Reading the September 2000 True West article by Glenn Shirley, titled, “A Tireless Energy & Nerves of Steel,” I was fascinated by Caroline Bonneville. Are there books about other independent women of the early West?

ask-the-marshallStace Webb

Via the Internet

Agnes Morley Cleveland wrote No Life for a Lady, which is about her experiences on a ranch in New Mexico. Mary Kidder Rak wrote A Cowman’s Wife, which is about 1920s ranching in Cochise County, Arizona. She was a Stanford graduate who married a cowboy named Charlie Rak. (She ended up working the cattle, while he cooked the meals.)

One woman whose life story would make an interesting book is Catherine Jones, who ranched in Cave Creek, Arizona, in the 1920s. Known as “Cattle Kate” by the locals, she wore men’s clothing, packed a pistol and served as Cave Creek deputy sheriff until she was in her 70s.

During prohibition, she declared war on local bootleggers who used her spring water to brew moonshine. One day, she ordered a bootlegger off her property. When he called her bluff, Cattle Kate drew her pistol and shot off a piece of his ear. After that, bootleggers steered clear of her property.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include Law of the Gun and Never Give A Heifer A Bum Steer.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall

PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.

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