Cole Younger and the Little Girl

cole-younger-2-blogIf I had to choose a favorite outlaw, without hesitation I’d say, “Cole Younger.”

A few years ago the late author Jack Koblas told me a poignant sidebar on the Great Northfield Robbery that he’d recently discovered. As the James Younger gang was heading towards a rendezvous with history they rode through the little town of St. Peter, north of Mankato. Cole Younger had become friendly with some youngsters who were enthralled the fine horses the men were riding. He gave a little six-year-old girl a ride and afterwards the tough old warrior smiled and said, “I hope you will always remember me.”

She looked up at him and replied, “I will always be your friend.”

The little girl’s name was Horace Greeley Perry.  Her father was a local newspaperman who admired the famous publisher so much he planned to name his first child after him.  He was expecting a boy and when it turned out to be a girl, he named her Horace Greeley anyway.  Some fifteen years after the Younger’s were captured she visited Cole in prison saying, “I told you I would always be your friend.”

When Cole was pardoned in 1903 Horace Greeley Perry joined the James-Younger Wild West Show as publicity agent.  Later, she went to Texas with Cole.  She was seen in a photograph with Cole in 1910 but after that, she became a mystery.

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