​​​Clay County 1890 Jail Museum 


Frank & Jesse James and the Younger Brothers

This story was first written in J.P. Earle's book "History of Clay County and Northwest Texas" written in 1900, and included in an article in the Clay County Leader titled "Museum Memories"  by Lucille Glascow. It has been edited to better fit this space.

Frank and Jesse James and the Younger Brothers who created so much notoriety a few years ago, and whose daring deeds have been recorded and read in history from the Atlantic to the Pacific, used to pass through Clay County at an early day, on their way to the Montezumas of Old Mexico.

The Younger Brothers stopped and lived for awhile in Scyene, Dallas County, Texas. At an early day, before they had created so much notoriety, Mr. Earle met and formed an acquaintance with them. They were very social and polite and appeared to be quiet and peaceful young men. One not acquainted with them would not have taken them to be anything but law-abiding and peaceful citizens; but a short time later on, at Scyene Texas, one of them shot and killed Charles Nichols, Deputy Sheriff, and a man by the name of McMahan, both of Dallas County, and then quit the State and his acquaintance with them ended.

​Frank and Jesse James would stop in the Big Wichita Valley (Charlie) to visit their sister, Mrs. Allen Parmer, and feed and rest up their jaded horses. Mr. and Mrs. Parmer came to Clay County in the early seventies (1870's) and cast their lot with the early settlers in order to restore to themselves and children loses saustained during the late war (Civil War).

Mr. Parmer opened up a farm on the south side of the Big Wichita River, near what is known as Boger Crossing. He lived on and ran this farm for a few years and then moved his family to Henrietta.

While Mr. Parmer was living in Henrietta an express train in Missouri was held up and robbed of a large sum of money. The United States authorities  sent a detective down to Henrietta and had Mr. Parmer arrested as being implicated in the crime. He demanded an examining trial before the US Commissioner at Sherman, Texas, and proved an alibi by a half dozen good reliable witnesses whom he had take from Henrietta with him, but to no avail. The officers carried him to Kansas City, Missouri. 

​After his release, Mr. and Mrs. Parmer lived in Henrietta quite awhile, and then moved to Wichita Falls, where they lost one of their little boys by drowning. Soon thereafter, Mrs. Parmer took sick and passed away, no doubt to meet her boy in a better land, where all is peace, and sorrow never comes. (She is buried in the cemetery above the falls, in Wichita Falls.

Mr. Parmer lived on his stock farm near the falls and was a peaceful law-abiding man, well liked by all who knew him. He seldom ever mentioned his ups and downs during the late war while following Quantrell across the borders of Missouri and Kansas.

​Jesse James was assassinated at St. Joseph, Missouri, by little Robert Ford, who for a few thousand dollars betrayed his best friend and who was looked upon by many as being worse than Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his Lord and Master for a few pieces of silver, or Benedict Arnold, who sold his country for a Commission in the British Army.

Frank James moved to Texas and lived in Dallas for part of the time.