Today in Texas History – June 5

From the Annals of Banditry –  In 1880, the “Bandit Queen” married her second or possibly third husband.  The Queen was Myra Maybelle (Belle) Shirley Reed Starr and she marred outlaw Sam Starr in the Cherokee Nation.  Starr was from Missouri and her family had been involved with notorious Confederate irregulars including William Quantrill.  By the end of the Civil War, the family fled Missouri and moved to Scyene near Dallas. Their home became a hideout for bandits including the Younger and James brothers – veterans of Quantrill’s cutthroats.  Continuing a family legacy of criminal behavior, Belle’s first husband, Jim Reed rode with the Younger, James, and Starr gangs on their murderous rampage throughout Texas, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory. Reed was killed in Paris  by a deputy sheriff.  After that,  Belle may have married Bruce Younger.  In any event, she did later marry another outlaw in Sam Starr.   Belle and  were later convicted of horse theft and Belle received two six-month prison terms.   Unable to stay out of trouble, Sam Starr was later killed in a fight with an Indian policeman.  Belle Starr subsequently took several lovers, including Jim July (or Jim Starr), Blue Duck, Jack Spaniard, and Jim French.  In 1889, while Starr was living in the Choctaw Nation, Starr met her end when she was ambushed and killed.

 

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