Born On This Day ~ February 5 ~ Belle Starr ~ U.S. Female Outlaw

Born: February 5, 1848 (Carthage, Missouri
Died: February 3, 1889 (Briartown, Oklahoma)

Famous For/Known For:
United States female  outlaw

A Little About Belle Starr:
Born Myra Maybelle “Belle” Shirley to John and Elizabeth (Hatfield) Shirley

While growing up, Belle’s father accomplished financial success which put the family in a rich bracket.

Belle was sent to Carthage Female Academy. Although a good student she enjoyed being outdoors more, where her oldest brother taught her to be a proficient horseback rider and how to handle a gun.

In 1866 Belle married Jim Reed who had a sordid history. There were two children from this marriage. Reed liked to race houses and developed a friendship with Tom Starr, who was a known outlaw. When Reed was accused of passing counterfeit money an investigation found that he was was wanted for murder. The family fled to Texas.

In 1873 Jim Reed was involved in the murder of two men. He was also accused of robbing stagecoaches and stealing livestock from surrounding farms. Reed was set up and shot by a deputy  in 1874.

In 1880 Belle married Sam Starr, son of Tom Starr and was part of the Starr Gang. Starr was Cherokee and lived on Cherokee land. He had been known to harbor many criminals such as Frank and Jesse James. The couple were convicted of horse stealing in 1883 and both served nine months in jail.

In 1885 Belle and Sam were suspected of stealing from the Seminole and Creek Indians.  Belle went on to be arrested twice more, one for being one of three bandits who were robbing from farm settlements. She was found not guilty on both counts.

Legend has it that Belle was known as the Bandit Queen. It was said that she often carried a pistol and wore a man’s hat with a feather.

Belle was shot to death on February 3, 1889. It was thought that her attacker was Edgar Watson who was arrested on suspicion. He had been a tenant of Belle’s who rented land from her. Since there were no witness to this, Watson was released.

Bella Starr died from a shotgun wound at the age of 41.

Books About/Written By Belle Starr:

Belle Starr and Her Times

The Story of Belle Starr: Queen of the Outlaws and Indian Territory

Belle Starr: “The Bandit Queen”

*This blog post contains affiliate links.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s