The Life and



Frank James


Chapter 5

The fifth day of the trial:

George W. McCrow, first witness for State, testified: I live in Port Osage Township, Jackson County. I know Dick Liddell; have known him for the last five years. I remember hearing of the Winston robbery. There was a man left a wagon at my house some time after that robbery. The man was a stranger. The wagon has never been claimed, and is there yet. I know Lamartine Hudspeth. He lives six or seven miles from me. I know a sorrel horse that he owned before and after the robbery. I cannot describe the horse particularly.

Dick LiddilCross-examined: I have seen other sorrel horses at Hudspeth's. I am a brother-in-law of Mattie Collins, wife of Dick Liddell.

W. R. McRoberts testified: In the spring and summer of 1881, I was agent for the Wabash, at Richmond, Mo. The express books were kept by C. L. Stewart I know his handwriting; have seen him write every day for thirteen months. I find an entry of the shipment of a box from Lexington, Mo., on May 18, 1881. The entry is in Stewart's handwriting. The entry reads: "W. B., 118, May 18, Lexington; one box, 40 pounds; J. T. Ford; back charges, $1.95; our charges, 35 cents; total, collect, $2.30."

Miss Ella Kindigg testified: I live nine miles west of here, and four miles from Winston. I have seen Dick Liddell here. I will not state positively I have seen him before, but I saw a man with features like him on July 15, 1881, on the day of the Winston robbery. He had dark hair and whiskers. He came there about 11:30 a. m. and stayed to dinner. There was no one with him. The house is a low frame, with trees all round, standing about 100 yards from the road that runs west. My mother and brother were there, and two of Mr. Mapes' girls. The oldest is a simple girl, 18 or 19 years old, with sore eyes.

Cross-examined: The party I saw at our house had on a linen duster.

Mrs. Samuel A. Kindigg, mother of the last witness, testified: I have seen a man called Dick Liddell here in court. He looks like a man that took dinner at my house on the morning of the Friday on which the Winston robbery occurred. The man who called at our house was 5 feet 9 inches high, with dark hair, light eyes and chin whiskers. His whiskers were just started out. I don't remember whether he had a mustache or not. The day I saw Liddell here I asked him if he had ever seen me before. He said that he had, and had taken dinner at my house.

Cross-examined: I did not need to have Liddell pointed out to me. I knew him when I saw him. My conversation with him occurred last night as I was passing along the sidewalk.

Wm. Bray testified: I live at Hamilton, Mo. In the summer of 1881 I lived two miles west of Hamilton, in a story and a half house, with a little stable back of it. I have seen the defendant. I saw him, or a man that looked like him, at my house some two or three weeks before the Winston robbery. Was not home at the time, but found the defendant and three others there when I came home. One of them was sick with the toothache. This was a low, heavy-set man, with about a week's growth of sandy beard and the other was a smaller man, with a large tooth. Have seen Dick Liddell since, but will not say that he was there, but believe him to be the man that was out in the stable most of the time. The day they called at my house I took the man with the toothache to town and he had his tooth pulled.

Cross-examined: The party with the toothache was almost 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high. The defendant wore Burnside whiskers of tolerable length, say two or three inches long, of light sandy color.

R. E. Bray, son of the foregoing witness, Wm. Bray, testified: I have seen the defendant. I saw a man that looked like him at my father's house some two or three weeks before the Winston robbery. There were three others with him. Three went away on horseback, and a low, heavy-set man, with the toothache, with my father in his buggy. I was told Dick Liddell was here, and when I saw him I thought he was one of the men who stopped. I don't know that I would have recognized him if I had met him on the road.

Mrs. William Bray testified to seeing the defendant at her husband's house some ten days or two weeks before the Winston robbery. Three other men came with him. One of the men was a spare-built man with light hair, large teeth, slight mustache, and little or no beard. The heavy-set man had sandy beard of two or three days' growth. The defendant looks to me as like one of the men that was at my house. I talked to the defendant that day about the sickness of the heavy-set man. He thought his sickness was caused by the use of creosote for the toothache. The defendant told me they stopped the night before at A. M. Wolfenberger's, where they pulled and ate cherries in the morning.

Cross-examined: The man called Liddell came to the house with the heavy-set-man that was sick and asked for a vessel to carry water out to him. I gave him either a pitcher or a quart cup. In the meantime the heavy-set man got off his horse and got in the shade, so that his companion had to call out for him. He called him Dave, and Dave answered him. After that two others came up. They all had dinner at our house. They spent most of the time out of doors in the shade, in their shirt-sleeves. The defendant that day wore Burnside whiskers. tolerably long, and a little thin mustache; I don't think he had any chin whiskers. He had a dark coat, grayish pants and black hat. Think I would recognize the defendant more easily than I would the man called Liddell should I meet him in the road.

Re-direct: I would recognize the defendant more easily because he sat facing me at the table, and I talked with him. On three or four occasions when he came in the house I remember talking with him about physicians, and he said the sick man was anxious to go to Cameron to see a doctor there. They went south, as they left.

Mrs. David Franks testified: I have seen a man at our house eight miles west of here that represents. the defendant from the face upon July 13, 1881. There were three men at dinner there that day. One was a tall, slim man that wore Burnsides. Another was slender and lightly complexioned, while the third was heavier.

Cross-examined: The defendant's hair was dark brown and his whiskers blacker than his mustache. He had a face tanned by riding in the wind, and wore dark clothes and boots. This was two days before the Winston robbery. One of the other men wore a light checked plaid and a dark hat.

Re-direct: I guess we live about three miles southeast of Mr. Jonas Potts' blacksmithshop.

Frank Wolfenberger testified: I live eight miles southwest of Gallatin. I have seen the defendant here in court. Saw him before at my home, in the latter part of June, 1881. Three other men were with him. I recognize one of them as Dick Liddell. Another was a heavy set man of about 5 feet 10 inches. The other was not so tall, and round-shouldered, and in walking let his shoulders come in together forward. He had a slouchy gait. He had light whiskers, very short. The other heavy man had whiskers all round, that looked as if he had let them all start growing at the same time. It was evening when I met them. They had been helping themselves to feed, and then went from the barn to the house. We washed for supper, and defendant and Liddell blackened their boots. The sick man said he would wait till morning, and the slouchy one didn't think he would black his boots at all. The sick man retired early, and in the morning asked me to examine his mouth, which I did. In the evening previous the defendant asked if we had any opium. I said no, but as my wife had been sick I had some morphine. I fixed two doses in one. The defendant observed, "I reckon it is not poison," and the heavy man took it. At the supper table the slouchy man's name was called. The defendant said his name was McGinnis, and the sick man's name was given as Johnson. The defendant said he was married and so was the sick man, and the others were single. The defendant seemed to know all about fair horses, but more about runners than trotters. In the morning Liddell helped me to load my wood. The slouchy man produced a bottle of stimulants and offered it to me, but I declined. They then sampled it lightly themselves. The arrangement with the defendant had been that if the sick man was not able to leave I should take him to Kidder in a buggy. The prisoner gave me 50 cents to buy quinine with, but I still owe him that sum, as he had left before I returned with the quinine. Since I first saw the defendant in the Gallatin Jail I went in there by myself, and after some preliminary talk with the defendant, I said: "I guess I had the pleasure of entertaining you and three other men one night." He looked at me slightly and then down and said: "I have no remembrance of it." Said I: "I guess I did. You and three other men, and one was quite sick." He looked up in a kind of study and shook his head and said: "I don't remember. I have no recollection of it." I have since seen Dick Liddell, and recognized him as the man I saw at my house.

Cross-examined: The defendant when at my house wore Burnside whiskers about three inches long, and a light mustache. Liddell at that time had a beard all over his face, about three or four weeks' growth. His mustache was not so long as now.

Re-direct: I am positive the defendant is the man who was in my house on that occasion.

Mrs. James Lindsay testified: I live at Chillicothe. I am a sister of the last witness. I saw the defendant at my brother's in June, 1881, about two weeks before the Winston robbery. Three others came with him. I recognize Liddell as one of them. He had a good appearance. Had a mustache and had not recently been shaved. Another of the three, who was sick with neuralgia, at the time, had a beard all over his face. I first saw the defendant, who rode up to the gate, and said they had a sick man with them and asked if they could be entertained for the night. The fourth man was rather green looking. I remember the defendant having a conversation on some religious topic with my sister-in-law. He seemed to be a very religious man. I am sure the defendant is the man I saw that day.

Cross-examined: The man I saw at my house had Burnside whiskers and a mustache. In the morning after Frank James was out eating cherries under the trees and Liddell was with him. I would have known either the defendant or Liddell if I had met them on road before the surrender. I never forget a face. I remember seeing Mr. Johnson here at the June term. I do not remember seeing Mr. Phillips. [Mr. Phillips was not present in June.]

Dr. Wm. E. Black testified: I live at Gallatin, Mo.; I have seen the defendant since the surrender; had a few words in the jail with him; I talked with him in jail at Independence; he spoke of the merits of different actors; I believe he said he had seen Keene play Richard III. at Nashville, and also seen Lawrence Barrett, McCullough, and, I think, he spoke of Ward as a favorite actor with him, and that he delineated the Shakespearean characters he played better than any one he knew, being a young man; he also spoke of Miles.

D. Mathews testified: I live in Clay County, Mo., near Kearney, four and a half miles from Mrs. Samuels; I lost a horse on June 19before the Winston robberya sorrel, with a blazed face and white hind feet; I got him some time in August after the robbery; he was at a farmer's by the name of Miller, in Ray County.

Cross-examined: This horse was 15 1-2 hands high. The blaze was 2 inches wide and extended from his eyes down over his nose. I recovered him through a reward I had offered for him.

Wm. R. Roberts testified: I live in Clay County. I remember the Winston robbery. I took up a bay mare about the end of July or first of August. She was taken up on my farm in Clay County and I turned her over to Sheriff Timberlake, who told me he was going to take her to Liberty. To the best of my recollection I took her up about a week after the Winston robbery.

Cross-examined: The mare had a small star in the forehead and a white left hind foot.

Mrs. Lindsay was recalled and testified that Mrs. Wolfenberger was a sister of hers and could not attend at this trial on account of sickness. I said I saw Mr. Johnson here in June, but I was frightened at the time. I know I have seen him, but cannot say when. I noticed my mistake as I left the Court-room.

Court took a recess for dinner at this point, and the State announced its expectation of closing in a few moments after recess.

After recess Frank R. O'Neil, of the Republican, was called to the stand, and, having stated that he had counseled with no one touching the questions submitted last evening for his answer to-day, was informed by the Court that the law did not regard communications to the press as privileged. Mr. ONeil, at the suggestion of Mr. Shanklin, of the State's counsel, submitted a paper to the Court containing a statement of his position. This paper was afterwards read by witness in open court. It is simply a disclaimer of any attempt to obstruct the process of justice, but states that after giving his pledge of confidence to the defendant before the surrender, he afterwards, to some extent, acted as adviser for the defendant, and should on that account be excused from answering. Witness further declined to state whether any of the parties present before the surrender with the defendant and himself were called as witnesses for the defense in this case. The Court reserved its decision on the question of compelling witness to answer.

James R. Timberlake testified: In 1881 I lived in Clay County, and was its Sheriff. I know Mr. Roberts. At that time he lived in the north-east portion of the county. I went out to his place and got a bay mare with a star on her forehead shortly after the Winston robbery. I kept her at Liberty for ten or fifteen days, and then the owner claimed her. The owner was named Graham. He afterward traded her to a livery man named Reed, who kept her at his stable, which is next to mine.  


Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 1

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 2

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 3

Return to the Life and Trial of Frank James, Chapter 4

Go to Chapter 6



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