Upton County, Texas


Pearl Hart was born in Ontario, Canada. She married a man by the name of Frederick Hart. By 1893, she arrived at Chicago, Illinois, where she saw Annie Oakley perform at a show. This would turn out to be a life changing experience for Pearl, as she became inspired by Oakley. Intrigued as she was with the west it was inevitable that she would also make a name for herself. The "Lady Bandit" a name she coined for herself.  Pearl was the mother of two children, who were raised by her mother. After Pearl and her husband split for a second time, Pearl teamed up with a musican named "Joe Boot" In her desperation to raise money to send to her Mother, Pearl and Joe devised a plan to rob a stage.  Joe knew of a stage route from Globe to Florence. On this stage was  a salesman with $380, a "tenderfoot" with $36, and a Chinaman with $5. Pearl and Joe took all, even the salesman's watch. Feeling somewhat badly about leaving her victims penniless, Pearl returned to each a dollar--"enough to eat on." Pearl and Joe were tracked to their hiding spot, where the officers laid low and waited for then to fall asleep.

Pearl and Joe were taken to the Florence jail but Pearl was soon transferred to the jail at Tucson.   While in the jail at Tucson she became friendly with an inmate named Ed Hogan. With the aide of Hogan she escaped from Tucson jail. She and Hogan were soon captured by Sheriff Scarsborough of Deming, New Mexico. Pearl was returned to stand trial. Pearl in her notorious fashion caused such a commotion in her first trial that the jury acquitted her. The Judge it is said “roasted” the jury before he dismissed them. He then ordered that Pearl be arrested on the charge of robbing the stage driver of his pistol.  She was convicted of that crime, and sentenced to five years at the Yuma Territorial Prison. On December 15, 1902 the Arizona Citizen announced the parole of Pearl Hart. She was pardoned by Governor Alexander O. Brodie on the recommendation of the Board of Control and Prison Superintendent Griffith Was she really pregnant is not known. After her release she went to Kansas City. There she planned to star in a film written on her life by her sister called the "Arizona Bandit". It is believed that Pearl returned to Globe, There she met and married a rancher named Calvin Bywater and they settled near Globe. Pearl Hart Bywater died on December 30, 1955 at the age of 85. Joe was never to be heard from again after his escape from the Florence Prison.


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