Women who were outlaws, bandits, prostitutes, or were married to, or in love with rogues, had to be strong to survive. I'm currently writing a novel about a woman who was raised by a father who was a gambler, and she had to follow in his footsteps for a short time, in order to provide for her young daughter.
This subject intrigued me to the point where I researched women outlaws or others who had less-than-savory reputations, to see if I could glean anything from their history or stories that I might work into future books.
Here's a little bit about one of the women who lived an interesting life, born and raised in late 1800s in Ingalls, Oklahoma. There are conflicting reports about the young woman named Rose Dunn and later nicknamed Cimarron Rose, due to her beauty. One came from her widower after her death, who told an interviewer that he first met Rose at an Ingalls, OK, square dance when he was 17 and she 16. "I first heard her referred to as Rose of Cimarron in 1895, soon after I came down here (to Oklahoma). They called her that, but not because she was a bandit queen. She was a superb horsewoman," Fleming said. "She was a true friend of the outlaws and never betrayed them, but she was never the sweetheart of any."
Other accounts tell a different story, and the following is the most common.
|Widely believed to be a picture of Rose|
As fate would have it, her own brothers caught and killed George Newcomb when he visited their ranch, in order to obtain the $5,000 reward on his head. Some accounts say Rose gave information to her brothers that led to Newcomb's capture, but they always denied her involvement. She later married an Oklahoma politician and lived out her years as a respectable woman, dying at the age of 76 in the state of Washington.