For you 'Old West' buffs.
Posted by Kenny Vail (+112) 17 years ago
After a full year of doing research for a book on Morgan Earp, I recently discovered another unexpected Old West 'celeb' who visited Miles City in 1879; the infamous Frank James, older brother of Jesse.

He was spotted in old town on Wednesday May 25 and Sheriff Tom Irvine was alerted. That evening Irvine walked over to old town to try an make his own positive I.D. Inside a saloon and not wanting to cause unnecessary panic, Irvine played a cat and mouse game with the man who obviously knew who Irvine was. He constantly kept his back to the sheriff, never letting him get a look at his face. Irvine didn't play the game long, however.

Sheriff Irvine, a skilled gun handler with pistol or rifle withdrew from the saloon and found where Frank kept his horse at Lansing's stable. He and a deputy then set a trap there in a room where Frank James' saddle and rifle were kept. But Frank was too wary for them. He managed to get only his horse "and ran into the bluffs" during a driving rain. Irvine said, "I kept his rig."

The first thought that comes to mind is, "Was Frank James there to 'case the joint' for a prospective bank job? If so, that could have changed Old West history a little bit.

Kenny Vail
Santa Clarita, Ca.
Posted by Laura K. Jones (+29) 17 years ago
Hi Mr. Vail,

That was a pretty intriguing bit of information you found! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Laura Jones
Corvallis, Oregon