(February 3, 1846 - February 3, 1889)
Belle Starr has high name recognition to old west fans even though her role was minor at best. It may have been her rumored association with Cole Younger that brought her name to the forefront.
Born Myra Maybelle Shirley in Carthage, Missouri, she served as a courier for the Quantrill Missouri Guerillas during the Civil War. In 1866, she married Jim Reed who was on the bad side of the law. Jim Reed was killed in 1875 and Belle drifted into horse theft associating with Jack Spaniard, Jim French and Blue Duck. The friendship with Blue Duck may be argued.
Around 1880, Belle married Sam Starr and both served a short time in a Detroit jail for a minor offense.
While riding home on February 3, Belle Starr was knocked from her horse by a double blast from a shotgun. She was left there to die. Who killed Belle Starr? What was the reason? These topics are the subject of many books and articles.
Belle Starr is buried in an isolated grave southwest of Porum, Oklahoma near the Eufuala Dam. Directions given upon request.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence