Photos of Sim Whitsett and Quantrill Reunions
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Sim Whitsett attended several get-together's of Confederate veterans prior to the first 1898 reunion devoted strictly to Quantrill's men. Most notably was the 1888 reception for Quantrill's mother when the men gathered for a couple of days to host her only visit to Missouri. Because of Quantrill's fibs about his origins, several of the men refused to believe that the Dover Canal, Ohio woman was actually Quantrill's mother. In 1890 Sim attended a reunion of Confederate veterans, but that gathering was not a "Quantrill" reunion even though many of the men attended. Sim's name appears on the rolls of the 1898-1903 gatherings; he is missing from the 1904-1908 reunions; may or may not have been at the 1909 reunion; was absent at the 1910 reunion, the first that Cole Younger attended; and last attended the 1911 reunion. Frank James attended some of the early reunions and Cole Younger only a few after his release from prison. The reunions continued until 1929 but every year, fewer and fewer Quantrill veterans were able to attend. After 1920 the number dwindled until the last few years when only George M. Noland was in attendance. During those years the reunions were kept up by Miss Lizzie Wallace and attended by other Confederate veterans and the descendants and relatives of the original Quantrill's Raiders.

James S. Whitsett in 1925 when he was 80 years old.This photo appeared in a history of Deaf Smith County, Texas in an article by Gladys Murphy written sometime after 1980. Gladys (Goats) Murphy was Sim's granddaughter. The article and picture were sent to me by Helen Eller, Sim's great-great granddaughter.

This may be the very last photo of Sim Whitsett. It was taken in 1927, the year before his death. After the death of his wife Lena in 1926 Sim moved back to Kansas City to live with his daughter Helen Sweany. He died on May 22, 1928 and is buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. This photo was discovered by Helen Eller.

This picture was also contributed by Sim's great-great granddaughter Helen Eller of Dennison, Texas.  It was given to her by her father and was taken in 1922.  The little boy is one of Sim's grandsons.  Because his face is hidden in the shadow and is in profile, it is difficult to compare this photo with other possible pictures of Sim.

This picture of attendees at the 1920 reunion of the surviving members of Quantrill's band was published in the 1956 edition of William E. Connelley's, "Quantrill And The Border Wars," (Pageant Book Co., 1956). The picture was donated by a niece of Sim.  Sim Whitsett was identified by his niece as the man behind Jesse James Jr. (the man in the lower right corner with the white hat). However, in 1963 the Williams family identified the man as John W. Williams. The roll of men attending the 1920 reunion shows that Sim Whitsett was not present, but John W. Williams was. Peculiar is that Miss Lizzie Wallace, who was on her porch standing behind the men, was completely removed from the picture.

This is the only reunion photo in which Sim Whitsett is individually identified (circled) by the newspaper in which the photo appeared in 1911. The caption says that "Jim Whitsit" came to the reunion from Texas. This same photo was published the following year in a 1912 article about that year's reunion.
Annual Reunion Photographs

This photo is also the 1901 reunion in Blue Springs, Mo.  Sim Whitsett was at this reunion and is probably in this picture. Also in the picture is Frank James. The first picture of the Quantrill veterans (Sim Whitsett was in attendance) was taken at the 1900 reunion. The picture is of a parade of the attendees on horseback. The 1901 is the first group photo in which the faces of individuals can be (barely) distinguished.

This is the 1906 reunion. Sim Whitsett was not at this reunion. Only a few men in this photo have been identified. Apparently no photos were published of the 1902-1905 reunions. A newspaper article in 1904 stated that the men had their photo taken at the 1904 reunion but apparently that photo was not published. Sim Whitsett was at the 1902-1903 reunions. In 1903 Sim is listed for the first time as from Hereford, Texas. Prior to that year he was listed as from Lee's Summit.

This is the 1909 reunion. A list of Quantrill veterans who attended apparently was not published.

(Click on photo for the entire image) This is a cut-out of the 1910 Quantrill reunion with Cole Younger.  Younger is the first man in front row on the right (in this cropped image).  Sim Whitsett is not listed as attending in 1910.  Several men in the picture were Civil War veterans, but not former Quantrill Raiders. This photo is also from the Sons of Confederate Veterans web site (next panel).

This picture appeared in a 1911 newspaper article about that year's reunion. Frank James is near the center of the photo seated just to the left of the Quantrill portrait. Can you identify anyone as Sim Whitsett?  This was apparently the last Quantrill reunion that Sim Whitsett attended. It was also the only reunion since 1903 where his name was published. The photo is from the Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans web site www.missouridivision-scv.org/images

This is the group photo from the 1920 reunion. The Kansas City Star on August 29, 1920 identified eleven as Quantrill veterans: A. F. Hayes, G. M. Noland, R. W. Colbern, J. C. Peters, J. M. Campbell; Morgan Maddox; Lee Stone; John T. Burns; William Patterson; Thomas Tatum; John W. Williams. The Quantrill veterans wore a special ribbon on their lapels, other guests did not. In this photo, Only five or six are wearing the ribbon. Some of the men were Confederate veterans, but not former Raiders such as John Williams whom the newspaper incorrectly identified as a raider.

This is the original 1920 photo donated by Sim Whitsett's niece Mrs. Forrest Gillam (Amelia Palmer) for the 1956 reprint of the 1910 William E. Connelley book. The lady is Miss Lizzie Wallace who hosted the Quantrill reunions for years at her home.
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Ronald N. Wall
Copyright 2000. All rights reserved.
Modified: 06 June 2011