Thursday, November 16, 2017

Outlaw at Fort Smith, Ark.

Here is a link to a picture of outlaw Belle Starr in Fort Smith, Ark., in 1886.,_Fort_Smith,_Arkansas,_1886.jpg

I can’t tell if she is wearing a Colt’s pistol or a Smith and Wesson.

Starr was born Myra Mabelle Shirley in 1848 near Carthage, Mo., and was shot to death two days before her 41 st birthday near King Creek, Okla. She reportedly was married three times, to Sam Starr, James C. Reed and Jim July Starr.

In 1883, Starr and her second husband were arrested by famed Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves on a charge of horse theft. Star spent nine months imprisoned in a federal jail in Detroit.

“On February 3, 1889, two days before her 41st birthday, she was killed. She was riding home from a neighbor's house in Eufaula, Oklahoma, when she was ambushed. After she fell off her horse, she was shot again to make sure she was dead. Her death resulted from shotgun wounds to the back and neck and in the shoulder and face. Legend says she was shot with her own double barrel shotgun.

“According to Frank ‘Pistol Pete’ Eaton, her death was due to different circumstances. She had been attending a dance. Frank Eaton had been the last person to dance with Belle Starr when Edgar Watson, clearly intoxicated had asked to dance with her. When Belle Starr declined, he later followed her. When on the way home, she stopped to give her horse a drink at a creek, he shot and killed her. According to Frank Eaton, Watson was tried, convicted and executed by hanging for the murder.

“However, another story says there were no witnesses and no one was ever convicted of the murder. Suspects with apparent motive included her new husband and both of her children, as well as Edgar J. Watson, one of her sharecroppers, because he was afraid she was going to turn him in to the authorities as an escaped murderer from Florida with a price on his head. Watson, who was killed in 1910, was tried for her murder, but was acquitted, and the ambush has entered Western lore as ‘unsolved’".

Starr’s relatives were Confederate guerrillas, or terrorists, depending on definition.

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