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If you are searching for Lafayette, Iowa you came to the right place. Lafayette was Surveyed in the month of August, 1852, by George W. Voris and Thomas S. Brown, and given the name of Lafayette. In 1858, the name was changed to Albion.

If you are searching for where Jesse James had stayed in Iowa you came to the right place. The following is the account of "Did Jesse James and His Family Really Live In Marshall County?" taken from the Marshalltimes November 1994 issue.

Albion area folks were into some pretty heavy gossip during the summer of 1879: Just who was this heavily-bearded stranger in their midst, and was he really the horse-trader from Maryland that he claimed to be?

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Smith, that's what the couple introduced themselves as when they first came to Albion and checked into the local hotel. Several days later, with children Mary and Jess Edward in tow, they rented a nice corner house and a couple months later rented a home in the country. Zee (Mrs. Smith) said Mary and Jesse Edward would be "better off in the country."

By mid-summer, however, the Smiths were gone. And there were no goodbyes...

After Jesse's cousin Bob Ford killed him in St. Joseph, Missouri Zee James finally admitted to a reporter Jesse James was her husband. That is when Zee James gave the St Joseph media the information that ran in the obituary the next day. But the obit included an inaccuracy that wasn't finally eradicated for several years.

Before living in Maryland, the obituary said, the James family "had lived in Albia, Marshall County, Iowa." The Kansas City papers picked up the typ from the St. Joseph press and it was widely reported that Jess had spent part of 1879 in Albia, a southern Iowa county seat town (Monroe County) only 20 miles from one of the James Gang's most notorious bank robberies (Corydon).

Both historian Buel and Kansas City writer F.S. Whealen corrected the error in due time. Whealen even went so far as to travel to Albion several years later and inquire if any local residents remember Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Whealen eventually talk with Evelyn Spindler, a young girl who had befriended Zee in 1879. The writer showed a copy of the Kansas City Star with pictures of both Jess and Zee James on the front page. Concealing the print beneath their photographs, he asked young Evelyn if she had ever seen either of them before.

Her face brightened and she exclaimed: Why, it's Mr. and Mrs. Smith!"

So when anyone asks if Jesse James did stay in Albion they will be pointed to the hotel which is still standing and is now a home.
Where Jesse James Stayed
Photo is what the Albion Hotel looks like now. It remains the same as it was when the James family stayed in Albion. The only change is Main Street is now paved and the hitching post is gone from in front of the hotel. Anyone who drives through our community on Hwy 330 will drive right past the home that use to be the Albion Hotel.

Businesses in the Albion Area
Judith Pulse Reflexology - 641-488-2789
K and T Storage - 641-488-2923
Market Off Main 641-488-2971
Sharon's Leather 641-488-2250
Hibbs Insurance 641-488-2277
Edge Town RV & Mobile Home Park - 641-351-0419 or 319-423-5948
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Recreation Areas in Albion
Albion City Park
Albion City Park
Albion Skateboard Park
Albion Skateboard Park
Albion David Bueghly Memorial Ball Park
Albion David Bueghly Memorial Ball Park


Email Us
Albion City Hall
170 S. Main Street
PO Box 219
Albion, Iowa 50005
641-488-2244


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