Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Heywoods in:
 • Northfield Cemetery
 • Northfield
 • Rice County
 • Minnesota
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Joseph Lee Heywood
Birth: Aug. 12, 1837
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Sep. 7, 1876
Rice County
Minnesota, USA

Acting cashier of the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota, a prosperous farming community about 60 miles south of St. Paul, Minnesota. On the afternoon of September 7, 1876, 8 members of the James-Younger outlaw gang rode into Northfield to rob the bank. Leaving 5 members outside, the other 3, including Jesse James, entered the bank. They demanded that Joseph Heywood open the safe. Although it was unlocked, Heywood said it had a time lock and could not be opened. A standoff occurred during which the 3 gang members threatened to kill Heywood who kept insisting that that the safe could not be opened. During the ensuing delay, the 5 outlaws outside forcibly kept people outside the bank. Several citizens figured out that a robbery was in progress and raised the alarm. The townspeople armed themselves, and a full scale gunfight broke out. The outlaws fled without getting any of the money, but not before one of the frustrated outlaws in the bank, believed to be but never proven to be Jesse James, shot and killed Joseph Heywood. In the ensuing gun battle, 4 townspeople, including Heywood and Nicolaus Gustafson (see separate entry), were killed as were 2 of the outlaws. A posse pursued the remaining gang members capturing the Youngers and killing several others near Madelia, Minnesota a few weeks later. Each year on the weekend after Labor Day, the town of Northfield holds a celebration called the "Defeat of Jesse James Days" honoring Joseph Heywood and the other brave citizens of that afternoon who saved the town and its money and caused the demise of the James-Younger outlaw gang.  
Family links: 
  Martha Ann Buffum Heywood (____ - 1873)*
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Murdered by the James-Younger outlaw gang.
Northfield Cemetery
Rice County
Minnesota, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 44.45514, -93.14707
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Aug 28, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 11932
Joseph Lee Heywood
Added by: Anthony S
Joseph Lee Heywood
Added by: Stew Thornley
Joseph Lee Heywood
Added by: LCM
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Dragon
 Added: Mar. 17, 2016

- PiperJd
 Added: Oct. 21, 2015

- bob tarte
 Added: Sep. 7, 2015
There are 98 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 44 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service