Saturday, July 01, 2023

The Final Resting Place of Jesse James' PR Agent

 July 1, 2023

   When it comes to studying history, I believe it pays to go walk the ground they walked and also to see the ground where they sleep.

Mark Lee Gardner at the grave
of John Newman Edwards


[Special to the Kansas City Times.]

HIGGINSVILLE, Mo., May 6th.—In the old cemetery, just at the outskirts of the little town of Dover, ten miles from here, the body of John N. Edwards was buried this morning. It is a quiet, secluded spot, where the rumble of wagon wheels in the road near by are the only sounds, save the singing of birds, heard from one year's end to the other—just the place where one with Major Edwards' love of nature and the beautiful would desire to lie in his last long sleep. And it was his wish, frequently expressed, that he should be buried there. It is within easy view from the old Plattenburg homestead, where his wife spent her girlhood and he wooed and won her, and from which his body was carried to its last resting place this morning. From the windows the tombstones which mark the graves of the former residents of Dover are plainly visible. The whole scene is a pretty rural one, the scattering houses of Dover giving it just enough of an urban aspect to soften its outlines without destroying its primitive beauty. It was no wonder that one with the poetic temperament and chivalrous ideals of Major Edwards should choose the old Dover cemetery as his burial place, even if his early days had not endeared it to him.


   End of obit. Also, I must thank Mark's sister for the great tour of Jesse James' neighbor's house.

Terri Gardner in front of the Watkins Home

Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and Historic Site. The Watkins family were neighbors of the Jameses, and their correspondence often mentions the doings of the boys. The home and mill date to before the Civil War and would have been well known to Jesse and Frank.

   Also, here is a blast from the past in Lincoln, New Mexico, circa 1995.

   This appeared on New Mexico magazine, and there's "Saint Billy" on the wall behind them, where it hung for almost 30 years. By the way, I also have an excellent photograph by Dick George of Lincoln and it is in our bedroom, below, at left. It is guarded by a very strict watchdog.

Uno Guards The Dick George Lincoln Photo

   “Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.”

—W.R. Purch

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