There were many female outlaws in the Old West. Laura Bullion was a member of the Wild Bunch, riding with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Get to know this original American Outlaw.
Bullion was the daughter of a German immigrant and Native American train robber, Henry Bullion. Her early life was hard. After her parents split, she and her siblings moved to live with their grandparents in Knickerbocker, Texas. William Carver married Laura’s aunt, who was just three years older than teenage Laura. Carver was known as an excellent shot and eventually joined forces with Black Jack Ketchum and his gang.
After her aunt passed away, Laura left town and went to San Antonio, where she got involved in prostitution. At age 16 or 17, she worked at the famous Madame Fannie Porters’ brothel, which was a San Antonio favorite of the Wild Bunch. She had many aliases, including Della Rose, a name given to her by Kid Curry’s girlfriend. A 1901 arrest report identifies her as Laura Casey and Clara Hays. Meanwhile, a New York Times article said she was “masquerading as Mrs. Nellie Rose.”
Meanwhile Carver had joined the Wild Bunch after the Ketchum gang were hanged for their crimes. After a few years of supporting herself in dancehalls from Wyoming to Texas, Laura reconnected with Carver. The two hung out with the Wild Bunch, where she met Ben Kilpatrick, known as the Tall Texan. As the Rose of the Wild Bunch, little concrete information is known about Laura’s activities, other than forgery. It is said she often dressed as a man in order to assist in robberies. The New York Times once speculated that “I wouldn’t think helping to hold up a train was too much for her. She is cool, shows absolutely no fear, and in male attire would readily pass for a boy. She has a masculine face, and that would give her assurance in her disguise.”
When Butch and Sundance left for South America, Laura and Kilpatrick teamed with others to plan a great train heist. They blew open the train and made off with $83,000. Although they attempted to get away, it wasn’t long before Laura was arrested for the train robbery. She had over $8,500 in banknotes that were traced back to the heist.
She and Kilpatrick refused to turn on each other, and went to jail in different states. Laura got a five-year prison sentence. After a three-year prison stint, she intended to wait for Kilpatrick, but he was rearrested on charges of murder immediately upon release. Even though he was acquitted of the charge, he continued his life of crime, eventually being killed during a robbery in 1912.
Meanwhile, all signs are that Laura retired from crime. She moved to Memphis, called herself the widow Freda Bullion and made draperies for a living. Her story was that she was widow to a man killed in the war named Maurice Lincoln. Eventually she became an interior designer. When she died, she was buried in Memphis, under the name Freda Bullion Lincoln, the Thorny Wild Rose and her real name, Laura Bullion.
Originally posted 2016-07-13 03:23:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter