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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Women of the Wild West

Today's History Lesson...a look into the Women of the American West
"These women of the Wild West shot down the view that life as a female pioneer was about cooking, sewing, cleaning and caring for children." ~Women of the Wild West

When we study or reflect back on historical events, we do not necessarily examine only what happened on that particular day. Everywhere in the history books at some point in time lies a piece of someone's story. In the stories of the wild, wild West lie many phenomenal women...the nonconforming women, those who were mavericks, loners, adventurers, eccentrics with a will to stand on their own and stronger will to survive. It took guts for women to traverse cross country often leaving behind an aristocratic Eastern life of high society settling for a much different way of life in the Western Frontier. At the heart of their adventure was always a true love!

Celia Ann "Mattie" Blaylock

Mattie Blaylock was a farm girl from Iowa with large bones and a fine face. Not long after going West, she was working in Dodge City as a dance hall girl. She did okay, but like most girls on the line she wanted to find the right guy and leave that way of life. She met a local police officer and moved in with him. She was happy to be off the streets. He soon tired of the low pay of police work and became a bartender, gambling on the side. He bought Mattie a mine with his winnings and named it 'The Mattie Blaylock.' They traveled together as man and wife, following the gambling circuit. It was good for quite a while, but then things went south in their relationship, and he left her for another woman. She eventually took her own life. 
The man: Wyatt Earp The other woman...

 Josephine "Sadie" Marcus

A smolderingly good-looking woman born in 1861, Josephine Marcus came to Tombstone, Arizona, while touring with a theater group performing Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. The proposal to marry sheriff John Behan did not work out. When she met Wyatt Earp, they reportedly fell in love. This young lady was supposedly the reason behind the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral -- a 30-second flurry of gunfire involving Wild West superstars Doc Holliday, the Clayton Brothers, and the Earps. She passed away in 1944 and claimed until her dying day that Wyatt Earp was her one and only true love.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calamity_JaneMartha "Calamity Jane" Canary

Born Martha Jane Canary in Missouri around 1856, Jane was a sharpshooter by the time she was a young woman. She received her nickname, Calamity Jane, when she rescued an army captain in South Dakota after their camp was attacked by Native Americans. Jane was said to be a whiskey-drinking, "don't-mess-with-me" kind of gal. She is reported to have saved the lives of six stagecoach passengers in 1876 when they were attacked by Native Americans, and she joined Buffalo Bill's show in the mid-1890s. Though she married a man named Burk at age 33, when Jane died in 1903, she asked to be buried next to Wild Bill Hickok. Rumor has it that Hickok was the only man she ever loved.

                                   Belle Starr

Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr was born in Carthage, Missouri in 1848. Frank & Jesse James's gang hid out at her family's farm when she was a kid, thus, her first introduction to outlaw life. Later, when her husband Jim Reed shot a man, the two went on the run, robbing banks and counterfeiting. In 1866, Belle met outlaw Cole Younger, who arrived with the James-Younger Gang. Younger would later deny their love affair, Belle obviously kept him in her heart naming her ranch in Indian Territory Younger’s Flats. Starr wore feathers in her hair, buckskins & a pistol on each hip. Riding her horse in 1889 she was shot in the back -- whether accident or murder remains a mystery.

Jennie Rogers

http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/2130797/historic-homes-of-denver--historic-homes-and-buildings---jennie-rogers---the-house-of-mirrors One of Denver, Colorado's most successful "Madams" in the 1880s was Jennie Rogers who built a 2 story building at 1942 Market St that became a luxury brothel called the "House of Mirrors". Standing 6 feet tall, Jennie Rogers never hesitated to use her stature to ruthlessly intimidate and blackmail Denver businessmen and she had a temper. When she caught her lover, Jack Wood, in the arms of another woman, Jennie shot him. She said she shot him because she loved him, and sure enough, when Jack recovered, she married him. 

Annie Oakley

A great deal of myth surrounds the lives of the women of the Wild West. "Little Sure Shot", as Annie Oakley was called, perhaps is the least overblown with only the 1950s television series presenting her corralling criminals on a regular basis. Oakley killed regularly but the hunt was for game to earn money, she paid off the mortgage on her family's farm in Darke County, Ohio by the age of 15. In 1875, she outshot 25 year old Frank Butler, the professional sharpshooter with a traveling show. Frank and Annie fell in love and married less than a year later. The couple traveled for years with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. After a career which included performing for European royalty, Annie was injured in a train crash in 1901. She returned to the stage continuing to win shooting contests into her declining years.

Want more to their story?

  12 Renowned Women of the Wild West

6 Wild Women of the Wild West 

Wild West Legendary Women