Jesse didn't die.

Jesse James' Homestead Open To Public

Clay County, MO, has opened the family homestead of Jesse and Frank James in Kearney for another season. The homestead has been a tourist attraction since the 1880's, when Jesse and Frank's mom led the tours. Frank continued on after his mother died, selling autographed pictures and charging fifty cents admission. Frank's son, Robert, later turned part of the 275 acre farm into a pitch and putt golf course, in an effort to keep 'em coming.

Jesse was born here in 1847, and was initially buried here after his murder in 1882. He did not die here -- he was shot in the back while dusting his house in St. Joseph, MO -- but the death feather duster is here at the homestead museum, as are the boots he was wearing.

Dozens of Jesse's other effects are displayed as well: his razor, cartridge belt, and wallet. Frank's footlocker and books can be seen among other, less historic, James family detritus.

20 years after Jesse was buried at the homestead, his remains were moved to the family plot in Mount Olivet cemetery. Due to the recent groundswell of support for the theory -- as propounded by The Jesse James Museum in Stanton, MO -- that Jesse James was not murdered in St. Joseph by Robert Ford, the body was exhumed in 1995 for DNA testing of bone and hair samples. Though a panel of 10 forensic "experts" said it was Jesse James, we at Roadside America remind, "ears don't lie."

[07/06/1997]

The James Farm

Address:
21216 Jesse James Farm Rd, Kearney, MO
Directions:
The James Farm. I-35 exit 26. East on Hwy 92/6th St. for about two miles, then left on Jesse James Farm Rd. North one mile, then right on 164th St. for one mile.
Hours:
Daily 9 am - 4 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
816-628-6065
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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