Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Beyond the Book: Etta Place
Wow, where to start with this cowgirl? Her name is Etta Place, and she was married to the Sundance Kid, a notorious bank robber and outlaw. No, wait, that may not be right. We don't know her real name. We're not even sure she and Sundance were married. Some folks said she first had a relationship with Butch Cassidy before turning to the Sundance Kid, but again no one knows for sure.
You do know about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, right? They were two of the most famous outlaws of the old west. They ran a gang of outlaws called the Wild Bunch. Etta was one of only four or five women ever to be allowed in the gang.
No one knows for sure how Place met the Kid. Some say she was a teacher, and some say she was a prostitute or housekeeper who met the Kid at a hotel. She's very pretty, isn't she?
We do know that she went with the Kid to Argentina in 1901. They took advantage of a newly passed law to get a huge amount of land for themselves. Place was the first woman to get law under this new law.
They visited the US several times, but finally in 1904 they had to leave Argentina because the American detectives were on their trail. By later that year they returned and started robbing banks. Things get fuzzy again after that.
Some say she was tired of running and asked the Kid to take her to San Francisco which he did. After that, we don't think they ever saw each other again. Who was she? Did she and the Kid really leave each other? Excellent questions, and some people think they have answers, but with so many theories out there, who knows what's true and what isn't. She probably isn't the best role model to come out of the old west, but she sure is interesting.
All information is from Wikimedia and so is the picture.
I'm doing this series on the old west in honor of my heroine Peyton O'Malley who became a cowgirl herself after coming to Rest Thy Head.