Yes, according to the written remembrances of John Snook. Now deceased, Snook recorded his recollections in Baldwin Vignettes, which was published in 1984. Long time residents of the area will remember Snook as the eccentric owner of the Foley-based Gulf Telephone Company.
Biographers of Jesse James have generally been unable to account for a certain gap of time in the outlaw’s life. The void is that period of time immediately following the James gang’s spectacularly botched bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota. The September, 1876 robbery attempt went terribly awry and left the gang thoroughly shot up with most members dead or behind bars. Jesse escaped and disappeared.
Cut now to Mr. Snook of Baldwin County, Alabama writing in 1984: “There are a number of older residents and citizens of our Baldwin area who remember people who saw and knew or associated with a rather handsome, well-mannered, intelligent visitor to the area in the 1870s. This gentleman posed as a doctor and not only practiced a successful form of medicine, but was especially able in setting broken bones and in digging out bullets or treating cuts and other types of puncture wounds.”
Snook continues the description: “He was not only affable, but aided a number of people in financial stress in a most benevolent manner. My father-in-law, who at this writing is 87 years of age, recalls stories of kinspeople and friends of another generation who had this personage as a dinner guest on various occasions.”
He continues: “It developed or eventually became known that this good looking, affable, benevolent person was none other than the famous, or infamous, Jesse James.”
“His surrey and span of horses with his doctor’s bag have become a part of the legendary colorful characters of our community,” concludes John Snook.
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For other little known “stuff” about South Alabama, you might also like Were There Welsh Explorers on the Shores of Mobile Bay 300 Years Before Columbus “Discovered” America?
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