HCLL presents Jesse James’s Northfield raid

A 2016 Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning program about the outlaw's movements in Minnesota returns via Facebook and Youtube, through the end of April.

Loren Evenrud of Cannon Falls gave a historical account of Jesse James and the famous 1876 Northfield Bank Raid during a Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning presentation in October 2016 at Armory Square. (Enterprise file photo)

The Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) continues its spring 2021 online series with Loren Evenrud’s presentation, “Jesse James in Minnesota.”

The program, recorded before a live Park Rapids audience in October 2016, incorporates pictures, an account of the events and the publicity surrounding the 1876 raid of the First National Bank of Northfield.

It will be available until the end of April at or

Loren Evenrud is a retired educator and experienced law enforcement professional. He taught online criminal justice courses at Concordia University from 2002 to 2014. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1987, focusing his research on crime reporting issues.

Recently chosen as chair of the Goodhue County Historical Society, Evenrud is the author of the published article “Prelude to the 1876 Northfield Bank Raid: A Goodhue County Connection with Robert Rohl,” in which he worked with historian Rohl to analyze the movement of the James/Younger gang during their travels from Red Wing, Minn. just prior to the Northfield raid.


“History has presented a distorted image of the James/Younger gang, in general, and Jesse Woodson James, in particular,” Evenrud said. “Unfortunately, our popular culture tends to glamorize and promote criminal behavior.”

Attendees at the live event in 2016 commented that it gave them a new perspective on the place of the James gang in history.

The encore presentation would not be possible without a grant from Itasca-Mantrap’s Operation Round Up, which enabled the HCLL to purchase video recording equipment so that library patrons could check out a DVD of a program they missed.

“Little did we know in 2012 that we could use the recorded programs to reach a wider audience during a pandemic,” said HCLL board chair Marty Leistikow. “The speakers whose programs were chosen have agreed to make these popular programs available to the public for a limited time, and we thank them.”

HCLL hopes to resume live programs in the fall.

Related Topics: HISTORY
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