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The Wild West

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The Wild West

Born Robert Leroy Parker in Beaver, Utah, on Apr. 13, 1866, Cassidy was the oldest of 13 children and had no formal education. Cassidy became a cowboy while still in his teens when he met Mike Cassidy, adopting Cassidy's name after he joined him in rustling cattle in Utah and Colorado.

Robert Clay Allison worked on his parents' farm near Waynesboro, Tenn., until he was twenty-one. Immediately upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and went off willingly to fight for the South. He had a clubfoot that did not seem to hamper his ability to perform active duty. He saw action in several battles but was sent home in March 1862 to recuperate from wounds that seemed more mental than physical, a Confederate doctor stating that Allison was suffering from a condition that was "partly epileptic and partly maniacal." He had reportedly threatened to shoot his superiors following one battle because they refused to pursue and execute retreating Union troops.

One of the most unusual stagecoach robbers in American history was an old man known in the annals of the West as Black Bart. He used many aliases, including Charles E. Bolton and Charles E. Boles, the latter, most probably his true name. Bart, in addition to being an expert lone bandit who robbed more than two dozen stages in California in 1877-78, he was a jokester whose laughing nature endeared him even to his victims.

Billy the Kid was reportedly born in New York City on Nov. 23, 1859, the son of William and Kathleen (or Catherine) McCarty Bonney, and named William H. Bonney. Another story has it that he was born on Sept. 17, 1859, as Patrick Henry McCarty to Catherine and Patrick McCarty. And still another account has it that he was b...

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...to have robbed one. Pearl Taylor was born in Ontario, Canada to a well to do family. Her family sent her to the finest schools available during the early 1880's and in 1888 she met and fell in love with Frederick Hart. Frederick Hart was a gambler, who lost more money then he won, and Pearl's life with him was a tough one. The couple traveled to the Columbian Exposition of 1893, in Chicago, where Pearl worked odd jobs. At the Exposition, she saw various Wild West shows depicting the heroes and myths of the Old West. She was so completely overwhelmed by these story's and theatrics that she abruptly left her husband and moved to Colorado.

Born in 1848 in the town of Carthage, Missouri, Myra Belle Shirley (later to become the notorious Belle Starr) was one of three children. After her older brother was killed, the family moved to Scyene, Texas, just outside of Dallas.
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