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    Cole Younger Signature in Ward's Hotel Register. Located on page twenty-five of a folio register book, Cole places his distinctive signature followed by "Lees Summit" second from the bottom, dated September 27, 1904. Ward's Hotel, located in Denver, Colorado, was owned and operated by E. F. Ward. It was built shortly before Cole stayed there and operated until at least 1910. The register is in excellent condition with damage limited to the covers. Pages are intact and slightly soiled or toned in places.

    Cole Younger began his life of crime during the Civil War as a member, along with his brother Jim and the James Brothers, of the notorious Quantrill's Raiders. After the war, he may have been associated with the outlaw gang of Archie Clement, who led the first daylight, peacetime armed bank robbery in U. S. history on February 13, 1866. While the exact date of his association with the gang is uncertain, by 1868, Jim and himself, as well as the James Brothers, were unquestionably part of the bank-robbing gang. The Jameses and Youngers (now join by their younger brother, Bob) were able to avoid arrest longer than many outlaws of the day, largely thanks to the sympathy and support of many of their fellow Confederate veterans. But in 1876 the Younger's luck ran out. Their attempted robbery of the bank at Northfield, Minnesota went famously awry when armed townsfolk interrupted the robbery and chased them off. In the melee, two townspeople were killed and when the Youngers were subsequently captured, they were tried and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Minnesota State Prison in Stillwater (a guilty plea saved them from the hangman's noose). Bob Younger died in prison in 1889; however, Cole and Jim continued to languish in prison, while sympathizers periodically lobbied for their release. In 1899 a bill was before the Minnesota Legislature to secure their freedom. Despite the best efforts of their supporters, the Youngers would not be paroled until July 1901. Upon release, Cole published his memoirs and, in 1903, was fully pardoned and toured throughout the south with The Cole Younger and Frank James Wild West Company. In 1913 he became a born-again Christian and died in 1916.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
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