Adair, Iowa: The Site of the First Train Robbery in the West

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

Many of you have grown up hearing stories of the Wild, Wild West. Although you do not see as many Wild West stories today, they surface from time to time. For those who are younger and do not know about the Wild West, it was plagued with gun fights and lawlessness and outlaws. One of the most famous outlaws is a man by the name of Jesse James. The name stirs up the minds of many. Jesse James and his gang of outlaws did many robberies in his heyday. Although he was not the first to rob people in the west, he was the very first outlaw to rob a train west of the Mississippi River, and it was not an ordinary train robbery.

The day was July 21, 1873. Jesse James and his gang set themselves up at a site west of the town of Adair, Iowa. Days earlier…

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