September 6, 1875: Bank of Huntington Robbed by James Gang

Jesse Frank James

On September 6, 1875, two men walked into the Bank of Huntington with their revolvers drawn. Two others kept guard outside. The four men left the bank with $20,000 and rode south out of town.

A posse chased the bandits into Kentucky. Eventually, one was captured in Tennessee with some of the stolen loot. He was convicted and sentenced to the West Virginia Penitentiary. 

Another gang member was wounded in Kentucky and later died of his injuries. The two others escaped with most of the money.

The robbery spawned a host of legends. The most popular theory is that the two who escaped justice were the notorious outlaws Frank James and Cole Younger. Local folklore suggests that after the Huntington robbery, Frank James took up residence in Wayne County, around Cove Gap, near the Lincoln County line. Using the alias Frank Morris, James supposedly tended a farm and made well-crafted furniture, some of which has been handed down through generations of Wayne County families. This idea, though, has been challenged since Frank James participated in several high-profile robberies over the next year with his brother Jesse.