Marshall Trimble

Did Paulita Maxwell bear Billy the Kid’s child?

L.T. Robinson                                                                                                                                Luka, Mississippi

Paulita Maxwell was Billy the Kid’s favorite squeeze, and she was pregnant at the time he was killed, so she probably was carrying his baby.

“Paulita Maxwell, who, if the gossip Garrett’s wife Apolinaria had doubtless heard from her sister Celsa was true, was pregnant with Billy’s child,” says Frederick Nolan, a Billy the Kid historian.

Pat Garrett, the sheriff on the hunt for the Kid, figured that Maxwell had told the outlaw about her pregnancy and that he would go to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where Garrett fatally shot the Kid.

“Paulita had a daughter, but the date of her birth has always been in doubt, and she died at about 16,” Lincoln County historian Drew Gomber says. “Whether or not Paulita had Billy’s kid, I don’t know, but I do believe she was pregnant at the time of the Kid’s death. [Her brother] Pete Maxwell was a mighty unhappy fellow!”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book isArizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015.

If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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