Thursday, June 21, 2007

Faribault Is At It Again

By M. Haas

Recently, I picked up a copy of the Faribault Daily News and saw the following front page headline

How Faribault Stopped a Gang of Outlaws
And it had a big picture of some cowboys riding through downtown Northfield. It just about blew my mind. I thought to myself, 'I could've sworn that Jesse James and his gang of outlaws attempted to rob a bank in Northfield on September 7th, 1876, and that it was Northfield's heroic residents who wouldn't open the safe and shot most of the gang outside on the street' That's what I thought. Could I have been wrong all these years?

Perplexed and curious, I read on:
Members of the James/Younger gang may have robbed the bank in Northfield, but justice came to half of them at the hands of Faribault residents.

Ohhhhhhh, okay. So by "stopped a gang of outlaws" you mean dealing out justice to half the gang. I should have understood that.

The story of the raid is often connected simply and specifically to Northfield, since that is where the shoot-out that took four lives occurred. But the story of the buildup to the raid and its aftermath is far more complicated and includes several former members of Faribault

The article goes on to say how the town of Faribault received news of the attempted robbery, and started up a posse to go after the remaining members of the gang. The next part of the story took me a second to understand.

According to local historian Chip DeMann, 'the Faribault posse arrived in Shieldsville (10 miles west of Faribault) hot on the trail of the six remaining members of the gang. They went into the Saloon to wet their whistles and left their guns in the buggy. Within minutes, the (outlaws) showed up.'

The Faribault newspaper of the day describes the events:
The robbers, as they rode by Hanlin's hotel, where they had stopped one night before, asked Hanlin's son what team that was and how long it had been there. He answered that it was a Faribault team and had arrived about five minutes before. One of the party then said, 'They are after us; let's smash their guns.'
"They rode up to the wagon and one took hold of a gun. The young men came to the door, and one attempted to take his gun. The robbers pointed their revolvers and told them to get back in the house, which they proceeded to do."

...Huh?

Lets think about this for a moment...


Ohhhh, okay. So by "stopped a gang of outlaws" you mean chasing after them for 10 miles, then stopping for a drink and getting your guns stolen. I get it now.

So Faribault's contact with the James/Younger gang amounted to this:

- they slept in towns outside of Faribault
- Two members spent about two months in the jail there
- a guard was shot and killed by another guard at the jail, thinking someone was trying to spring the prisoners
- a posse attempted to chase the outlaws but got drunk instead

And to top it all off, in Tuesday's edition of the Daily News they had a 'question of the day' that one could cast a vote online.

Q: Who has the better Jesse James story - Northfield or Faribault?

11 comments:

Daymonster said...

Hahaha, that is hilarious. Do you have a link to the story online?

This is my favorite post thus far.

bizmarkie507 said...

damnit dude. It hurts my throat soooooo badly to laugh. Is there a worse town in Minnesota than Faribault? haha.

brex said...

No wuter, there is no worse town. Faribault is saturated in a fowl odor and invested with gang activity. This shameless attempt to steal our thunder reeks of jealousy.

TwinsWin83 said...

holy balls. Leave it to Faribault to try and garner a claim to fame in some rediculously obscure way like that. Id like to see that online vote and see if Faribaults citizens are as stupid as their cities journalists and actualy voted for Faribault having the better Jesse James story.

Well we are on the subject of how worthless Northfields neighbor to the south is, I always wondered why sometimes its called Faribault and sometimes its called Fairbo. Even signs in the town spell it differently.

haasertime said...

yea it was a pretty dumb story. i like articles that have a big argument in the headline but have zero evidence in the story to back it up. but when i do it, i do it to be funny.

there isn't an online version of the story cuz (surprise, surprise) the daily news website is terrible. they only keep articles on there for like 2 weeks, and you have to be a subscriber to see any almost anything on there anyway.

i literally have a list of the things that are messed up about faribault.

but i probably shouldnt rip the town too much, since my job is to make it better. and i shouldnt rip the paper so much cuz they did do a story on yours truly for the front page and have covered many of my projects.

the town is named for alexander faribault, son of jean baptiste. theyre too lazy to spell their own towns name correctly sometimes.

and it does smell here.

haasertime said...

i just dug up the results of the poll:

of 144 votes

Northfield - 59%

Faribault - 9%

What stories? - 32%

soup said...

The best Jesse James story takes place in the best state: South Dakota.

"In 1876 Jesse James robbed the bank in Northfield, Minnesota, in which two of his partners were killed. Fleeing town, the gang split up, with Jesse and his brother Frank heading west toward Dakota Territory. When the two got to this neighborhood, they went separate ways, trying to shake the posse that was still hot in pursuit. At some point the lawmen were literally right on the heels of Jesse, as he and his horse stood on the precipice of a dizzyingly high bluff; this was Devil's Gulch. A fifteen foot gash in the rocks separated him from the other side and freedom. Supposedly he spurred on his horse and actually leapt across the canyon, evading the posse and eventually linking up with brother Frank in the Palisades State Park area not far away. Some accounts indicate that a bullet fatally struck his horse during the leap."

At Lief Erickson day camp in Sioux Falls they would paint rocks gold and burry them in the sand along the the Big Sioux River. We were told that they were gold nugget that fell out from when JJ jumped the gulch. lamest thing ever.

the Dutchie said...

Soup, what happens in South Dakkota doesn't matter.

Faribault... i think brex summed it up.

tfrezac2002 said...

Actually, the posse was the largest assembled in MN history. with volunteers from all over rice county and surrounding communities. The fact that faribo (I use the shorter version becuase if they are too lazy to spell it out, I'll be damned if I will) claims it all for themselves is a joke. I'm also not sure why they would claim getting their weapons stolen by the very people they are meant to catch as being a matter of town pride. Since there was Northfielders in the bunch also we could claim that as our own town story, but ours is so much sweeter we decided to forget that part.

haasertime said...

i dont think the posse that went to sheildsville contained anyone more than "young men" from Faribault. It went down about 5pm, 3 hours after the raid; so I don't think, at that point, they had time to meet up with other "teams" from northfield or other towns to become the biggest posse ever.

it was pure Faribault being pure dumb. and then pure faribault being pure dumb again 130 years later in trying to say theyre better than northfield because of a story like that.

Jeff said...

Bres remember when we beat Faribault something like 80-11 in basketball. When they finally scored some smelly kid raised the roof and got a Technical.