Bob, Jim & Cole Younger

Bob, Jim, Cole and sister Henrietta Younger
Taken in Stillwater Prison, 1889
Henrietta arranged the photo and suits instead of prison garb.

JAMES HENRY "JIM" YOUNGER, brother of Coleman. Joined Quantrill in 1864 at age 16. Then went to Kentucky with Quantrill. Surrendered by Capt. Henry Porter to Capt. Young, US Army, at Samuel's Depot, Nelson County, Kentucky, on July 26, 1865.

Captured by posse after Northfield, MN, robbery. Sent to penitentiary. Requested parole October 13, 1902. It was refused. Found dead at Reardon Hotel, St. Paul, MN, of bullet wound in head, October 19, 1902.

THOMAS COLMAN "COLE" YOUNGER, brother to Jim. Father was killed in 1861 by Captain Walley, 5th MO Militia Cavalry. Joined Quantrill with John Jarrette in October of 1861 at age 18.

Cole was at Independence, Lawrence and Baxter Springs. After the war, Cole was captured on Northfield, MN, robbery, Sept 7, 1876.

Wounded severely in Northfield, MN robbery. Served 25 years in prison at Stillwater, MN. Died at Lee's Summit, MO, March 21, 1916. On Roster of July 6, 1862.

ROBERT "BOB" EWING YOUNGER (1853-1889) - The youngest of the Younger brothers, Bob was the 13th of 14 children. He was born on October 29, 1853 and well-educated in his early years.

When brothers Cole and Jim joined Quantrill’s Guerillas during the Civil War, Bob and his brother, John, were too young, and stayed home to look after their mother and sisters. During the war, he saw his father killed by Union soldiers and his home burned to the ground. When his brothers formed the James-Younger Gang, along with Frank and Jesse James, Bob later joined them and for the next ten years robbed banks, trains, and stage coaches across Missouri, Kansas, and other nearby states.


The Youngers will probably always be most famous as part of the James - Younger Gang who were credited with many robberies. It is difficult to pin point the exact number of robberies as well as the amount liberated at each event. The gang members and families later exaggerated and the banks, trains, and stages tended to under report the amount. The authorities later admitted, they were concerned that accurate reporting which could lead to other advantageous activities and enterprising young men.

On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob the bank in Northfield, Minnesota. Members of the gang rode into Northfield, wearing flowing dusters to conceal their guns. Once inside, they dropped their coats and demanded the money from the vault. Awaiting townspeople began to fight back against the gang. In the melee that followed, two square heads were killed, as were gang members Clell Miller and William Stiles.

The pursuit of the gang went on for weeks and covered 400 miles, during which the gang split up and managed to get away. The Youngers were eventually captured at Madelia, MN, on September 21, 1876. At that tie another gun battle broke out, in which gang member Charlie Pitts was killed. The three Younger brothers were tried in Faribault, found guilty of murder, and sentenced to 25 years in the state prison at Stillwater, MN.

Bob Younger died in prison in 1889. Jim was pardoned in 1901 and was found dead at Reardon Hotel, St. Paul, MN, of bullet wound in head, October 19, 1902. Cole, also pardoned in 1901, died in 1916. Cole served his time as a model prisoner, and started the prison's first newspaper, the Prison Mirror.

The Northfield Raid, as the robbery attempt has come to be known, has been the subject of countless novels and movies. It has inspired endless speculation and multiple theories of the sequence of events and who actually participated.

Cole Younger's Grave
Lee's Summit Historical Cemetary, Lee's Summit, Missouri

Jim Younger's Grave
Lee's Summit Historical Cemetary, Lee's Summit, Missouri


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