Tag Archives: Bandit Queen

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.

 

Today in Texas History – June 5

From the Annals of Banditry –   In 1880, Myra Maybelle “Belle” Shirley Reed, married her third (or possibly only second) husband, Sam Starr.  Belle, known as the “Bandit Queen” married Starr in the Cherokee Nation.  Reed’s family (the Shirleys) were from Missouri and had supported Confederate marauders including Quantrill. By the end of the Civil War, the Shirleys had been forced to relocate to Scyene near Dallas.  In July 1866 Cole, Jim, Bob, and John Younger and Jesse James, outlaws who had ridden with Quantrill, used the Shirley home as a hideout. Belle’s first husband, Jim Reed rode with the Younger, James, and Starr gangs.  Despite later popularization, they were vicious and remorseless criminals who killed, looted and pillaged in Texas, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory. Jim Reed was killed by a deputy sheriff in 1874 in Paris.  Belle may have married Bruce Younger.  Even so, Belle and Sam Starr were married and engaged in their own criminal exploits.  They  were charged with horse stealing, and  Belle received two six-month prison terms.  Starr was later killed in a shootout with an Indian policeman.   Belle allegedly continued her amorous ways.  Her loves included Jim July (or Jim Starr), Blue Duck, Jack Spaniard, and Jim French. In 1889, while she was living in the Choctaw Nation, an unknown assassin ambushed and killed her.