Younger Brothers Autograph Book
Appraised Value: $20,000 - $30,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:41)
APPRAISER: The names that I see there are Cole Younger, Bob Younger and James Younger, and they are celebrated desperadoes of American history. They were with the James gang, and then they were put in jail, and I think your story takes up at that point.
GUEST: Yes. At that time, my great-grandfather...
APPRAISER: Who is this gentleman, I believe.
GUEST: Yes, he lived in Stillwater, Minnesota. And he worked at the state prison there as the steward, and he met all of the Youngers and befriended them. He actually became especially Cole Younger's friend. And when Cole Younger came out of prison several years later, he invited him over to Sunday dinner, I believe on the day he got out of prison. And the story in the family is from my grandfather, who's the child in the middle. He was about eight at the time, and up until then had been known as Willy. And when Cole Younger was introduced to him, his... his own father said, "This is my son, Willy." And Cole Younger said, "Nice to meet you, Bill." And Bill was flattered, pleased and always was known as Bill after that. And later in the day, he got up the courage to sit on Cole Younger's knee, and so that's the family story.
APPRAISER: So this date here that I see is July 1878, so that is when he was actually in the prison at that point.
GUEST: Yes, I believe so.
APPRAISER: Right, I want to read just a couple of lines from this document because I find it most extraordinary. "I write this so that in some future time, when looking over the pages of this book, you may call to memory one whose life has not been perfect, though not as bad as the world may think." I think that's a very interesting admission, and at the same time, a sort of a defense. Um, but he obviously was a great admirer of your great-grandfather because at the end of this, he hopes that every effort in his life may be crowned, and that is the wish of his friend Cole Younger. Very, very interesting and unusual piece of Americana. There's a great deal of interest in outlaw history of, uh, the middle part of the United States, and the material is, by its very nature, extremely rare. Uh, I would say, so far as the value goes that my auction estimate on this unusual autograph book, uh, with all three Youngers on the two pages, would be $20,000 or $30,000.
GUEST: Great-- thank you.
APPRAISER: It's a great piece of Americana.
GUEST: Thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Thank you for coming in.
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