The Outlaw and the Lady

Cole Younger

On the road to meet their Waterloo at Northfield, Minnesota, Cole Younger met some children at the little town of St. Peter, north of Mankato who were fascinated by the good-looking horse he was riding. He gave a little six-year-old girl a ride and afterwards smiled and said to her, “I hope you will always remember me.”

She 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 the famous newspaper editor. 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.”

Now she was an attractive young woman in her early twenties. Soon the two were corresponding and there were rumors about a budding romance. Both Cole and Miss Perry denied the relationship was nothing more than friendship. Still, the young lady’s father intervened and sent her to work for a newspaper in Idaho.

By the time Cole was pardoned in 1903 Miss Perry had become a noted newspaper woman and had crusaded to have him paroled. Their friendship continued and she joined the James-Younger Wild West Show as publicity agent. There was a 25-year age difference between the two and perhaps that was the reason the relationship came to an end. Hopefully, future research may turn up more information on this, another intriguing chapter in the history of the James-Younger gang.

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