After a failed attempt at robbing the Northfield Bank in Sep. of 1876, The Jesse James/Younger Brother Gang fled with citizens in hot pursuit.
The gangs separated near Mankato and headed west. Wounded, tired and on foot, The Younger’s purchased breakfast at the Sorbel Farm. Upon recognizing the bandits, 16year old Oscar Sorbel rode to Madelia and informed the businessmen of their whereabouts.
The first encounter was momentarily at Hanska Slough with guards strategically posted, The Younger’s hunkered down on the Watonwan River with the plum bushes for cover.
A short, fierce gun battle ensued, with Madelia’s brave citizens capturing the gang on Sep 21, 1876. Upon the captured gang’s arrival in town, their wounds were tended; they were clothed, fed and guarded.