Judge John Shirley was a man of wealth and social standing in Carthage when the Civil War began. He had two sons and a daughter and was pro-Southern in sympathy. His eldest son, Preston, not in the war, would die later in a Texas tavern shooting. His second son, Ed, became a member of Quantrill’s guerillas and was killed in a skirmish near Sarcoxie in 1863. It was his daughter who made the greatest mark of the family. Her name was Myra Belle. We know her as Belle Starr.
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