135th Anniversary of the Great Northfield Bank Robbery

ACTUAL DUSTER left behind in Northfield by a member of the James-Younger Gang.

Or I should say “attempted” robbery.  On this day in 1876, just a few months following Custer’s last stand a Little Big Horn, the citizens of Northfield, Minnesota realized that their bank was being robbed — and reacted with extreme prejudice.  The result, was a brief, private little war with the James-Younger Gang.

One of the interesting details I found while doing research on this incident, was the coat you see at left.  The men were reportedly dressed in identical “cattleman’s coats.”  The coat you see here was discarded by one of the robbers, and was taken possession of by the Northfield District Attorney, before eventually being donated to the Minnesota Historical Society.   Given that two of the Robbers were killed and remained in the street, one would assume that more than one coat had been left behind.  However, this supposedly, was not the case.

Notice that the coat is not the form-fitting, trench-style duster that has always been portrayed in entertainment.  In fact, though eye-witnesses in 1876 accurately reported the color and style of coat the men wore as a light beige linen duster — the coat left behind is actually fitted with a “cape,’ and takes on the further appearance of a Calvary Coat.

You can read a further detailed account of the Northfield, Minnesota Bank Raid in “WESTERN LEGEND.”  Available in e-book through “Whiskey Creek Press,” “Amazon.com,” and “Fictionwise.”  See links ——>


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