Ann Bassett - Outlaw "Queen Ann Bassett" and cattle rustler
Born May 12, in 1878 to ranchers Herb Bassett and Elizabeth Chamberlain Bassett near Browns Park.
Her older sister Josie was born in 1874. Though both she and her sister were both very attractive, well educated, and taught in the art of roping, horse riding and shooting, both preferred ranching.
In 1894, at the age of 15, Ann became romantically involved with Butch Cassidy. Over the years, she and Josie constantly exchanged romantic involvement with members of the Wild Bunch. Female outlaws, Ann was known as "Queen Ann Bassett" and was a cattle rustler who operated with the Wild Bunch.
Other claims about her, though none have not been confirmed, is that she was Etta Place, as the two women were described to be very similar in beautiful looks and physical descriptions and both born in 1878. Other documented facts show Ann to be in Wyoming with Butch Cassidy when Etta Place was in South America. Other documents show Ann, Josie and Etta Place were at Robber's Roost at the same time and were three of the five women ever allowed in. Ann was never again to see Butch Cassidy after he left for South America.
In 1903, Ann married rancher Henry Bernard. Later that year, she was arrested for cattle rustling. She stood trial, but was acquitted and released. After six years of marriage, she and Henry divorced, though he stood by her and helped her and Josie ranch.
In 1928, Ann married second husband cattleman Frank Willis. They were together until her death May 8, 1956.
Laura Bullion - Female outlaw & 'The Thorny Rose'
This lady outlaw was born in 1876, in Knickerbocker, Texas. Her mother was
German and her father was Indian. In the 1890's, Laura was a member of
Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, and for several years was the girlfriend of
outlaw Ben "The Tall Texan" Kilpatrick.
Though she wasn't particularly as pretty as many of the other Wild Bunch
girlfriends, Laura was referred to as the "Rose of the Wild Bunch" by members
of the gang. It has also been noted she had a masculine face and could easily
disguise herself as a boy. While involved with the Wild Bunch, she helped
support them by selling stolen goods.
On November 6, 1901, at about age 25, Laura was arrested on federal charges for 'forgery of signatures to banknotes' and in her possession had $8,500 dollars stolen during the Great Northern Train Robbery. On December 12, 1901, Ben Kilpatrick was also arrested. Both were convicted of robbery; Laura sentenced to five years and Ben receiving a twenty year sentence. Laura only served three and half years.
In 1918 Laura moved to Memphis, Tennessee, using various aliases, including Freda Bullion Lincoln. She earned a living as a seamstress, among other occupations, and eventually spent all her fortunes. She died of heart disease on December 2, 1961.
According to her death certificate, Laura listed her birthday as October 4, 1887 -- which would have put her at about age 10 when she became involved with the Wild Bunch, and age 14 when she was arrested and convicted for robbery. This also would have made her roughly 5-years-old when she became romantically involved with Ben Kilpatrick. 1876 is probably more closer to truth for this Thorny Rose's birthdate. Her gravemarker reads:
Freda Bullion Lincoln
The Thorny Rose
1876 - 1961
Abigail Scott Duniway - Women's rights advocate
"...Poor baby...she'll be a woman some day and a woman's lot is so hard."
That is one of Abigail's most earliest memories, spoken by her mother
after the birth of her ninth child.
Born October 22, 1834 in Illinois, Abigail and her family lived on the family
farm until 1852 until when they traveled by wagon along the Oregon Trail.
After the family settled in Cincinnati, Oregon, (now Eoli) Abigail was a
school teacher before marrying Benjamin C. Duniway on August 2, 1853
at the age of 18. They had six children
When her husband was severely injured, Abigail supported her family by teaching and running a millinery in Albany, Oregon. In 1871, she moved her family to Portland, Oregon and founded a newspaper The New Northwest. The paper was promoted as a human rights advocate, supporting education and women's suffrage. Abigail also wrote the novel Captain Gray's Companion.
Dedicated to equal rights, Abigail began touring western states, lecturing three to five evenings a week, speaking to women.
The National Women's Suffrage Association recognized Duniway as a leading women's advocate in the American West in 1886.
Twenty-six years later, In 1912, Oregon women were granted the right to vote. Abigail Scott Duniway was the first woman to register to vote in Multnomah County. She on October, 11, 1915.
Belle Starr - Most well-known lady bandit in American history
Born Myra Belle Shirley on February 5, 1848, in Carthage, Missouri,
this celebrated lady outlaw of the Indian Territory was known to be
someone whom one didn't want to get on her bad side, but she could
be pleasant and mild mannered when in the company of close friends.
Though she was dubbed the 'outlaw queen" legend has it her looks
weren't her finest quality. But she made up for that with her
She was a horse thief, bootlegger, cattle thief, suspected robber of
stagecoaches and has been credited as a lady Robin Hood-- stealing from
the rich and giving to the poor.
The daughter of a farmer/judge John Shirley, Myra was well-educated and attended the Carthage Female Academy where she was also instructed in music and classical languages. She delighted in performing her great talents for an audience and had a flare for the dramatic. She also adored the outdoors and spent countless hours under the sun roaming the country with her older brother Ed--who was five years older than Myra Belle-- while he taught her how to handle her guns and be a competent rider. Ed, Along with Frank and Jesse James, Cole Younger, Jim Younger, Bob Younger, John Younger and Jim Reed served under the infamous William C. Quantrill during the Civil War. It is noted that Myra Belle Shirley was a spy for the Confederates during the last two years of the Civil War. She also had a twin brother who had been killed by the federals during the war when he was only 16-years-old.
After Ed Shirley was killed by confederate soldiers when he was about 20-years-old, the Shirley family moved to to Seyene, Texas, near Dallas. When Cole Younger hid out in Texas in 1868, he took a fancy to young Myra Belle and, after seducing her, she had his illegitimate child, a baby girl she named Rosie Lee, but called her Pearl Younger. After Cole left, Myra Belle's heart now belonged to a bank and train robber named Jim Reed. He invited her to join his new outlaw gang, and she took him up on the offer, running away with the gang.
Myra and Jim soon married-- though not by a man of the cloth-- one of the gang members performed the marriage ceremony. (records show Myra and Jim Reed being married in Collin County, near Dallas, Texas, on November 1, 1866.) Shortly afterward, Jim and his blushing bride bought a small farm in Missouri and they resided there for a while, but soon the law was hot on Jim's heels. Jim and Myra next joined a gang lead by John Fischer, where they took to a life of crime which brought them through several states, including California.
Jim Reed had been part of the first James-Younger gang bank robbery at Liberty, Missouri, on February 13, 1866, against the Clay County Savings Association Bank. They stole $62,000 and killed one man.
On February 22, 1871, Myra Belle gave birth to boy, son named she named Edward. Later that year, as legend has it, Myra, along with Jim and two other criminals, robbed a California prospector. The Prospector had stashed away about $30,000 of gold and the gang got wind of it. They tortured the prospector until he finally told them where the gold was hidden, and the gang got away with it.
After Jim Reed was shot and killed from behind on August 6, 1874 by Deputy Sheriff John T. Morris of Collin County, Texas, Myra left her 2 children with relatives and began a rustling ring with Sam Starr. Morris, the killer, had formerly been Jim Reed's confederate in stagecoach robberies and the theft of livestock.
By 1881, Myra had moved to a country place on the Canadian River in Oklahoma,
called Younger's Bend. Belle, having by now given the boot to such sometime
outlaw-lovers as Jack Spaniard, Jim French, John Middleton and Blue Duck,
married a Cherokee named Sam Starr. She was now known as Belle Starr and
celebrated all over the country as the Bandit Queen, or, the "female Jesse
James." Her three-room house was unusually well furnished. She had a piano in
the living room, as Belle was a musician who loved to entertain. She also had
many bookshelves full of books, and her large mantel over the fireplace was
decorated with trophies of her marksmanship.
Belle Starr and Blue Duck
On July 31, 1882, Belle and Sam were charged with horse theft. In 1882 she was convicted and briefly imprisoned, serving nine months in the House of Corrections in Detroit.
In February 1886 several farm settlements were robbed, one of whom was a woman dressed as a man. An eye witness identified the person as Belle Starr. In April a warrant for her arrest was issued. Her trial was held in June 1886, but because none of the witnesses could identify her, charges were dismissed on June 29.
The 'Bandit Queen' in Fort Smith, Arkansas, 1886
On December 17, 1886, Sam Starr and his cousin, Frank West, shot and killed each other at a Christmas dance in a little town of Oklahoma (this name was changed to Whitefield on November 27, 1888) about eight miles east of Tamaha. The shooting took place just as Sam and Belle arrived at the dance each killing each other with his first shot.
Belle Starr's Final Years
Later on, Belle added prostituting to her string of credits, along with burglary. Yet again, she made an unwise choice and married a man named Jim July Starr (no relation to Sam Starr) who was 15 years her junior, and further complicated her life.
Belle was shot in the back and killed near Eufaula, Oklahoma, on February 3, 1889. She was two days shy of her 41st birthday (some accounts, including her daughter Pearl, claim Belle was actually born in 1846, two years prior to what is on her tombstone.) The news quickly spread throughout the Indian Nations and Southwest that the famous bandit queen had been murdered.
Legend has it, when Dr. Jesse Mooney arrived, (whom had once treated Belle for a gunshot wound in the upper left shoulder) he found that she had been placed on her bed, and contrary to all stories, she lived for about an hour after she was hit twice by shotgun blasts. When Belle's horse had loped into the barnyard with blood on the saddle, Pearl rushed back to find her mother Belle lying in a puddle of mud, water and blood. She had been hit in the back, neck and shoulders, and the side of her face and she was bleeding terribly. A nearby neighbor named Hoyt had taken her in his wagon back to the Starr house.
Belle had been dead about fifteen minutes when Dr. Mooney arrived. Pearl was still by her bedside weeping.
"Did she tell you anything, Pearl?" the doctor asked.
"Yes," Pearl sobbed, "someday I'll tell you, Jesse."
Soon, plans were made for her funeral. Dr. Mooney's cousin, Issac, made a coffin of pine boards and brought it back from Briartown the next morning in his wagon. At the funeral six Cherokee Indians carried the coffin to the open grave they had dug close to the Starr house. The lid was removed, and over a hundred people passed by, both white and Indian, to see the remains of Belle Starr.
It was actually only a burial, as no funeral service was held, except that "each Cherokee dropped a crumb of cornbread in the coffin as he passed, in traditional tribal custom, so that the departed sister might have food during her journey to the hereafter." Belle was dressed in her best black velvet riding attire with a white frilled collar, wearing her best jewelry. She had on black silk stockings and her fancy riding boots. She looked pale but peaceful, and was marred by only bandages on her neck and one of her face which Dr. Mooney had placed there to cover the wounds from shotgun blasts.
Dr. Mooney and his wife Ella attended the burial, along with the many friends and neighbors that had come to pay their last respects to Belle Starr. Belle's last husband, Jim July Starr had ridden back from Fort Smith, Arkansas, making the seventy-five miles on horseback in an incredible time of nine hours, most of it in the dark. When it was time to lower Belle into the earth--with her hands crossed and her right hand holding her favorite pearl-handled Colt. 45-- the Cherokee pallbearers, heavily armed, placed the lid on the coffin and nailed it shut. They then lowered her into the grave.
Edward, Belle's son (or Eddie as she called him ) had been on the run from the law and did not go to his mother's funeral.
A neighbor, Edger Watson, was accused of her murder but the charges against him were dismissed because of lack of evidence. It would be seven years later that Pearl told the truth as to who was her mother's killer.
In November 1896, Eddie Reed (who had once been convicted of bootlegging and was sent to a federal penitentiary and was also a deputy marshal in Fort Smith) had been killed in Claremore, I. T. while drunk and shooting up a saloon.
When Dr. Jesse Mooney left for the funeral, he remembered that about two weeks before Belle had been killed, Eddie Reed knocked at his door at 3:00 in the morning, bleeding from lacerations suffered when his mother had awakened him from sleep and had beat him with her riding quirt for taking her favorite horse against her orders. He had made open threats that he would get even with her.
Belle and her son never got long very well and were often arguing bitterly. The day of her beloved brother's funeral, Pearl told Dr. Mooney that Eddie was the one to get the drop on her mother.
"She opened her eyes after we got her home in bed, and she whispered to me, 'Baby...your brother Eddie shot me...I turned and seen him before he cracked down the second time," Pearl sobbed, recalling those last words her mother said to her.
For those seven years, Pearl never told her brother that she knew he was the one to pull the trigger.
Other stories abound that it could've been Jim July Starr who was the one to pull the trigger. Or Jim Middleton. Perhaps the name of the killer is unimportant. Only the San Bois Mountains know the secret for sure. Belle Starr will forever be the most well-known female bandit in American history. The Pearl of the Wild West.
The National Police Gazette described the girl who was born Myra Belle Shirley:
Of all the women of the Cleopatra type, since the days of the Egyptian queen herself, the universe has produced none more remarkable than Bella Starr, the Bandit Queen...She was more amorous than Anthony's mistress, more relentless than Pharaoh's daughter, and braver than Joan of Arc. Of her it may well be said that Mother Nature was indulging in one of her rarest freaks, when she produced such a novel specimen of womankind...well-educated...gifted with uncommon musical and literary talents...In a strange country and under an assumed name, she brightened the social circle for a week, a month, and then was, perhaps, lost forever.
Belle was buried beneath a fancy tombstone, with an elaborate poem that reads:
"Shed not for the bitter tear,
Nor give the heart to vain regret.
'Tis but the casket that lies here,
The gem that filled it sparkles yet."
Shortly after Belle was killed, a dirt farmer near Eufaula, Oklahoma was quoted in a Tulsa newspaper with the following:
"When night settles down over that canyon yonder you can hear the sounds of guns firing along the river, the clanking of chains of the prisoners marching to their cells. All through the night, Belle Starr's favorite mare can be heard pawing the ground near her grave, and if a gun is fired into the ground near Belle's grave the sod will flare up and pop like the pistols of bandits a-firin' from the hip."
Belle's daughter, Pearl Younger, appeared in a vaudeville show in Dallas, at her mother's insistence, when she was fourteen. She collapsed on the stage. two years later after her mother's death. Pearl was a one of the most famous harlots in the southwest, operating on Water Street, and later Front Street in Fort Smith, Arkansas for over twenty-three years. She died July 6, 1925, at Douglas, Arizona.
"It seems that I have more trouble than any other person."
- Belle Starr
THE DAY THAT THEY BURIED BELLE STARR
Well Cole Younger groaned and the sheriff got stoned,
On the day that they buried Belle Starr;
Ol' Willard filled her in, wiped the stubble on his chin,
And he told 'em all about it in the bar;
In the corner of the room, of that old Texican saloon,
Sat the 'Judge', with a town whore on his knee;
Said, "If I ever meet the man, that shot poor Belle I'll understand,
Then I'll shake him by the hand and set him free."
For twenty-one years, she spread heartaches and tears,
When she rode with the Youngers and the James;
There was fire in her eyes, but the real reasons why,
The history books never explain;
She had sex, poise and grace, and it showed in her face,
Say the old men who hang round the town;
But that didn't get her far, just a stone's throw from the bar,
Where they planted Belle Starr in the ground.
(Spoken)... But you know a headstone stands over Belle Starr's grave today.
It was erected 'In Loving Memory', by her daughter Pearl.
The inscription reads...
"Shed not for her a bitter tear,
Nor give the heart to vain regret;
'Tis but the casket that lies here,
The gem that filled it sparkles yet."
'Mid laughter and jeers, and not too many tears,
She was forty-one years when she died;
And we can't really say, there was anyone that day,
Who cared so much, that they cried;
It's a tale of the West, and the old men tell it best;
When they're sittin' drinkin' beer in the bar;
They recall an old man, with a young girl by the hand,
Were all who gave a damn for Belle Starr.
(Words & Music © by RAYMOND WRIGHT -
Much thanks to Raymond for sharing his great ballad )
Pearl Hart - "The Bandit Queen" & the Wild West's final stagecoach robbery
Born Pearl Taylor around 1871, in Ontario, Canada, this lady
outlaw's crimes included robbing a stagecoach at a time when
the Wild West was coming to an end. By no accounts was
she a 'proper lady' -- the way she was raised to be -- as some
of her ill habits included smoking cigars, drinking whiskey,
taking opium and using salty language. She was also well
educated and well read.
At the age of 16, Pearl, who was said to be by those who knew
her as quite pretty, feisty and witty, eloped with a man named
William (?) Hart. The marriage was, by no means, a fairy tale
romance, as her husband often abused her. When Pearl couldn't
take it any longer, she ran away from him after the Chicago
World's Fair and headed West by way of train to Mammoth,
In 1892, Pearl met musician and gambler Dan Bandman. She
gave birth to a son and a daughter, and shortly after, left her
babies in her mother's care. It could be said Pearl's intentions
were due to the fact she needed money; or perhaps feeling suffocated
being at home with her society mother. Whatever the case, only Pearl knows the truth.
Pearl later found work as a cook in Globe, where she met prospector Joe Boot. Legend has it, she soon received a telegram stating that her mother was dying, her children were ill and to come home as quickly as possible. Needing money, Pearl and Joe decided to rob a stagecoach.
On May 29, 1899 the Wild West's final stagecoach robbery occurred. Pearl donned men's clothing and helped Joe hold up the Benson-Globe stage. When the stage driver pulled to a stop, Pearl dismounted from her horse and ordered the three passengers to "Pile out." She took $390 from one man, $36, along with a dime and two nickels, from another, and $5 from the third passenger. Returning a dollar each to the victims, Pearl then took the stage driver's pistol, climbed back in her saddle and headed off with Joe.
But, their plan didn't go accordingly and a few days later they were captured by Pinal County Sheriff W.E. Truman. Pearl received a 5 year sentence and Joe Boot got 35 years at the territorial prison in Yuma.
Being the "Bandit Queen" (as newspapermen made her out to be) soon caused a public commotion, and this didn't sit well with the sheriff and he moved Pearl to the Pima County Jail in Tucson. She later escaped, and was recaptured in New Mexico.
In a day and age where women had no voice, Pearl, who stood roughly right around five feet two inches, stood up for herself to the judge and jury, stating how women in society were not treated equally as men. Though the words she spoke were heard by these men, it didn't help sway them and she was sent to Yuma Prison. (* note: not for the stage robbery, but for stealing the driver's gun during the holdup.).
Soon, newspapers were taking an interest in Pearl's intentions behind the robbery and writers were flocking to interview her. Pearl, using her smarts, gave them what they wanted to hear, with a little sugar-coating. Yet, there was always a part of herself she didn't reveal to no one. Photographers asked her to pose holding a variety of unloaded weapons, and soon these photos were in many newspapers across the country.
After serving 2 years of her sentence, she was paroled in December 1902. Pearl then took her act on the road for a short spell, appearing in theaters and Wild West shows across the country where she would awe the crowd with her talent in singing. There is also speculation that she was pregnant when released from Yuma Prison.
Afterward, not much is known of what became of the lady outlaw, but most likely changing her name and going into hiding to live a peaceful life she always dreamed of. Perhaps she found that dream.
There is claims that Pearl married an Arizona rancher named Calvin Bywater and lived a peaceful, happy life until her death on December 30, 1952 or even 1955, making her about 81 or 84-years-old.
There is an account, whether fact or fiction, that in 1924, "Pearl supposedly resurfaced, visiting the Pima County jail where she was once held, identifying herself, taking a look around, and then quickly fleeing."
Still, it is said that she died a year later in 1925. But no records can make such real claim. After-all, if she changed her name, as the story goes, she could've lived to a ripe old age.
But whatever the case, Pearl will forever be the lady robber...who spoke up for herself.
Joe Boot is buried in the Pearce, Arizona cemetery.
Calamity Jane - Frontierwoman and Scout
Born Martha Jane Canary on May 1, 1852, in Princeton, Missouri,
she was the oldest of six children. By the time she was 15, she
and her two brothers and three sisters were orphaned, and Martha
took over as head of the family.
In 1868 she moved by wagon her brothers and sisters to Wyoming
Territory, ending up in Piedmont. To provide for her family,
Martha took any job she could get: cook, dishwasher, dance hall
girl and nurse. By the time she was eighteen years old, she was a
Scout at Fort Russell. Thus began her career as a Scout.
Many stories abound as to how she acquired the nickname
'Calamity Jane.' One story has it that she acquired it as a result of
her warnings to men that to offend her was to "court calamity". In
another Martha says that wherever she goes "calamity seems to
follow her." Or, she was "Calamity Jane of the Prairie Plain..."
And if you ask another biographer, they'll tell their version.
In early summer of 1876, twenty-something Martha, now known as
Calamity Jane, arrived in Deadwood, South Dakota. She soon became
friends with, and sometimes employed by, leading madame Dora DuFran.
Also in town was Wild Bill Hickok, whom Calamity Jane greatly admired and set her romantic sights on. During this time, Wild Bill was recently married to circus performer Agnes Lake Thatcher.
Though much has been glamorized by Hollywood romanticizing Wild Bill and Calamity Jane, in actual truth, they only knew one another a total of six weeks. They were never married, nor had any children together. Calmaity Jane was a hard-drinking, tobacco chewing, cussing woman in men's clothes. But despite those ill behaviors, she also has been noted as being kind-hearted. According to Deadwood documents she helped nurse the ill during the 1878 smallpox epidemic in Deadwood. Dr. Babcock referred to her as "brave" and an "angel." She also reportedly donated food to the needy.
After the death of Wild Bill by the murderer "Crooked Nose" Jack McCall, on August 2, 1876, some accounts have Calamity Jane cornering the assassin in a butchershop with a meat cleaver. This has never been proven. Like many legendary Wild West figures, Calamity Jane was a grand story teller, as were the dime novelists.
Years later, Calamity Jane claimed in her autobiography that she was married to Hickok and had divorced him so he could be free to marry Agnes Lake Thatcher. No documents have ever surfaced supporting this. She later stayed in the Deadwood area, then moved in 1881 when she bought a farm near Yellowstone Park and ran an Inn. Soon afterward, she married Clinton Burke and moved to Boulder, Colorado. In 1887, speculations have been made that she gave birth to a daughter, Jane, whom she gave up to foster parents.
Five years later, Buffalo Bill's Wild West show had a new performer. Calamity Jane appeared as a horse rider and trick shooter. During this time, it is noted she was depressive and a drunkard. In 1903, she later returned to Belle Fourche and was employed again by Dora doing laundry and cooking.
Calamity Jane died in Terry, South Dakota, on August 1, 1903 due to alcohol poisoning. Some stories abound that Calamity Jane asked what day it was and wanted to die on the same day as Wild Bill. Her final request was to be "buried next to Bill." Still, some biographers say it was actually her friends who made sure she was buried beside him. Which ever the case, she is buried beside Wild bill Hickok at Mount Moriah in Deadwood.
During the 20th century, a woman claimed to be Calamity Jane and Wild Bill's daughter. However, it was discovered that this 'daughter' was actually born four years after Wild Bill died.
Annie Oakley - Female Sharpshooter, "Little Sure Shot"
Born Phoebe Ann Mosey on August 13, 1860 at Darke County, Ohio, she
was the sixth of eight children. Both her parents, Jacob and Susan, were
Pennsylvania Quakers, and after a fire burned down their tavern, they moved
Ohio where they rented a farm. Her father died of pneumonia when she was
about 6 years old. Shortly afterward, her mother, remarried and had another
baby. With the family being in poverty, Annie was put under the care of the
county poor farm, and spent time with a family who mistreated her. After
1868 when Annie was reunited with her family, her mother had been
widowed a second time, and married to her third husband.
To help support her family, at age nine Annie being hunting and selling wild game to town locals.
Annie became so skilled with her shooting, she paid off the house mortgage of her mother's house.
Around the county Annie became known as a female sharpshooter. In the Spring of 1881, the Baughman and Butler shooting act was being performed in Cincinnati. Traveling marksman Frank E. Butler placed a bet with a local hotel owner that he could beat any fancy sharpshooter. The owner brought in 21-year-old Annie. After missing 25 shots, Frank lost. On June 20, 1882, Frank and Annie began courting.
It was after this time that this five-foot tall lady took her stage name "Annie Oakley" and worked as Frank's assistant. With Annie's talents, he soon became her business manager. They joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1885 and toured America and Europe. Annie was the first famous female rodeo performer, and given the nickname "Little Sure Shot" by Chief Sitting Bull, who was amazed with her shooting skills.
Annie Oakley's rival in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show was Lillian Smith. The opposite of conservative Annie Oakley, Lillian was a flashy dresser and shameless flirt, who claimed that since she was six years younger, "Annie Oakley was done for." In 1887, both women performed in Wimbleton for Queen Victoria. Annie's performance was outstanding. Lillian however was mocked for her poor performance. Sometime afterward, due to the rivalry, Annie temporarily left the show. She returned after Lillian left the show for good in 1889.
On November 1, 1894, Annie Oakley and Frank Butler performed in Thomas Edison's Kinescope film, "The Little Sure Shot" of "The Wild Wild," exhibition of rifle shooting at glass balls, etc. A 24 second film showing Annie's fine skills. (Note: This extraordinary film is still in tack and can be found via the internet.)
In 1901, at about the age 41, Annie was badly injured in a railroad accident, where she was temporarily paralyzed. After 5 spinal operations she fully recovered. She left Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and took on an acting career, starring in a play written for her, The Western Girl.
In 1903, newspaper magnate William Randolf Heart falsely claimed Annie was stealing to support a cocaine habit. It was soon discovered the woman being smeared was a burlesque performer who said her name was "Annie Oakley." For six years, Annie fought back with lawsuits and won 54 of the 55. She received much less in judgements that were awarded, but to her, restoring her reputation was far better.
In 1922, Annie and Frank were in an automobile accident, leaving
Annie to wear a steal brace on her right leg.
Annie died November 3, 1926, at the age of 66. 18 days later Frank died.
with gun given to her by Buffalo Bill
Annie Oakley Wild West show Poster
Etta Place -
Born in 1878, this companion of Harry Longabaugh, aka the Sundance Kid,
sparks much mystery about her herself, family, as well as her real name.
Some documents state she was a cousin of the Sundance Kid, as 'Place' was
the maiden name of his mother.
At the age of twenty, Etta was a prostitute working in a brothel in Fort Worth,
Texas, when she first met either Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid. Later, as
the girlfriend of the Sundance Kid, much is speculated if they ever in fact
married in 1900.
Etta had classic beauty, was well-educated, very refined and was excellent
with a rifle.
In February 1901, the Sundance kid and Etta visited New York City and Tiffany's Jewelers. Later that month, on February 20th, they boarded a ship for Buenos Aires, Argentina. During their stay in Argentina, while she and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance ran a ranch, Etta became homesick and longed to return home. In 1905, the ranch was sold and Etta and Sundance sailed to San Francisco.
Etta remained there after Sundance sailed back to South America.
It is possible that she never was to see Sundance again. And, on July 31, 1909 she tried to obtain a death certificate following his November 6, 1908 death in Bolivia. After that, not much is known about Etta Place.
Some speculate she moved back to Fort Worth, Texas, using the alias Eunice Gray and began running a brothel. In January 1962 a fire destroyed the Wasco Hotel run by Eunice Gray and Eunice died in the fire. It is not known if Eunice was in fact Etta place, as she never made claims she was.
As to other mysteries, some also speculate Etta Place and Ann Bassett, long time companion of Butch Cassidy, were one and the same, as both had very similar looks and features. Though no documents can
acclaim to this.
Poker Alice -
..........was born Alice Ivers on February 17, 1851, in Sudbury England. After her family moved to America, settling in Colorado, Alice married mining engineer Frank Duffield. Frank used to spend his nights at card tables and Alice would stand behind him and watch, where she learned how to play poker. When her husband was killed in an accident, Alice began playing poker, moving from town to town.
Soon, Alice's big winning was at a faro table at Silver City. She packed a .38, smoked black stogies and dress fashionably, but never gambled on Sunday's -- due to her family upbringing. Later, after relocating to Deadwood, South Dakota, she took a job as a dealer in a saloon. One night when a drunken man pulled a knife on the dealer at the table beside Alice, she reached for her .38 and shot the drunken man in the arm. This lead to a romance between the other dealer, W.G. Tubbs, and they married in 1907. Alice and Tubbs later left gambling and set up a homestead outside of Deadwood. When Tubbs died of pneumonia (?) Alice was forced to sell her wedding ring to pay for his funeral.
Low on funds, soon, Alice went back to gambling -- and won back her wedding ring. Later on,
during Prohibition, Alice opened a house outside of Sturgis. She there died in 1930.
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