Outlaws & Villains

Jesse James and the Widow

A Missouri Folktale

retold by

S.E. Schlosser

One day, as Jesse James and his gang were riding through Missouri, they saw a farmhouse and stopped to ask for something to eat. A widow lived there with three small children. She didn't have much in the house, but shared with them what she had.

It was while they were eating lunch that Jesse James noticed that something was bothering this generous widow. He questioned her about it, and she broke down and told him her story. The mortgage was due on the house that very day, and since her husband had died, she did not have the money to pay it. Her landlord was not a generous man, and was sure to put her children and herself out on the street.

"How much money do you need to pay the mortgage?" Jesse asked the widow.

"Fifteen hundred dollars," the widow sobbed.

Jesse James took out his money bag, counted out $1500 dollars and presented it to the widow.

"I can't take this," she protested, but Jesse James insisted she use the money to pay off the mortgage.

"Just make sure you get a receipt," he warned her, and she promised that she would. Then he got a description of the man, and left with his gang.

Jesse James and his gang waited in the woods near the house until the man had collected his money from the widow. Then they rode out onto the road and stole their money back from the landlord.



pretty cool gotta love a man who takes care of a woman.

thats sweet n kool all togeetha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what's the receipt for?

Thats a nice ending...never thought of but i liked...no one is wrong.

pretty cool

How nice was that!!! Jesse is VerY nice!! :)


this story teaches you alot about the poor

Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!


Makes is own money like a man!

good story kinda sounds like something iwould do but is it sposed to be scary????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

got to love a guy like him

got to love a guy like him

this makes the woman sound like she needs her husband to survive.

the receipt was so that the landlord could not go back to lady and say that she had not paid him when she had.

You've gotta love Jesse James! Even if he wasn't,you know, this nice in real life...

OMG this story is so cool you should read it:]

So romantic. Gotta luv a man like him

im from missouri but live in arizona

Best Story Yet

Wow that was very clever of Jesse. When the widow got the receipt, he stole the money back, that way she had proof that she paid it.

love it:) made me cry ;(

so great!!!!!!!!


i liked how he was like get a receipt, to show she paid it bc he was gonnna steal the money back!!!! bahahaha great!!

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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