Jesse James in Nebraska – Jeff Barnes

2/25/24, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Seward Memorial Library

Western history author and lecturer Jeff Barnes brings the life and legend of the notorious Jesse James to the Seward Memorial Library on Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m. The Humanities Nebraska-sponsored talk is free and open to the public.

“A Bad Man in a Better Place: Jesse James in Nebraska” covers the outlaw and his family’s several visits to the Cornhusker State, from the 1860s until just before his assassination in 1882. “Jesse James typically isn’t thought of in connection with Nebraska, but he was here,” said Barnes. “Nebraska was where the outlaw could find family and friends. It was where he could plan amazing robberies, make a recovery or an escape, and even sit for his most famous photograph. He wanted to buy a farm here – south of Franklin – and possibly farm and raise his family here.”

The 45-minute presentation includes rarely seen images and seldom-heard stories of James, with the opportunity for questions afterward.

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Barnes writes and lives in Omaha. He is a former board trustee with the Nebraska State Historical Society, former chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and a frequently requested speaker with Humanities Nebraska. He is a two-time winner of the Nebraska Book Award and the author of Cut in Stone, Cast in Bronze: Nebraska’s Historical Markers and Monuments, 150 @ 150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial, The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill, The Great Plains Guide to Custer, and Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park. An new edition of Barnes’s first book – Forts of the Northern Plains – will be published by Bison Books in May 2024.

Humanities Nebraska (HN) provides major funding for this program.  HN receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and private donations.

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