Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jesse James in Bridgeport?

According to an article published in the Bridgeport Leader in the early part of 1939, Jessie James interviewed a local girl during his crime career on his way through Bridgeport.

“Jessie James, famed outlaw of the middle West from 1866 to 1882, spend at least one day in Bridgeport during the 16 years of his career, according to the statement of a lifelong resident of the city Miss Anna Kappas.

Miss Kappas was a young girl of some 15 years and assisted in the Kappas general store which was located on Main Street about where the Lytle and Weger barbershop now stands. (1939) A young man of medium height, smooth shaven, and very polite entered the store and conversed with Miss Kappas concerning the business conditions of the community. Various stores were discussed. After his departure from the store, 

Miss Kappas was informed of the identity of her visitor which proved to be Jessie James.
Mr. James spent  at least one evening in the old Cottage Hotel on Main Street which was located about where Rory Watts’  Cleaning Shop now stands.( 1939)  The hotel drew a large number of tourists of that day and Jessie James proved to be one of these.

Checking the records of the episodes of the James Brothers about 1878 to 1879 it is found that they were operating in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and their home in Missouri. Miss Kappas remembers that Jessie James was killed about three years after his visit to Bridgeport, which was in 1882.

Jimmy Fenoglio, manager of the Capitol Theatre, has asked Miss Kappas to be the guest of the theater at one of the sessions of the four – day showing of the show Jessie James starting Sunday and running through Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the next week.”

(My researcher says this falls under the heading: “Do you believe everything you read in the paper?”)