Odds are J Frank Dalton didn't even know who he was. Dalton was an imposter, he lied about his age to fit the time frame for Jesse James and he was keeping the folk lore of Jesse James going with the help of a few others. As in the Bloody Bill story one has to seperate fact from fantasy and both this carried on stories about J Frank Dalton and William C Anderson are nothing more than fantasy. Fabricated claims in seek of fame.
How can a man claim to be a known legend that throughout history was known to have been born in Missouri but claim his place of birth was Goliad, Texas. He could have at least got the location of his birth right. He alters the family history of Jesse James by claiming that he was born on March 8, 1848. His father he claims was a colonel in the Mexican War. But yet the U.S. Department of the Army has no records of a Colonel Dalton serving in the Mexican War. The federal census and the records of the State of Texas show no Dalton born in Golaid, Texas. So where or who fabricated the place of birth for the old man?
It wasn't until Dalton was picked up by the Cave boys that his birth place and birth dates were conviently changed. Who do you suppose was behind that?
Daltons backers realized he needed to use the historically accepted place, Kearney, Missouri and his birthday the historically accepted date of Sept. 5, 1847. Now that sounds more convincing! After all that is how it is listed in the James Family Bible which I am sure Dalton had never looked inside of.
Don't you know his promoters grilled him everyday with a history lesson on the family life and times of Jesse James to pull of their tourist attraction and make it believable to the public eye? You bet they did.
Dalton really blows his cover when he wrote about himself being tried and acquitted for implication in a train robbery at Muncie, Kansas. This according to Carl Breihan "The Complete and Authentic Life of Jesse James". No one was ever arrested for that robbery much less tried, claimed Breihan.
Dalton claimed to be the author of numerous articles submitted to the University of Missouri. The Missouri Historical Society reports they have never found any such manuscripts. Why did he lie so much?
He talked about his imaginary membership in the Knights of Pythias. In which he claims he was granted a life membership in 1868 at a lodge in Chicago or even in the state of Illinois. Lodge records fail to prove his membership in Chicago or the state of Illinois under the name of Dalton or Carr.
Texas Ranger, sure he was. No records to prove it but if he said so it must have been true.
Just a list of lies by Dalton from receiving a pension from the Federal Government all the way to being a deputy marshall of Ft. Smith Arkansas with hanging Judge Parker and no documentation to back up his claim. Just like Bloody Bill Anderson and Henry Ford. Where's the paper work people?
It was J Frank Dalton the old imposter who started the false claims about William Clark Quantrill and others.
Dalton carried around a photo that he claimed was Jesse, Zerelda and Frank. I believe that if Dalton would have flashed that picture around Kearney Missouri he would have been told "Get out of here." Too many oldtimers knew what Zerelda and Frank James looked like. Dalton's fantacy photo like the rest of his tall tall tales were just that.
I believe the gullible buy into the Dalton story and as the research for the truth continues to drag on Dalton will be analyzed over and over by new James students and the he will be disproved again and again.
And this had to be my favorite part of Breihan's book. Page 59
On the evening of August 16, 1951 the author, who had assisted in exposing the pretensions of this masquerader, was in Missouri at the courthouse of St. Lous County, when a man was brougt in by the police to be booked for reckless driving. He was an angry, and he said that if he had been driving in excessive speed it was because he was on his way to make funeral arrangements for his grandfather. "Who is your grandfather?" he was asked. "J Frank Dalton," he said, "And he died last evening in Granbury, Texas."
Weren't we all lead to believe that Howk was in Granbury with Dalton when he died?
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