Woodbury County

Woodbury County, Iowa Genealogy

Woodbury County, Iowa, USA. Click here for the Home page.





            In the early days, Jesse James ‘visited’ in the West Fork area, south of Moville.  A man who lived in the area had died, leaving his widow and teenage son with a heavy debt.  Money had been borrowed form a ‘loan shark’ who was demanding payment of forfeiture of the farm, which was the collateral.

            It is reported that Jesse James and his band arrived at the widow’s home one night, at dusk, and asked for supper, breakfast, and places to sleep and stable their horses out of sight.  He promised to pay for the accommodations.

            During the evening, the men learned that this might be the widow’s last night in her home, for the collector was coming in the morning and would evict her for not being able to repay the loan.  Jesse showed concern about what would happen to the mother and son, but no comment.

            Early the next morning, as the band was readying to leave, Jesse took enough money from his wallet to repay the loan and to pay for the band’s food and lodging.  He also instructed the widow to be sure to obtain a written receipt that stated the loan had been repaid in full.

            In the course of the day, the collector came.  He was quite surprise and seeming upset that she could repay the loan, and wanted to know how she had obtained the money.  He was even more surprised, however, when, having gone only a few miles along his way, he was met my masked men on horseback who relieved him of the money the widow had given him!

            ‘Hazel ‘Dolly’ Trecker’s Grandmother Fox used to tell about the time the James boys came to her home and had a meal with the family.  They were gentle and polite, and when finished with the meal insisted on paying for it, and also insisted on helping with the dishes!


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