished their meal, still
delaying unaccountably, probably to give time for the arrival of the rest
of their accomplices. Finally they remounted their horses and rode over
the bridge.

It is difficult, and, so far as the present writer is concerned,
impossible, after the most painstaking study of all available sources of
information, to determine the exact order of events at the opening of the
attack. No one observer followed all the preliminary movement of the
robbers. One person noticed one thing and another another; and each
depended more or less upon hearsay for items not within his personal
knowledge. The similarity of dress already referred to made it difficult
to distinguish the robbers from one another; while the wild excitement
which soon ensued gave little opportunity for careful observation. With no
attempt to reconcile conflicting statements, therefore, which happily
differ only in unimportant details, this narrative will confine itself to
those facts upon which all witnesses agree.

The scene of the robbery and the movements of the robbers may be easily
understood from the accompanying cut. The center of operations was the
Corner of Bridge Square and Division Street. On this corner stood a
two-story stone building known as the Scriver Block. Its upper story was
used for offices, and was reached by an outside stairway on Division
Street. The larger part of the lower story was occupied by two stores,
ranging north and south, and having their front entrances on the northern
Bridge Square side. At the extreme southern end of the building, and
having its entrance on the eastern or Division Street side, was the object
of attack, the First National Bank. On the western side of the block ran a
narrow alley, affording rear entrances to the stores and the bank. West of
the alley, and fronting on the square, were two hardware stores whose
respective proprietors were leading actors in the scene that followed,—J.
S. Allen and A. R. Manning. On the eastern side of Division Street,
opposite the Scriver Block, were a hotel and a number of stores, in front
of one of which stood a young man who was also to have a prominent part in
the coming affray,—Mr. H. M. Wheeler, then at home on a vacation from his
medical studies in Michigan University.

As has been previously stated, the robber band comprised three
subdivisions,—the two James brothers, the three Younger brothers, and
three odd ones,—Miller, Pitts and Stiles. In their active operations
another threefold division was adopted, each of the squads containing one
of the Younger brothers and one of the odd ones, and two of them
containing one of the James brothers. That is there were two trios and one
couple. Of these, one trio was detailed to commit the robbery, while the
couple cooperated with them on Division Street, and the other trio acted
as a rear guard on Bridge Square, the direction in which the band intended
to retreat.

It was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon that the first trio, consisting of
Pitts, Bob Younger and, it is believed, one of the James brothers, came
over the bridge, and crossing the Square from northwest to southeast,
dismounted in front of the bank, throwing their bridle reins over some
hitching posts beside the street. They then sauntered to the Corner and
lounged upon some dry-goods boxes in front of the store (Lee and
Hitchcock’s) assuming an air of indifference, and whittling the boxes,
like the most commonplace loafers. Presently the two horsemen constituting
the second detail entered Division Street from the south, and rode toward
the bank. They were Cole Younger and Clel Miller. Upon their approach the
three men at the corner walked back to the door of the bank and went in.
Miller, dismounting in front of the door, left his horse unhitched, went
to the door and looked in, and then, closing it, walked back and forth
before it. Younger dismounted in the middle of the street, where he made a
pretense of tightening his saddle-girth.

By this time the attention of several citizens had been attracted to the
maneuvers of the robbers. Word had been brought that nine men on horseback
had been seen coming out of the woods southwest of the city; and the
presence of so many strange horsemen on the street began to awaken
uneasiness. Yet when some expressed these fears, they were laughed at by
others, and assured that the men were merely cattle-buyers on a legitimate
business tour.

Among those whose suspicions had been especially aroused were Dr. Wheeler
and Mr. J. S. Allen, already referred to. Dr. Wheeler was sitting under an
awning in front of his father’s store on the east side of Division Street
when the men entered the street; and as their actions seemed to him to
indicate some mischievous intent, he rose and moved along the sidewalk
till he was opposite them. Mr. Allen was on the other side of the street;
and when he saw the three men enter the bank, he attempted to follow them
in. He was instantly seized by Miller, who had been placed there for that
purpose, and who, drawing his revolver, and pouring forth a volley of
oaths, ordered Allen to stand back, and warned him on peril of his life
not to utter a word. Allen jerked away from the ruffian’s grasp, and ran
back to and around the corner toward his store, shouting in a voice that
resounded blocks away, “Get your guns, boys! They’re robbing the bank!”
At the same time Dr. Wheeler had stepped into the street, and was
shouting, “Robbery! Robbery!” his alarm being at once justified and
intensified by the round of pistol shots within the bank.

Upon this, Miller and Younger sprang into their saddles, ordering Wheeler
back, with oaths and threats, and firing one or two shots over his head,
to intimidate him and to give notice to their confederates that their game
was discovered. Then the two robbers began riding up and down Division
Street, at their utmost speed, shooting right and left, with horrible
oaths calling upon every one they saw to “get in”—an order that was obeyed
with pretty general promptness and unanimity. At the same time the three
men near the bridge took up the same tactics, and came dashing across the
Square, shooting and shouting like their comrades, whom they joined on
Division Street. Wherever they saw a head, out of doors or at a window,
they sent a shower of balls. The air was filled with the sounds of the
fray, the incessant bang bang of the heavy revolvers, the whistling of
bullets, the crashing of glass and the chorus of wild yells and
imprecations. The first intention of the robbers was not to kill anyone,
but to strike terror into the mind of the people, and, by driving
everybody from the streets, to give the men in the bank time to work, to
prevent any attempt at interference, and to secure themselves an
unobstructed line of retreat. Strange to say, during this part of the
affray, though the robbers kept up a constant fusilade from their
revolvers, but one person was shot,—a Scandinavian who could not
understand English, and who was fatally wounded while persistently
remaining on the street.

                             [Bank Floorplan]

                              Bank Floorplan


Meantime, a very different scene was enacted within the bank, where the
first trio of robbers were dealing with a trio of bank employes as
resolute as themselves. These were Mr. A. E. Bunker, teller, Mr. J. L.
Heywood, book-keeper and Mr. F. J. Wilcox, assistant book-keeper. The
cashier, Mr. G. M. Phillips, being out of the state, Mr. Heywood was
acting cashier. The bank was at the time occupying temporary quarters, not
arranged with reference to emergencies of this kind. A counter,
constructed somewhat like an ordinary office or store counter, extended
across two sides, between the lobby and the interior of the room. This was
surmounted for nearly its entire length by a high railing containing glass
panels; but in the angle between the two sections of the counter there was
an open space, entirely unprotected, wide enough for a man to pass

When the three robbers entered the bank the employes were busy at their
tasks, and had no suspicion of approaching danger. Mr. Bunker, the teller,
hearing footsteps in the lobby, and supposing that some customer had
entered, turned from his work to wait upon him, coming to the open space
before referred to. There three revolvers were pointing at him, and he was
peremptorily ordered to throw up his hands. His first impression was that
one of his friends were playing a practical joke upon him. Before he had
time to comprehend the situation, the three robbers had climbed oyer the
counter, and covering him and his associates with their revolvers,
commanded them to hold up their hands.

“We’re going to rob this bank,” said one of the men. “Don’t any of you
holler. We’ve got forty men outside.” Then, with a flourish of his
revolver, he pointed to Heywood and said, “Are you the cashier?”

“No,”, replied Heywood.

The same question was put to Bunker and to Wilcox, each of whom made the
same reply.

“You are the cashier,” said the robber, turning upon Heywood, who was
sitting at the cashier’s desk, and who appeared to be the oldest of the
employes. “Open that safe —— quick, or I’ll blow your head off.”

A second robber—Pitts—then ran to the vault and stepped inside, whereupon
Heywood, who had risen to his feet, followed him and attempted to close
the door. He was instantly dragged back, and the two robbers, thrusting
their revolvers in his face, said, “Open that safe, now, or you haven’t
but a minute to live,” accompanying their threats with oaths.

“There is a time lock on,” Heywood replied, “and it cannot be opened now.”

“That’s a lie!” retorted the robbers, again repeatedly demanding, with
threats and profanity, that the safe be opened, and dragging Heywood
roughly about the room.

Finally, seeming to realize what desperate men he was dealing with,
Heywood shouted, “Murder!  Murder!” Whereupon one of the robbers struck
him a terrible blow on the head with a revolver, felling him to the floor.
Pitts then drew a knife from his pocket, and opening it, said, “Let’s cut
his —— throat,” and made a feint of doing so, inflicting a slight wound on
Heywood’s neck as he lay helpless upon the floor. The two men then dragged
him from where he lay, at the rear of his desk, back to the door of the
vault, still demanding that he open the safe. Occasionally also they
turned from him to Bunker and Wilcox, pointing their revolvers at them and
calling on them to “Unlock that safe.” To this demand the young men
answered that they could not unlock the safe. The statement was true,
though in a sense quite different from that in which the robbers
understood it. The reason that they could not unlock it was that it was
unlocked already. The door was closed and the bolts were shot into place,
but the combination dial was not turned. This was one of the humors of the
situation, but one which those in the secret were not in a position to
enjoy. As a last resort for coercing Heywood, who was still lying on the
floor, in but a partially conscious condition, Pitts placed his revolver
close to Heywood’s head and fired. The bullet passed into the vault and
through a tin box containing jewelry and papers left by some customer for
safe keeping. This was the first shot fired in the bank, and its futility
well foretokened the failure of the whole effort.

                               [A. BUNKER.]

                                A. BUNKER.

While Bunker and Wilcox received occasional attention from Heywood’s
assailants, their special custodian was Bob Younger. As Bunker had his pen
in his hand when first ordered to hold up his hands, it remained for a
time poised in the air. When he made an effort to lay it down, Younger,
noticing the movement, and thinking it an attempt to reach a weapon,
sprang at Bunker, and thrusting his revolver into his face, said, “Hear,
put up your hands and keep ’em up, or I’ll kill you!” Then, to hold his
prisoners more completely under his control, he compelled them both to get
down on their knees under the counter. All the robbers were very much
excited, and increasingly so as they found themselves baffled and
resisted. Younger would point his pistol first at one of the young men and
then at the other, turning from time to time to search among the papers on
the desk, or to open a drawer in quest of valuables.

While still on his knees, Bunker remembered a revolver kept on a shelf
under the teller’s window, and edged toward the place in hope of reaching
it. Turning his head that way while Younger’s back was toward him, his
movement was instantly detected by Pitts, who leaped before him, and
seizing the pistol, put it in his own pocket, remarking, “You needn’t try
to get hold of that. You couldn’t do any thing with that little derringer,
anyway.” It is no doubt fortunate that Bunker did not succeed in reaching
the weapon, a he would almost certainly have been shot down by the robbers
before he could use it. The pistol was found upon Pitts at the time of his
capture and death.

Bunker now rose to his feet, intending to make some effort to escape or to
give an alarm. As he did so, Younger turned to him and said, “Where’s the
money outside the safe? Where’s the cashier’s till?” Bunker showed him a
partitioned box on the counter, containing some small change and
fractional currency; but did not call his attention to a drawer beneath
the counter, containing $3,000 in bills. Again ordering Bunker to get down
on his knees and keep his hands up, Younger drew from under his coat a
grain-sack, which he began to fill from the box. Presently he turned again
to Bunker, and finding him on his feet, he said, with a wicked look and
with an outburst of horrible profanity, “There’s more money than that out
here. Where’s that cashier’s till? And what in —— are you standing up for?
I told you to keep down.” Seizing Bunker, and forcing him to the floor,
Younger pressed the muzzle of his revolver against Bunker’s temple and
said, “Show me where that money is, you —— —— —— or I’ll kill you!”
Receiving no answer, he left Bunker and renewed his search for the money.

Bunker once more regained his feet, and taking advantage of a moment when
the robber’s face was turned, he dashed past Wilcox, into and through the
directors’ room, to the rear door, then closed with blinds fastened on the
inside. His intention was to enter the rear of Manning’s hardware store,
on the other side of the alley, and give the alarm. He knew nothing yet of
what was going on in the street, and he believed Heywood to be dead from
the effect of the pistol shot apparently aimed at his head.

The first of the robbers to notice the escape was Pitts, whose eyes seemed
to be everywhere at once, and who was then with Heywood in front of the
vault. Before he had time to shoot, however, Bunker was out of his range
around the corner of the vault, and making for the door. With a mad yell
Pitts bounded after the fugitive, and coming in sight of him, fired as he
ran, the ball whizzing past Bunker’s ear and through the blind in front of
him. Bunker threw his weight against the blinds, bursting them open,
plunged down a flight of outside steps, and had nearly reached the rear
entrance of the next building when he was again fired upon by Pitts. This
time the ball hit its mark, passing through the right shoulder, near the
joint, barely missing the sub-clavian artery, and coming out just below
the collar-bone. As he felt the sting and shock of the wound, he stumbled;
but keeping his feet, and not knowing how badly he might be wounded, he
ran on across a vacant lot and around to a surgeon’s office in the next
block. Pitts gave up the chase and returned to his companions in the bank,
but only to hear one of their confederates on the outside shout, “The game
is up! Better get out, boys. They’re killing all our men.” Hearing this,
the three robbers sprang through the teller’s window and rushed into the
street. As the last one climbed over the counter, he turned toward poor
Heywood, who had gotten upon his feet and was staggering toward his desk,
and deliberately shot him through the head. The act was without
provocation or excuse, and was afterwards denounced by others of the gang
as “a fool act,” though others still made an absurd attempt to justify it
on the ground of self-defense. It was a piece of cowardly revenge on the
part of a ruffian who was made desperate by defeat, and who, as was
evident throughout the entire scene in the bank, was badly under the
influence of liquor.

                             [A. R. MANNING]

                              A. R. MANNING


The battle in the street was now at its height, and the spirit in which it
was waged on the part of the citizens showed how grossly the robbers had
mistaken the mettle of the people with whom they had to deal. The
community was taken by surprise and at a great disadvantage. It was at the
height of the prairie-chicken season, and a majority of the men who had
guns were away in the field. The excellent hunting in the neighborhood had
drawn many sportsmen from the larger cities, accustoming the people to the
presence of strangers, while they had no reason to expect a hostile
invasion. When the mounted bandits on Bridge Square and Division Street
began riding and shooting, the first impression was that of surprise. Some
thought it the reckless fun of drunken scapegraces. Some took the riders
to be the attaches of a traveling show, advertising their performance.
When the bullets began to fly about people’s ears, and the character of
the invaders became evident, every body was stunned and dazed, and there
was a general scramble for shelter. But the next moment there was an
equally prompt rally of brave men to repel the attack.

Dr. Wheeler, who had been one of the first to give the alarm, and who had
been driven from the street by the imprecations and bullets of the
robbers, hastened to the drug-store where he usually kept his gun.
Remembering as he went that he had left it at the house, he did not
slacken his pace, but kept on through the store, heading first for the
house of a neighbor, where he hoped a weapon might be found, but on second
thought turning into the Dampier Hotel, close at hand, where he remembered
to have seen one. There, instead of the fowling-piece he looked for, he
found an old army carbine, for which, with the help of Mr. Dampier the
clerk, three cartridges were discovered in another part of the house. All
this was so quickly done, that he was at a second-story chamber window,
with his gun loaded, in time for the beginning of the fight.

                           [HENRY M. WHEELER.]

                            HENRY M. WHEELER.

Meantime Mr. Allen, who had also sounded so prompt and vigorous an alarm,
ran to his store where he had a number of guns, and loading them with such
ammunition as came to his hand, gave them to anybody who would take them.
One of them was taken by Mr. Elias Stacy, who used it to good purpose in
the battle that followed.

As Mr. Allen went to his own store, he had passed that of Mr. Manning, to
whom he shouted his warning concerning the robbers. Up to this time
Manning had no suspicion of what was going on. One of the robbers had been
in the store in the forenoon, looking about and pretending he wanted to
buy a gun. He was a genteel, well-dressed fellow, and Manning supposed him
to be some stranger who had come to Northfield to hunt; though he did not
believe that he wanted any gun, and thought there was something wrong
about him. Even when the three horsemen dashed through the Square so
noisily and belligerently, he thought little of it. But when he heard
Allen’s shout, and made out the words “Robbing the Bank,” he recalled what
he had seen and the meaning of it all flashed upon his mind. Abruptly
leaving the customer he was serving, he rushed for a weapon, thinking hard
and fast. Pistols? No, they would be of little account, His shotgun?
Yes—No; he had left all his loaded cartridges at home. His breach-loading
rifle! That was the thing; and here it was in the window; and there in a
pigeon-hole of his desk were the cartridges, where they had been
carelessly thrown months before. All this came to him without an instant’s
loss of time. He forgot nothing and he made no mistakes. Stripping the
rifle of its cover, and seizing a handful of cartridges, he hurried to the
scene of battle, loading as he ran.

The scene on the street is indescribable. People had not only made haste
to get out of the way of the leaden hail-storm that had burst forth, but
had also taken measures to protect themselves and their property against
the raiders, whose intention was believed to be not only to rob the bank
but to pillage the  entire town. Stores and offices were hastily closed.
The postmaster, Capt. H. S. French, who chanced to have an exceptionally
heavy registered mail on hand that day, hastened to lock it in the safe
and close the Office. Jewelers and others who had valuable and portable
stock pursued a similar course. The news of the invasion, emphasized by
the sound of the shooting, spread swiftly through the town. Warning was
sent to the public school and to Carleton College to keep the students off
the streets. The general impression was that the town was in possession of
a horde of robbers, numbering nobody knew how many, and coming nobody knew
whence, and bent on ruthless plunder, nobody knew to what extent.

The scene of the actual conflict was that part of Division Street on which
the bank faced, and scarcely a full block in length. Here the five mounted
robbers went riding back and forth, up one side of the street and down the
other, doing their utmost with voice and arms to keep up the reign of
terror which they had begun. The citizens whom they had driven in were
looking for weapons, and the bolder ones were coming back, some armed and
some unarmed, around the margin of the field. Capt. French, having made
Uncle Sam’s property as secure as possible, stood in front of the locked
door, wondering where he could soonest find a gun. Justice Streater and ex
policeman Elias Hobbs stepped out into the Square, empty handed but
undaunted, and determined to do something by way of resistance to the
invasion. A few were so fortunate as to have not only the courage but the
means for an armed defence. Mr. Stacy, already referred to, came out with
a fowling-piece, and confronting Miller, just as the latter was mounting
his horse, fired at his head. The fine bird shot marked the robber’s face,
and the force of the charge knocked him back from the saddle, but
inflicted no serious wound. There was a poetic justice in the incident, as
it was Allen, whom Miller had seized and threatened at the bank, who owned
and loaded the gun, and sent it out in the hands of his neighbor to draw
first blood from the very man that had assaulted its owner.

Later on in the battle Messrs. J. B. Hyde, Ross Phillips and James Gregg
also did their best with similar weapons, and it was not their fault that
the shotguns they used upon the bandits were inadequate to the occasion.
Mr. Hobbs, who had no weapon at all, fell back upon more primitive
methods, and at the height of the fray came on shouting, “Stone ’em! Stone
’em!” and suiting the action to the word, and choosing not “smooth stones
from the brook,” but big and formidable missiles, more fit for the hand of
Goliath than for the sling of David, hurled rocks and curses at the enemy,
and not without effect. Col. Streater also joined in this mode of warfare,
which, if not the most effective, certainly evinced a high a degree of
courage as they could have shown in the the use of the most approved
weapon. Other citizens, too, took a hand in the affair, as opportunity
offered, and some of them had narrow escape from the bullets with which
the robbers responded to their attentions.

But while there was no lack of good intentions on the part of others, it
was the two men with rifles, Manning and Wheeler, who were able to do real
execution upon the enemy, and finally to put them to rout. We go back,
therefore, to the moment when Manning came running from his store with the
rifle in his hand. Taking in the situation at a glance, and intent only
upon getting at the robbers, he stepped out into the open street, and amid
a shower of bullets, coolly looked for his game. Before him stood the
horses of the men who were still in the bank, and over the heads of the
horses he saw the heads of two men, upon whom he instantly drew a bead.
The men ducked behind the horse, whereupon Manning, without lowering his
gun, changed his aim and shot the nearest horse, rightly judging that this
would cripple the band almost as effectually as shooting the men. He then
dropped back around the corner to reload; but finding to his chagrin that
the breach-lever would not throw out the empty shell, he was obliged to go
back to the store and get a ramrod with which to dislodge it, thus losing
valuable time. The interruption proved a good thing for him, however,
moderating his excitement and rashness, and preparing him to do better
execution. Soon he was at the corner again. Peering around the corner, he
saw one of the robbers between the horses and the bank door, and fired at
him. The ball grazed the edge of a post, deflecting it slightly; but it
found Cole Younger, wounding him in a vulnerable though not vital place.
Again Manning dropped back to reload. The shell gave him no trouble this
time, and he was quickly at his post once more. As he looked cautiously
around the corner, he saw Stiles sitting on his horse, some seventy-five
or eighty yards away, apparently doing sentry duly in that part of the
street. Manning took deliberate aim at him—so deliberate as to excite the
impatience and call forth the protests of some who were near him—and
fired, shooting the man through the heart. Manning, as before, stepped
back to reload, the robber fell from his saddle, dead, and the horse ran
to a livery-stable around the corner.

While these things were going on, Dr. Wheeler was not idle. His first shot
was at the head of Jim Younger, who was riding by. The gun carried high,
and the ball struck the ground beyond him. Younger looked first at the
spot where it struck, and then turned to see where it came from, but did
not discover the sharp-shooter at the window above him. Wheeler’s next
shot was at Clel Miller, whom Stacy had already peppered with bird-shot.
The bullet passed through his body almost precisely as Pitts’ bullet had
passed through Bunker’s; but in this case the great artery was severed and
almost instant death ensued. Wheeler’s third and last cartridge had fallen
upon the floor, bursting the paper of which it was made, and spilling the
powder. Hurrying in search of more, he met his friend Dampier coming with
a fresh supply.

The robbers were now badly demoralized. Their shooting had been wild and
fruitless. They had lost two men and a horse killed; a third man was
wounded; two riderless horses had escaped from them, and an armed force
had cut off their proposed line of retreat. It was at this juncture that
Cole Younger rode to the door of the bank and shouted to the men inside to
come out, which they made all haste to do. Two of the men mounted their
horses, which still stood before the door. There was no horse for Bob
Younger, and he was compelled to fight on foot.

By this time Manning and Wheeler had both reloaded, and returned to their
places. As Manning showed himself, ready to renew the battle, Bob Younger
came running toward him down the sidewalk. Manning raised his rifle to
shoot at the approaching robber, and at the same instant Younger drew his
revolver to shoot Manning. In the effort to get out of each other’s range,
Younger dodged under the outside stairway of the Scriver Block, while
Manning stood at the corner beyond it. The stairs were thus between them,
and neither of them could get a shot at the other without exposing himself
to the fire of his adversary. For a time they kept up a game of hide and
seek, each trying in vain to catch the other off his guard and get the
first shot. At this point Wheeler, though he could but imperfectly see
Younger’s body beneath the stair, took a shot at him. The ball struck the
robber’s elbow, shattering the bone. He then coolly changed his pistol to
his left hand and continued his efforts to shoot Manning.

It then occurred to Manning that by running around through the store he
might reach the street on the other side of the robber, and so drive him
from his hiding-place. This plan he instantly put in execution. At the
same moment Wheeler was engaged in reloading his gun. But the robbers had
their plans, too, and took advantage of this momentary lull to make their
escape. Bob Younger sprang from his hiding-place and ran up Division
street, where he mounted behind his brother Cole; and the entire band,—or
at least what was left of it, turned and fled. Wheeler returned to his
window and Manning emerged upon the sidewalk only to find that their game
had flown. Even then there was an excellent chance for long-range
shooting; but the intervening distance was immediately filled with people,
making it impossible to shoot without endangering innocent lives.

This battle between desperados and peaceful citizens has well been cited
as proof that the prowess, courage and dead-shot skill at arms commonly
ascribed to the border ruffian are largely imaginary.  On the one side was
a band of heavily armed and thoroughly trained and organized banditti,
carrying out a carefully made plan, in their own line of business, after
weeks of preparation. On the other side was a quiet, law-abiding
community, unused to scenes of violence, taken utterly by surprise and at
a fearful disadvantage, with no adequate means of defence except two
long-disused rifle in out-of-the-way places, and one of them on the
retired army list. Yet the banditti were beaten at their own game, and
their courage lasted only while the odds were in their favor. As to
marksmanship, they were vastly outdone by their citizen opponents.
Excepting the cold-blooded murder of a defenceless spectator, they did not
in the entire fight fire one effective shot. It is said that at least
thirty shots were fired at Manning alone; yet he escaped without a

In the bank, heroism of another order had displayed itself. Without the
excitement of open battle, or the stimulus of numbers, and without the
slightest means or opportunity for defence, the three unarmed young men
balked the three armed ruffians who held them in their power, meeting
threats and violence with passive resistance, and in the face of death
itself refusing to yield one jot to the demands of their assailants.

The brunt of this unequal contest fell upon poor Heywood. How he met it
has been already related. Threatened, assaulted, dragged about, brutally
struck down, menaced with the knife, ostensibly shot at, he could not be
persuaded or bullied into surrendering his trust or becoming the
accomplice of robbers. It is interesting to know that before this ordeal
came to him he had been led to ask himself what he would do in such an
emergency, and had made up his mind that he would under no circumstances
give up the property of his employers. His steadfast resistance to the
robbers’ demands, therefore, was not due to a hesitating policy, or to the
mere obstinate impulse of the moment, but was the result of a deliberate
purpose and conviction of duty. The fatal cost of his fidelity was
something which he could not have failed to take account of all along, as
the most probable end of a struggle with such desperate men as he was
dealing with. At a time when we hear so often that persons in similar
circumstances have been compelled to unlock vaults or to open safes at the
dictation of robbers, there is a wholesome tonic in the example of a man
who proved that there is not in the whole world of criminal force a power
that can overcome one brave man who chooses at all hazards to do his duty.


The battle was over. So swift had been its movement, so rapidly had its
events followed one another, that it was done before people beyond its
immediate vicinity knew that it had begun. From its opening to its closing
shot it had occupied but seven minutes. But it had been as decisive as it
was brief. The object of the attack had failed. The funds of the bank were
intact. Six of the robbers were in flight, two of them wounded. In front
of the bank lay the dead horse, the first victim of the fight. Near by was
the body of Clel Miller, and a half-block away, on the other side of the
street, that of Stiles. Of the three deaths, that of the horse alone moved
the pity of the spectators. On every hand were shattered windows, the work
of the vicious revolvers; while hitching-posts, doors, window-frames and
store-fronts were scored with bullets. Heywood lay on the bank-floor,
where he had fallen at the post of duty. Bunker was in the hands of the
surgeons. All the bells of the town had been set ringing. People came
hurrying to the scene from every direction. Excited preparations were
making to pursue the escaping robbers.

The scenes that followed showed that there were heroines as well as heroes
in the community. While the first wild rumors of the affair were rife, and
it was believed that scores of marauders had invaded the town, and that
general pillage might be expected, ladies went to the public school and to
the girls’ dormitory of Carleton College, to give warning of the impending
danger. One of the teachers in the public school was the wife of Mr.
Bunker, the wounded teller. From different sources she received
information first that he was wounded and then that he was killed.
Crediting the least alarming statement, she first made arrangements for
the care of her pupils, and then started to find her husband. Fortunately
she met a friend with a carriage, who took her to the doctor’s office
where Mr. Bunker was receiving surgical care. Mrs. Heywood’s first
intimation of her husband’s death was received by accident, and in a
painfully abrupt manner. Being at her house on the west side of the river,
at a considerable distance from the scene of the tragedy, she chanced to
hear one neighbor shout the news to another across the street. President
Strong of Carleton College had already started at the request of friends,
to break the intelligence to her, when he learned that his errand was
needless. The body was placed in a carriage and supported in the arms of
President Strong, while it was driven to the Heywood residence. Mrs.
Heywood showed herself worthy to be the wife of such a man. She bore the
awful blow with the greatest calmness; and when she heard how he met his
death, she said, “I would not have had him do otherwise.”

The dead robbers received attentions of quite another sort. The two bodies
were placed in an empty granary, where they remained during the night. The
news of the raid had been telegraphed all over the country; and the
evening trains brought crowds of curious people, eager to see and hear
everything pertaining to the affair. The next day the number of visitors
was so largely increased and the desire to see the dead bandits was so
great, that the bodies were brought out into the open square, which was
soon packed with people. Among the visitors from other town were sheriffs,
police officers and private citizens who had come to join in the pursuit
of the escaped robbers.

                    [THE ROBBERS—KILLED AND CAPTURED.]


That afternoon the county coroner, Dr. Waugh of Faribault, held an inquest
on the three bodies, and a verdict was found according to the facts: “That
J. L. Heywood came to his death by a pistol-shot fired by an unknown man
who was attempting to rob the First National Bank of Northfield;” “That
the two unknown men came to their death by the discharge of firearms in
the hands of our citizen in self-defence, and in protecting the property
of the First National Bank of Northfield.”

The grief and indignation over the death of Mr. Heywood were intense. He
was a man greatly respected in the community, was prominent in church and
business life, and at the time of his death was the City Treasurer and
also the Treasurer of Carleton College. On Sunday, the 10th of September,
two funeral services in honor of the murdered man were held in Northfield.
In the morning came the public service in High-School Hall, the largest
auditorium in the city. The place was packed, notwithstanding the
excessive rain and mud then prevailing. The introductory exercises were
conducted by the Rev. Messrs. Gossard and Utter, the pastors of the
Methodist and the Baptist churches, and the funeral address was delivered
by the Rev. D. L. Leonard, pastor of the Congregational Church, the
regular church services of the day being omitted. The admirable address of
Mr. Leonard has been preserved in a neat pamphlet, entitled, “Funeral
Discourse on Joseph Lee Heywood,” published by Johnson and Smith,
Minneapolis, and is a valuable contribution to the literature of this
subject. As much of its biographical and historical matter is
substantially covered by the present narrative, it need not be reproduced;
but some extracts relating to Mr. Heywood’s personal character may
properly be quoted, as showing the estimation in which he was held by one
who not only knew him well, but was voicing the sentiments of the
community to which and for which he spoke.

“Mr. Heywood was, beyond most men, modest and timid. He shrank from the
public gaze; and, considering his high gifts and his standing in the
community, he was retiring almost to a fault. He set a low estimate upon
himself. He would not own to himself, did not even seem to know, that he
was lovable and well-beloved. He courted no praise and sought no reward.
Honors must come to him unsought if they came at all. He would be easily
content to toil on, out of sight and with service unrecognized, but in
every transaction he must be conscientious through and through, and do
each hour to the full the duties of the hour”.

“Yes, something such a one as this walked our streets, worshipped in our
assemblies, and bore his share of our public burdens, for ten years. And
so dull is human appreciation, that had he ended his days after the
ordinary fashion of humanity, it is to be feared his worth had never been
widely known. But not so now, since, as I may almost say, in the sight of
thousands he has been translated that he should not see death, and was
caught up from earth to heaven a in a chariot of fire. Surely we cannot
forget that spectacle to our dying day. The glory of his departure will
cast back a halo of glory over all his career. We shall re-read the
record, as he made it, with sharpened vision. Besides, some of the virtues
in which he excelled, such as integrity, moral courage, steadfastness in
pursuing the right, in the tragic circumstances attending the close of his
life, found their supreme test not only, but their sublime climax as well.
The charm lies in the perfect harmony existing between the acts of the
last hour and the conduct of all the life that went before.”

“And sure am I that we all, in moments when we are most calm and rational,
and when the noblest in us finds voice, discover the conviction possessing
us that there was something most fitting, something surpassingly
beautiful, in such an exit after such a career,—such a sunset after such a

“For, for what, I pray you, was man made but to do his duty? to be brave
and true, reckless of results? And what is life worth, I wonder, if to be
preserved only at the price of cowardice and faithlessness?…Surely to him
that is gone life as the purchase of dishonor would have been an
intolerable burden…Whoso consents to stand on duty, in the army, on the
railway train, in the banking-house or store, must do it with open eyes,
ready to take the consequences, fully determined, whatever befall, to play
the man.…When so many are corrupt and venal, are base and criminal in the
discharge of public duties, the spectacle of such a life as we have looked
upon is worth far more to society than we can well reckon up. And if, as a
result of last Thursday’s events, those just entering upon life, and we
all, shall be warned of the evil and curse of transgression, and be
reminded of the surpassing beauty of honor and faithfulness, and in
addition shall catch an enthusiasm of integrity, it will go no small way
to compensate for the terrible shock that came to this city, and for the
agony that has fallen upon so many hearts…We know today that public and
private worth are still extant, and that the old cardinal virtues are
still held in honor. We need no lantern to find a man.”

In the afternoon President Strong, assisted by other clergymen, conducted
the funeral service proper at Mr. Heywood’s late residence, and paid an
equally cordial testimony to the character of the man and to the high
quality of heroism which he had displayed. Dr. Strong was able to speak
from the point of view of personal friendship and from that of official
relation, having been Mr. Heywood’s pastor at Faribault in former years,
and having been more recently associated with him in connection with the
College. It was in a casual conversation which they had held but a few
days before the tragedy that Mr. Heywood dropped the remark which showed
that he had already decided how he would meet such an ordeal if it ever
came to him. The President had been inspecting the new time lock which had
just been placed upon the door of the vault. The circumstance recalled to
his mind the famous St. Albans bank-raid, which had especially interested
him through his personal acquaintance with the victimized cashier. Having
spoken of the course pursued by the raiders in that case, he said, in mere
playfulness, to Mr. Heywood, “Now if robbers should come in here and order
you to open this vault, would you do it?” With a quiet smile, and in his
own modest way, Mr. Heywood answered, “I think not.” Neither of them
dreamed how soon and with what tragical emphasis he would be called to
test that resolution.

Mr. Heywood was buried in the Northfield cemetery, at the southern
extremity of the city, where his remains still rest and where an
unpretentious monument marks his grave.

In an obscure corner of the same cemetery, at night, with neither mourner
nor funeral rites, two boxes were buried, supposed to contain the bodies
of the dead robbers. No one took the trouble to ascertain the genuineness
of the proceeding, or to guard the grave from desecration. That the bodies
of criminals belong to anatomical science, is a prevalent opinion. That
these criminals were not too good for such a purpose, was readily
conceded. That they somehow found their way to a certain medical college,
and that one of them was subsequently rescued from its fate by friends,
are said to be facts of history.


While the excitement over the tragedy was at its height, and the inquests
and the funeral services over the dead were in progress, the escaped
robbers were not forgotten.

They had left Northfield by what is known as the Dundas Road, leading to
the town of that name, three miles to the south. Their original plan had
been to go westward, over the route by which they had come, and to stop at
the telegraph office on their way, and destroy the instruments, in order
that the news of the raid might not be spread till they were out of reach
in the great forest tract lying in that direction. But, as they afterwards
said, finding it “too hot” for them in that part of the town, they were
glad to escape by any route they could find; while the telegraph was
publishing their deeds and their descriptions in every direction. Dundas
being the nearest place at which they could cross the Cannon River, they
made all possible speed toward it, six men on five horses. They rode
abreast, like a squad of cavalry, taking the whole road, and compelling
everyone they met to take the ditch. Meeting a farmer with a good span of
horses, they stopped him and helped themselves to one of the horses, for
the use of Bob Younger, who had been riding behind his brother Cole. A
little farther on they “borrowed” a saddle for him of another farmer,
representing themselves to be officers of the law in pursuit of horse
thieves,—a pretense which they made much use of during their flight. As
soon as possible they got back into their former route, where they were
once more on somewhat familiar ground. The death of Miller had deprived
them of the guide upon whose knowledge of the country they had depended.
The loss of their trained and high-bred saddle-horses was perhaps a still
more serious calamity,—a loss which they were not able to make good with
any of the farm-horses stolen one after another. Their rush at full speed
through Dundas caused a sensation; but, owing to the absence of the
telegraph operator, the news of the raid had not been received, and they
were not molested. Millersburg, where some of them had spent the previous
night, was reached about half-past four. They were recognized by the
landlord who had entertained them, but they were still in advance of the
news of their crime and far in advance of their pursuers. They rode hard,
sparing neither themselves nor their beasts, although Bob Younger’s arm
was causing him much suffering. His horse fell under him, breaking the
saddle-girth, and was abandoned in disgust, Younger again mounting behind
one of his companions. Another horse was seized in a similar manner,
regardless of the protests of his owner; but the animal balked so
obstinately that he too had to be abandoned. Thus began a dreary two-weeks
flight, which grew more and more dismal day by day, as the fugitives
skulked from place to place, now riding, now walking, now hiding, in a
region where, as they too well knew, every man’s hand was against them.
Nature and Providence seemed to be against them, too. A cold, drizzling
rain set in the day after the raid, and continued almost incessantly for
two weeks. The way of the transgressor was hard, and it grew harder at
every step.

The pursuers were after them. Before the robber-cavalcade was out of sight
of the scene of their raid, almost before the smoke of the battle had
passed away, men were running for their guns and horses, to join in the
chase. The first movements were made under intense excitement, and were
necessarily irresponsible and futile. But more deliberate measures were
soon taken. Mr. J. T. Ames called for volunteers for a systematic pursuit,
and telegraphed to the state capital for aid. Sheriffs, detectives, chiefs
of police and scores of private citizens promptly responded. As soon as
practicable a small army of pursuers was organized, and systematic plans
for their transportation and sustenance were perfected.

Three times on Thursday afternoon advanced detachments of this force
encountered the fugitives. First a couple of volunteer scouts, mounted, by
a singular coincidence, on the horses of the dead robbers, came within
sight of the band a they were seizing the farmer’s horse on the Dundas
Road. But as the robbers were six to the scouts’ two, the latter did not
venture an attack, but contented themselves with trailing their game until
reinforcements should arrive. Again, at Shieldsville, fifteen miles west
of Northfield, a squad of Faribault men had arrived in advance of the
pursued by taking a shorter road. But not knowing how close at hand the
bandits were, they had gone within doors, leaving their guns outside, when
the raiders suddenly appeared before the door, from which they did not
permit their unarmed pursuer to issue, but coolly watered their horses at
an adjacent pump, shot a defiant volley of bullets into it, and went on
their way. The out-witted scouts quickly regained their guns, and being
reinforced by a dozen or more local recruits, hastened after the robbers.
The band was overtaken in a ravine about four miles west of Shieldsville,
where the two forces exchanged some long-range shots, without effect on
either side; and the robbers escaped into the thick woods beyond.

While these preliminary contests were taking place, the more systematic
campaign was arranged and inaugurated. Before Thursday night two hundred
men were in the field, and on Friday five hundred. Other hundreds still
joined the chase later on, swelling the number at one time to at least a
thousand. It is impossible to give a list of those engaged, or to do
justice to the zeal, the determination and the endurance that they showed.
Among those who were prominently engaged, either in organizing the forces
or in conducting operations in the field, may be mentioned Mayor Solomon
P. Stewart of Northfield, Sheriff Ara Barton and Geo. N. Baxter, Esq., of
Faribault, chiefs of police King of St. Paul and Munger of Minneapolis,
Detectives Hoy and Brissette, and many others. Of the men under them,
several were experienced officers, and not a few were veteran soldiers.
There were also, of course, in so large and hastily-mustered a force, very
many who had no fitness for the service, either in personal qualities or
in equipment, and no conception of the requirements of such a campaign.
They came armed with small pistols and old fowling-pieces of various
degrees of uselessness, and utterly without either judgment or courage.
Their presence was a source of weakness to the force. Their foolish
indiscretions embarrassed and defeated the best-laid plans; and their
failure at critical moments and places to do what they had been depended
upon to do made them worse than useless,—worse than enemies. Many went
into the service from mercenary motives. Large rewards for the capture of
the robbers dead or alive were offered by the Northfield bank, the
Governor of the state and the railway companies; and this inducement drew
into the ranks of the pursuers much poor material. These statements need
to be made, not so much by way of censure upon the inefficient as in
justice to the better members of the force, and as an explanation of some
of the vexatious delays and failures of the campaign. For, while it
constantly suffered from the presence of these mercenaries and blunderers,
it did not lack, from its first day to its last, a nucleus of brave,
keen-witted, cool-headed, determined men, whom nothing could daunt or
discourage. And the best of them were not too capable for the work. Two
objects were to be accomplished,—the retreat of the fugitives was to be
cut off, and they were to be hunted down and captured. To secure the
first, picket-lines were thrown out in advance of them, covering every
route which they could possibly take, and especially guarding roads,
bridges and fords. To secure the second, scouting parties were put upon
their trail, to follow them from place to place, and to explore the
country far and near in search of them. It was no holiday excursion. They
were in a vast forest tract known as the Big Woods, broken here and there
by clearings and by settlements great and small, but embracing also wide
area of uncut timber, full of dense thickets and ravines, and abounding in
lakes, streams and swamps. The weather made difficult trailing, as tracks
and other signs were soon obliterated; and the nature and extent of the
ground to be covered rendered it impossible to keep the picket-line strong
at all points. The rain and the mud, the dripping forests, the swollen
streams, the softened fields, multiplied the hardships of the pursuers.
Their very numbers caused confusion. They were for the most part unable to
recognize with any certainty either the robbers or one another or to tell
whether some squad of horsemen in the distance were friends or foe. The
bandits were shrewd enough to take advantage of this doubt. It was their
favorite trick to pass themselves off as a sheriff’s posse in pursuit of
the bank-robbers. Under this subterfuge they inquired their way of
unsuspecting people, obtained provisions, secured information about the
position and movements of their pursuers, and repeatedly supplied
themselves with fresh horses. But this is in advance of our story.

We left the robbers in their Thursday night’s hiding-place in the woods
beyond Shieldsville. Thence on Friday they moved first westward and then
southwestward, in the direction of Waterville. Coming to a ford of the
Little Cannon River, guarded by three men poorly armed, they were fired
upon and turned back into the woods. Finding shortly afterward that the
guard had withdrawn, they returned to the ford, crossed over, and
disappeared in the forest beyond. Thus the picket line which had been so
laboriously posted was broken at its weakest point.

The news of the escape was immediately carried to those in command, a new
picket-line was thrown out in advance of the robbers, and the pursuer
pressed the more eagerly after them. The whole region was now aroused. The
telegraph was kept constantly busy, flashing items of fact, and a good
many items of fiction, to and from the field of operations. The railways
did good service in transporting men to accessible points; but the flight
and the pursuit were chiefly out of the range of towns, telegraphs or
railways, in the heart of the forest.

Pushing on into the township of Elysian, the robbers found themselves in a
labyrinth of lakes and swamps, where it seemed easy to prevent their
escape. At an isolated farm they exchanged two of their exhausted horses
for fresh ones, against the owner’s protest. In the evening they made a
similar exchange in an out-of-the-way pasture without consulting the
owner. Late Friday night they went into camp between Elysian and Gentian
Lake. The stolen horses were now turned loose, and all returned to their
masters. The remaining horses were tied to trees; a sort of tent was made
by spreading blankets over some bushes; and under this the fugitives spent
the rainy night.

On Saturday morning they abandoned their horses altogether, tied their
blankets about their bodies with the bridles, and, though already lame and
disabled, continued their journey on foot. The horses were found three
days later, one of them still tied to the tree, the other two having
gnawed off their halters and escaped. The robbers now proceeded more
circumspectly. The dash and daring of their previous course were exchanged
for the stealth and caution more befitting their condition. They went no
farther on Saturday than to find a hiding-place on an island in the middle
of the swamp, where they encamped for the day. After dark they took up
their journey, marched slowly all night, and at daylight on Sunday morning
again halted, near the village of Marysburg, whose church-bell they could
hear from their camp in the woods. Passing around Marysburg, they next
encamped four miles south of that village, so slow was their progress and
so short their marches. Nine miles west of this camp, and within two or
three miles of Mankato, they found a deserted farm-house in the woods,
where they spent Monday night, Tuesday and Tuesday night, having advanced
less than fifty miles in five days.

             [THE SEVEN CAPTORS. (From Recent Photographs).]

              THE SEVEN CAPTORS. (From Recent Photographs).

Even at this rate they had distanced their pursuers, who did not suspect
that they had abandoned their horses, and who, confident that no mounted
cavalcade had passed their lines, were still searching the swamps and
bottoms about Elysian. This delusion was painfully dispelled on Tuesday
morning by the discovery of the half-starved horses and the deserted camp.
The robbers had stolen away on foot, and had at least a three-days start.
This was regarded as evidence of the hopelessness of the chase. The
fugitives were no doubt far away, and in what direction no one could
conjecture. A large proportion of the pursuers, including many of the most
efficient leaders, therefore gave up the hunt and returned to their homes.
Even some authentic reports from persons who had caught glimpses of the
robbers near Mankato were scouted as absurdly incredible.

Soon, however, further news was received which could not be disputed, and
which at once aroused fresh interest in the chase. On Tuesday the robbers,
it seemed, had invited themselves to breakfast at the house of a German
farmer. On Wednesday morning they had captured another farmer’s hired man
in the woods, and after binding him, extorting information from him,
threatening to kill him, and finally swearing him to secrecy, had let him
go. Believing that a bad promise was better broken than kept, he had
immediately reported the incident to his employer, who hastened with the
news to Mankato, whence the telegraph sent it everywhere. Excitement was
at once renewed. The disbanded forces hurried back, and hundreds of fresh
recruits joined in the chase. A thousand men were soon on the ground, and
a new campaign was organized under the direction of Gen. Pope of Mankato.
Again patrols and searching parties were sent out, and every possible
avenue of escape was guarded night and day. But again the fugitives
escaped, not so much by virtue of their own cunning as through favorable
accidents and the inefficiency of the guards on duty. Part of them crossed
the railroad bridge over the Blue Earth River during Wednesday night. Two
others, mounted on a stolen horse, passed the picket-line near Lake
Crystal on Thursday night. These last were challenged, fired upon, and
probably wounded by a brave young fellow, named Richard Roberts, whose
sleeping companions had left him to hold the pass alone. The horse threw
his riders and ran away, and they escaped in the darkness to the adjacent
field, one of them leaving his hat behind him.



The band had now divided, Pitts and the three Youngers forming one
division, and the two Jameses the other. It is believed to have been the
James brothers whom Roberts fired upon. Continuing their flight, they
stole a fine span of grey, on which they mounted bareback. This capture
was a most fortunate one for them, and enabled them to make rapid progress
and to assume again the role of officers in pursuit of criminals. They had
no difficulty in getting food and information from unsuspecting people,
who found only too late how they had been imposed upon. The two men went
almost due west during the next forty-eight hours, travelling day and
night at the utmost practicable speed, and making eighty miles with
scarcely a halt. On Sunday, September 17th, they crossed the Minnesota
line into what is now South Dakota. That evening they took the liberty of
exchanging their over-driven greys for a span of blacks, one of which
proved to be blind in one eye and the other in both. Not finding these
satisfactory, they exchanged them in turn, in the small hours of Monday
morning, for another span of greys. They now turned southward; passed
through Sioux Falls; exchanged salutations with the driver of the Yankton
stage, and clothes with a Sioux City doctor; and quietly pursued their
flight by a route and to a destination best known to themselves.

They had not been permitted to make this escape without interference. No
sooner was it known that they had gone through the picket-line than scouts
were sent out in every direction, to overtake or intercept them. The best
men in the field took up the trail. The most comprehensive measures were
adopted for their capture. But owing perhaps to the unexpected celerity of
their movements, so different from the previous methods of the gang, and
to unforeseen slips and miscalculations, they succeeded in eluding their
pursuers, most of whom abandoned the chase at the Dakota line.

This episode had entirely diverted attention from the rest of the band, as
it was not then known that a division had taken place; and when the two
horsemen were finally lost track of, the general supposition was that the
whole band had escaped. Some persons, indeed, believed that the four
unaccounted for were still in the neighborhood in which they had last been
seen. The disreputable house near Mankato, already referred to as the
place where two of the robbers were known to have been on the night of
September 3d, was searched, and many suspicious characters in various
places were arrested and investigated. This vigilance resulted in securing
some criminals, including two notorious horse-thieves, but it discovered
no clue to the bank-robbers.

The mortification of the pursuers was intense; and the denunciations
heaped upon some of them and the ridicule upon all was a bitter reward for
their two weeks of hard service. The failure of their campaign could not
be denied. The only consolation they had was in reflecting that they had
done their best, and in joining in the general laugh at their own expense.
The robber hunt was the great joke of the season.


Thursdays were notable days in the robber calendar. On Thursday, September
7th, the attack upon the bank was made. On Thursday, the 14th, the trail
of the main band was found and lost in the Minnesota valley beyond
Mankato; and on the evening of that day the two horsemen went off on their
tangent, drawing almost the entire force of the pursuer after them. On
Thursday, the 21st, the public was again electrified by the news that the
remaining four, who had also been supposed to have escaped, were yet in
the state and had been located in the neighborhood of Madelia.

Madelia is a small village in Watonwan County, and on the Watonwan River,
about 24 miles southwest of Mankato. One of the principal features of the
surrounding country is a chain of picturesque lakes lying a few miles
north of the town; while about five miles southwest of the lakes ran the
north fork of the Watonwan River, destined to be as famous in the closing
scenes of the raid as the Cannon had been at its beginning.

Madelia was one of the towns visited by the robbers in their preliminary
survey. About two weeks before the robbery, Cole Younger and one other of
the band spent a Sunday at the Flanders House in that place. They asked
many questions of the landlord, Col. Vought, and excited some curiosity in
the community. Younger expressed his admiration of the adjacent lake
region, with whose geography he seemed to have made himself familiar. When
the bank-raid occurred, a few days later, Col. Vought immediately
understood who his guests had been, and did not doubt that Younger’s
interest in the topography of the neighborhood had reference to a line of
retreat. And when guards were being placed throughout the region to
intercept the robbers in their flight, Col. Vought advised guarding a
certain bridge between two of these lakes, at a point of which Younger had
made special mention, and by which any one acquainted with the region
would be sure to pass. This counsel was followed, and Col. Vought himself,
with two others, guarded the bridge for two nights.

A few rods from this bridge lived a Norwegian farmer named Suborn, with
his wife and his son Oscar, an intelligent and active lad about seventeen
years of age. As the men kept watch at the bridge in the evening, Oscar
would come down and sit with them, talking of the robbers and the robbery,
and forming in his mind a pretty distinct idea of the appearance and the
tactics of the outlaws. He repeatedly expressed the wish that he might
meet them and have a shot at them with his father’s old gun. When the band
was supposed to have escaped, and the guards were withdrawn, Col. Vought
charged Oscar to keep a sharp lookout, and if he saw any fellows that he
thought might be the robbers, to come into Madelia and tell the Colonel.
This the boy promised to do.

On the morning of September 21st, while Oscar and his father were milking
the cows, two men walked by, bidding Oscar a civil good morning as they
passed. Something in their appearance instantly convinced the boy that
they were the bandits; and he ran to his father and said, “There goes the
robbers.” His father scouted the idea, and bade him go on with his
milking. But the conviction grew upon the boy as he milked, and he soon
set down his pail and ran to look after the men, making inquiries of the
neighbors and freely expressing his views concerning them. When he
returned to the house, he learned that the men he had seen and two others
had been there asking for food, and saying that they were fishermen. Oscar
insisted that they were the robbers, and after many objections on his
father’s part, finally got permission to take a horse and go and tell
people what he had seen.

He instantly started for Madelia, seven or eight miles away, urging the
old farmhorse to the top of his speed, and shouting to every body he
passed “Look out! The robbers are about!” but finding nobody to believe
him. A short distance from Madelia the horse fell down, throwing the
excited rider into the mud; but he was soon up and a way again faster than

Entering Madelia, he rode straight to the Flanders House, according to his
promise to Col. Vought. The latter was standing on the porch of the hotel
when the messenger dashed up, boy and horse equally out of breath and both
of them covered with mud. A few questions sufficed to convince the Colonel
that the boy knew what he was talking about, and he immediately siezed his
gun, mounted his horse, and started for the Suborn farm. Sheriff Glispin
had come up during the conversation with Oscar, and also joined in the
chase. Dr. Overholt, W. R. Estes and S. J. Severson did the same. These
five went in company. C. A. Pomeroy heard the news and hastened after
them. G. A. Bradford and Capt. W. W. Murphy followed hard, and reached the
field in time for effective service. From St. James, a neighboring town,
to which the telegraph had carried the news, came G. S. Thompson and B. M.
Rice, most of their neighbors being too incredulous or too indifferent to
join them. In the immediate vicinity of the robbers all was excitement,
and people were gathering in greater and greater numbers as the facts
became known.

The first detachment from Madelia had no difficulty in learning where the
robbers were, and lost no time in reaching the locality. The band was soon
descried, making its way on foot through what is known as Hanska Slough.
Sheriff Glispin called upon them to halt; and as they paid no attention to
his demand, he and his men fired upon them.

                             [S. J. WILCOX.]

                              S. J. WILCOX.



The robbers ran until they were out of sight behind a knoll, and before
their pursuers came up with them had crossed Lake Hanska, a considerable
body of water. The Madelia men, finding some difficulty in getting their
horses through the water, separated, part of them going up stream and part
down, in search of crossings. Reaching the other side, Col. Vought and Dr.
Overholt again caught sight of the robbers, and the Doctor fired at them,
with so good an aim as to hit the stick with which Cole Younger was
walking. Sheriff Glispin and his two companions now came up from the other
direction. Seeing that the robbers were making for a herd of horse on an
adjacent farm, the Madelia men intercepted the movement, and for their
pains received a volley from the enemy’s revolvers, the bullets flying
thick about the heads of the pursuers, though at pretty long range, and
one of them grazing Glispin’s horse.

Thus foiled, the bandits went down to the river-bank, opposite the house
of Andrew Anderson, and telling him that they were in pursuit of the
bank-robbers, ordered him to bring his horses over to them. The old ruse
did not work. Instead of putting his horses at the service of the band,
the shrewd farmer ran them off in the opposite direction. Foiled again,
the men went up the river to a ford, crossed over, and came down through
the Anderson farm to a granary, where they seemed about to make a stand;
but changing their plan, they made one more effort to supply themselves
with horses. Mr. Horace Thompson and his son, of St. Paul, were hunting in
the neighborhood, and had two livery teams belonging to Col. Vought, of
Madelia. Spying these horses, the robbers made a rush for them, but the
Thompsons promptly exchanged their light charges for wire cartridges
loaded with goose shot, and prepared to give the free-booters a warm
reception. The free-booters did not care to risk the encounter, and
turning back, took refuge in the brush in the river-bottom. Mr. Thompson
proposed to some of those present to go in after them and hunt them out;
but the armed force then present was not thought to be strong enough for
such a movement.

The robbers were now hemmed in upon all sides. On the south was a high
bluff, curving slightly outward to enclose the low bottom-land at its
base. On the north was the Watonwan River, washing the bluff on the left,
then swinging away from it in a double curve, and then back toward the
bluff again. A rude triangle was thus enclosed, some five acres in extent,
nearly level, open in some places, but for the most part covered with an
almost impenetrable growth of willows, box-elders, wild plums and

The robbers having been driven to cover in these thickets, the next effort
was to prevent their escape. A considerable number of people had by this
time collected, some on one side at the river and some on the other.
Glispin and Vought went down to the lower end of the ravine and posted
guards on the bluffs to watch that point. Meantime Capt. Murphy had
arrived, and at once took similar precautions on the other side of the
river. But they had no intention of waiting for the robbers to come out,
or to give them a chance to escape, as they had so often done, under cover
of darkness. Capt. Murphy, having made his picketline secure on the north
side of the river, came around to the south side, where some of his
Madelia neighbors and other resolute men were gathered, and proposed that
they go into the brush and rout out the bandits. A number seemed willing
to join him in this attempt; but the list was much reduced when they heard
his startling instructions as to the method of procedure. Moreover some of
the best men on the ground had been assigned to guard duty, and were not
available for this service. In a few minutes, however, six brave fellows
stood by his side, ready to go wherever he would lead them.

The roll of this Spartan band of seven is as follows: Capt. W. W. Murphy,
Sheriff James Glispin, Col. T. L. Vought, B. M. Rice, G. A. Bradford, C.
A. Pomeroy, S. J. Severson. Capt. Murphy formed his men in line, four
paces apart, ordering them to advance rapidly but in line, to keep their
arms ready, observe the front well, and the instant the bandits were
discovered concentrate the fire of the whole line upon them.

They advanced promptly across the eastern side of the triangle, from the
bluff to the river, and then, turning to the left, followed the river’s
course, with the line at right angles with it. They had advanced some
fifty or sixty yards in this direction, when they discovered the robbers,
crouching and almost concealed in a thicket of vine-covered willows and
plumtrees. At the same instant one of the robbers fired. It was the signal
for a general fusilade on both sides. Firing was rapid and at close range,
the two forces being not more than thirty feet apart at the center of the
line, and all heavily armed. The battle was sharp but brief. Again, as in
the Northfield fight, the palm of marksmanship was with the citizens and
not with the professional crack-shots. Mr. Bradford had his wrist grazed
by a ball as he raised his rifle for his first hot. Another ball grazed
Mr. Severson. Another still struck Capt. Murphy in the side, and glancing
on a brier-root pipe in his pocket, lodged in his pistol-belt. With these
exceptions not a man in the party was touched. Of the robbers, on the
other hand, Bob Younger was wounded in the breast; his brother James had
five wounds; Cole had eleven, and Pitts was dead, having been hit five
times. When Capt. Murphy ordered firing to cease, and called upon the
robbers to surrender, Bob Younger was the only one who could respond. “I
surrender,” said he, “They are all down but me.” As he rose to his feet,
at the command of his captors, the movement was not understood by the
guards on the bluff, and they fired at him, wounding him slightly; but
Capt. Murphy immediately checked the untimely attack.

The arms of the robbers were taken from them, and they were placed in a
wagon and taken to Madelia in the custody of the sheriff, escorted by
their captors as body-guard, and by a miscellaneous company of those who
had been directly or indirectly connected with the engagement. A mile from
town they met another company of people who had come by special train from
other towns where the news of the reappearance of the robbers had been
received. The visitors found themselves too late to take part in the
capture, the honor of which belonged solely to local heroes; but they
could join in the general rejoicing and help to swell the triumphal
procession. As the returning throng entered Madelia, it was received with
great demonstrations of joy, to which the wounded bandits responded by
waving their hats.


The chagrin and exasperation which followed the escape of the two Jameses
were changed to exultation over the victory in the Watonwan bottom,—a
victory well worthy to close the campaign so bravely begun in the streets
of Northfield. Whatever blunders had been made, whatever hardships and
disappointments had been endured, the final result was fairly
satisfactory. Of the eight desperados who rode forth so confidently on
their career of plunder, three were dead, three were prisoners, and the
other two were in ignominious retreat—one of them wounded. They had wasted
a month in fruitless effort, lost their splendid horses and equipment,
spent much money and gained none, suffered unutterable hardship, and
achieved nothing but two brutal and profitless murders.

Arrived in Madelia, the captured men were taken to the Flanders House,
where Cole Younger and his now dead comrade Pitts, had played the role of
gentlemen travelers a month before. Younger had recognized Col. Vought and
saluted him as “landlord” when they met as captor and captive on the
bloody field of the Watonwan. He also recognized Mr. G. S. Thompson, who
was doing guard duty at the time of the capture, and reminded him of a
visit which Pitts and himself had made to Thompson’s store in St. James
during the same preliminary tour.

The Flanders House was made for the time being a hospital and a prison.
Guards were posted within and without, and every precaution was taken to
prevent either the escape of the prisoners or any unlawful attack upon
them. The men were wet, weakened by fatigue and exposure, nearly famished
and shockingly wounded. They received such attention as humanity dictated.
Their wounds were dressed; their wet garments were exchanged for dry ones;
their hunger was appeased and they were placed in comfortable beds.

They appreciated this treatment most gratefully. They had hardly expected
less than being lynched or torn in pieces by the infuriated people; and
they repeatedly expressed their admiration both of the bravery of their
captors and of the magnanimity of those who had them so absolutely at
their mercy. It was indeed rumored that a train-load of lynchers was on
the way, bent on summary vengeance; but the officers of the law and the
people of Madelia were prepared to resist such an attempt to the utmost,
and it never was made.

Sight-seers and lion-hunters came by hundreds, from every direction. On
the day following the capture the hotel was besieged by an eager throng,
that filled its halls and corridors and the adjacent street, and kept a
continuous stream of visitor filing through the room where the robbers
were confined. Reporters, photographers and detectives were there, each
intent on his own professional ends; and every type of sentiment was
represented, from open vindictiveness to morbid sympathy and admiration
for criminal audacity.

The prisoners talked freely on certain subjects, and with shrewd reserve
upon others. The claimed to be the victims of circumstances, rather than
of their own inclinations. They talked pathetically of their family and
their antecedents, advised young men to shun bad ways, and requested the
prayers of pious women. Being allowed an opportunity to confer together,
they agreed to admit their own identity, but refused to divulge that of
their companions, either the dead or the living. They denied that the two
who escaped were the James brothers, but would give no further information
concerning them. The work of identification was effected, however, without
their aid. Chief of Police McDonough, of St. Louis, and other officers and
citizens, were able of their own knowledge, with the aid of collateral
testimony and of rogues-gallery pictures, to identify the two killed at
Northfield as Clel Miller and Bill Stiles, and the one killed in the
capture as Charley Pitts, alias George Wells. Little doubt was
entertained, also, that the ones who escaped were Jesse and Frank James,
who about that time reappeared in their old haunts in Missouri.

On Saturday, September 23d, the prisoners were delivered to Sheriff Barton
of Rice County, by whom they were taken to Faribault and safely lodged in
the county jail, a few miles from the scene of their crime.

Here, again, they were visited by multitudes of people of all sorts and
conditions, and received many attentions, pleasant and unpleasant, as the
reward of bad notoriety. Here also they were menaced with a threatened
lynching, this time a dead-in-earnest affair, prevented only by the
vigilance and determination of the officers of the law, aided by the
citizens of Faribault. So strongly was the jail guarded, and so strict was
the discipline maintained in its defence, that when a member of the city
police one night approached the guard, making some motion that was deemed
suspicious, and imprudently neglecting to respond to the challenge of the
guard, he was fired upon and killed.

The 9th of November, just nine weeks after the attack upon the Northfield
bank, was another fateful Thursday in the robber calendar. On that day
they were arraigned for trial before the Rice County District Court, at
Faribault, Judge Samuel Lord presiding, and G. N. Baxter, Esq., being the
prosecuting officer. On the previous day the sister and the aunt of the
three prisoners had arrived, to attend them during the ordeal. The
refinement and respectability of these ladies served to emphasize yet more
strongly the social standing from which the men had fallen and the
needlessness of the disgrace which they had brought upon the themselves
and their friends.

                             [OSCAR SEEBORN.]

                              OSCAR SEEBORN.

The arraignment presented one of the most dramatic scenes in connection
with the crime. The prisoners, in expectation of the summons, had prepared
themselves to make the best possible appearance in public. The three were
shackled together, Cole in the middle, with Bob on the right and Jim on
the left. The sheriff, chief of police and his lieutenant walked by their
side, an armed guard marched before them and another behind them. The
robbers somewhat distrusted the temper of the crowd that filled the
streets; and there were some mutterings of a threatening nature, but no
overt acts of hostility. At the court-house the guard opened to the right
and left, to admit the sheriff and his prisoners and prevent the entrance
of improper persons.

Four indictments had been found against the prisoners by the Grand Jury.
The first charged them with being accessory to the murder of Heywood; the
second with attacking Bunker with intent to do great bodily harm; the
third with robbing the First National Bank of Northfield. The fourth
charged Cole Younger as principal, and his brothers as accessories, with
the murder of Nicholas Gustavson, the Swede whom the robbers shot for
remaining on the street when ordered to leave. These indictments having
been read, the prisoners were, at the request of their counsel, allowed
two days to decide how they would plead. It was a question of peculiar
difficulty. On the one hand, to plead guilty was to renounce all hope of
eluding justice through the loopholes of legal technicality. On the other
hand, to plead not guilty was to ensure the severest penalty in case of
conviction. For the laws of Minnesota were then such that if a murderer
pleaded guilty, capital punishment could not be inflicted upon him. This
law, designed to prevent long and needless trials in a certain class of
case, afforded these criminals an advantage which the public bitterly
begrudged them, but of which, in view of the practical certainty of
conviction, they decided to avail themselves.

Accordingly, being again arraigned in court, on the following Saturday,
they pleaded guilty to all the indictments. Whereupon Judge Lord
pronounced upon them the severest penalty then allowed by the
law,—imprisonment for life.

A few days later, Sheriff Barton, with the aid of a strong guard,
conducted the robbers to Stillwater; and the State Prison, the goal of so
many a criminal career, closed its doors upon them. Though commonly
regarded as but the second-best place for them, it has thus far safely
held them, except in the case of one of them, whose sentence had expired
under the great Statute of Limitation. Robert died in prison, September
16th, 1889. Many attempts have been made to secure pardons for the others;
but thus far no governor has been found willing to accede to such a

           [Brass Tablet in Library Building, Carleton College]

            Brass Tablet in Library Building, Carleton College


No extended biographical notices are compatible with either the purpose or
the limits of this book; nor is a large amount of such matter desirable.
The deeds that have been recounted speak for themselves and the men who
performed them. Yet many readers will doubtless desire to know something
more of the personality of those men, of their antecedents and their
subsequent career. The brief sketches which follow relate solely to those
who were actively connected with the three most important scenes in the
narrative,—the struggle in the bank, the fight on the street, and the
capture of the four robbers near Madelia.

JOSEPH LEE HEYWOOD was born at Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, August 12,
1837. His parents upon both sides were of the sturdiest New England stock.
His father was an energetic and progressive farmer, taking much interest
in public affairs, state and national, in politics a Whig, and later a
Republican, and an opponent of slavery. His mother was a devout and
conscientious woman, unwavering in her moral convictions, and unselfishly
devoted to her children. She sought to inspire in them the highest ideas
of honor, truth and duty; and they were accustomed to ascribe to her, more
than to any other influence, whatever virtues of character they developed.

Our hero’s early life was spent on the farm. The rudiments of education
acquired at the district school, were supplemented by reading and study at
home, until he became well fitted for the practical affairs of life. When
about twenty years of age he left home, to make his own way in the world.
He spent about a year in Concord, Mass., another in Fitchburg, another in
New Baltimore, Michigan, where he was clerk in a drug-store, and then a
part of a year in Moline, Illinois, whence he went to Chicago in 1862, the
second year of the Civil War.

Reared as he had been, and trained from childhood to the love of truth,
country and freedom, his enlistment in the Union army was almost a matter
of course. He became a member of the 127th Illinois Regiment in August,
1862, went with his regiment to the front, and at once engaged in active
service. Among other movements in which he participated were the siege of
Vicksburg and the capture of Arkansas Post. The hardships of army life
proved too severe for his constitution, and his health gave way under
them, necessitating his removal first to the hospital and then to the home
of his brother in Illinois. Recovering sufficiently after a time to permit
of his performing light army service, he was detailed as druggist in the
Dispensary at Nashville, Tennessee, where he remained until his final
discharge from the service at the close of the War, in 1865.

After a year spent mainly with his brother in Illinois, he came to
Minnesota, residing first in Faribault, then in Minneapolis, and finally,
in the autumn of 1867, removing to Northfield. Here he was for five years
employed as a book-keeper in the lumber-yard of Mr. S. P. Stewart. In 1872
he accepted the position of book-keeper in the First National Bank, a
position which he filled with fidelity for four years, and in defence of
whose trusts he forfeited his life.

Mr. Heywood was twice married; first to Miss Mattie Buffum, and after her
death, to Miss Lizzie Adams. Both were natives of Massachusetts, and both
were women of superior character. A daughter five years of age, the child
of the first wife, survived her father. She has since graduated from
Carleton College, and also from the School of Music connected with that
institution, and is now (1895) an accomplished teacher of music in her
native state.

As has been elsewhere stated, Mr. Heywood’s sterling integrity and
business ability brought him into many positions of responsibility, among
which were those of Treasurer of the City of Northfield and Treasurer of
Carleton College. His personal traits have been so well characterized and
his place in the estimation of those who knew him so well defined in the
funeral address of the Rev. Mr. Leonard, quoted on pages 42 to 45, that
further words in that direction are needless. His memory has ever been
cherished with peculiar reverence by the people of Northfield, especially
by the College of which he was an officer; and his heroic character was
admired wherever the story was known. The banks of the United States and
Canada contributed a fund of over twelve thousand dollars for the benefit
of his family, and as a tribute to his heroism. The Grand Army Post in
Northfield is named for him, and his portrait hangs in their hall. The
College has a fund of $2,500, called “The Heywood Library Fund,” founded
in his honor; his portrait and a memorial tablet in commemoration of him
hang in the College library; and a memorial window in the First
Congregational Church of Northfield bears his name and the inscription
“FIDELITAS.” No word could better characterize the man and epitomize his
life. The following lines, from the New York Tribune, are the tribute of a
well-known poet to Mr. Heywood’s heroism:


                       (From the New York Tribune.)

Unto how few the fadeless bays
  Belong!  How few the iron crown
Of virtue wear! And few the lays
  That bear a hero’s honor down
Untarnished to the latest days!

Yet there was one but now who breathed,
  Faithful to trust, and in that hour
Summoned, he laid down life, bequeathed
  To all good men his good deed’s power,
And with great names his name enwreathed.

For tell me not his place was low,
  His sterling voice till then unheard.
He knew and dared to answer “No!”
  Whole volumes spoke in that one word,
And duty could no further go.

Nor oftenest on war’s glorious field,
  Or in the gaze of favoring men,
Does duty call, but when the shield
  Of secrecy protects, or when
Our dearest hopes; to her must yield.

Not oftenest does the martyr gain
  By sacrifice his righteous fame:—
And this man knew it, stood the strain
  Of silent trial. He prized the name
Of truth, and kept it free from stain.

If he betrayed not, death was sure;
  Before him stood the murderous thief.
He did not flinch…Of one life fewer
  The angels turned the blood-sealed leaf
That night, and said; “The page is pure.”

Of simple faith and loyalty!
  If each true heart like this were strong,
The nation’s ancient majesty
  Would rise again with joyous song,
Her beauty shine o’er every sea.

                                                    George Parsons Lathrop
Cambridge, Mass.

ALONZO E. BUNKER, second son of Enos A. and Martha M. Bunker, was horn at
Littleton, New Hampshire, March 29th, 1849. He came to Dodge County,
Minnesota, in 1855; received a common-school education in the public
schools of Mantorville; learned the printing business in the office of the
Mantorville Express, and in due time became the foreman of the office. He
taught school for a short time, after which he entered the St. Paul
Business College, from which he graduated in 1869. The following year he
was associated with Professor W. W. Payne in the publication of the
Minnesota Teacher, an educational Journal, issued at St. Anthony, now East
Minneapolis. In 1871 he entered the Preparatory department of Carleton
College, where he continued his studies for two years earning the means of
paying his expenses by working at his trade, teaching and keeping books,
until the incessant application had seriously impaired his health.

In 1873 he entered the service of the First National Bank of Northfield,
in which he continued for about five years. During this period he served
the College as its accountant, and also as the teacher of book-keeping. He
was married, in 1875, to Miss Nettie L. Smith of Red Wing, Minnesota.

The part taken by Mr. Bunker in the encounter with the robbers in the
bank, as detailed in Chapter III, shows him to be a man of nerve, cool and
self-collected in danger, and capable of bold action. Though not subjected
to the brutal treatment inflicted upon Mr. Heywood, he was subjected to a
similar temptation to secure his own safety by yielding to the demands of
the robbers; and he kept such possession of his faculties, mental and
physical, as to seize the first opportunity—an opportunity not afforded to
Heywood—to break from his captors and escape under fire. The wound which
he received at that time was a dangerous one, and narrowly missed being
fatal, and the effects of the nervous shock are still felt at times.

In 1878, Mr. Bunker resigned his position in the First National Bank to
accept one in the Citizens Bank, of the same city. In 1880 he became
connected with the Western Newspaper Union, in which he held responsible
positions in Kansas City and St. Paul. In 1882 he went to Helena, Montana,
where he assisted in organizing the Second National Bank, of which he was
for three years the cashier. His health then requiring a more active life,
he engaged for a time in stockraising and mining operations. In 1888 he
returned to the Newspaper Union, of which he is now one of the principal
officials, with headquarters at Chicago. Mr. Bunker has found time amid
his manifold occupations to perform various collateral duties.  For a time
while in Montana he acted as correspondent of Chicago and St. Paul papers.
He has also been active in religious work. While he lived in Helena, he
and Mrs. Bunker were largely instrumental in organizing and building up
the First Congregational Church of that city.

FRANK J. WILCOX is the son of the late Rev. James F. Wilcox, a clergyman
of the Baptist denomination, who held various important positions,
pastoral and official, at the East and at the West. Mr. Wilcox was born in
Taunton, Mass., September 8th, 1848. Changes in his father’s pastorates
took him when five years old to Trenton, New Jersey, and when ten years
old to Northfield, Minnesota, where he has ever since resided, excepting
during the temporary absence of college life.

His education was begun in the public schools. Upon the opening of the
Preparatory department of Carleton College, in 1867, he entered the
institution, in which he remained until the completion of his preparation
for college. His college course was taken in the Chicago University, from
which he was graduated in 1874, in the class with President Sutherland of
Nebraska, Rev. C. H. D. Fisher, missionary to Japan, and others.

Returning to his Northfield home after his graduation, Mr. Wilcox did not
immediately settle down to his vocation in life, but for a time pursued
various temporary occupations, one of which was that of assistant in the
First National Bank. It was here that he was found by the bank-robbers
when they made their raid upon the bank in 1876.

Mr. Wilcox was not subjected to so severe an ordeal as were Heywood and
Bunker, as his position gave the robbers less reason to make demands upon
him and less excuse for molesting him; but so far as occasion required he
co-operated with his colleagues in maintaining the attitude of passive
resistance which made the attempted robbery a failure. Immediately after
the raid he was appointed to a permanent position in the bank, where he
has remained continuously ever since. He is now the Assistant Cashier. He
is also prominently connected with other business enterprises in the city,
and has held various official positions, educational and Municipal. He was
married in 1879 to Miss Jennie M. Blake. Both of them are leaders in the
social and religious life of the community especially in the Baptist
Church of which they are members.

ANSELM R. MANNING was born in Canada, not far from Montreal. By trade he
was a carpenter. He was also an adept at blacksmithing, a competent
surveyor, and a successful man of business. Possessing this Yankee
versatility and knack at turning his hand to almost anything, it was
natural that he should seek his home in the United States. He came to
Northfield in 1856. Here he pursued his various vocations, mechanical,
mathematical and commercial, as occasion seemed to demand. When the
railroad was to be constructed through Northfield, he helped to survey it.
When the increased facilities which it afforded brought an increase of
business, he went into trade, establishing the stove and hardware store so
long a familiar feature on Bridge Square.

It was here that he received the visit from a member of the robber band on
the morning of the raid, and here that he and his trusty rifle were found
ready for the bloody encounter which shortly followed. Mr. Manning is a
quiet, goodnatured, peaceable man, the last man to seek or desire
conflict, but well qualified to meet it when it is forced upon him. He is
alert, observant, quick to take the measure of a situation, and prompt and
fearless in action.

He still resides in Northfield with his wife and children, and still goes
a unobtrusively as ever about his daily business, with no apparent
consciousness of being what his neighbors hold him to be, the hero who
turned the tide of battle.

HENRY M. WHEELER, the son of Mason and Huldah W. Wheeler, was born in
North Newport, New Hampshire, June 23d, 1854. In 1856 the family removed
to Northfield, Minnesota, where they arrived on the Fourth of July.
Minnesota was still a territory, and Northfield an embryo village, of
whose life and development the Wheelers became a part.

Henry began his education in the public school of Northfield; took the
preparatory course of study in Carleton College; graduated in medicine
from the University of Michigan in 1877, and from the College of
Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1880. He was still a student, at
home on a summer vacation, when the robbers made their appearance in
Northfield. At the time when they were approaching the bank for the
attack, he was sitting as the reader will remember, in front of the
drug-store of Wheeler & Blackman, of which his father was one of the
proprietors. Regarding the movements of the strangers as suspicious, he
followed and watched them, and had already shouted an alarm when he was
driven from the street at the point of a pistol. How promptly he secured a
weapon, and with what deadly execution he used it, has been duly related.
Had the gun been better and the ammunition more abundant, he would no
doubt have given still more emphatic proof that a doctor may upon occasion
make himself more useful in giving wounds than in healing them. One, at
least, of those he gave that day was so far unprofessional as to leave no
chance for the surgeon’s services.

Dr. Wheeler settled in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1881, and still
remains there in a large and successful practice.

JAMES GLISPIN was of Irish descent, but was born on American soil. He was
a man of slight physical proportions, about five feet, six inches in
height, but possessing great strength, quickness and endurance, as well as
unlimited courage. He had a magnetic influence over men, and was noted
both for the skill with which he was able to quell the unruly and the
prowess with which when necessary he could overcome larger men than
himself in a trial of strength. After a brief business career, he was
elected Sheriff of Watonwan County. He proved one of the most popular
officers in the state, and was serving his second term at the time of the
robber-raid. The promptness with which he started after the bandits on the
day of the capture, and the important part taken by him in the capture
itself has been related. It was to his care also that they were committed
after the capture, and upon him rested the responsibility of holding them
until they could be turned over to the authorities of the county in which
their crimes had been committed.

Mr. Glispin left Madelia in 1880, and went to California, where he engaged
in mercantile business. In 1883 he removed to Spokane, Washington, where
his fitness for official life was soon recognized. He was elected Sheriff
for a two-years term, and was re-elected for two years more. At the close
of his second term he went into the real-estate business, in which he
continued until his death in 1890.

WILLIAM W. MURPHY was born in Ligonier, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania,
July 27th, 1837. On leaving school in 1854, he went to California, seeking
his fortune in the gold-mines. Here he remained till 1861, when he
returned to his native state, and took up his residence in Pittsburg. When
the call came for volunteers for the Union army, he assisted in raising
Company G, of the 14th Pennsylvania Regiment, and entered the service as
2nd Lieutenant of that company. He was promoted to a first lieutenancy, on
his merit as an officer; was brevetted Captain by the Secretary of War for
gallantry on the field of battle at Piedmont, Va., and was appointed as
Captain of Company D in the same regiment, the first vacancy occurring
after the brevet.

During the first two years of the war he served in West Virginia, one year
under Gen. Sheridan. After Lee’s surrender, Capt. Murphy’s regiment was
ordered to Texas, overland; but when they had reached Leavenworth, Kansas,
they received news of the surrender of all the rebel forces in Texas, and
the regiment was mustered out at Leavenworth. He received a gunshot wound
in the elbow at Lexington, and a sabre wound in the head and another in
the arm in a cavalry charge at Piedmont.

In 1866 Capt. Murphy married and settled in Madelia, Minnesota, where he
engaged in farming and stock-raising. He has ever been a highly respected
and influential citizen, and in 1871 was elected to the Legislature, where
he served with credit. He is a man of marked intelligence, especially upon
agricultural subjects and is possessed of great coolness and daring. When
he came upon the field at the Watonwan, where the robbers were to be
routed out of their hiding-place, his assumption of command was accepted
as quite a matter of course.

THOMAS LENT VOUGHT was descended on his father’s side from one of the old
colonial Dutch families of New York, and on the side of his mother from
the early pioneers of Orange County. He was born in Walcott, Wayne County,
April 29th, 1833. His boyhood was chiefly spent on his father’s farm on
the shore of Lake Ontario, He lost his mother by death when he was seven
years old, and his father at seventeen. In the year preceding the father’s
death the family had emigrated to Rock county, Wisconsin. At nineteen
years of age Thomas went to La Crosse, where he was employed first as a
lumberman and afterwards in a hotel, and where, in 1827, he was married to
Miss Hester Green. Two years later the young people settled on a farm at
Bryce Prairie, where they remained until the opening of the War of the
Rebellion. Mr. Vought then enlisted in the 14th Wisconsin Regiment, in
which he served throughout the War.

In 1866 he removed with his family to Madelia, Minnesota, then so far on
the frontier that their house was the first one in Watonwan County to be
painted and plastered. For the next five years Mr. Vought operated a line
of mail and passenger stages. When the building of the railroad rendered
the stage obsolete, he purchased the Flanders Hotel, destined to become
famous in connection with the two visits—one voluntary and the other
involuntary—of the bank robbers in 1876, as already stated. Since that
time, Col. Vought has resided at different times in New York, Dakota and
Wisconsin, as health and other interests dictated, and has been now a
farmer, now a merchant, now a landlord. His present residence is La
Crosse, Wisconsin, where Mrs. Vought died on Nov. 17th, 1894. They have
had seven children, of whom four are still living.

BENJAMIN M. RICE was the son of Hon. W. D. Rice, a distinguished citizen
of St. James, Minnesota. He was born in Green County, Alabama, February
8th, 1851. In the following year his father removed to Arkansas. Benjamin
was educated at the Christian Brothers College in St. Louis. In 1869 the
family came to Minnesota, and in 1870 they settled in St. James. The town
was not then surveyed. In 1873 he was appointed as engrossing clerk in the
state legislature, in which his father repeatedly served as a member.

The young man was noted for both the ardent, impetuous temperament and the
chivalrous manners of the southern gentleman.  He was exceptionally expert
in the use of arms, being, it is said, for quickness and accuracy of aim,
the equal of any of the robbers whom he encountered at the Watonwan. He
was one of the two men from St. James whom the news of the reappearance of
the robbers drew to the scene, Mr. G. S. Thompson being the other; and he
was one of the coolest in the contest that followed. A comrade who marched
by his side says that he “seemed to be in his element.”

In the autumn following the capture Mr. Rice removed to Murfreesboro,
Tennesee. Here he was married soon after to Miss Sallie Bell Wright of
that city. After a few years spent in commercial business there, he
removed to Lake Weir, Florida, where he died August 14th, 1889, leaving a
widow and two children. Mrs. Rice did not long survive him, but the son
and the daughter still reside in Florida.

GEORGE A. BRADFORD was born near the village of Patriot, on the Ohio River
in the state of Indiana, on the 28th of June, 1847. When about twenty year
of age, he emigrated with his parents to the then new state of Minnesota.
For the next six years he divided his time between farming and
school-keeping, working on the farm in the summer and teaching school in
the winter. In 1873 he became a clerk in a store, and after a time went
into business on his own account. He was married in 1877 to Miss Flora J.
Cheney, of Madelia. Mr. Bradford is well educated, and much respected in
the community in which he lives, and a man of the highest integrity, and
of great firmness of character. His modesty is shown in that when
responding to the writer’s request for biographical material for this
notice, he had much more to say about the virtues of his comrades in the
fight than about himself.

He was one of the last to arrive at the scene of battle, but one of the
first to respond to the call for men to enter the robbers’ retreat. He was
slightly wounded in the engagement; but the wound did not prevent his
doing his full share in the capture of the bandits.

Mr. Bradford has retired from business and is now engaged in farming at

CHARLES A. POMEROY was born in Rutledge, Cattaraugus County, New York. His
father, Mr. C. M. Pomeroy, was one of the earliest settlers in Madelia,
Minnesota, having come to that place in 1856, while Minnesota was still a
territory. He became one of the leading citizens of the community, a
justice of the peace, etc. The young man was early inured to the hardships
and the exigencies of pioneer life,—a good school in which to train one
for such emergencies as that with which, as we have seen, he was destined
to be identified. He was also a witness of some of the scenes of the great
Indian uprising and massacre which swept over that part of Minnesota in

Mr. Pomeroy is described as short, compact, powerfully built, quiet in
disposition, industrious and unobtrusive, yet cool and courageous in
danger. He did not hear of the proximity of the robbers on that memorable
21st of September until the first squad of Madelia men had started for the
scene; but the moment the news reached his ears, he armed himself, mounted
his horse and hastened after them, reaching the field in season to offer
himself as one of the seven volunteers who undertook the perilous attack.
Mr. Pomeroy was married in 1879, and his home is still in Madelia.

S. J. SEVERSON was born in Wisconsin, in 1855, of Norwegian parents, the
only one of that nationality among the seven captors. Coming, in the
course of time to Minnesota, he spent several years on a farm, after which
he became a clerk in a store, where he was employed at the time of the
raid. A published description of him at that time by one who knew him well
thus characterizes him: “The jolliest and most popular young man,
especially among his customers. He speaks several languages well. To his
wit and good nature everybody will bear witness, especially the ladies. He
is a good salesman, industrious, correct and to be depended on. He is
short, stout, and a little ‘dare-devil’ if any trouble is on hand.”

Mr. Severson quickly caught the news of the discovery of the robbers, and
was among the first to join in the chase and in the attack, shooting at
them in the open ground, following them through the slough, and hunting
them in their hiding-place. Like Mr. Bradford, he was slightly wounded in
the wrist at the first shot from the robbers,—a mere graze of the skin,
but enough to remind him that they were not shooting into the air.

Mr. Severson’s present home is in Brookings, South Dakota.

OSCAR OLESON SUBORN was, like Mr. Severson, the son of Norwegian parents,
but born on American soil. Little is known of his life excepting the
events narrated in Chapter VII, in connection with the capture; every
effort of the writer, seconded by those of obliging friends, having failed
to discover any trace of the brave boy who was the Paul Revere of the
final victory, and whose name may well close our Roll of Honor.


The following circular and statement concerning the fund contributed by
the banks of the United States and Canada, as a testimonial to the heroism
of Mr. Heywood, explain themselves:

                          TO BANKS AND BANKERS:

On the 7th day of September, 1876, Mr. J. L. Heywood, Acting Cashier of
the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota, was instantly killed by
a pistol shot, while refusing to open his safe in obedience to the
commands of a gang of ruffians who entered the bank in broad daylight with
the avowed intention of robbery. Eight desperadoes, heavily armed (now
supposed to be the James and Younger Brothers, of Missouri, and others),
rode into town about noon and commenced shooting at all who made their
appearance on the streets, while three of their number entered the bank.
The citizens quickly comprehended the position, and with such firearms as
they could command, opened fire on the horsemen, killing two of their
number, and causing the others to take flight. Mr. Heywood could have
saved his life by surrendering his trust, but, with a knife actually
grazing his throat, replied that they could kill him, but that he would
not open the safe.

Does not such a noble devotion to duty, in such marked contrast as it is
to the frequent reports of defaulting clerks, demand of the Banking
interest of the country some recognition. This young man leave a widow and
one child in dependent circumstances. A voluntary offering on the part of
each of the Banks and Bankers of the country, as a recognition of the rare
fidelity to duty of Mr. Heywood, would place his family above want, and
serve while the memory of this sad affair shall last, to show that
faithfulness in places of trust is and will be appreciated.

In view of the above facts, a meeting of the Banks and Bankers of St.
Paul, Minnesota, was held on September 19th, at which Five Hundred Dollars
was subscribed, and Messrs. H. P. Upham, Jno. S. Prince, and Walter Mann,
were appointed a committee to receive contributions for this object, and
instructed to issue this circular appeal to the Banks and Bankers of the

Your attention is called to the following extract from the Boston
Advertiser, which has suggested this action:

                         THE HERO OF NORTHFIELD.

“The bank cashier, Mr. J. L. Heywood, of Northfield, Minn., who, with a
bowie-knife at his throat and a pistol at his temple, returned a decisive
‘No’ to the demand of the gang of robbers that he should open the bank
vault to be plundered, is rightly enrolled among the heroes of our times.
In him fidelity and courage of the noblest quality were illustrated again.
He is dead, but the trust committed to him was not betrayed, and his name
will live in honor. He fell at the post of duty as gallantly as any knight
of any age. He has done the world a service. We know nothing of his
history but this one act for which he died, but it is enough. He belonged
to the high order of manhood which yields to no threat, and calmly
confronts all the odds of fate. Whether he has left father or mother, wife
or child, we do not know; but if he has they have reason to be proud of
their relation to such a man. The whole banking interest of the country
owes him a debt. If he has left any who were dependent on him, they should
be placed above the possibility of want. The bank he saved can afford to
do this alone, but we hope it will be done handsomely and promptly by a
combined movement on the part of all the banking institutions of the
country. The encouragement of such conduct is the wisest measure of
protection they can resort to. There ought to be such a testimonial of
appreciation of his unquailing fidelity as will distinguish the example

                       H. THOMPSON, Prest. First National Bank, St. Paul.
                    D.A. MONTFORT, Prest. Second National Bank, St. Paul.
                   M. AUERBACH, Prest. Merchants National Bank. St. Paul.
                       F. WILLIUS, Prest. German American Bank, St. Paul.
                            JNO. S. PRICE. Prest. Savings Bank. St. Paul.
                             O. B. TURRELL, Prest. Marine Bank, St. Paul.
              JNO. FARRINGTON, Prest. Farmers & Mechanics Bank, St. Paul.
                                         DAWSON & Co., Bankers, St. Paul.
    Please direct your replies to any of the above Banks, and they will be
                             promptly acknowledged and faithfully applied.
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, Sept. 20, 1876.

                              THE RESPONSE.

ST. PAUL, MINN., February 1st, 1877.

TO THE SUBSCRIBERS TO THE “HEYWOOD FUND.”—The undersigned, a committee
appointed at a meeting of the Banks and Bankers of St. Paul, Minnesota,
Sept. 19th, 1876, to issue a circular appeal to all Banks and Bankers in
the United States and Canada, requesting voluntary contributions in aid of
the family of JOSEPH LEE HEYWOOD, late Acting Cashier of the First
National Bank, of Northfield, Minn., respectfully report that on Sept.
20th, 1876, we prepared a circular, and mailed about seven thousand
copies, to all Banks, Bankers, and Savings Banks in the United States,
Territories, and Canada.

In response to which we   $12,701.57
have received in cash
Less amount paid for      99.51
printing and postage

The First National Bank    5,000.00
of Northfield donated to
Mrs. Heywood and the
child, direct
Sum total contributed      $17,602.06

We have paid to Mrs.      $6,301.03
Joseph Lee Heywood, now
residing at 627 North
Meridian Street,
Indianapolis, Ind.

We have paid to J. C.       $6301.03
Nutting, President of the
First National Bank of
Northfield, Guardian of
Lizzie May Heywood, only
child of Joseph Lee

It is estimated that upward of ten thousand dollars has been expended by
the First National Bank of Northfield, the State and County authorities,
and private citizens, in capturing the robbers. Of the eight robbers, two
were killed on the spot, one was killed and three captured about two weeks
after the attempted robbery, and two succeeded in making their escape.
Under our defective law concerning capital punishment, the three captured
scoundrels saved their necks by pleading guilty to the charge of murder,
and are now in the penitentiary for life.

                                                          HENRY P. UPHAM,
                                                             WALTER MANN,
                                                          JOHN S. PRINCE,



First National Bank              Northfield.
First National Bank                St. Paul.
Second National Bank                       〃
Merchants National Bank                    〃
German American Bank                       〃
Dawson & Co.                               〃
Marine Bank                                〃
Farmer’s & Mechanics Bank                  〃
Savings Bank                               〃
“A Friend”                                 〃
Northwestern National           Minneapolis.
Merchants National Bank                    〃
First National Bank                        〃
National Exchange Bank                     〃
State National Bank                        〃
Hennepin Co. Sav. Bank                     〃
Citizens National Bank            Faribault.
C. H. Whipple                              〃
First National Bank                  Kasson.
First National Bank                Shakopee.
First National Bank               Lake City.
A Printer                            Waseca.
First National Bank for              Le Roy.
Citizens National Bank              Mankato.
Farmers National Bank              Owatonna.
Bank of Worthington             Worthington.
First National Bank              Stillwater.
Chadbourn Bros. & Co.       Blue Earth City.
Farmers & Traders Bank             Hastings.
O. Roos                       Taylors Falls.
First National Bank               Faribault.
Lumbermens National Bank         Stillwater.
H. D. Brown & Co.                Albert Lea.
First National Bank                Red Wing.
Pierce, Simmons & Co.              Red Wing.
First National Bank                  Austin.
Bank of Farmington               Farmington.
H. H. Bell                           Duluth.
City Bank                       Minneapolis.
Eddy & Erskine                    Plainview.
First National Bank               St. Peter.
First National Bank                Hastings.


Monson National Bank                Monson.
Merchants National Bank              Salem.
Geo. L. Ames                         Salem.
Franklin Co. Natl. Bank         Greenfield.
Adams National Bank            North Adams.
First National Bank            Northampton.
Lechmere National Bank      East Cambridge.
Framingham National Bank        Framingham.
Asiatic National Bank                Salem.
Geo. E. Bullard                     Boston.
Salem Savings Bank                   Salem.
Safety Fund National Bank        Fitchburg.
Naumkeag National Bank               Salem.
National City Bank                  Boston.
C. C. Barry                         Boston.
Northboro National Bank          Northboro.
Mercantile National Bank             Salem.
Charles River National           Cambridge.
Bay State National Bank           Lawrence.
Crocker National Bank        Turners Falls.
South Danvers National             Peabody.
Worcester National Bank          Worcester.
City National Bank                        〃
Central National Bank                     〃
Merchants National Bank                   〃
Security National Bank                    〃
Quinsigamond National                     〃
Citizens National Bank                    〃
First National Bank                       〃
Worcester Co. Inst. for          Worcester.
Worcester Mechanics                       〃
Savings Bank
Peoples Savings Bank                      〃
Worcester Five Cent                       〃
Savings Bank
Worcester Safe Dep. &                     〃
Trust Co.
Salem National Bank                  Salem.
National Granite Bank               Quincy.
Central National Bank                 Lynn.
Townsend National Bank            Townsend.
Housatonic National Bank       Stockbridge.
Leicester National Bank          Leicester.
Conway National Bank                Conway.


Taunton National Bank                Taunton.
Old Boston National Bank              Boston.
Second  〃  〃                                〃
Merchants  〃  〃                             〃
Howard  〃  〃
Suffolk  〃                                  〃
Faneuil Hall  〃                             〃
Blackstone  〃  〃                            〃
Tremont  〃  〃                               〃
Exchange  〃  〃                              〃
Maverick  〃  〃                              〃
Revere  〃  〃                                〃
North  〃  〃                                 〃
Shoe & Leather 〃  〃                         〃
Shawmut  〃   〃                              〃
Everett  〃   〃                              〃
Third  〃  〃                                 〃
Eagle  〃 〃                                  〃
Traders 〃 〃                                 〃
First  〃  〃                                 〃
Market  〃  〃                                〃
Redemption  〃  〃                            〃
Webster National Bank                  Boston
Hamilton  〃   〃                             〃
Freemans   〃   〃                            〃
Massachusetts 〃   〃                         〃
Boylston   〃   〃                            〃
New England                                 〃
Hide & Leather    〃                         〃
Mass. Hosp. Life                            〃
Insurance Co
Union Sale Dep. Vaults                      〃
Appleton National Bank                Lowell.
Railroad   〃   〃                            〃
Chapin Banking Company           Springfield.
Bank of Brighton                    Brighton.
Warren National Bank                 Peabody.
Millers Rivers National                Athol.
First National Bank               Greenfield.
Cambridge City National            Cambridge.
Pacific National Bank              Nantucket.
Merchants National Bank          Newburyport.
Newburyport Savings Bank                    〃
First National Bank                         〃
Ocean National Bank                         〃
Mechanics National Bank                     〃
Five Cent Savings Bank                      〃
Cambridgeport National         Cambridgeport.
National City Bank                      Lynn.
American National Bank        Hartford, Conn.
Mercantile National Bank                    〃
Birmingham National Bank    Birmingham, Conn.
Central National Bank          Middletown,  〃
Waterbury National Bank         Waterbury,  〃
Middlesex County National      Middletown,  〃
Employes of above bank                      〃
New Haven County National       New Haven,  〃
First National Bank           Augusta, Maine.
Granite 〃   〃                            〃  〃
First  〃   〃                       Concord, 〃
Calais  〃   〃                      Calais,  〃
Freemans 〃   〃                    Augusta,  〃
Kennebec Savings Bank                       〃
Cabasse National Bank              Gardiner 〃
Gardiner  National Bank                     〃
Bath  National Bank                  Bath   〃
Falls Village Savings                       〃
Third National  〃           Providence, R; I.
Bank of North America                 〃     〃
Slater National Bank            Pawtucket,  〃
Rhode Island National           Weybasset,  〃
Rockingham National Bank    Portsmouth, N. H.
Strafford National Bank         Dover, N. H..
National State Capital         Concord, N. H.
Bank of Derby Line                  Derby, Vt
Montpielier National Bank     Montpelier, Vt.
Niantic National Bank           Westerley,  〃

                                NEW YORK.

National Bank                       West Troy.
Bank of America 〃                    New York.
Tanners National Bank                Catskill.
J. G. Munro                           Buffalo.
Marine Bank                                  〃
H. F. Spaulding, Pres.               New York.
Central Trust Co.
Brown Bros. & Co                             〃
Importers & Traders Natl.                    〃
Farmers & Mechanics Natl.             Buffalo.
F. R. Delano & Co.              Niagara Falls.
Ten Banks in                         Syracuse.
Lyons National Bank                     Lyons.
Manufacturers National                   Troy.
First National Bank                  New York.
Fisk & Hatch                                 〃
E. P. Cook                             Havana.
National Central Bank           Cherry Valley.
National Bank of Salem                  Salem.
Merchants National Bank              New York.
Munroe County Savings               Rochester.
Mechanics National Bank              New York.
G. H. Smith                        Haverstraw.
City Bank                              Oswego.
Manufacturers National           Williamsburg.
Bank of North America                New York.
Manhattan Co.                                〃
Metropolitan National                        〃
W. W. Astor                                  〃
Gallatin National Bank                       〃
Executive Commercial                         〃
Mercantile Trust Co.
First National Bank                  Red Hook.
First National Bank                 Jamestown.
Farmers National Bank               Amsterdam.
Chemical National Bank               New York.
New York Savings Bank                        〃
American Ex. National                        〃
J. T. Foote                                  〃
First National Bank                 Champlain.
Witmer Bros.                Suspension Bridge.
City National Bank                  Jamestown.
Manufacturers Bank                     Cohoes.
C. P. Williams                         Albany.
First National Bank                   Rondout.
Third National Bank                  New York.


Bank of Holden                      Holden.
People’s Savings Bank          Chillicothe.
Third National Bank              St. Louis.
Montgomery County Bank     Montgomery City.
Boone County National             Columbia.
First National Bank             St. Joseph.
Bank of Joplin                      Joplin.
First National Bank            Kansas City.
Scotland County Bank               Memphis.
Farmer and Drovers Bank           Carthage.
Bank of Commerce                 St. Louis.
First National Bank                  Paris.
Lawrence County Bank           Pierce City.
Franklin Abe. Germ. Sav.         St. Louis.
Waverly Bank                       Waverly.
Aull Savings Bank                Lexington.


First National Bank        Chattanooga.
Commercial National Bank     Knoxville.


Jos. F. Larkin & Co            Cincinnati.
Ramsey & Teeple                     Delta.
Farmers Bank                   Wapakoneta.
Second National Bank               Toledo.
First National Bank             Massillon.
First National Bank            Portsmouth.
Harrison National Bank              Cadiz.
Commercial National Bank        Cleveland.
Barber & Merrill                  Wauseon.
First National Bank                  Troy.
Merchants National Bank            Dayton.
Youngstown Savings and         Youngstown.
Loan Association
Wicks Bros. & Co                         〃
Second National Bank                     〃
First National Bank                      〃
First National Bank           Springfield.
First National Bank        East Liverpool.
First National Bank               Ashland.


Second National Bank             Detroit.
Second National Bank           Hillsdale.
First National Bank             Plymouth.
First National Bank           St. Joseph.
First National Bank           Port Huron.
Randall & Darrah            Grand Rapids.
National Bank of Michigan       Marshall.
Boies, Rude & Co.                 Hudson.
First National Bank             Houghton.
First National Batik            Dowagiac.
Ann Arbor Savings Bank         Ann Arbor.
Perkins, Thompson & Co            Hudson.
First National Bank              Hancock.
Merchants & Miners Bank          Calumet.


Richmond National Bank          Richmond.
Fort Wayne National Bank      Fort Wayne.
Citizens National Bank     Jeffersonville
First National Bank           New Albany.
Brazil Bank                       Brazil.
Walkers Bank                      Kokomo.
Citizens National Bank        Greensburg.
National Branch Bank             Madison.
First National Bank             Richmond.
Citizens National Bank              Peru.
First National Bank            Tell City.


First National Bank          Marseilles.
Commercial National Bank         Chicago
Chicago Clearings House                〃
Union National Bank              Aurora.
J. A. Beach                 Bunker Hill.
“A Friend”                       Girard.
Bank of Forreston             Forreston.
Geo. Wright                      Paxton.
First National Bank              Peoria.
First National Bank           Princeton.
City National Bank                Cairo.
Peoples Bank                Bloomington.
Scott & Wrigley                 Wyoming.
C. G. Cloud                 McLeansboro.
Union National Bank            Streator.
Knowlton Bros                  Freeport.
Alton National Bank               Alton.
W. F. Thornton & Son        Shelbyville.
Farmers National Bank        Keithsburg.
First National Bank            Freeport.
First National Bank            Kankakee.
First National Bank              Ottawa.
Citizens National Bank                 〃
First National Bank              Quincy.
First National Bank              Arcola.
Edgar Co. National Bank           Paris.
Griggsville National Bank   Griggsville.
Cass Co. Bank                Beardstown.
First National Bank           Knoxville.
T. W. Raymond & Co             Kinmundy.
Ridgely National Bank       Springfield.
First National Bank              Warsaw.
First National Bank         Shawneetown.
First National Bank           Rushville.
Stetson, Littlewood &        Farmington.
First National Bank              Canton.
First National Bank           Centralia.


First National Bank              Brunswick.
West Waterville National   West Waterville.
First National Bank           Damariscotta.
People’s National Bank          Waterville.
Banks in                          Portland.


First National Bank   Fairhaven.
First National Bank      Orwell.


National Bank Western   Fort Smith.


Bank of Woodland                 Woodland.
Caisse d’Epargnes           San Francisco.
Kern Valley Bank              Bakersfield.
First National Gold Bank          Oakland.
Nevada Bank                 San Francisco.
Santa Barbara County Bank   Santa Barbara.


First National Bank        Denver.
First National Bank      Trinidad.
Emerson & West            Greeley.
Colorado National Bank     Denver.

                            DAKOTA TERRITORY.

Mark M. Parmer   Yankton.

                              NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Claremont National Bank    Claremont.
Castleton National Bank    Castleton.
National Bank of Lebanon     Lebanon.
Littleton National Bank    Littleton.


Ragnet & Fry                Marshall.
J. R. Couts & Co         Weatherford.
Merchants and Planters       Sherman.
First National Bank          Parsons.

                              RHODE ISLAND.

Roger Williams National      Providence.
Manufacturers National                 〃
Washington National Bank       Westerly.
National Phoenix Bank                  〃
National Exchange Bank       Providence.
Centerville National Bank   Centreville.
Warwick Institute for                  〃
Merchants National Bank      Providence.


First National Bank        Middletown.
First National Bank          Stamford.
Phoenix National Bank        Hartford.
Geo. A. Butler              New Haven.
Banks of Bridgeport.       Bridgeport.
Hartford National Bank       Hartford.
Deep River National Bank   Deep River.
Stamford National Bank       Stamford.
Farmers & Mechanics        Middletown.
Savings Bank
Norwich Savings Bank          Norwich.
Thames National Bank                 〃


First National Bank               Columbia.
First National Bink                 Sharon.
Pittsburgh Clearing House        Pittsburgh
National Bank                   Pottstown .
First National Bank               Oil City.
National Bank, Chester        Coatesvillle.
First National Bank               Pittston.
Watsontown Bank                 Watsontown.
Cassatt & Co                  Philadelphia.
First National Bank           Shippensburg.
First National Bank                Hanover.
First National Bank              Strasburg.
St. Petersburg Savings      St. Petersburg.
Marine National Bank                  Erie.
National Bank, Fayette Co        Uniontown.
National Bank, Chester Co          Chester.
Marine National Bank             Pittsburg.
Columbia National Bank            Columbia.
Citizens National Bank             Ashland.
Doylstown National Bank         Doylestown.
Spring Garden Bank            Philadelphia.
National Bank, Oxford               Oxford.
First National Bank                Altoona.
Commercial National Bank       Philadelphia
of Pennsylvania.
National Bank Republic                    〃
Union National Bank                       〃
National Bank of              Phoenixville.
Farmers & Mechanics                       〃
National Bank
Bank of North America         Philadelphia.
W. L. DuBois                              〃


First National Bank          Belle Plaine.
Levitt, Johnson & Lursch         Waterloo.
First National Bank                 Boone.
First National Bank               Wyoming.
First National Bank               Decorah.
National State Bank            Burlington.
Conger, Pierce & Co                Dexter.
E. Manning                      Keosaugua.
First National Bank              Chariton.
Citizen’s National Bank         Winterset.
H. F. Greef & Bro            Beautonsport.
Council Bluff Savings      Council Bluffs.
Greene County Bank              Jefferson.
Muscatine National Bank         Muscatine.
State National Bank                Keokuk.
First National Bank               Red Oak.
Davenport National Bank         Davenport.
Bank of Carroll              Carroll City.
Cerro Gordo County Bank        Mason City.
Clinton National Bank             Clinton.
Silverman, Cook & Co            Muscatine.
First National Bank              Grinnell.


Topeka National Bank          Topeka.
Abilene Bank                 Abilene.
Humboldt Bank               Humboldt.
D. W. Powers & Co          Ellsworth.
Emporia National Bank        Emporia.
Turner & Otis           Independence.


First National Bank     Baltimore.
National Union Bank              〃
First National Bank   Westminster.
National Bank of        Baltimore.


Merchants Bank, Canada   Hamilton.
Bank of Toronto           Toronto.
Thos. Fyshe               Halifax.


Theo. Schwartz & Co    Louisville.
National Bank of        Cynthiana.
German National Bank    Covington.


City National Bank   Selma.

                             SOUTH CAROLINA.

South Carolina Loan &   Charleston.
Trust Co.
National Bank             Anderson.


Vicksburgh Bank   Vicksburg.

                               NEW JERSEY.

First National Bank   Morristown.


First National Bank                Milwaukee.
National Exchange Bank                      〃
Manufacturers National                Racine.
First National Bank               Whitewater.
Wisconsin Marine & Fire            Milwaukee.
Ins. Co. Bank
First National Bink                   Hudson.
Bank of Evansville                Evansville.
Batavian Bank                      La Crosse.
National Bank                        Delavan.
First National Bank                   Munroe.
Bowman & Humbird           Black River Falls.
Milwaukee National Bank            Milwaukee.
Second Ward Savings Bank                    〃
German Bank                        Sheboygan.
J. F. Cleghorn                       Clinton.
Savings Bank                     Fond du Lac.
Kellogg National Bank              Green Bay.
First National Bank                  Madison.
Waukesha National Bank              Waukesha.
Marshall & Ilsley                  Milwaukee.
Shullsburg Bank                   Shullsburg.
First National Bank              Fond du Lac.
Humphry & Clark                  Bloomington.
Second Ward Saving Bank            Milwaukee.


Delaware City National        Delaware.
First National Bank         Wilmington.
Union National Bank                   〃
National Bank of Delaware             〃
National Bank of                      〃
Wilmington & B. W.
Newport National Bank          Newport.

                              WEST VIRGINIA.

Merchants National Bank   Morganstown.
of W. Virginia
Commercial Bank              Wheeling.
Exchange Bank                        〃


Planters & Mechanics Bank   Petersburg.
German Banking Company      Alexandria.


Citizens Bank of   New Orleans.


Bank of Americus   Americus.


Deseret National Bank   Salt Lake City.


First National Bank   Portland.
Ladd & Tilton                 〃

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Robber and hero; the story of the raid on the First National Bank of - Northfield, Minnesota, by the James-Younger band of robbers, in - 1876." ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.