A Legacy of Badges and BrothelssteemCreated with Sketch.

in history •  5 months ago

Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas! We're getting close to the end of my series about Belle Starr but I wanted to talk a little about what happened to her kids Pearl and Eddie.

At the time of Belle's murder Eddie was waiting for his trial for horse theft to start. He had to go before Judge Parker, the Hanging Judge, who kind of liked Eddie's mom Belle, but I don't know if that helped in this case.

Eddie goes to prison

Judge Parker sentenced him to 5 years plus 2 more years for theft of personal property that was found on the horse. Now, back then wasn't like today where it's pretty much a given that a sentence served is actually half the time of the official sentence. In other words you get sentenced to 10 years but can get out in 5.

Pearl and Eddie were very close and she worked at getting his freedom. The only way that could be done in those days was to get a pardon from the President of the United States. It was a long shot and cost a great deal of money but it was possible.

Pearl started working as a prostitute in a brothel in order to hire attorneys who could make this happen. She made the money, got the attorneys to act, and Eddie did indeed get his sentence commuted by the President.

Here's a photo of Pearl with a couple of friends, they had some hats back then didn't they? Pearl is on the right edge:
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When he made it back home and looked Pearl up and found out what she was doing he was disgusted and told her he'd rather stayed in prison than be freed through her raising the money with that lifestyle.

Here's what she told him:

"There are only two of us...everyone knows the conditions under which we have been placed; a change now would not help matters, and if you cannot bear your sister's disgrace I will provide you with money and you can go far away where I am not known."

That is so sad. But Eddie didn't go far away. Because of his skill with a gun he was hired and served as a Sheriff Deputy until he was ambushed and killed when he entered a store one night, two blasts from a shotgun just like his mother had been killed except from the front.

Pearl continued working as a prostitute and in 1899, ten years after her mother's death, she opened her own brothel in Fort Smith and we even have an ad for that business venture which she ran in the newspaper.

She capitalized on her mother's fame and notoriety.

Here's the ad she ran in the Fort Smith newpaper:
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The print is faded and hard to read, here's what it says:

"1899, Fort Smith, Arkansas

With the death of her notorious outlaw mother, Belle Starr, daughter Pearl Rose Reed has decided to change her last name back to Starr in honor of her murdered mother.

Born in Rich Hill, Missouri, Pearl has come to Fort Smith to open her own place of business, a bordello in the city's business district known as the Row. The bordello will be readily identified by a bright red star surrounded by pearls over the front door.

Pearl boasts her establishment will have a piano, good whiskey and the "most beautiful girls West of the Mississippi!"

She ended up being the Madame of two of these houses of ill repute and was married 4 times. (By the way, I'm always talking about prices in the 1800's compared to now...well back then the girls cost from $2 to $5 per visit. In today's dollars that would be $137.)Not too surprising given the dysfunctional situation that she was raised in. Eddie chose a superior path and died young.. go figure.
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Thanks for reading folks, the next post will be an epilogue of Belle with a couple of intriguing incidents.

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PS- ya know....you MIGHT just be a redneck if:

You refer to the time that you won a free case of motor oil as "the day my ship came in!"

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Hi there, good to be back on your posts, Very unpredictable life they had but one thing is for sure, they did have some style back then, better then we have now.

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Howdy there hananali! yes sir they had alot of classic looks and styles back then for sure! Today we are all about casual and comfort I suppose. I would be considered a bum back then, the way I dress!

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True that, now its more about comfort and being casual only, back then it was more about class and fashion,
anyways, how's life going ?

Not the most normal way to get the brother off a murder charge! 😱

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haha! no sir, I wouldn't think so! By the way I just edited this post to put in the cost of a girl back then since I was on the topic and I always like to compare our prices to those in the 1800's. A girl would cost you $2 to $5 back then and $5 is equivalent to $137 in today's money. I have no idea what the going rate really is now, do you know what it is over there? lol. I mean you probably hear things, I don't know..I guess I need to do more research or make some calls!

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As a matter of fact when I lived in Frankfurt , a few of the working girls came into the shop and I got to know a few (not in that way) . The going rate was 60 for a half an hour. The better looking models 120. But the interesting thing is they were in shop windows basically and these shop windows were rented by the working girls . The best window was 1000 Euro per night so she basically had to have ten sessions to break even. Not a nice world to be in !

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sir blanchy you lost me. The girls had to rent windows? like what does that mean, I don't know how it works over there. They were renting themselves out and they in turn had to rent space?

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A picture is better than a thuasand words. Yep we have windows over hereScreenshot 2018-12-05 at 23.10.33.png

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you mean they perform right there where people in the street can see them? wow. Well they should pay the girls more for that but instead they charge them for those little rooms? that makes no sense to me.

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Yeah there’s a window and then a room behind it for the transaction to take place. The window is actually a door too so that’s how they left them in . When myself and my wife were in Amsterdam we were in a bar and watching the men go in . In two hours one girl had 5 men go through the door window. Crazy shit in Europe . 🤪🤪

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wow that certainly is crazy stuff sir blanchy but that stuff isn't in Ireland is it?

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well howdy there esteem and thank you for the upvote and for helping others, God bless you!

@janton

Pearl started working as a prostitute in a brothel in order to hire attorneys who could make this happen. She made the money, got the attorneys to act, and Eddie did indeed get his sentence commuted by the President.

Thats actually a very touching story... Sex workers are not always held in the highest respect but that doesn't make them bad people.

/FF

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yes sir friendly-fenix! exactly. If she really did this work for the purpose she claimed, then that speaks volumes about her love and sacrifice for him, I admire that greatly. And then, once you are in that business and figure out how to make great money doing it I can see how she could get trapped in that whole scene.

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Yeah... Imagine the times before condoms, those places must have been a real good place to catch a nasty venereal disease, at least they didn't have HIV yet I guess thats a positive... =/

/FF

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howdy today sir friendly-fenix! Yes sir, back then when you picked up a disease there were no easy cures like we have today so it was a more dangerous environment in some ways even without HIV. Good point sir. as usual! lol.

You have great stories but we dont have time to read them. Aplanetruth.info

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howdy there nutritree! Thanks for taking the time to comment! As far as length, I try to keep them short and bite-sized but even so people will complain and say "hey, i just got started on it and you cut it off!" lol. So I try to go down the middle but they are much shorter than most history or story posts. Thanks again sir!

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Sorry, not a comment on the length of the story just the importance of the current situation we are under.

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oh ok sir nutritree...does that mean the current situation that who is under, are you talking about your situation?

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Not me specifically. Just the world. Funny how we have a Jesuit pope. Mostly for the people in California. These are Dark Days

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yes sir I gotcha. Ok well I'm going over to see what you're doing, it's been awhile, I think the last time I checked you hadn't been posting much so I kind of forgot about it, I'm going there now.

Hey janton, Pearl had great drive to help her brother. Making money in those days would not have been easy.

ps: Motor oil must be prized by rednecks, lol.

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haha! yeah motor oil to a poor redneck is like gold I reckon! lol. Yes Ma'am about Pearl, if she really did that for her brother then that was a tremendous sacrifice.

Pearl sounds like a strong independent woman like her mother.

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howdy sir Vincent! yes sir, she was very strong and new how to get things done apparently! Even if we didn't like HOW she got them done, just like mom!

What a character Pearl was. I respect her toughness, finding ways to make everything work. She must have been devastated to lose her brother, especially after all she did for him.

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Howdy tonight ginnyannette! Oh yes, if she really got into that business in order to get her brother out of prison then I admire her for that, what a sacrifice that was.

I think she just did what she had to do, especially wanting her brother out of prison. That must be the only recourse she could think of at that moment and eventually made a life out of it. That was what was presented as her fate or life destiny, do you think so too, janton?

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howdy back roger5120! Yes Ma'am I think she made a huge sacrifice by getting into that business and raising the money but then she was kinda stuck there and those days there weren't as many ways for a woman to make good money and she figured she could make a business out of it.

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Yeah, she certainly did. Absolutely.

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Your redneck jokes always make me laugh. So Belle had no grandchildren to carry on those disfunctional family ways. I guess that's a good thing.

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howdy Melinda! yeah I love that redneck joke! A lady from Australia asked me if oil was valuable to rednecks. lol. Yeah to real poor ones always working on their vehicles. lol. You gotta know the culture to get these so alot of people don't.
Well, Pearl had 3 kids I think, I'm not sure if Eddie did or not but I think he was married when he got killed.

I just didn't want it to get too complicated because I figured people were zoning out since it wasn't about Belle anymore so I didn't talk about Pearls kids. I don't even know how they turned out.

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I'm not entirely convinced on the haircut in that photo, either. The hat was pretty impressive, though!

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haha! yes sir, that bottom ad photo? It looks kinda like a man's hair cut or something? Yeah I don't know either. I doubt if that is Pearl in the photo, it doesn't look her other pictures but I'm probably wrong.

Interesting finish for the family!

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howdy sir simms50! Yes sir, not the best outcomes but at least Eddie changed his ways and died in the line of duty doing an honorable job. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

It is amazing what some people will do for their family.
PS. I have never won any motor oil but that would be a banner day, especially if it was 10w30 ;)

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haha! spoken like a true redneck sir hhayweaver! that's hilarious. . . and I agree that Pear made a great sacrifice for her brother! I'm sure back then there weren't many ways that a woman could make good money fast.

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Howdy there SteemPlus and thank you so much for the upvote and for helping so many people!


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Howdy c-squared! Thanks so much for the upvote and for helping so many people here, God bless you!

I'm amazed at how she was able to run an ad like that in 1899! Of course, my town Victoria got its start based on this line of work, and gambling and opium dens etc during the gold rush. The way I've heard the story, the gold miners would come down from Alaska and the Yukon looking for supplies and such, and Seattle was a little too prim and proper, and San Francisco so far away... so there was a little money to be made if you were willing to look the other way!

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howdy sir keithboone! Oh how interesting...so your town of Victoria got started with a bang and was a gold rush town, I know that place had to be a wild one then! lol. Great information, thanks! And thanks for reading and commenting.

Wow!!! I did not expect this! in a million years! Pearl being a madam!!! She did not seemed to be the type. But I guess, it's is a true what they say "apple does not fall far from the tree". This story is really a soap opera!!!

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haha! yes I know it is, you can't make this stuff up as good as the real thing! lol. It's sad but true, you never know what crazy things people are going to do next.

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It's true and I actuality know person like that in a real life. she is my best friend, thought, we had time off couple times barbecue we are both suborn and if we spend too much time together we get one each nerves, lol. I told her to join Steemit and write some of her stories and she said she will, but she is taking care of her mom after surgery in Hungary now. So will see.

Nevertheless, she had quite a trip from Canada to Hungary, when her flight was canceled because something was wrong with the airplane and she missed her connecting flight in London.........what a story; I couldn't believe it.

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Howdy back Miss Lena! Oh, so this friend of yours has all kinds of stories or just the travel story? Either way I hope she joins steemit, we need more people I think.

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Howdy Janton, she has many other stories, the travel one is just the most recent. Do you really think we need more people? I just hope the Steem value will go back up, but so far it keeps going down :(

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Howdy Miss Lena..well the more people we have the more influence and stronger the platform will be and that means it will last longer so I think we need as many people as we can get. Most people think that when the prices of Bitcoin and the others hits rock bottom then the huge institutional investors will come in and prices will rise then. So it may go lower still.

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That is a very interesting way of look at it and I really hope it's true Janton!

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Howdy again Miss Lena! Yes Ma'am I hope so too. We'll know in the near future, it might be as soon as early next year but who really knows.

Have to feel sympathy for her in that profession. It looks like Pearl took on the role of Madam in later years when she had two brothels. Do you know how old she was when she passed?

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yes Ma'am that's my assumption. She lived until 1925 but she was only 57 when she passed away.

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Howdy today steem-ua! Thanks so much for the upvote and for everything you do to help others, God bless you!

I guess having a criminal record didn't stop them from hiring you to now hold up the law, very strange.
Pearl's business ventures, although shady, probaly made her a pretty good buck.

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Howdy sir bigsweed! Yes sir well I guess your record didn't matter. I think they knew that he was a good man actually but also they needed someone who was good with a gun and he was. Unfortunately he was ambushed like his mom.
I think Pearl was very successful in her businesses!

Wow. That is shocking. I had no clue she turned to prostitution! Then the madam of a couple of houses! Just wow. I guess we will have a lot of interesting things to learn and find out when we visit Fort Smith soon.
Ren

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oh you're going to Fort Smith? several people told me that the town has a few attractions or bars or something connected to Belle Starr, maybe just trying to capitilize on her fame.

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It is close enough that we can do a day trip easy. My family is also from just north of there in the Mountainberg/Devil's Den area which is why there have been a couple of stories with engagement with Belle Star.