Dora Hand, aka: Fannie Keenan, (1844-1878) - A celebrated actress
and variety show entertainer, Dora was married to a musician named
Theodore Hand. However, she divorced him in Indiana, later landing in
Memphis, Tennessee and in
Missouri in 1876. By 1878, she was entertaining the many men in
the lawless town of
Appearing in several variety shows under her stage name of Fannie Keenan,
the actress was staying at Mayor James Kelley’s house, as he was out of
town. It is unknown as to whether Dora knew that the mayor had recently
been in a brawl with a man named James Kennedy, the son of a Tascosa,
cattleman. But, for the actress, the dispute would be fatal.
Kennedy had been sent with a
herd of cattle to Dodge City
and while the cowboy was in Mayor Kelley’s saloon, Kelley threw him out
for being drunk and disorderly.
Humiliated, Kennedy swore
revenge upon the mayor. A short time later, Kennedy briefly left Dodge
but returned to exact his revenge upon Kelley. The mayor; however, was not
home, and in his bed, instead, was Dora Hand. Late in the night of his
return, Kennedy rode to Kelley’s residence and fired four gunshots into
the house before fleeing. One shot struck Dora in her right side, killing
her instantly. Hearing the gunfire, officers
Jim Masterson and
Earp hurried to the house to find Dora Hand dead.
Witnesses stated they had seen Kennedy riding away from Dodge City
and a posse was formed to go after him. Soon,
and Wyatt Earp
tracked the killer to Meade,
Inevitably, Kennedy didn't want to be brought in and a gunfight ensued and
Kennedy was wounded in his shooting arm. He was brought back to
where he recovered.
Kennedy was tried, he was acquitted of the murder due to lack of evidence.
But, time would get its just revenge when Kennedy was killed three years
later in a gunfight. In the meantime, Dora Hand was buried in Dodge City's
Pearl Hart, aka: Pearl Bywater, Pearl Taylor, Mrs. L.P. Keele
(1871-19??) - 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
After marrying a seductive gambler when
she was just 17, the pair attended the Columbian Exposition in
in 1893 where
became enamored of the Old West
when she attended several
West type shows. She soon left her husband, heading through
and finally to
where she hooked up with a miner named
Joe Boot. Among other smaller petty crimes, the pair robbed a
stagecoach between Florence and Globe, Arizonaon May 30, 1899. Taking about $450 and a revolver, they were soon
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.
Josephine Hensley; aka:
- The Queen of Helena,
Red Light District and one of the city's most prominent business women
during the city's early days.
Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins
(1841?-1891) - The first
American woman known to secure a
copyright and to publish in the English language. Her book, Life Among
the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, is an autobiographical account of
her people during their first forty years of contact with explorers and
Julie Ward Howe (1819-1910) - Born in New York City on May 27, 1819, Julie Ward would grow up to
become a prominent abolitionist, social activist, poet, and is most
famous for having authored "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." In
1843, she married Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe who founded the Perkins
Institute for the Blind and the couple had six children. She also
published a number magazine articles., travel books, and plays. Later in
life she became active in the women's rights movement, where she played a
prominent role in several suffrage organizations. She died on
October 17, 1910 at the age of 91.
Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) Early champion of religious
liberty and free speech, this midwife was put on trial in 1637 for her
outspoken views. The Massachusetts General Court found her guilty of
sedition and banished her from the Colony.