Henry Starr

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The notorious bank robber and convicted murderer, Henry Starr, met his fate in Harrison on February 18, 1921, when Starr and three companions entered the People’s State Bank and robbed it of $6000.00. During the robbery, Starr was shot by the former president of the bank, William J. Myers. Starr was carried to the town jail, where he died there, 4 days later, on Tuesday afternoon at 1:25pm.

Surrounding Starr in the narrow cell of the county jail at the time of his death were his mother, Mrs. Mary Gordon of Tulsa, OK; his wife of one year, Mrs. Huldah Starr of Sallisaw, OK; and his son, Theodore Starr of Muskogee, OK. Many people think that Henry was either the son of Belle Starr or was married to Belle, but both are incorrect. Probably the most outlandish rumor that started after the robbery, was that Starr’s three back-up men had escaped in an airplane.

The Nash car, driven by the escaping bandits, was found a short distance south of the first railroad crossing (near the site of present day Claridge Inc.). It had been abandoned and set on fire – which might have been due to the fact that Mr. Meyers had punctured the tire when he fired his rifle at the getaway car as it left town via the old wooden Willow Street bridge. Had a wagon been crossing the bridge at the exact time the bandits were leaving town, the story might have had a different ending. Myers and president of the bank, Marvin Wagley, both rushed out to see the car as it headed to the bridge. Shots were fired and the fleeing robbers returned fire, so it certainly could have ended tragically for two local men.

Henry Starr’s last words were to his aged mother, only a few moments before he lost consciousness. His strong constitution and grim determination had sustained him for four long days but with ashen lips he whispered, “Mother, I am satisfied to die – I have made my peace with God.”

By Unknown author – https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=ST060, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92706278

Contents courtesy of The Boone County Historical & Railroad Society