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Honestly…I was in Cynthiana, Kentucky, signing books

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

My book signing this past weekend in Cynthiana, Kentucky, once more produced the kind of surprises I’ve come to expect. Most everyone who stopped by had a Jesse James story to tell. But two of them appeared much more interesting than the others.

Young Mr. Waters recounted four generations of his family genealogy as a descendant of Adelaine Lee Sullivan Younger & James Lewis Dalton, Jr., the parents of the Dalton Gang brothers. I asked Mr. Waters to send me his genealogy so I can review it in more detail. If the documentation is there, his genealogy can be added to the SURNAMES genealogy database on Stray Leaves. While browsing my book, Mr. Waters commented on the photo in the book of the dead Daltons. Mr. Waters said a copy of that same image hung in his family home.

Floyd McDannel
Floyd McDanell

When Floyd McDanell’s wife came to my table, she had a lot of questions to ask about the book and myself. She didn’t offer much information in return, though, but she did decide to purchase a copy. When I asked to whom I should sign the book, she replied, “I’m buying it for my husband. He’ll be very interested in this.”

About an hour later, Mrs. McDanells returned with her husband. I said, “You look very familiar to me. Have we met before?” It was then Floyd McDanell’s informed me that he is a Samuels family relation, although he is a direct descendant of Reuben Ellis McDaniel, one of the founders of William Jewell College, with Frank & Jesse’s father, Rev. Robert Sallee James, and with Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman of my line of James.

R. E. Daniel
R. E. Daniel, a Founder of William Jewell College

We talked at length. I answered some questions he had about some of his other family relations among his kinship. Mentioning some of those names, I was able to inform him how they, too, were his kin.

After our conversation, I fully expected Mr. Danell to leave. Instead, he went inside the bank behind us and lingered. I later found out he is one of the officers of the bank and was on duty to watch over it during the festival.

Here’s are some pictures of our Authors Alley panel. It was a great time getting to know the people of Cynthiana and my fellow authors. We all were invited back by our coordinator Kristi Robinson for next year. You’ll find me there again with Vol. II of Jesse James Soul Liberty.

Authors Steve Flairty and Steve Vest with Kristi Robinson
Steve Flairty, Kristi Robinson, Steve Vest of Kentucky Monthly
Book authors John Sparks and Jerry Deaton
John Sparks & Jerry Deaton
Book author Eric F. James
Eric F. James


It’s November 17, 2014, and I just found this old postcard, showing where we were signing our books in 2013.

Historic Cynthiana, Ky.