Sunday, June 12, 2011

run ins with Jesse James and Native Americans

In 1876, the celebrated outlaw Jesse James and his gang attempted a bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota.  The bank robbery was unsuccessful, but they managed to kill two innocent people before Jesse James and his brother fled with their lives; south to Missouri or Nebraska.

My great-great-great-grandmother Sophia Hoffman was then living on a farm near Mankato, Minnesota, which was apparently along the James' escape route south.  Sophia had a hired farmhand who wanted to go after and kill or capture Jesse James on his way by.  Sophia had to forbid him from going after James because she was scared that James or the rest of his gang would harm her family (She had just given birth to her 10th child.)

Earlier, in about 1858 after having been in America for only about one year, 17-year old Sophia was working as a hired farmgirl for a family near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She was told by her employers that if Indians ever came by asking for food, she was supposed to give them some.  One day, she was by herself and a lone Indian came by the farmhouse asking for food.  She gave him some food, but before he ate any of it, he made her taste it first to make sure she wasn't trying to poison him.

My descent from Sophia:
Sophia Streu md. Henry Hoffman
- Henry Hoffman md. Christina Kling
-- Bertha Hoffman md. Neil Bixby
--- Patricia Bixby md. Ben Plymale
---- Barbara Plymale md. Randy Wadleigh
----- Ryan Wadleigh

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