THRILLING LIFE OF A GIRL.
Marriage on the Prairie--Visited by Jesse
James--Her First Taste of Outlawry.
FORT SMITH, Ark., May 30.--For the past week, the noted Belle Starr has been quite an attraction on the streets of this city. She came to answer two indictments in the Federal Court, and expected to have been tried at the present term, first for being implicated in the stealing of a fine mare, the one ridden by the notorious John Middleton, when he was drowned in the Poteau River, twenty-five miles above this city, in May, 1885; and second, on a charge of robbery, in which, it is claimed that Belle, dressed in male attire, led a party of three men who robbed an old man named Ferrell and his three sons, some forty miles north of here, in the Choctaw Nation, about three months ago. Court adjourned on Monday last, and her cases went over until August next.
night, Belle swung her Winchester to her saddle, buckled her
revolver around her, and, mounting her horse, set out for her
home on the Canadian. Before leaving, she purchased a fine pair
of 45-caliber revolvers, latest pattern, with black rubber handles
and short barrel, for which she paid $29. She showed them to
your correspondent, with the remark: "Next to a fine horse,
I admire a fine pistol. Don't you think these are beauties?"
here, she kindly granted your correspondent a long interview
concerning her past life, but made it plainly understood that
she had but little use for newspaper reporters, who, she claims,
at various time, have done her great injustices. Being asked
for a brief sketch of her career, she said, in substance, that
she was born at Carthage, Mo., and was 32 years old last February.
In 1863, her father, being a Confederate, removed with his family
to Texas, where he continued to reside after the close of the
war. After the surrender, Quantrell's men came to the locality,
and were, at all times, welcome guests at her father's home.
six weeks after the marriage, her husband, being an outlaw, was
forced to flee from the country, and he went to Missouri, leaving
her in Texas. Her father learned of the hasty departure, and
in order to induce her to return home, sent her a message that
her mother was dangerously ill, and her presence was requested
in haste. She immediately went home, but found she had been duped,
as her mother was not sick at all, and it was then she experienced
her first captivity, for the old gentleman locked her up and
kept her in confinement for about two weeks, after which, he
gave her a choice of going to school in San Antonio, or to a
small place in Parker County. She was placed in school at the
latter place and remained there for some time, but was not allowed
to communicate with any one outside of her family.
By this time, her admiration for him had become somewhat impaired, and, at first, she refused to go with him, but after considerable persuasion, she borrowed a horse from a young fellow who was attending the same school, ostensibly to take a short ride, and meeting her husband, after dark, they struck out for Missouri, where her husband purchased a farm and made an effort to settle down and lead an upright life. He was harassed by enemies to such an extent that he could not live in peace, and finally, they killed his brother, and, in return, he killed two of them, after which, they again fled to Texas, and from there, went to Los Angeles, Cal., and remained in that State for some time. From there, they again returned to Texas, and her husband was killed. Having followed the fortunes of an outlaw, thus far, she has since been true to his friends and comrades, and she has continued to associate with men of his calling, having lived among the Indians nearly ever since, with the exception of two years spent in Nebraska. She has spent some of the time among the wild tribes. The following note she handed to your corespondent just before starting for home, which she had written hurriedly, and is given verbatim:
a more adventurous life than generally falls to the lot of woman,
I settled permanently in the Indian Territory, selecting a place
of picturesque beauty on the Canadian River. There, far from
society, I hoped to pass the remainder of my life in peace and
quietude. So long had I been estranged from the society of women,
whom I thoroughly detest, that I thought I would find it irksome
to live in their midst. So, I selected a place that but few have
ever had the gratification of gossiping around.
"My home became famous as an outlaws' ranch long before it was visited by any of the boys who were friends of mine in times past. Indeed, I never correspond with any of my old associates, and was desirous my whereabouts should be unknown to them. Through rumor, they learned of it. Jesse James first came in and remained several weeks. He was unknown to my husband, who never knew until long afterward, that our home had been honored by Jesse's presence. I introduced Jesse as one Mr. Williams from Texas. But, few outlaws have visited my home, notwithstanding so much has been said. The best people in the country are my friends. I have considerable ignorance to cope with, consequently, my troubles originate mostly in that quarter. Surrounded by a low down class of shoddy whites, who have made the Indian country their home to evade paying tax on their dogs, and, who I will not permit to hunt on my premises, I am the constant theme of their slanderous tongues. In all the world, there is no woman more peaceably inclined than I."
relating her experience during the past three years, she says
since the return of herself and husband from Detroit, Mich.,
where they served one term of less than a year for alleged horse
stealing, her name has been coupled with every robbery or other
depredation that has been committed in the Territory, and in
a spirit of mirth, she said:
She says she never heard of the robbery of Ferrell until she was arrested as the leader of the party who committed it, her accusers asserting she was in male attire. She admits that her husband is, at all times, on the scout to avoid arrest, and there are several charges of larceny, robbery, etc., against him, which have been trumped up by his enemies, who would not hesitate to swear him into the penitentiary, should he surrender and stand trial.
at home, her companions are her daughter, Pearl (whom she calls
the "Canadian Lily"), her horse and her two trusty
revolvers, which she calls her "babies." The horse
she rides, she has owned for nearly five years, and no one ever
feeds or handles him but herself, and it would be risky business
for anyone else to attempt to ride him. She says she has been
offered $300 for him, time and time again, but that $500 would
not get him. He is a small sorrel horse, and when in good condition,
is a beautiful animal, but looked rather the worse for hard riding
when here last week. Belle is a crack shot, and handles her pistol
with as much dexterity as any frontiersman. No man enters Younger's
Bend without first giving a thorough account of himself before
he gets out.
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THE DESPERADO WOMAN.
ACTER IN THE WEST.
Dallas Recalled--She Was a Re-
Tex., Feb. 5.--Capt. Bodine, from Eufaula, I. T., to-day, gives
the following particulars of the killing of Belle Starr: On Monday,
she had been in town during the day and had started to her home,
about six miles distant. When about half that distance had been
traveled on horseback, she was shot by some person unknown, the
ball entering her heart and presumably killing her instantly.
The riderless horse went home and Belle's daughter mounted him
and rode back in search of her mother, whom she found lying dead
in the middle of the road. A large number of persons visited
the premises to view the remains of the dead woman.
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telegraphic columns of the News within the past few days, there
has appeared mention of the death of the notorious Belle Starr
at Eufaula, I. T. The first dispatch stated that she was the
wife of Cole Younger, one of the more notorious Younger family,
whose name has become familiar to the whole country by reason
of their many crimes. Cole denied the assertion that Belle was
his wife. This statement is confirmed from a local source, and
that she was, instead, the wife of Bruce Younger, an uncle of
Cole. Bruce lives at Colorado Springs, where he went for his
health, and a part of last summer was spent by him in Denver
at the Brunswick hotel. Younger was a cousin of the Younger brothers
who were mixed up in crime. He died at Colorado Springs last
August, leaving one child, who was then being educated at Notre
Dame, Ind. While Younger was at Colorado Springs, he lived with
a woman supposed to be his wife, but whether is was Belle Star,
or whether he had separated from her prior to her appearance
in Colorado, does not appear. Through married to the woman in
1874, it is to be presumed that Bruce Younger's appearance in
Denver created a slight stir in gambling circles, for he had
a little money and alternately won and lost heavily. He went
broke frequently, was staked and picked up again. At one time,
he went on a prolonged spree, during which, he was ugly, but
at other times he was very quiet and gentlemanly. At last, he
broke down and had to borrow money to leave town, owing considerable
amounts to various parties. He was introduced here by the noted
gambler, Jim Kendall.
Feb. 12.--A great deal has been said and written about Belle
Starr since she was killed. L. H. Scruggs, proprietor of the
Commercial hotel of this city, was well acquainted with her,
and gave the following version of her real identity to the News
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Famous Belle Boyd.
of Nerve and Daring--Belle Starr Was a
Female Desperado, Not Less Brave and
assassination of the mysterious Belle Starr in the Indian Territory
has set all the scouts and correspondents of the war era to giving
their reminiscences of the female spies--the "Belle Boyds"
and the "Sue Mundys." It is in some respects an exciting
story, in many more an exceedingly sad one; for it cannot be
otherwise than saddening to a normally constituted mind to read
of young women turned into avenging fiends by the unprovoked
murder of near relatives, as Belle Starr was by the murder of
her brother. The farther we get from the neighborhood war in
western Missouri, the more clearly we see how atrocious it was
on both sides, Kansas "Red Legs" and Missouri guerrillas
often murdering their opponents in cold blood.
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IN EARLY DAYS.
in Dallas County.
ruptcy and a Brother's Disgrace -- Cole
Younger's Army Record -- Subse-
quent Career of the Family.
among the old records of the district court this morning, a TIMES HERALD reporter
found a document, yellow with age, that has, since its execution,
become invested with historical interest. It is no less than
a true bill for murder against John Younger, the famous outlaw
of Texas, county of Dallas -- In the district court, June term,
A. D., 1871.
The document is endorsed: No. 1070, the state of Texas vs. John Younger and Thomas Porter, murder. A true bill. F. A. Sayn, foreman of the grand jury. Filed June 1, 1871. J. M. Caus, clerk.
name and by the authority of the state of Texas, the grand jurors,
good and lawful men of the county of Dallas and state of Texas,
duly elected, tried, impaneled, sworn and charged to inquire
of offenses committed within the body of said county of Dallas,
upon their oaths, do present in and to the district court of
Dallas county that one John Doe did, on the 18th day of December,
in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and ninety-two,
with force and arms, in the county and state aforesaid, unlawfully,
with malice aforethought, kill and murder one Richard Roe by
shooting him with a pistol.
that led to the killing are well known to old timers, but recent
comers may find them interesting as illustrative of dangers surrounding
an officer's life in Dallas county twenty years ago.
entered the house, read his warrant to John Younger, and as it
was breakfast time, gave him the opportunity to finish his meal
and report to him at the store. Nichols then returned to the
store, and in company with McMahon, sat near the stove awaiting
- o o o -
The Story of My Grandmother, Belle Starr
Periods in the Life Story Of the Woman Who Legend Says Gave Me to the Gypsies -- Her Sojourn in Scyene and Dallas -- A Trip Around the Horn and Up the Texas Cattle Trails -- The Indian Territory Adventures.
having been reared by conventional gentlefolk far from the South
and unaware of your Southern heritage, you one day learned, after
you were a woman grown, with a family of your own, that Belle
Starr, known as the Queen of the Outlaws, was your grandmother.
keeper was Myra Shirley's father. At this time, she was a beautiful
girl, full of life and afraid of nothing. With her twin brother,
Edward, she rode over the country on a handsome mount; she had
been riding almost since babyhood.
The Death of Ed.
After the Mavericks.
Married in Texas.
Tom Starr's Place.
California and Around the Horn.
Home Again in Texas.
nothing that I would love better than to hear from this boy,
Shug. I have never found a trace of him or his family, and it
would be a wonderful pleasure to me to hear from this man or
any of his children.
The Only Way She Knew.
A Rescue in Black.
Death and a Wife's Defiance.
home to Scyene, but the following year was full of many hardships.
Her son, Eddie, was not strong and seemed to be failing in health.
John Shirley passed away, and finally, when Mrs. Shirley moved
away, Myra moved to the edge of Dallas and opened a livery stable.
Old friends of James Reed helped her, and finally it was intimated
that some of her horses had reached her stable by a circuitous
Married Bruce Younger.
exciting and human story of an adopted child.)
Sec. IV, p. 1, col. 1-8; cont. on p. 2, col. 7-8.
- o o o -
The Story of Flossie,
Belle Starr's Granddaughter
Reed married Sam Starr, she intended to put all her old life
behind her. She had learned to love the Indian Territory and
had met a "friendship" there she had failed to find
elsewhere. People did not question her actions or her motives,
and Uncle Tom Starr's folks liked her. She planned a little home
secluded from the eyes of the world, where she could have her
children with her and live quietly.
A Visit From Jesse James.
Palmy Days of Fort Smith.
A Home for an Orphan.
A Sojourn in Detroit.
A Letter to Pearl.
placing a good deal of responsibility on Pearl, who was 13 years
old at this time. Pearl had learned to rely on herself, but these
years were full of many lonesome times for the little girl. Pearl
had developed late, a beautiful girl with hazel brown hair, blue
eyes and a lovely pink and white skin. Added to such charms was
her pleasing personality, so that it was no wonder the men at
the Bend called her the Canadian Lily. The hardest thing Belle
had to face was leaving Pearl at this time in her life.
A Cat Story.
Ripping Billy's Duster.
Sunshine and Shadows.
Threatened With the Gypsies.
A Voice Out of the Past.
Feature Sec., p. 1, col. 1-7; p. 2, col. 2-3.
- o o o -
Schmid Denies Movie
Made During Ambush
Smoot Schmid, Friday, denied the report that his two deputies,
Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton, who figured in the Louisiana roadside
slaughter of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, had moving picture
cameras with them and made pictures of the killings.
- o o o -
Belle Starr's Hideout
Located Near Dallas
and is Discovered 7 Miles East of City
The old Belle Starr Spring, long dry, was remembered by A. H. Downey, right, and his daughter, Mrs. Marie Hughes, from the time they lived on the farm occupied by Belle's parents, when first they came to Texas. Others inspecting the old spring outlet are John Smith and his father, Stanley W. Smith, who recently bought a tract, on which is located what remains of an old cave hide-out of Belle Starr and her bandit friends. - News Staff Photo
traces of a cave or large dugout, believed to have been used
as a hide-out by Belle Starr, who reigned as the bandit queen
of the Southwest, some seventy years ago, and her friends, has
been located near the banks of Prairie Creek, seven miles east
of Dallas on the Kaufman Highway.
Kept Away From Cave.
Owned Dallas Stable.
Sec. II, p. 1, col. 6-7; cont. on Sec. II, p. 12, col. 2-4.
- o o o -
Belle Starr Sold for $10
woolly tales from the old Indian Territory still filter out of
the more peaceful land now known as Oklahoma, but L. K. McKnight,
4040 Prescott, has a vivid reminder of those days as a memento
-- a pistol once carried by the notorious Belle Starr.
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