Martha Jane Canary was born on May 1, 1852, in Princeton, Missouri. Her family moved to Virginia City, Montana in 1865, during which time Jane became an excellent horsewoman and marksman. According to period descriptions, she was 6-feet-tall, was hard-drinking, wore men’s clothing, used bawdy language, chewed tobacco and was handy with a gun.
She traveled from Arizona through the Dakota territories during her rough life. At her death, the “White Devil of the Yellowstone” was remembered as a saint by the citizens of Deadwood, where she helped nurse the sick during a smallpox plague.
Although Jane fueled rumors that she had a love affair with Wild Bill Hickok, it’s believed they were merely acquaintances. Jane’s life ended at the age of 53, probably due to a lifetime of hard drinking. Upon her death she asked to be “buried next to Wild Bill.” And there Jane rests for eternity–in Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, South Dakota, next to Bill.