I am posting this information for those who don't have access to a copy of Henry J. Walker's book. The book in question is the following:
"Jesse James 'THE OUTLAW' ( Des Moines, Iowa: Wallace-Homestead Co., January 1961 )( 283 pages ), by Henry J. Walker.
Henry J. Walker ( April 5, 1908 - April 5, 1970 ), SSN 442-03-1490 ( Oklahoma ), last residence was in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa. Walker was born in Memphis, Scotland County, MO, and was the 7th son of a family of 12. His parents reportedly were named James Henry Walker and Mary Bell Stith. In the late 1940s Walker was living in Osceola, Iowa, and was a monument salesman for the Delano Granite Works of Delano, Minnesota. He had 2 sons, named Gary Frances Walker and Henry James Walker. At the time of the publication of his book in 1961, Walker's business address was listed on his book promotional leaflets as: Walker Publications, 707 West Maple Street, Centerville, Iowa. The book originally sold in bookstores at $5.95 per copy.
Walker had 3 interviews with J. Frank Dalton while Dalton was living at Meramec Caverns ( south of Stanton, Missouri ) under the patronage and supervision of Lester Dill, who was the manager ( and possibly the owner ) of Meramec Caverns at that time. These interviews between Walker and Dalton occurred on:
August 9, 1949
September 5, 1949 ( Dalton's supposed 102nd birthday )
August 7, 1950
These interviews are related in full in the book, on pages 77-168. Interspersed among the Dalton interviews are interviews with other related persons ( including Colonel James Russell Davis, "Brushy Bill" Roberts, and Mary Norris, wife of Charles Norris ) who were at Meramec Caverns on Sept. 5, 1949 to help celebrate Dalton's supposed 102nd birthday.
That J. Frank Dalton had a "Red Rose Tattoo" on his chest was discovered by Walker during the course of his first ( August 9, 1949 ) interview with Dalton, as follows:
( from "Jesse James 'THE OUTLAW,' pages 84-85 ):
" . . . As mute testimony to the many skirmishes he had with the law, Jesse's body bore thirty-three bullet scars. He told me that the one that had given him the most pain and still hurt him sometimes, was the one he received through his right lung when he was ambushed at Concord [actually Concordia, Lafayette County, Missouri] and was leading his group, himself carrying the white flag. Jesse and his men had been assured they would be released at the end of the Civil War, if they surrendered. As he rode forward, the flag of surrender held in his hand, he was shot down by a ball from a heavy Henry rifle.
Jesse told me, 'Not all of us wanted to be released that day at Concord. Some of our group were skeptical, but we came along with those who were to be released, and I carried the white flag on my horse. Then they started to fire on us, and I was shot from less than ten feet by a man with his Henry rifle. I fell as one dead. One of my friends took my body, thinking I was dead. I didn't regain consciousness for over two days.'
At this point tears slowly slid down the old man's face. He paused for a moment, then spoke in a low gentle voice. 'I guess at that I fared better than the poor fellows that came in to be released, as every one of them was taken before a firing squad and shot. . . . That was eighty-five years ago,' he added, a faraway look in his eyes. 'You can see the scar that ball made. There are days when it still pains me.'
I asked the nurse if she would open his shirt so I could see the scar. The old man was so hard of hearing I'm sure he did not hear what either I or the nurse said. She answered me, 'Mr. Walker, there is a tattoo over that scar to hide it. I'll let you see for yourself.'
What I saw, when his shirt was opened, was a beautiful red rose tattoo. It disguised the bullet scar, but I felt it with my fingers. This was one of the two clues which the Pinkerton detectives knew Jesse James carried on his person; the other clue was his injured finger."
( from pages 25-27 ):
" . . . Jesse's dark brown eyes were a revealing point and clue. Both Zerelda and Robert James had bright-blue eyes, as did most of the James ancestry. They were tall, with red or sandy hair, fair complexioned, and possessed fiery tempers, but they also were very kind and big-hearted otherwise. So when Jesse was born with brown eyes, this seemed to bear out the gossip of the neighbors, that Zerelda had another man in the house when her preacher husband was away from home attending to his ministerial duties. [According to this account, combined with the testimony in "This Was Frank James," Robert Sallee James therefore wasn't the father of the "Missouri Frank," whose real father was Edd Reed, or of the "Missouri Jesse," whose real father's name isn't divulged, but concerning whom it has been said that he was a "prominent physician of Clay County." According to this interpretation, therefore, Zerelda Samuel was the mother of both the Missouri Frank and of the Missouri Jesse, while Robert Sallee James was the father of neither one.] No one who knew the family was much surprised when the Reverend James, feeling the disgrace, left the home to his wife and went away. Nothing was heard of him again, so he undoubtedly changed his name. Many years later it was learned that he fought in the war, in the Confederacy, and had several times met his son Frank during the war. . . .
The Pinkerton Detective Agency knew of another clue to Jesse's real identity, knowing he was injured a number of times during the Civil War, and that once he was shot down at close range by a 50 caliber Henry rifle. The large ball struck him in the right side of his chest, some two inches below the nipple, and went clear through his body. He fell from his horse as dead, but some of his friends found him and discovered there was still life in his body, and miraculously, he recovered. This happened at Concord, Missouri [actually Concordia, Lafayette County, Missouri], at the cease of hostilities, when Jesse was carrying a white flag of surrender. The Pinkerton files have the record of Jesse James' injured finger on his left hand, and that a heavy bullet scar was on the right side of his chest. Mr. Buell failed to get this information, and both he and the Pinkertons missed the fact that Jesse had a scar on his left cheek. . . .
Jesse's friends, many years later, told of the twenty-two times he was hit by gunfire during the four years of the Civil War."
( from pages 31-34 ):
" . . . What the law officers including the Pinkertons did not know, was that the James boys had a cousin named Jesse James who drifted in and out of Clay County, Missouri, but seldom showed up at the James home. He looked very much like Jesse, his cousin, was about the same size and height, and had an injured index finger and a scar on his left cheek. However, this cousin had blue eyes, and the other Jesse James' eyes were dark brown. As a matter of fact, although both Jesse and Frank called him a cousin, this blue-eyed Jesse James was a cousin of Frank not Jesse. He, the cousin, told Mr. Buell in the late 1870s that he was born March 8, 1848.
Despite Frank James' refinement and cunning, he was willing to let this cousin Jesse be boss, and was contented to follow and play second fiddle. This irritated Zerelda Samuel. She wanted to be boss, and until this conceited cousin came on the scene, she had held the whip over her sons, Frank and Jesse. She told her nephew that she had the say-so around there, but he had different ideas. When he came to Clay County he stayed at various homes in the neighborhood, and one of his favorite stopping places was the farm home of Argile Taylor who lived on a farm four miles south of Smithville, Missouri. This cousin Jesse met Frank and Jesse James and others in Smithville and they rode from there to their planned destination. This cousin Jesse was very polite, went well dressed at all times, kept his fine boots neatly polished, and wore kid gloves for two reasons: for neatness, and also to hide his injured finger. He usually had a silk handkerchief in his lapel pocket. In season he wore a Prince Albert coat, and always kept his hair and beard neatly trimmed. His favorite style of hair-cut was one that his hair came down on each side of his head, covering the top third of his unusually large ears. He was of English and Irish extraction, belonged to several of the Protestant lodges, secret and otherwise. He was widely known wherever he went, but not always known by one name, as he had several aliases: Jim Wilson, Dr. Bedicheck, Jesse James, and other names.
This cousin Jesse of Frank's was christened Jesse Woodson; and when they rode with Quantrill the boys gave the dark-eyed half-brother of Frank the nickname of Dingus, and so the real Jesse Woodson James was known to most of Quantrill's group as Jesse Woodson, and the dark eyed Jesse was known as 'Jesse Dingus.'
Jesse Dingus was greatly underestimated by the Clay County, Missouri natives, as well as the lawmen of those days. In addition to his other accomplishments, Jesse [Dingus] was a superb horseman and could handle the wildest and highest spirited horse with ease. And he was expert at handling firearms. He was more quiet and reserved than his half-brother Frank, and absolutely fearless in nature. It has been said that Jesse James [that is, Jesse "Dingus" James] led a charmed life. He had the instincts of a deer, and seemed to possess a sixth sense in detecting danger and getting away from it. He did not have the fiery temper of the red-headed, blue-eyed cousin Jesse Woodson, but he was very deternined in his ways when he had made up his mind. At the close of the Civil War, all three of these men - Jesse and Frank James, and Jesse Woodson - were hunted mercilessly by the law. They had their hide-outs in various places, and were kept constantly on the alert for danger.
The most extensive and ceaseless search made for them was in Missouri; but they had many friends who were always ready to warn them if the hunt was hot."
( from pages 116-117 ):
[regarding Jesse's 102nd birthday party, celebrated at Meramec Caverns on Sept. 5, 1949]: " . . . On a small table stood a beautiful big birthday cake which a local lady admirer had baked and decorated with 102 tiny candles, which would be correct for the Missouri Jesse James [Jesse "Dingus" James]; however, this Jesse James [Jesse Woodson James, alias J. Frank Dalton] was born in Kentucky, March 8, 1848." [Therefore, he was actually still only 101 years old on Sept. 5, 1949, and he would not be 102 years old until March 8, 1950.]
( from page 165 ):
" . . . I never saw Jesse James [Jesse Woodson James, alias J. Frank Dalton] again. He was moved to Texas in the latter part of September, 1950. His death occurred the following summer, on August 15, 1951. His birth date being March 8, 1848, he lived to the age of 103 years, 5 months and 7 days. He was buried in Texas."
Dear Readers: So goes the saga of the "Red Rose Tattoo" !!! Other accounts of "J. Frank Dalton" also claim that he was born on March 8, 1848, but claim his birthplace was either Goliad, Goliad County, Texas, or some place in Missouri. Henry J. Walker claims ( see above ) that Dalton was born on March 8, 1848, but in Kentucky, not in Texas or Missouri. On the other hand, Orvus Lee Howk in his books claims that Jesse Woodson James ( alias J. Frank Dalton ) was born near Frankfort, Kentucky, but that his birthdate was April 17, 1844 rather than March 8, 1848.
GO FIGURE !!!
Sincerely, and Lots of Love - -
Philip K. Kromer