What can you tell me about Wild Bunch associate Laura Bullion?
Laura had a hardscrabble life. She had flings with many men and among her trades, worked in Fannie Porter’s bordello in San Antonio. She fell in love with Will Carver of the Wild Bunch but he dumped her for another woman. She then took up with outlaw Ben Kilpatrick, the “Tall Texan.” Ben was one of the train robbers at the Wagner, MT holdup in July 1901.
She and Ben went on a spending spree traveling together as man and wife, using a variety of aliases. They ended up in St. Louis, where they were caught passing forged banknotes from the robbery and sent to prison. Her sentence was shorter and she got out earlier and waited for him. However, Ben got out of prison in 1911 and was killed in another train robbery the next year.
Far as we know she had no children. She was a pretty girl, described as “soft-spoken, well dressed with a graceful figure.”
Eventually she was disowned by her family. She changed her name to Freda Lincoln and her last years were spent alone. Laura died in Shelby County’s Charity Ward in 1961 on the outskirts of Memphis. She was the last person intimately connected to the Wild Bunch.
For more information on Laura and the other women of the Wild Bunch I recommend Donna Ernst’s Women of the Wild Bunch.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.