Craig County, Oklahoma Genealogy Trails


During a drunken brawl near Mounds last Saturday, Henry Lilyhead a full blood euchee Indian, clubbed another Indian named Candy Squires to death, dragged the mutilated body of his victim to a nearby fence and hung it up on a post. The murderer was arrested by a party of Indians and was taken to Mounds awaiting the arrival of a United States deputy marshal from Claremore. (Indian Chieftain, (Vinita, Indian Territory) January 2, 1902)


For Which a Full Blooded Cherokee Indian is Shot - Death is the Penalty Among the Keetoowahs, Who are Holding Dances and Burning the Dawes Commission in Effigy

Vinita, I. T., April 25 - News has reached here of the killing of Peter Wolfe, in Saline district, southeast of this town. Wolfe is a full blood Cherokee Indian and had appeared before the Dawes commission and selected his allotment of land and was killed by Keetoowah Indians on his return home. He was shot six times from ambush.

Another Indian who has allotted was killed by the full bloods a few days ago.

The Keetoowahs are holding dances and burning the Dawes commission in effigy for allotting their lands. No trouble is expected from them further than their interfering with other full bloods who desire to select their allotments. (The Daily Ardmoreite, April 26, 1903)

Woman Confesses Revolting Crime

Mrs. Connor Says She and Sam Anderson Killed Connor That they Might Live Together

If the confession of Mrs. Minnie Connor is true, then another revolting state of affairs has been uncovered. Mrs. Connor who is in jail on the charge of murdering her husband, Ebenezer Connor, yesterday afternoon confessed to the guards at the federal jail, and afterwards repeated her confession in substance before Commissioner Farrar, that Sam Anderson killed Connor with her assistance in order that she and Anderson might live together.

Mrs. Connor is 24 years old, a full blood Quapaw. Her husband was somewhat older than she, and a Seneca. They were married some ten years ago, she says, and lived eight miles north of Grove, a mile and a half from Tiff City. A son, Willie, five years old, lived with them.

According to the woman’s story, she and Sam Anderson who is her sister’s husband, have been intimate for some time. Last week Connor caught them in a compromising situation, and a quarrel ensued, which led to the decision on the part of Anderson and Mrs. Connor to kill Connor in order that they might live together. The crime was carried out as planned on last Friday night. Anderson came into the house after Connor had gone to bed, and while Mrs. Connor held her husband, Anderson beat out his brains with an ax.

Anderson then disappeared, and Mrs. Connor went to the home of her mother, taking with her, her son, who had been awakened by the noise of Connor’s murder. Anderson, she says, told her to pretend to be crazy, and she therefore told her parents that she had killed her husband, and pretended to them and to the commissioner at Miami that she had lost her senses. The guards at the jail, however say that she appears to be as bright as the average and talks freely to them.

When she was taken before Commissioner Farrar yesterday afternoon, immediately after she had told her full story at the jail, she began her recital all right, but soon became stubborn at the commissioner’s questions and refused to say much. She did admit however the main facts as outlined above, though she stated at the close of her testimony that she did not know all that she had been saying.

United States Marshal W. H. Darrough went to Wyandotte last night where the Senecas are now holding their green corn dance to try to find Anderson. (The Vinita Daily Chieftain, Friday, August 10, 1906, front page)

Anderson is Not Arrested

Sam Anderson who is accused by Mrs. Minnie Connor with having assisted her in the murder of her husband, Ebenezer Connor, ha not yet been caught. Anderson it is said lives near Bartlesville, and though he has been in the Seneca country recently, the officers over there are not inclined to believe the woman’s story that he had anything to do with the murder. As yet he has not been found, though the officers are looking for him and will probably locate him soon. (The Vinita Daily Chieftain, Saturday, August 11, 1906, page 3)

Sam Anderson Arrested

Sam Anderson, accused of complicity in the murder of Ebenezer Connor by his wife Minnie, was taken to Afton for a preliminary hearing yesterday before Commissioner Adams. The hearing was adjourned until Saturday in Miami. Anderson stoutly denies that he had anything to do with the murder of Connor. (The Vinita Daily Chieftain, Wednesday, August 15, 1906, front page)

Proved an Alibi

Sam Anderson Showed that He Knew Nothing of Connor’s Murder

At a hearing before Commissioner Adams in Miami Saturday Sam Anderson accused of complicity in the murder of Ebenezer Connor in the Seneca reservation on August 2, was discharged, while Mrs. Minnie Connor, charged with the same offense, was held without bail. There was no evidence against Anderson except the woman’s testimony that he had been her accomplice in the murder of her husband.

Anderson, however, was able to prove a complete alibi by unimpeachable testimony. He left the vicinity of the Connors home on July 27, went to Dewey and he was there until August 5, when he was arrested. The woman’s story seems to have been a fabrication from beginning to end.

Mrs. Connor herself is probably insane, or, if not, as one of the officers who has had her charge said, “she’s the best actor that ever I have seen.” Her only excuse for the murder of her husband was that he didn’t treat her right. Connor, however, has always borne a good reputation among his people. (The Vinita Daily Chieftain, Monday, August 20, 1906, front page)

Sam Anderson Released

Sam Anderson, the Indian who was recently arrested near Dewey by United States Marshal Fred Keeler and City Marshal Fred Keeler and City Marshal Henry Kerr, on a charge of complicity in the murder of Ebenezer Connor, a Seneca Indian, who was killed at Tiff City, Cherokee nation, on August 3, has been released by the United States authorities. Anderson was arrested as a result of a confession made by the wife of the murdered man, but he stoutly maintained his innocence. He was given a prelimiunary hearing at Miami. He is said to have established an alibi, having proven that he was in Dewey on the night of the murder. Anderson has many friends in Bartlesville and when his arrest occurred much surprise was expressed that he should have been suspected of the murder. Immediately after his exoneration Anderson came to Bartlesville where he is now staying. (The Weekly Examiner, Saturday, August 25, 1906, page 4)


Houston Prisoner Wanted for Many and varied Misdemeanors - Vinita, Dec. 31 - Ira Frank Sullivan, who broke jail here several months ago when Ed Fluke, convicted murderer of Harold Frye escaped, has been located in jail at Houston, according to a telegram received Thursday by Chief Lester Baxley from the police of that city. Sullivan has a long string of aliases namely Kirch, Kieffer, Davis, Jones, Fred Donnelly, Walter T. Wallace and others. In his first visit to this city he beat A. J. Williams out of $35 on a bad check. Later he sold a deserted automobile on a country road, which he had never seen before, to a Vinita automobile mechanic.

He has a long string of jail sentences and is recognized as an extremely smooth and hardened criminal. County Attorney Jess Ballard has telegraphed the Houston police that he will have an officer ready to bring Sullivan back to Vinita when his term in the jail there expires on January 10. His arrival here will return the last of the jail breakers who escaped at the time of the Fluke jail delivery. (The Morning Tulsa Daily World, January 1, 1922, front page)


Condemned Slayer Tells Parole Board of Gangland Killing

Robert Hendricks Tells Group Mayes County Attorney Victim of Vicious Bootlegger Slaying

McAlester – The Pardon and Parole Board was told by condemned slayer Robert Hendricks yesterday Jack Burris, Mayes County attorney, was shot to death in gangland style by a trigger man hired by northeastern Oklahoma bootleggers and gamblers.

Hendricks appeared before the board seeking communtation of his death sentence to a life term for the murder of Ream Payton, Vinita cattleman. His testimony was recorded on tape.

Hendricks related he was present when bootleggers and gamblers plotted the death of Burris. He named some members of the group, most of them from the Grand Lake resort area.

Burris was killed by a shotgun blast in the yard of his home in Locust Grove June 7, 1952. His death was listed as an unsolved murder after an investigation by crime bureau agents and Mayes County officers.

Officers learned a pickup truck drove to the Burris home, a man alighted and fired a single shot at Burris and then sped away.

Hendricks said Burris was “put on the spot” by the bootleggers and gamblers from Bluejacket, Afton, Vinita and other small towns in the resort area.

The board said it would study Hendricks’ appeal for clemency before announcing a decision. He is scheduled to die in the electric chair at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary June 5. Hendricks previously had been paroled for another murder and robbery.

The board granted a parole to O. D. Epley, former Tinker Air Force Base guard who was sented to 40 years for raping an 18 year old Oklahoma City drug store clerk in 1951.

The board suspended a regulation requiring an applicant to serve one third of his sentence before being considered for a parole. Howard Cowan, McAlester editor and Dr. Perry Corbin, voted against the parole but three other members present favored it.

They contended the parole was granted because of Epley’s health. He has been on numerous leaves, is free at this time and employed by an Oklahoma City automobile agency.

At Oklahoma City today state crime bureau agents offered Hendricks a chance to prove he knows who killed Burris.

Lt. O. K. Bivins, crime bureau chief, said he wants to take Hendricks back to northeastern Oklahoma to “show us” where Hendricks said a group of liquor and gambling czars met and ordered Burris’ death.

“I’m going to interview Hendricks and, if it is possible, I will take him off the death row and take him up there so he can show us where the meeting was,” Bivins said before leaving for the state penitentiary.

Bivins said he would see Hendricks in death row later in the day with Earl Sellers, an agent at Sapulpa who was in the original Burris slaying investigation.

At the Capitol it was said Warden H. C. McLeod can give permission for Hendricks to be taken off of death row for the trip. (The Daily Ardmoreite, Wednesday, March 23, 1956, front page and page 4)

Robert Hendricks To File Appeal

Oklahoma City – Preparation of records at state expense for an appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court of Robert Henricks’ death sentence was ordered yesterday by the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals.

The court’s action followed the filing of a pauper’s affidavit for Hendricks by Sid White, one of his attorneys.

Hendricks, 66, is in death row at McAlester penitentiary awaiting execution June 4 for the bludgeon slaying of Ream Payton, Vinita stockman in August 1954.

He is expected to receive a stay from Gov. Raymond Gary when the appeal to the Supreme Court judge of the criminal court said that court is through with the Hendricks case. (The Daily Ardmoreite, May 29, 1956, Tuesday, page 2)

Pardon Board Poll Decides on Hendricks

Oklahoma City, Feb. 2 – A last minute poll of the state Pardon and Parole Board will be made this weekend in the case of Robert Hendricks, slated to be executed early Tuesday for murder.

Campbell LeFlore, pardon and parole officer, said he will poll board members “between now and Monday morning,” and will report their recommendation to Gov. Raymond Gary at that time.

Hendricks was given the death sentence on a murder conviction in the Aug. 21, 1954, slaying of Ream Payton, Craig County cattleman.

Payton was killed at Vinita, where Hendricks had worked as a handyman at the stockyards.

This was Hendricks’ second conviction of murder. He formerly served 18 years of a life sentence at the McAlester state penitentiary.

The 66 year old convict has been interviewed four times by the parole board, and members were given copies of his file to study before the final poll.

If the board does not recommend clemency only a stay of execution by Gary would postpone the execution.

Preparations for the execution are to be made Monday, with Hendricks taken to the electric chair at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. (Ada Evening News, Sunday, February 3, 1957 page 5) 


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