Do YOU know the name of the man who killed the man who killed Jesse James? Sure, we all know Jesse. And many of us know Bob Ford, the “dirty little coward” who shot Jesse in the back. But it was a Missourian named Ed O’Kelley who took the law into his own hands and shot Bob Ford in a saloon in Colorado.
Want to hear more? Come see author Joe Johnston talk about this story—and other vigilante stories—tonight at the St. Louis County Library headquarters on Lindbergh at 7 p.m. Joe will sing a few vigilante songs, sign your books, and introduce you to some other Missouri vigilantes. Read more »
Bob Ford is known to many people as the man who killed the outlaw Jesse James. But few know the burden Ford carried after that fateful day, and how he came to his end. My latest book, It Ends Here: Missouri’s Last Vigilante, which has just been released by Missouri History Museum Press, details the saga of Edward O’Kelley, a fellow Missourian, who took Ford’s life, and later faced death at the hands of a lawman. Read more »
This month we're starting a new series of posts highlighting some of the incredible individuals who make up our team here at the Missouri History Museum.
We're starting with someone who plays an essential role in making sure all of the exhibitions we present look and function their best—our Exhibitions Preparator, B. J. Vogt. In this role, B. J.Read more »
In honor of No-Shave November, we're diving into the Photographs & Prints Collection to feature some of Missouri's top facial-haired folks. From gentlemanly mustaches to flowing beards, Missourians have been major players in the facial hair game for quite a while. Click through the gallery below to see for yourself!
From June 2011 to February 2015, the Missouri History Museum posted the letters of Civil War soldier James E. Love to his fiancée, Molly, on this site. As part of that project, I visited the three battlefields where James fought, and wrote about my experiences following in the footsteps of his war service. Earlier this year, the Museum published James’s letters as a book titled My Dear Molly: The Civil War Letters of Captain James Love. Read more »
Most coffee historians are amazed to find out that coffee played such a big part in St. Louis’s history. Because the city is in “flyover country,” without easy access to a coastal shipping port, many people don’t realize that, historically, St. Louis was at the center of a major trade route. Many factors came into play to create something of a “perfect storm” for the coffee industry to boom in St. Louis. Read more »
As though they are inquiring about an old acquaintance, visitors to the Missouri History Museum occasionally ask about a particular artifact. Some objects, such as Charles Lindbergh’s trophies, Veiled Prophet Court gowns, and World War I weapons, have been gone from view for some time. But I’ve managed to locate some requested items in the Currents and Reflections galleries, and I’ve marveled at the reactions that followed. Read more »
Perhaps one of the more unique World War I artifacts in the Museum’s collection is a small booklet in the Library and Research Center titled Mother Goose in Wartime. The collection of wartime-themed nursery rhymes was illustrated by Gladys M. Wheat (the first female faculty member of the University of Missouri’s art department) and other University of Missouri art students. The content was written by George F. Nardin, also of the University of Missouri. Read more »
In the early years of the war many Missourians went overseas as drivers for the fleet of ambulances operating across France to carry the wounded from the front lines to hospitals. Among famous World War I ambulance drivers—including Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway—was St. Louisan Joseph Garneau Weld. Weld, who went by “Garneau,” was born in Baltimore in 1897 and grew up in St. Louis. He joined the American Field Service, an American volunteer ambulance corps under the French Army, in October 1916. Read more »
History happens right here! Find stories, images, and artifacts from the object collections and archives of the Missouri History Museum, as well as behind-the-scenes videos, news stories, and musings from our irrepressible staff. We welcome reader contributions, too—contact us.