Article from Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, Pennsylvania 11 June 1953

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Article from Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, Pennsylvania 11 June 1953 - WestferooJc Peg/er Feetham 9 s Carbine Did Not...
WestferooJc Peg/er Feetham 9 s Carbine Did Not Kill Jesse James Henchman This is to abandon Laurence 1. Feetham's illusion that the old cavalry carbine which was given to his father by Dr. H. M. Wheeler, of Grand Forks, N.D.; wis the one with which Doctor Wheeler killed William Stiles, of the Jesse James gang, in the Northfield, Minn., bank robbery of Sept. 7, 1876, and to modify in minor particulars a story which is nevertheless a nugget of crude American history. The Grand Forks Herald interviewed Mrs. Wheeler, who said Doctor Wheeler's gun was still in the family there. Mr. Feetham, now living in Seattle, politely bows to her as follows: "Let us accept the fact that the doctor's family should know about the gun." ...»** The Herald published a picture 'of Henry Wheeler, apparently a young man, holding a carbine, with the late doctor's fabulous fpur-guage shotgun, which looks like a gas-pipe mounted on a stock, standing beside him, Mrs. Wheeler said the carbine which Doctor Wheeler fired was carried by Charles Dampier, the hotelkeeper in Northfield, from 1861 to 1865 in the Union cavalry and that it was given to the Wheeler family when Mr. Dampier died. The gun that Wheeler gave the elder Feetham, now treasured by Laurence Feetham, probably is just another old cavalry carbine. A large correspondence flowed out of the controversial memories of individuals scattered from Southern Pines, N.C., to Seattle and Las Vegas, Nev. The pure gold of all this is a legend that Wheeler, a poor young man studying medicine at the University of Michigan, showed up for his dissection course in the fall of 1876 with a cadaver all his own to work upon. These articles cost about $200 and when Wheeler nonchalantly remarked to a group of other students that : he thought he would go and get in some work at this course, several of them exclaimed: "Did you get one? Where did you get him?" * * * * . Young Wheeler said: "T shot him," and was called upon to amplify his grisly account to the dean.' '.•••'• . : . ; : ,.' ;•• Mrs. Wheeler, as quoted in th« Grand Forks Herald, recalled that her late husband and a son of Dampier both were studying medicine at Ann Arbor, and that the boys asked for the two cadaver* left behind by the James gang. "They were told," »ays the Herald, "that the bodies could' not be given away but that they would not be buried very deep. They took up the bodies and shipped them to Ann Arbor." The one killed by Wheeler was Clell Miller, whose family now went to Ann Arbor and took his body away. However, young Wheeler managed to keep the body of William Stiles, who, it appears from Mrs. Wheeler's memory of things, was shot by A. R. Manning, the man who ran the Northfield hardware store. The Herald's account says Stiles' skeleton was on view in Doctor Wheeler's office until it was destroyed by /ire at some dale not specified. Apparently young Dampier was out of luck in the shuffle. Doctor Wheeler had permission to carry a gun for some years after the raid because members of the Miller family had threatened to shoot him. H.C. Hoffman, of Trail's End Ranch, Oxford, Ohio, said he and Jesse James, Jr. visited Cole Younger, one of three brothers who rode in this and other raids, as he lay dying at Lee's Summit, Mo., in 1916. He and Jesse, Junior, bore Younger's pall. Mr. Hoffman writes that Younger gave him the gun he was carrying when he was captured at Madelia, Minn., 14 days after the raid. Hoffman gave this gun and other relics of the same chase to the State of Missouri in 1938 and they are now on exhibit in the State House at Jefferson City. Mr. Hoffman ssys Stiles, alias Chadwell, lost his head and ran down an alley instead of mounting his horse for the getaway. 'In this brief lapse he exposed himself to Wheeler's fire and was killed. « * * On the point of my observation that the James gang were rotten (Continued on P»f« Forty-Two)

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  1. Lebanon Daily News,
  2. 11 Jun 1953, Thu,
  3. Page 33

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  • Article from Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, Pennsylvania 11 June 1953

    nanklars1 – 26 Jun 2013

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