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Glenn Shirley

Books by thisAuthor
  • Belle Starr and Her Times

    Belle Starr and Her Times
    The Literature, the Facts, and the Legends
    Who was Belle Starr? What was she that so many myths surround her? Born in Carthage, Missouri, in 1848, the daughter of a well-to-do hotel owner, she died forty-one years later, gunned down near her cabin in the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. After her death she was called “a bandit queen,” “a female Jesse James,” “the Petticoat Terror of the Plains.” Fantastic legends proliferated about her. In this book Glenn Shirley sifts through those myths and unearths the facts. In a highly readable and informative style Shirley presents a complex and intriguing portrait. Belle Starr loved horses, music, the outdoors-and outlaws. Familiar with some of the worst bad men of her day, she was, however, convicted of no crime worse than horse thievery. Shirley also describes the historical context in which Belles Starr lived. After knowing the violence of the Civil War as a child in the Ozarks, She moves to Dallas in the 1860s and married a former Confederate guerilla who specialized in armed robbery. After he was killed, she found a home among renegade Cherokees in the Indian Territory, on her second husband’s allotment. She traveled as far west as Los Angeles to escape the law and as far north as Detroit to go to jail. She married three times and had two children, whom she idolized and tormented. Ironically she was shot when she had decided to go straight, probably murdered by a neighbor who feared that she would turn him in to the police. This book will find a wide readership among western-history and outlaw buffs, folklorists, sociologists, and regional historians. Shirley’s summary of the literature about Belle Starr is as interesting as the true story of Belle herself, who has become the West’s best-known woman outlaw.

    West of Hell's Fringe

    West of Hell's Fringe
    Crime, Criminals, and the Federal Peace Officer...
    When the remaining Indian lands of Old Oklahoma were made available for settlement in a series of openings beginning in 1889, thousands of people flocked to the region to try for a homestead. It was a grand chance for a new life. Unfortunately, ahead of, with, and after the homeseekers came the dregs of human society: those who would steal, kill–do anything to avoid working for even the necessities of life. Most of these outlaws operated across the imaginary border between Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory-called Hell's Fringe by the early U.S. deputy marshals. At first the felons eluded pursuers by fleeing across Hell's Fringe into Indian Territory, where Oklahoma lawmen were forbidden to set foot. Not so the federal marshals. They could and did cross the border, sometimes deputizing territorial lawmen as federal officers and taking them along. Glenn Shirley has written the definitive account of outlawry in Oklahoma Territory from the Run of ’89 to statehood in 1907, putting down myths and deflating the romanticism that made heroes out of barbarians. His is the story of brave men who put their lives on the line every time they rode-because most of their quarry would rather die than surrender, and many of them did die, sometimes taking a lawman or two with them. It's the story of the Doolin and Dalton gangs, of outlaws like Dynamite Dick, Arkansas Tom, and Zip Wyatt, and of their female counterparts such as Tom King (Flora Quick), Cattle Annie, and Little Breeches. If you're looking for Robin Hoods, you won't find them here. But you will find something much better: Glenn Shirley's saga of the determined men who brought an orderly system of freedom and justice to one of America's last frontiers.

    Bud Ledbetter, the Fourth Guardsman

    Bud Ledbetter, the Fourth Guardsman
    Early-day lawman in Oklahoma and one of the "Invincibles"

    Hello Sucker!

    Hello Sucker!
    The Story of Texas Guinan
    The fiery Waco, Texas actress who took Broadway by storm

  • The Fighting Marlows

    The Fighting Marlows
    Men Who Wouldn't Be Lynched
    Many people in northern Texas and southwestern Oklahoma still believe that the Marlow brothers—George, Charles, Alf, and Epp—were thieves and killers. In 1888 they were charged with rustling and murder, tried by public opinion, and betrayed by law officials responsible for their safety. After Alf and Epp were killed in a brutal ambush, Charles and George accomplished a grisly escape, only to be caught and sent to Dallas for trial where, for their own protection, they were deputized as marshals. Their story, as lurid and adventuresome as any western saga, documents late nineteenth-century law enforcement in the Southwest. The Marlows’ fight for justice was dramatized in the movie,The Sons of Katie Elder.  

    The One Hundred One Ranch

    The One Hundred One Ranch
    In the first third of the twentieth century, the 101 Real Wild West Show was known halfway round the world. It featured such headliners as Bill Pickett, the African-American inventor of bulldogging, and the future Hollywood film stars Tom Mix, Buck Jones, and Hoot Gibson. What was not so well known abroad was that the show stemmed from a real, working ranch that rivaled the fabled XIT Ranch in the folklore of the West.  

    Buckskin Joe

    Buckskin Joe
    A Memoir
    In his lifetime Edward Jonathan Hoyt, better known as Buckskin Joe, staged more excitement than Buffalo Bill, Fairbanks and Flynn, Karl Wallenda, and Batman put together. Born in Canada in 1840, he fought in the Civil War, homesteaded in southern Kansas, chased outlaws as a U.S. marshal in the Cherokee Outlet, prospected for gold from Nova Scotia to Central America, and served as a troubleshooter for "Haw" Tabor, the Silver King of Leadville. But essentially he was an entertainer, specializing in fêtes of music and feats of strength and agility. The master of sixteen musical instruments, he played in frontier bands. An acrobat and aerialist, he toured in circuses, once walking a tightrope two thousand feet above the Royal Gorge. His last hurrah, before pursuing his fortune in the jungles of Honduras, was a tour in Pawnee Bill's Wild West show.

    Pawnee Bill

    Pawnee Bill
    A Biography of Major Gordon W. Lillie

  • Buckskin Joe

    Buckskin Joe
    Being the Unique and Vivid Memoirs of Edward...

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