JESSE JAMES AND HIS VISIT TO GREENVILLE
For years, local historians have heard rumors that legendary outlaw Jesse James visited Greenville during his brief life. A local couple made an interesting discovery earlier this summer while in western Missouri. Randy and Tammy Stief were attending the Mid America Christmas Tree Growers meeting in Hope, Missouri and decided to visit some of the Jesse James tourist spots. While at a museum located inside a bank that was robbed by the James and Younger Gang in February 1866, Tammy saw a picture of Jesse James. What caught her eye was the photo’s description which claimed it was taken in 1869 in Greenville, Illinois. The Stiefs learned that the picture was included in a book published in 1995 called “The Many Faces of Jesse James.” They bought a copy of the book to bring home and share with friends.
According to the book, Jesse and Frank James had a love for horse racing and attended events throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. The authors indicate that the Greenville picture was probably taken during a trip to watch horse racing. It’s also said to have been the sixth known photo taken of Jesse. Local historians have never been able to verify that Jesse James was ever in Greenville but there was a very well-known horse racing track at that time just southwest of town on the property now occupied by Creative Image Restoration. Because the site is adjacent to the railroad track, Randy Stief believes the James brothers came to Greenville by train.
During our research, WGEL has been able to verify that Frank James visited Greenville in June 1895. An article in the Greenville Sun newspaper reported that Frank was the guest of Johnnie Huffman. The two were returning from St. Louis where Huffman had been racing horses. According to the Sun, a large number of people went out to meet Frank James while he was in Greenville. The newspaper described the former outlaw as “a quiet, peaceable citizen” and a “pleasant and affable” gentleman.
Other than the account published in the book purchased by the Stiefs, local historians are still searching for more details on Jesse James trip to Greenville. Copies of the Greenville photo have been sold in recent months on eBay.
The Freshman Comets were 48-0 winners over East Alton Wood River. Brian Doll scored three touchdowns and recorded a safety while Blake Tebbe scored two and Josh Majerus and Devin Meisinger one each.
The Mulberry Grove Aces were blanked by Altamont 10-0 on Thursday. Mulberry was held to four hits. The Aces were winners 13-2 over Sandoval on Wednesday. Dustin Lindahl got the win. Mitchell Lewis scored three runs and Jake Tompkins had a pair of doubles.
The Comets lost to Roxana 3-0. Abe Barth had seven saves in goal.
FOOTBALL ON THE RADIO
Tonight on WGEL, the Comets are at home versus Roxana followed by our tape delay broadcast of Highland at Centralia.