In tomorrow’s Star Tribune South section: A gang’s downfall, recorded: Northfield has received two generous donations that document the Jesse James Gang and its famous defeat.
In 1876, a group of triumphant Northfielders propped up the dead bodies of some would-be bank robbers, ripped off their shirts and photographed them. They plastered the images on postcards and mailed them everywhere with the question, “Who are these guys?”
Those guys turned out to be members of the infamous James-Younger Gang. And now, the Northfield Historical Society has received a valuable and unexpected gift: A set of glass-plate negatives that appear to be the originals from Ira Sumner, the photographer who shot the now-famous photos.