From the Annals of the Outlaws – In 1878, Texas Rangers mortally wounded Texas outlaw Sam Bass in Round Rock. Bass had been on a crime spree for about a year after joining a gang that robbed a Union Pacific train in Nebraska. With his share of the loot, Bass formed his own gang which held up stage coaches and trains around Dallas. A concerted effort to find the outlaw was unsuccessful until the Texas Rangers turned to some rather unethical tactics. The Rangers took into custody for questioning the father of Bass gang member Jim Murphy. Murphy’s father was very ill. The Rangers withheld medical treatment sending a message to Murphy that if he did not meet with them, they would continue to hold his father without treatment. Murphy agreed to the meeting and turned informant to save his father – revealing that Bass planned to rob the Williamson County Bank. Once Bass’ movements were known, the trap was set. Bass and gang were scouting the area before the robbery. After buying tobacco at a store, they were noticed by Deputy Sheriff A. W. Grimes. When Grimes approached the men and demanded they surrender their firearms. A gang member shot and killed Grimes. Bass fled but was shot by Texas Rangers George Herold and Sergeant Richard Ware. He was found in a field outside of town and died two days later.
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.