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Martha Edna Stanley was born to Nicholas Drew (Charles), and Louie Nettie Rosadell Waddell (Lou) Stanley in 1898, near Marion, Kansas. “Edna” (as she was known to family and friends) was the first daughter born to the Stanleys, and the apple of her Daddy’s eye. Her childhood was a normal one for that period in time, but Edna was never “normal”, even as a child. She knew she was a cute little thing, and learned early on how to wrap the guys around her finger and talk them out of just about anything she wanted.

Edna’s first real brush with crime began when she was working as a waitress at the Imperial Café in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.


Not that she hadn’t been around the block a couple times, but it was here that she met and fell in love with Volney Davis.

Volney had come from the Central Park Gang in Tulsa, Oklahoma, growing up hanging out with teenage hoodlums like the sons of Ma Barker.

Volney was already a wanted man when “Edna” first met him. He was introduced to her as “Curly Jackson.” According to Edna, it was after a courtship and already having fallen in love with him that she found out who he really was. By this time, she didn’t care what he had done. She would be ”loving him, always.”

It’s hard to say what draws a woman to a gangster. This romantic notion of the Gangster is still going on almost a century after the days of the Gangster Era. With Edna, the drama was probably one of the most luring aspects. Edna was the “Drama Queen” long before it became popular. She loved to be well dressed, liquor was her best friend, and hanging out where the action was, put her in her height of glory. Edna reminisced about these days until the day she died. I know. I am her granddaughter.


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