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It Ends Here: the Last Missouri Vigilante

  • Missouri State Archives 600 West Main St. Jefferson City, MO United States (map)

In early January 1904, a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch traveled to Oklahoma City to meet with washed-up relic of the Wild West, Edward Capehart O'Kelley.  During their meeting, O'Kelley struggled to stay sober while discussing his relationship with the outlaw Jesse James, a childhood friend.  He described how he once had an opportunity to joint eh James gang, but declined, opting instead for a career as a Colorado lawman. 

During his career, his violent tactics earned him the reputation of a man with a quick temper, ready gun and penchant for bending the law to suit his needs.  It was there, in Creede, Colorado, that O'Kelley met Robert Ford, known to all as the assassin of Jesse James.  Egged on by local miners, O'Kelley murdered Robert Ford to avenge the death of his old friend.  In It Ends Here, author Joe Johnston draws on the reporter's accounts to tell O'Kelley's tragic story.   Join us as he unravels this circular tale of frontier vigilantism and ponders America's progress beyond such violence.

Later Event: June 16
Rascals and Rouges (Civil War)