Keys Desert Queen Ranch, Joshua Tree National Park

The Desert Queen Ranch home of Frances Mae and Bill Keys

Born in 1879, William F. Keys acquired the Desert Queens Ranch in 1910 from the estate of local outlaw and cattle rustler Jim McHaney, who never paid Keys the wages owed for working the ranch over five years. Keys added an additional 160 acres to the ranch in 1917 through homesteading.

In 1943, Keys shot and killed Worth Bagley. Convicted of murder, Keys went to San Quentin Prison, where Keys was paroled in 1950 and was pardoned in 1956.

Keys died in 1969. Now part of the Joshua Tree National Park, the Keys Ranch Historic District is open to tours.

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