Wood Hite

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Robert Woodson "Wood" Hite
Bornc. 1850
Logan, Kentucky
DiedDecember 4, 1881(1881-12-04) (aged 31)
Ray County, Missouri
Cause of deathMurder
Other names"Wood" Hite
OccupationOutlaw
Known forCousin to Jesse and Frank James; member of James-Younger Gang; killed by Robert Ford and Dick Liddil
 
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Robert Woodson "Wood" Hite
Bornc. 1850
Logan, Kentucky
DiedDecember 4, 1881(1881-12-04) (aged 31)
Ray County, Missouri
Cause of deathMurder
Other names"Wood" Hite
OccupationOutlaw
Known forCousin to Jesse and Frank James; member of James-Younger Gang; killed by Robert Ford and Dick Liddil

Robert Woodson "Wood" Hite was an outlaw and cousin of Frank and Jesse James. He was born around 1850 in Logan, Kentucky to Major George Burns and Nancy Gardner Hite (nee James). His mother was the sister of Robert Sallee James, the father of Frank and Jesse James of the James-Younger Gang, making Wood a first cousin to the James brothers. Wood and his brother Clarence later rode with Frank and Jesse, the only relatives to do so.[citation needed]

Hite was described as being between 5'8" and 5'10" with dark sandy hair, light complexion, a prominent Roman nose, and stooped shoulders that made him appear slouched. In his book The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James, author Frank Triplett described him as "a great admirer of himself, as well as of the opposite sex".[1]

Hite was shot to death on December 4, 1881 in Ray County, Missouri[2] by Dick Liddil and Robert Ford, also members of the James-Younger Gang, at the house of Martha Bolton, Ford's sister.[1] In January 1882, Ford and Liddil surrendered to Sheriff James Timberlake for Hite's murder, on the condition that they would receive pardons and a reward.[3] Ford claimed that on January 12, 1882 he met with Missouri governor Thomas Crittenden who agreed to pardon Ford for the murder of Wood Hite if he would deliver Jesse James, dead or alive.[4] However, both Governor Crittenden and Charley Ford would deny the existence of any such deal.[citation needed] Eventually Ford stood trial for Hite's murder and was found guilty, though he was later pardoned.

In the 2007 movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Hite was portrayed by Jeremy Renner.

References