How many Old West women robbed a train, bank or stagecoach?
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tall tales claim Belle Starr and Flora Mundis robbed trains and stagecoaches back in the day, but their legends obscure women who actually rode the outlaw trail.
Pearl Hart pulled one of the last stagecoach jobs, in 1899, when she and her boyfriend Joe Boot robbed the Florence-Globe stage in Arizona. She was sentenced to five years in the Yuma Territorial Prison, but released early in 1902.
Laura Bullion hung out with Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch and was romantically involved at various times with members Bill Carver and Ben Kilpatrick. She was sent to the Montana penitentiary for supposedly being involved in a 1901 train robbery. Some Wild Bunch experts, however, think Bullion was not at the holdup—she only passed some of the notes after the fact.
Speaking of the Wild Bunch, Etta Place was with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in South America; some historians believe she rode the outlaw trail with them on at least one holdup.
Bank robber Cora Hubbard and two friends stole almost $600 from a bank in Pineville, Missouri, in 1897. The “female Bob Dalton” was quickly captured and sentenced to a 12-year prison term; she was released after seven.
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 is Arizona’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 firstname.lastname@example.org