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Jesse James' Door


In 1902, this week’s edition of the Jamestown Alert reported “the history of Frank and Jesse James has been revived in Minot.” D. H. Lord was erecting a new mercantile in Minot, and, in need of a vault door, Mr. Lord traded a new $1,800 model for an older one taken from a bank in his hometown of Northfield, MN.

This Northfield bank was held up by the infamous James Gang 28 years earlier. The bank cashier tried to close the door on Jesse James, but Jesse got out of the vault before the teller could lock it. The incident became famous, because local townspeople surprised the bank robbers with gunfire when they came out of the bank – reducing the James Gang from eight members to six.

Source: Jamestown Weekly Alert. Thursday, August 14, 1902: 1.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm