- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

MALAD, Idaho (AP) - A southeastern Idaho family that says it owns a dismantled cabin where the outlaw Jesse James once lived wants to raise money to restore the building and create a historical site.

Ernest Palmer said he has documents proving his great-great aunt in May 1869 married the bank and train robber then using the name William Cole, which Palmer said is a known alias for James.

“It is plausible he could have been in Idaho during that time,” Palmer told the Idaho State Journal (https://bit.ly/13wNJZR ). “There’s no way to prove it definitively, but Jesse James’ great-grandson swore he was in Idaho at this time.”

Palmer said the marriage to Susan Palmer Dubuque lasted only a few months before the person named Cole disappeared. Historians say that’s the same time the area was infested with crickets and grasshoppers that destroyed crops, causing large numbers of farmers to give up and leave.

“He sounded like he liked to be around for the good times and then took off when something else interested him,” Palmer said. “Some say Frank came out to get him and they robbed a stagecoach on their way back to Missouri, but who knows? There’s so many stories out there.”

Frank was Jesse James’ older brother.

The cabin remained standing about 4 miles east of Malad until being dismantled about five years ago to be moved to a proposed frontier park. But those plans collapsed and the cabin has since been stored in a cattle shed in the small town of Samaria.

Palmer said it will cost about $6,500 to restore the cabin, and about $800 has been raised so far on the project’s website. Also, a cowboy concert is planned for Saturday in Malad with a $5 entry fee to go toward what has been named the Jesse James Cabin Restoration Project.

While the history of that cabin might be unclear, another cabin in the area is known to have historical significance as the birthplace of the grandmother of Donny and Marie Osmond, siblings who have been entertaining for five decades.

The Olive May Davis Osmond Cabin and Museum is located in Samaria.

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Information from: Idaho State Journal, https://www.journalnet.com

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