Yuma Territorial Prison: Part 4: The Legend of Pearl Hart

10 Nov

Pearl Hart: the making of a Legend

Poster at Yuma Prison

Poster at Yuma Prison

Pearl Hart 2

Image manipulation: My Favorite Westerns

Pearl Hart was probably Yuma Territorial Prison’s most famous inmate. She also seems to an early example of celebrity culture – gaining international fame and coverage for being a lady stage coach robber.

Hart’s usual appearance likedly added to her notoriety: she had short hair and wore men’s clothes.

Pearl Hart 1

Image manipulation: My Favorite Westerns

Her fame places her in elite company along with Belle Star, Annie Oakley, and Calamity Jane, as being among the most famous ladies in the Old West.

Image manipulation: My Favorite Westerns

Image manipulation: My Favorite Westerns

A very brief bio:

Old West Legends: Pearl Hart – Lady Bandit of Arizona: http://legendsofamerica.com/we-pearlhart.html

Born as Pearl Taylor of French descent in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada, this petite and attractive young girl would grow up to become one of the only female stagecoach robbers in the American West. After marrying a seductive gambler when she was just 17, the pair attended the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1893 where Pearl became enamored of the Old West when she attended several Wild West type shows. She soon left her husband, heading through Colorado and finally to Arizona, where she hooked up with a miner named Joe Boot. Among other smaller petty crimes, the pair robbed a stagecoach between Florence and Globe, Arizona on May 30, 1899. Taking about $450 and a revolver, they were soon apprehended and Hart spent two years in the Yuma Territorial Prison. Though her life of crime was short-lived, she became a legend known as the “lady bandit.” After being released she went to Kansas City and the rest of her life is blurred in history.

“Though she is often credited with being the last person to ever rob a stagecoach, this is untrue as the last actual stage robbery took place on December 5, 1916 near Jarbridge, Nevada . During the hold-up, the bandit, Ben Kuhl, killed the driver and made off with more than $3,000 in gold coins.

Hart is also frequently credited as being the only woman to ever hold up a stagecoach. This is also untrue, as Jane Kirkham was killed when robbing a stagecoach along the road between Leadville and Buena Vista, Colorado on March 7, 1879.”  

Pearl Hart display

Pearl gets her own display case in the
The Yuma Territorial Prison Historical site and Museum

Pearls Colt

_______________________________

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12 Responses to “Yuma Territorial Prison: Part 4: The Legend of Pearl Hart”

  1. Teepee12 November 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Great history! And great pix too. Thanks!!

    • jcalberta November 11, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Thank you.

      I haven’t been doing much here lately, Been sick. Got a bad cold when I was south. Took over a week to shake it. Then the meds I was taking caused problems – making me drowsy and tired all the time. And this continued. I’m still not completely out of the woods yet … but a few plates of beans and bottle and I’ll be right back …

  2. Rick November 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Great post. This is one I’ve never heard of.

    • jcalberta November 11, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks Rick … not sure why she isn’t better known ??

  3. cindybruchman November 11, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Very interesting! Never heard of her. Was there a movie about Pearl?

    • jcalberta November 11, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Not to my knowledge. Don’t know why? Seems like a natural.
      She herself tried to get into film, but it was short lived. Her sister actually wrote a play surrounding Pearl’s exploits, and Pearl acted in it. But it didn’t amount to much either.

  4. lanatoto2014 January 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Reblogged this on lanatotodotcom.

  5. lanatoto2014 January 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    January fifth, 2014! Becoming Pearl!

    • jcalberta January 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      “Becoming Pearl”? Sounds good.
      Can you provide any information on this?

  6. lanatoto2014 January 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    This article changed my life!

    • jcalberta January 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      She’s was a very interesting person.

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