back to index
Newspaper Articles About Outlaws and Lawmen 1888 to 1890
THE INDIAN POLICE
April 7, 1888--Purcell Register-We wonder how the Indian Police can be possibly expected to attend strictly to the preservation of the peace, take frequent and often terrible chances in arresting criminals—hold prisoners at their own personal risk, and travel from place to place at the call of duty, all—all for the pitiful salary of $8 per month. Nothing less than a thirst for excitement and adventure would induce any sane man to become a member of this ill-used body. The ten year old chore boy in a village restaurant is infinitely better endowed in the goods of this world than the Indian Policeman, without half the labor and responsibility incurrent on the latter’s office.
If there are those who are given to grumbling because there are not better men on the force, let them remember that it takes money in the minority of cases to purchase valuable service, and that low salary will scarcely in any case produce the best results.
The Indian Police, as a body, have done much towards promoting the peace and welfare of every community in the Territory, and it is only justice to commend them to the consideration of the five tribes, that some small appropriation may be made to sustain them in a respectable and creditable manner.
The Indian police often ran into problems when they attempted to make an arrest outside of the Territory. Charles Stewart, who ran a hotel in Cherokee Town, as well as a small ranch, was, according to the Gainesville, Texas Hesperian, arrested by Lum Johnson and Vince Anglin, for assault to murder and rudely displaying a pistol. Stewart was jailed and forced to make bond. The Purcell Register, for December 24, 1887, commented “By reading the above, it will be seen that Charlie Stewart has been having trouble at Gainesville. Not being able to learn anything further in the matter we await Charlie’s return to hear his version of the affair.” Shortly after this incident, Stewart quit because he was tired of the hassle of doing his civic duty. He was followed by Fred Tecumseh Waite, who once rode with the infamous Billy the Kid in Lincoln County, New Mexico. After filling out Charlie’s term, Waite was re-appointed for a second and full term and given the additional commission as Deputy United States Marshal. And, he didn’t have to worry about being arrested in Texas for carrying a gun and arresting/shooting people resisting arrest.
Another one reported by the Gainesville Register and reprinted in the Purcell Register for April 14, 1888 was that Indian Policeman Walker came down from Tishomingo with a prisoner who called himself McCarty but who was arrested under the name Barker. The man was charged with complicity in a train robbery in Williamson County, Texas as he exactly fit the description and photograph of the alleged train robber.
UNITED STATES PRISONERS
May 18, 1888—Dallas Morning News—Fort Smith, Arkansas—United States Deputy Marshal B. E. Cabell of Dallas, Texas, arrived this morning with Harrison Jewell, who is charged with the murder of a man named Beason at Savanna, I. T., last October. He also brought in a notorious whiskey peddler named Davison, who was captured at Dennison, Texas. They were both lodged in the United State jail.
ANOTHER INJUSTICE DONE TO INDIAN PRESS
Because It Urges Locating a Federal Court in the Territory and
Compliance with Treaties and U. S. Constitution
ANOTHER DEPUTY MARSHAL KILLED
July 11, 1888—The Cherokee Advocate—The following dispatches were received at the United States Marshal’s officer Monday, dated at Eufaula:
John Phillips and posse killed. Will Bury. Make provisions for expenses. What shall be done with prisoners?
Phillips and McLaughlin were both killed last night. I just got here tonight. What shall I do, if anything, with his outfit? It is close here.
A. J. Mattox, Deputy Marshal
This is the seventeenth officer attached to this court killed since November 1885, and the second one during the past week. Phillips had been on the force about two years, and made the reputation of a brave man and a skillful officer. On this same spot in January 1887, his posse, guard, and cook were all murdered in cold blood by an Indian named Seahorn Green, who was subsequently hanged in this city. Phillips leaves a wife and family living in this city. Deputy Marshals Cabell and Barlin left last night of Eufaula to bring in the remains.
The rapidly increasing number of deaths in this department during the past few years can be attributed to but one fact—the failure of Congress to provide appropriations to run this Court. In former administrations, when from one year’s end to another, court held uninterrupted session; no such alarming death rate was reported. When news is circulated throughout Nation that court is closed desperate characters grow bold; they think the court is abandoned; the fear of imprisonment within its walls is supplanted by a fear of nothing and they resist arrest in every instance. Part of the fault is attributed to the Indian newspapers, whose hatred for this court is a well-recognized fact. They speak of its deliberations in a most disrespectful way, and when the government fails to provide funds to run the court these papers rejoice in a way that naturally encourages desperate characters to grow boulder in their lawlessness. The advance of immigration and civilization in the Territory would otherwise tend to the suppression of lawlessness within its borders, but so long as this great Government refuses to provide funds to run its courts, the natural order of things will be over toppled by a most uncommon violation of the laws, resulting as has been shown in the murder of its brave officers at the alarming rate of seventeen in two and a half years. Ft. Smith Journal--
The assertions about the Indian papers are either made without proper examination into facts or the disposition of the writer to misrepresent is unconscionable. Seldom have we seen as much falsehood crowded into the same space.
As for the Indian papers rejoicing when the Federal Court adjourns for want of funds, anyone, a degree above an idiot, ought to know that the thousands of witnesses who are dragged out of this country and kept waiting at Fort Smith and turned loose without being paid would not encourage or sustain such papers. This and other Indian papers expressed regret when it happened. Further in these Editorial columns we expressed the belief that Judge Parker had the right to decide what officers were necessary to carry on his Court and at what places they should be stationed. We called attention to the absurdity of the ruling of U.S. Auditor Durham that forces Judge Parker to close out all criminal business before U. S. Commissioners in this Territory. Because that portion covered by his jurisdiction did not belong to the Western District of Arkansas. The same logic will apply to the Federal Courts of Texas and Kansas that have jurisdiction over portions of this Territory.
Thus the Treasury Department declares that in a space of country about three hundred and sixty miles long by a little more than two hundred broad, no preliminary examination can be held. The Courts rule they possess power to punish offenders. The great United States Government, while refusing to carry out its Treaty stipulations has put the paradoxical rulings on record, that these people shall have all the ills attending Federal Courts and none of their protection until trail, unless some State line is first crossed. We have urged Congress to create a Federal Court in this Territory in strict compliance with treaties that will extend it jurisdiction over this Territory. Judge Parker has decided that his jurisdiction extends over all the lands of the Cherokees and Judge Brewer has decided that the country west of 96 degrees is covered by the Wichita Court. That Court has hung one man for murder committed in the country that Judge Parker declares is in his jurisdiction. If Judge Parker is correct, and we believe the Supreme Court of the United States will yet so declare, then the illegal honing of the criminal was a judicial murder under guise of law, and almost as much to be reprehended as the crime for which the man died.
We believe from the reports about the killing of these Marshals that it was horrible. And while we wish whoever is guilty of crime in this Territory punished, we desire them punished in strict compliance with the laws and provisions of the U. S. Constitution, and Treaty stipulations. We believe Judge Parker is a lot man and level headed. We are on record to that effect both by writing and public speech. Further we have found his officers regardless of their political bias accommodating gentlemen, who temper the injustice that the laws place these civilized people under with as much kindness as possible. In the white politics the acting editor of this paper thoroughly coincides with Judge Parker and General Wheeler. Still he is as highly esteems U. S. District Attorney Sandles and Marshal Carrot as he does Judge and Clerk. All are just men and try to do their duty. But because we respect the Court it is no reason that the injustice of hauling our civilized people away from home to be tried, ought to be encouraged. Such actions unnecessarily crowd the docket of that Court.
And while we may shock the Editor of the Journal, we now record our deliberate opinion that the murders of Phillips and McLaughlin will not be punished if the Bill allowing Writ of error from Fort Smith Court passes Congress. Or they take proper steps to get the Habeas Corpus before U. S. Supreme Court.
The provision of the Arkansas Constitution which declares no Indian can exercise citizenship in that State will compel the United States Supreme Court to decide that juries drawn under it are not the peers of those they try. The word jury had a clearly defined meaning when the United States Constitution was adopted. It meant a jury from the vicinage. Even a criminal ought to have all benefit of law and Constitution.
Notwithstanding the fact that there some five thousand Indian men in this Territory, who speak, read and write English, and some twenty five hundred white men who have married Indian women, some seventeen or twenty thousand citizens of the United States, who are lawfully residents of this Territory, from whom competent jurymen could be selected, some of the Fort Smith papers oppose the location of the Federal Court in this Territory. We hope some Congressman will move to investigate the condition of the Federal Courts of Texas, Kansas and Arkansas, and authorize the committee to propose a remedy, so that grave judges will not be disputing about jurisdiction. To us, the sensible remedy seems to be to provide a Court whose jurisdiction cannot be successfully questioned, and for a speedy trial as provided by Treaties and United States Constitution. In the Territory, the people who attend Court would not be exposed to the temptations of licensed liquor shops like they are in Fort Smith. While we repel the fool slander against the Indian papers, we declare ourselves on the side of laws, Treaties, U. S. constitution and justice. We don’t believe they ought longer to be overborne in the interests of Fort Smith hash houses and liquor dens. We say to the Journal, look at the law—learn that respect for courts increase when they are kept at work. No one rejoices when his neighbors are unjustly dealt with. A few howls from an interested press cannot much longer delay justice to a downtrodden people. We are the only civilized people on earth who are so unjustly treated, if any English administration dared to treat Ireland as the United States does the Five Civilized Tribes it would be driven from power. The idea of dragging people away from home to be tried before juries belonging to another government or another division of the same government is repugnant to the English-speaking people. In the same issue of the Journal appears an account of the murder of Deputy Marshal Trammell. With as much propriety it could charge the Press of Arkansas as causing his murder. We hope his and Philips murders will be properly punished.
In conclusion, we regret to say that our opinion is, that every man tried at Fort Smith for crime committed in the Indian Territory is placed in jeopardy in a manner not contemplated by either the laws, Treaties or United States Constitution, and our high opinion of the officers of that Court does not restrain us from beseeching the great government to redeem its honor and pledges, and give our people the same trial it give all other who are accused of violating its laws—a trial by jury of their peers.
Let justice be done though a few Fort Smith boarding houses and saloon have to close. That town can spare several and prosper. It will make things quieter here and there.
September 30, 1888—Dallas Morning News—Gainesville, Texas—A Man named McGee was arrested at a wagon-yard in this city last night on a telegram from United States Marshal McAlister of the Indian Territory. McGee is charged with assault to murder and with introducing whiskey in the territory. He was taken to Pauls Valley by Deputy Marshal Robinson this morning.
DEPUTY MARSHAL MURDERED
Shot Down by a Man Whom He Was About to Search for Whiskey—The
November 8, 1888—Dallas Morning News— Paris, Texas—News was received here this evening of the killing of Deputy United States Marshal Campbell in the Indian Territory last night. Campbell has been stationed on the north bank of Red River, just opposite the town of Arthur on the Texas side and it was his business to see that persons crossing the ferry at that place do not carry whiskey into the nation. There are large numbers of railroad hands engaged in the construction of the Frisco road there and the officer has had considerable trouble with these men, who persisted in crossing the river loaded with whiskey. Last night a railroader was accosted by Campbell, who intended to search him, as has been customary, but the man drew a revolver and emptied it into the Deputy Marshal and then made his escape. Campbell was found a few ours later in a dying condition and lived long enough to describe the man who shot him.
DEPUTY MARSHAL KILLED
The Eighteenth Killed Under the Present Marshal—Two Men Do the Deed
March 16, 1889—Dallas Morning News—Fort Smith, Arkansas—Deputy United States Marshal William Moody was killed today at Tulsa, I. T., by two men, it is alleged, named Berryhill and Barnes. Moody was one of the most daring and efficient officer on the force in this district. He was in the territory endeavoring to effect the capture of Santopeka of the Wesley Barnett gang, for whom there is a reward of $500 and it is supposed the men who killed him are friends to these parties.
DEPUTY MARSHAL KILLED
He Is Found With A Capias In One Hand, His Pistol In The Other
June 21, 1889—Dallas Morning News—Paris, Texas—From Deputy United States Marshal Joe McNally, who came in this evening from the Chickasaw nation, it is learned that Deputy Marshal Joe Lundy was killed near Shawneetown, in the Shawnee reservation Friday. His body was found with a bullet hole through his head, a warrant for the arrest of a criminal in one hand and his six-shooter in the other. It is supposed Lundy was shot while reading a warrant to a prisoner.
U. S. MARSHAL DIRECTORY
August 1, 1889--Purcell Territorial Topics
Thomas B. Neadles, U. S. Marshal for the Indian Territory, Muskogee, I .T.
W. W. Ansley, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Indian Territory, Purcell, I. T.
Hugh T. Childers, Deputy U. S. Marshal for the Indian Territory, Purcell, I. T.
John Salisbury, Deputy U. S. Marshal for the Indian Territory(civil cases only)Ardmore
W. H. Carr, Deputy U .S. Marshal for Dis't of Kansas, E. Dist of Texas and W. Dist of Arkansas, Purcell, I. T.
John Swain, Deputy U.S. Marshal for the E. Dist of Texas and the W. Dist of Arkansas,
Purcell, I. T.
Joe McNally, Deputy U. S. Marshal for the E. Dist of Texas, Purcell, I. T.
Fred T. Waite, Deputy U. S.Marshal and Indian Police, Pauls Valley, I.T.
Seven days after the directory was published, a blurb announced that Judge James M. Shakleford, accompanied by Prosecuting Attorney Z .T. Walrond; Court Clerk Wm. Nelson; and Marshal Needles arrived on the north bound Santa Fe as part of a "get acquainted" tour.
TRAIN ROBBERS CAUGHT
The Gang that Committed the Work At Berwin Under Arrest.
One of the Leading Buncos of Guthrie in the Lot—The Information
Furnished by a Woman—Sufficient to Convict
Special to The Guthrie Daily News—Gainesville, Texas
November 29, 1889—Guthrie Daily News--The capture of the gang of train robbers that plundered the Santa Fe express last Monday night at Berwin, in the Chickasaw nation, has been affected. It will be remembered that this was a very daring act, in which over a hundred shots were fired and a heavy booty was secured.
A. B. Honneycut, chief of police of this city, and a private detective worked up the case, and with the assistance of United States marshals, effect the captures, this morning, at Oklahoma City, Ardmore, Purcell and Berwin.
A woman belonging to the gang gave the information leading to the arrests.
The men arrested were all taken to Paris to await preliminary hearing. They are all recognized as gamblers, bunco men and dangerous characters. The officers say that there is sufficient evidence to convict them.
C. M. Lee, the “Iron Galled Kid,” and Bob Darnell were arrested at Oklahoma City and John Bell, W. H. Rollins, John Scott Thorson, Charles Bockler and others were picked up at Purcell and Berwin.
C. M. Lee, or the “Iron Galled Kid” above mentioned was fined for bunco steering in Guthrie, week before last, and accompanied the reporter to Oklahoma City when the convention was held in that place.
THE TRAIN ROBBERS’ TRIAL
December 7, 1889—Norman Transcript—Eleven men arrested last week at Ardmore, Berwyn and Oklahoma City, were brought here last Monday to have their preliminary trial before Judge Hocker. Judge J. H. Wilson, U. S. Attorney was present and conducted the prosecution for the Government. Counsel represented most of the suspects. The trail was in progress till late Wednesday afternoon and finally culminated by the retention of John Bill Russell, John Scott, Dr. C. M. Lee, George Palmer, alias “Iron Gall Kid,” and Robert Donnell, or further investigation some of their alibi being rather doubtful and there being just enough evidence to warrant their retention till additional evidence can be secured.
W. H. Rawlings, Charles Bockley, Thornton Campbell, James H. Hughes, J. M. Patterson and Wes Norris, w3re released from custody, there being no evidence produced sufficient to hold them. Nellie Wilson, one of the main witnesses was bound over to the Paris Court for perjury.
SEVEN MEN ARRESTED
Charged With Having Enticed An Old Man From Home And Hanged Him
January 20, 1890—Dallas Morning News—Gainesville, Texas—Deputy Marshal Dave Wilson and posse arrested last night near Healdton, Chickasaw nation, seven men, all farmers, charged with lynching an old farmer in that community some six weeks ago named J. L. Keys. Keys was called from his house during the night and upon going to the gate to meet the callers was forced at the muzzle of a Winchester to accompany them a short distance to a strip of woods where he was hanged to a limb where his dead body was found the following morning.
The cause of the tragedy has never been definitely known as Keys was a quiet and industrious farmer. The parties charged with the lynching were Keys’ nearest neighbors. Three women, wives of some of the men charged with the crime, were also arrested last night charged with being accessories to the crime. It was the divulgence of the women that led to the arrest of all the parties. The prisoners are now in Ardmore and will have a preliminary hearing there tomorrow before Commissioner Low. The arrests have caused considerable excitement in the neighborhood where the prisoners reside, as they are generally well respected citizens. The officers claim they have positive evidence as to the guilt of al the prisoners.
THE DOOMED CRIMINALS
January 22, 1890—Fort Smith, Arkansas—Deputy United States Marshal Tom A. Williams left today for Columbus, Ohio with George E. Bowlin, convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in the Columbus penitentiary.
Gordon Sanford and Lewis Maddox, charged with robbing the story of Tom Comstock one night last week of several hundred dollars worth of goods were lodged in the United States jail today, having been captured in the Indian Territory by Deputy Marshal Busby. A part of the stolen goods was recovered.
DEPUTY MARSHALS IN TROUBLE
Warrant Issued For Their Arrest On A Charge of Murder
February 6, 1890—Dallas Morning News—Paris, Texas—Deputy Marshal E. L. Gay arrived in this city today with Richard Mophat, charged with highway robbery in No Man’s Land. The offender was carried before United States Commissioner Breckenridge at Beaver city, when his bail was assessed at $1,500.
Write have been issued for the arrest of Deputy Marshals Bud Trainor and Bob Hutchins, who are charged with killing Jim July, alias Jim Starr. Starr died last week in Fort Smith from the effect of wounds said to have been inflicted upon him a few days previous on Sullivan Creek west of Ardmore, by the above mentioned officers. Deputy Marshal Mershon of Fort Smith, who at one time offered $200 reward for the deceased, now declares that the reward had been withdrawn and bail volunteered when Deputy Marshals Trainor and Hutchins did the shooting.
CREEK NATION DESPERADO CAPTURED
March 4, 1890—Dallas Morning News—Fort Smith, Arkansas—Deputy Marshal Allison has reached this place from the Creek nation with Gibson Partridge, the last of the notorious Wesley Barnett gang, who is charged with murder and horse stealing. Saturday Partridge was brought to bay in a cabin of an old Creek medicine man on the Verdigris River. The marshal and posse surrounded the cabin and after some time set fire to the building. Just before the roof fell in the desperado came out and laid down his arms.
KILLED AT DAYLIGHT
March 18, 1891—Dallas Morning News—Ardmore, I. T.—At daylight this morning a desperate fight between United States marshals and the Hudgins bandits, resulting in the complete capture and extermination of the notorious Howeth’s ranch outlaws. Information was received yesterday by Deputy Marshals George Stewart, James Chancellor and D. E. Booker that William Poe and Alex Davis, Alias “Old Dad,’ had left their quarters in the eastern part of the nation and were in rendezvous at Poe’s home near Woodford, eighteen miles west of Ardmore.
At daylight this morning the marshals surrounded Poe’s house. Davis made his appearance and leveled his Winchester on the deputies, when Deputy Chancellor fired, the bullet entering Davis’ breast just below the right nipple and coming out in a line to the left of the backbone. Poe then fired at Chancellor, the ball passing over his head and striking Parson Perkins, who was in the rear about twenty years and penetrating his bowels, from the effects of which he died this evening. Deputy Steward, who had been reinforced by Marshal Booker and citizens James Alverson, Allen Speaks and William Scruggs then ordered a general attack upon Poe’s house. About thirty shots were fired when Poe and Charley Cheshire, the boy and the wounded man, “Old Dad,” or Alex Davis, surrendered. They were brought here and Poe and Cheshire place in irons and Davis quartered at the Commercial hotel for treatment.
Parson Perkins, who was shot and killed by Poe, was recognized as one of the truest and bravest men in the Indian Territory. He was a pioneer and in his good work had done great good for the Indian country.
Davis and Poe are members of the notorious Hudgins and Howeth gang, eleven of whom were captured about two weeks ago. They were the last to succumb, and the territory now rejoices that through the vigilance of its trusty officers they have been rid of a cruel and murderous bandit. Davis’ Winchester has notches, of which there are several, for every man he has killed and the butt end of the gun has a large bullet hoe, received in his escape at Howeth’s ranch.
NOTICE TO INDIAN POLICE
United States Indian Force, Union Agency
April 20, 1890--Purcell Territorial Topics--For a better understanding of some of your duties, rights and privileges which have heretofore, in times, been abused, I call your attention to the following regulations which must be complied with:
Indian Police have no authority to deputize any person as their proxy or
2nd Indian Police are forbidden to engage in any business wherein their obliged attendance is to be...., except as provided in the rules and regulations, general and special, issued from this Agency.
3rd Indian Officers will assist in the enforcement of the Indian Nations’ laws against the carrying of dangerous weapons by arresting all non-citizens violating the same. Then...report must be made to the agency detailing circumstances with names of parties arrested, names of witnesses, and description of weapon which must be held for instruction as to its disposition.
4th Indian Police are to keep vigilant watch against the introduction of intoxicating liquor. At express and freight offices, you, on having reasonable grounds of suspicion that certain packages contain intoxicating liquors, open and examine such suspicious package and if intoxicants are found you must return the same to the package and ask the agent to seal the same. When sealed, you will take charge of the package and make immediate report thereof to this agency giving name, marks, description and nature of contents and all other facts obtainable and hold the package until advised in writing of its disposition. In making these seizures of intoxicating liquors you:
Must make every search in the presence of the railroad or express agent; Must not permit outside persons to be present under any pretext; Must examine or search only such packages as there are reasonable grounds for suspecting to contain intoxicants;
Must handle all packages with proper care, remembering that Indian Police are responsible for damage committed;
Must have agent seal every package taken by you and immediately write full particulars, holding the package for special instructions.
U. S. Indian Police are furnished with commissions which must be exhibited when authority is requested.
A monthly report of your work is demanded and will be required. If you fail to furnish yours, you will be suspended therefore.
While it is not expected nor desirable that Indian Police should ask permission to absent themselves from their usual post office addresses, it is expected and you will be required to report such absence to this agency for its information.
Absence from your post without notice to this agency will be followed by suspension and if continued by dismission from the force.
Leo E. Bennett,
United States Indian Agent
DEPUTY MARSHALS DRIVEN BACK
Troop Denied Then--Some Fear Of A Speck Of War
June 2, 1890—Dallas Morning News—Paris Texas—Deputy Marshals Mynett and Tucker have just returned from a trip to the Cheyenne reservation. They had warrants for two men who are wanted in the federal court here. The Indians learning that they were in the reserve looking for those men sent them word to come no further that they could not get the men unless they were strong enough to take them. The deputies then applied to the military forces at Fort Sill for assistance. The commandant declined to aid them on the ground that the agent in charge of the reserve was absent and the military had no authority to act except on order from the agent and he doubted even if the agent was there if the necessary orders would be given, as taking their men out would undoubtedly required a strong force and would cause serious trouble with the Indians, who had once before rescued
DEPUTY MARSHAL SHOT
He Telegraphs for Assistants Who Were Immediately Sent to Him
August 20, 1890—Dallas Morning News—Paris, Texas—The following was received at the United States Marshal’s office today.
Vernon, Texas—Sept. 1—To J. J. Dickerson, United States marshal, Paris, Texas:
I am shot send two good men at once.
C. N. Dugger, Deputy Marshal.
On receipt of this Deputy Marshals Chancellor and Dugger works in the Kiowa and Comanche reservations and it is thought that he had an encounter with some of the desperadoes for whom he has writs. The extent of his wounds is unknown. He has a wife and three children in Red River County, this state.