Talk:Cole Younger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search



Possible plagiarism[edit]

I am concerned about the possibility that this article is quoting material without giving proper attribution. For example, the web page


“Witnesses repeatedly gave identifications that matched Cole Younger in robberies carried out over the next few years, as the outlaws robbed banks and stagecoaches in Missouri and Kentucky.”

while the Wikipedia article says:

“Witnesses repeatedly gave identifications that matched Cole Younger in robberies carried out over the next few years, as the outlaws robbed banks and stagecoaches in Missouri and Kentucky.”

The same words. The “Wild West” web page says it is copyrighted, so someone is plagiarising.

Jon Thaler 23:49, 18 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonthaler (talkcontribs)

My wife, Karen Nystrom Noland, is the granddaughter of Anna Ragan Noland, daughter of Captain Stephen Carter Ragan, (C.S.A.) (a.k.a. Reagan) of Kansas City, Missouri. He was a school teacher of Cole and Jim Younger in the days before the Civil War, and was an active auxiliary in their post war liberation.

The following is excerpted from the book, “The Younger's Fight for Freedom: A Southern Soldier's Twenty Years' Campaign” by Warren Carter Bronaugh.

Captain S. C. Ragan was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky in March, 1823. He removed to Jackson county, Missouri, in 1837, with his father and family. He took much interest in education at a very early age. If there were no schools convenient he studied at home, and in this way had mastered the arithmetic and English grammar, and had made some progress in algebra. In 1847 Highland Academy was erected in the country on the waters of the Little Blue. This institution was designed for pupils well advanced in literature. Pupils from Michigan, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Mexico attended this school. Young Ragan was a student of this institution from its organization to its close, graduating in Latin, mathematics, natural science, etc. In the year 1848, he chose the profession of teacher, which he followed for the next ten years, when he removed to Texas and engaged in farming and stock-raising, being very successful. Governor Clark, of Texas, appointed him Captain of Company A, State Troops, of Tarrant County. Capt. Ragan, having taken a very pronounced stand in the Kansas troubles, on the Southern side, it was hard for him to keep out of politics in Texas. About the last of 1861, he raised a volunteer company for the Confederate service, and early in 1862 started for the field of action. At Little Rock his company and all the rest were dismounted and his regiment — the 14th Texas — took steamer for Corinth, Mississippi. At Memphis, Tennessee, April 8, 1862, the whole command was reorganized. Capt. Ragan under the law was entitled to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy, but the boys would not let him leave them and he was re-elected Captain, a position he held during the war, when he was entitled to promotion the boys always objected, saying: "You promised mother when we enlisted that you would stay with us, as Captain," and this promise held him to this rank throughout the rebellion, allowing the rank of third lieutenant often to go above him. Capt. Ragan often told the boys that they did not give him a fair deal, but he kept his word to his own detriment. He often had command of the regiment. His first experience in battle was under Price, at Farmington, Mississippi. Then in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi. He participated in the battle of Richmond, Kentucky under Gen. E. Kirby Smith. The army came out of Kentucky in December, 1862, and fought the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, under Gen. Braxton Bragg. The brigade was commanded by Gen. M. D. Ector. The Texas troops of this army were transferred to Mississippi and were in the siege of Vicksburg, under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. It fell back to Jackson, Mississippi. Ector's brigade was transferred again to Tennessee and was in the battle of Chickamauga. About the first of the year, 1864, Capt. Ragan resigned and went back to Texas, where he was assigned as post-adjutant at Dallas, and was there when Gen. Lee surrendered. His war record was good. In 1866 he removed again to Jackson County, Missouri where he was reared, bought a large farm near Hickman Mills, and commenced farming and stock-raising with good results. In 1878-9 he served as member of the legislature from Jackson County and was re-elected in 1882. He stood high among the members, very few of whom had any advantage over him in debate and oratory. Seventeen years ago he became a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, engaged in real estate business, made a large fortune, and then lost the most of it. One of his friends wrote: “He is to-day the same Steve Ragan that he was when wealthy, with no more nor less pride. If he does not love an enemy, he does a friend, and no one will go further to favor a friend than he will.” For many years Captain Ragan was the faithful friend of the late Maj. John N. Edwards, Some years ago Maj. Edwards said, "Steve, by G—d, we must make an effort to get the Youngers out." It was agreed that a petition should be drawn up to that effect. Maj. Edwards drew the petition in the back office of S. C. Ragan & Son, in the old Brisbane building, in Kansas City, (long since torn down) and submitted it for criticism. It was approved and taken to Jefferson City for signers.

In 1889, the author, Warren Carter Bronaugh, heard from Captain Ragan that the Hon. Waller Young, of St. Joseph, representative from the county of Buchanan, who had been circulating the above petition and who had secured six or seven names of legislators to it, had been taken ill and was unable to continue the work. Carter was urged to hasten to Jefferson City and take charge of the petition.

“I left on the first train and began the task immediately upon my arrival there.’Task’ is hardly a strong enough word to designate the enterprise I had in hand. If any person thinks he can go to Jefferson City during a session of the legislature, and succeed with a petition in a few days and with ease, he is grievously mistaken. An ordinary undertaking of this kind involves much trouble, time and toil. Overwhelmingly was this the truth in the present instance. The favor asked was of an extraordinary character. Nothing of its kind or importance had ever been presented to the State's lawmakers. They represented various shades of political affiliation and opinion. Often it was with difficulty that I could have even a word with a member. He was busy at something else. He had to look after some particular and pressing interest of his importunate constituents to the exclusion of everything else. Other members had to be coaxed and flattered and argued with. And so it went on until five weeks had passed away and I was thoroughly worn and wearied.” “But I had gained a victory. I succeeded in getting the signature of nearly every member of the House and I also got twenty-eight out of the thirty-four Senators. Moreover, I was given letters from every state official, with the exception of Gov. D. R. Francis, who declined to grant me that favor.” “In this campaign of 1889 I had not only the Edwards petition, and letters from Missouri officials, but exceedingly strong letters also from many of the leading men of Minnesota. These men, in nearly every instance, enjoyed state reputations, and not a few of them were known throughout the United States as holding important posts.” “From that day until Cole Younger was released Capt. Ragan never ceased to do all in his power to assist me in the work.” Capt. Ragan kindly contributes the following sketch of and tribute to Cole Younger: "Coleman Younger is a son of H. W. Younger and was reared in Jackson and Cass Counties, Missouri. His father and family occupied a very prominent position in society in both counties. Judge H. W. Younger was nominated several times for places of high honor and profit, but never succeeded in being elected because of his party being largely in the minority. However, he always ran ahead of the party ticket — the Whig party. He was a good financier and amassed a large fortune. He held the position of mail agent or contractor for many years and was engaged in this business under the United States government at the time of his barbarous and cowardly assassination during the early part of the Civil War. He was a large man, generous, broad-minded, and patriotic. "Judge Younger married into one of the first families of Jackson County, Missouri, his wife being a Miss Bersheba Fristoe, daughter of Judge Richard Fristoe, so that Cole Younger is a descendant of highly honorable and intellectual parentage. "The writer of this sketch was Principal of a high school or an academy at Harrisonville, Missouri, in 1858-59. Judge Younger was a patron of this school, sending regularly five or six pupils, among whom were Cole and Jim Younger, the latter being too young to manifest any definite traits of character and I shall only say he was a good, obedient lad. Cole, at that time (1859) some seventeen years of age, began to show something of his future makeup as a man. His deportment nearly always scored 100. He was kind and respectful to the teacher, as well as to his classmates. He had the respect of all — indeed, but few boys of his age had so bright a horoscope as did he. Bright, apt, kind, courageous, he naturally took rank at the head of the list of honor. It is not improbable that if the war had not come on at that time or soon afterwards Cole Younger would now be filling some high position, instead of looking back over twenty-five years of prison life. "It is the opinion of those who know best that the killing of his father had much to do with the daring, eccentric, and lawless course which Cole Younger pursued so many years. When I look back to his boyhood and pass him in review, with such a bright future of wealth, distinction, and honor, and then take a panoramic retrospection of facts before me, I can not help dropping a tear of regret that fate had in store for him at that time such thrilling incidents and scenes, and I might as well say crimes, as the past years have evinced. Whatever has befallen him, he still has within the Soul of Honor. It is impossible to estimate the deeds of his life for the past thirty-eight years, as these have passed into history, still it is hoped that he may live to balance accounts with many years of good citizenship. I would trust my money, my life, and my honor in his hands, believing that they would be safe in the confidence I repose in him. Let a generous, Christian people extend to him a forgiving hand and may the days of his declining years pass so pleasantly with him that what has been may seem, as a dream and success reach out to him its happy hand wherever he may be." Captain Stephen Carter Ragan (1823-1908) Buried in the Ragan Family plot, Union Cemetery, Kansas City, MO., Daughter-Anna Ragan Noland (1871-1945) Buried Mt. Moriah, Kansas City Grandson-Russell Noland (1908-1972) Buried Holton, Kansas Great granddaughter-Karen Noland Nystrom, (husband-Kirk), Living in Topeka, Kansas, Great great grandchildren-Karl Matthew Nystrom and Anna Karien Nystrom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:59, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Wife & kids?[edit]

Cole apparently had a daughter named Pearl, born c.1868 in Dallas, died 1925 in Ft. Smith, Ark. But I haven't found a wife named anywhere. Was the daughter perhaps illegitimate? Anybody know? --Michael K SmithTalk 04:24, 10 January 2012 (UTC)


According to The Encyclopedia Britannica article on Myra Belle Shirley (aka "Belle Starr" at, Pearl "was probably fathered by Thomas C. ("Cole") Younger" as the James-Younger gang "occasionally sought refuge at the Shirley farm". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 2 September 2013 (UTC)