Belle Starr


Here is another one of the outlaws of the Wild West that had McMinn Co. ties, she was Myra Maebelle Shirley Reed Starr, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Pennington Shirley. She played the piano in her fathers saloon where she met Jesse and Frank James and the Youngers. She married Jim Reed first and Sam Starr the great grandson of Caleb Starr who settled Starr Mountain in the early 1800s.

She became known as Belle Starr "The Bandit Queen" Her daughter, Pearl was thought to be the daughter of Cole Younger, who she named her place after in the Indian territory, "Younger's Bend."

It is believed by some her son Eddie Reed killed her after a beating he had took from her with a riding whip, after he had took her thoroughbred race horse to a barn dance and did not return for several days later and when he did he was in a drunken stupor, Belle checked the horse, which was lathered from running a long distance. He rode to Dr. Jesse Mooney's to seek treatment for the wounds he received from the whipping, Dr. Mooney was not surprised two days later when he learned Bell had been found dead along the river road, because Eddie told him he was going to kill her.