Dr. Susan Brownell
Final Abstract for URS Program
Whether the infamous outlaw Jesse James (1847-1882) ever lived in Iron County Missouri during his post-Civil War crime spree is a highly debated issue shrouded in legend and myth. A plot of land called “The Hideout” in Southern Iron County is a prime source for these legends to be tested. Archaeologists Benjamin Ebert, Steven Meyer, and Tim Evers will attempt to answer the question “Could Jesse James have stayed at the Hideout?” Iron County is steeped in rich history dating back to the Civil War, and other historic landmarks add credence to the legends
and help push tourism and preservation efforts. With constant urbanization and potential erosion as a looming threat to destroying the site, this research becomes more crucial with every passing day. A collection of approximately 100 artifacts previously recovered from the site will be cataloged and examined. Photography and oral interviews with local experts will create a timeframe for the site. Google Earth and old maps will be researched to better understand the geography and historical context of the site during the late 19th century. Digital research and
contemporary literature sources will create a living roadmap for the path and timeframe that Jesse James went through in Southern Missouri during his crime spree. Using these methods, a timeline will be established for both Jesse James and the “Hideout” to give credence to any possible link.