Robert Ford was made infamous for his murder of the legendary Jesse James. This act, which earned him the nickname "The Dirty Little Coward," and has been captured in song, happened on April 3, 1882. Robert and his brother, Charlie, were both members of Jesse's gang and were invited to be guests in Jesse's home. After having breakfast, Jesse took off his guns while he and his visitors went into the living room. Jesse noticed a picture on the wall that was crooked so he stood on top of a chair to straighten it. Robert immediately seized the opportunity to collect the $5,000 reward that had been offered by Governor Thomas Crittenden of Missouri for the capture of Jesse James. Robert proceeded to shoot Jesse in the back while still in Jesse's own home.
The Ford brothers dashed out of the house and wasted no time in contacting the governor to claim the reward money.
However, they were tried and convicted for murder. Within two hours of their scheduled hanging, the governor granted them a full pardon. They never collected their reward. Two years later, in May of 1884, Charlie Ford committed suicide. Robert, nevertheless, used his reputation to make a living. He posed for photographs in western dime museums. He later opened a saloon in Walsenburg, Colorado but moved to Creed, Colorado and opened a new saloon called the Creed Exchange. The Creed Exchange was both a gambling and dance hall in the town where a silver strike was brining in money. The Exchange eventually was forced to close because a school was to soon be next to it.
Ford, being a betting man, placed a bet against a fighter and lost. He soon after turned to drinking and shot the man who he lost his bet...