Custer County, Oklahoma Genealogy Trails


A County Attorney Killed As a Result of a Saloon Shooting in Custer County

El Reno, O. T., July 8 – Sam Allen, a cattleman, yesterday shot and killed J. T. Shriver, county attorney of Custer County in Bill Goffay’s salon at Arapahoe. No cause is known for the shooting. Allen is still at large. (The Daily Oklahoman, Saturday, July 9, 1898, front page)

Dr. Debow Captured – Custer County Sharper Lands Behind the Bars

Arapahoe, O. T., Oct. 20 – The Custer County Clarion of this city says: “Dr. Debow, who eluded the guard and escaped leaving his bondsmen in the lurch, was captured near Anadarko by Deputy Sheriff J. T. McKewen and placed in jail for safe keeping. In an interview with Mr. McKewen as to how he effected the capture, he said: “I got ahead of him and placed my men in position and after I knew I had bagged my game, I searched the bag and soon got my man.” Mr. McKewen in this instance has proved himself a No. 1 sleuth. But who is this Dr. Debow? A question difficult to answer. He is alleged to have several aliases and there are persons in the county who claim his real name is McCalister. The crime for which he is held to the action of the grand jury is trying to entice’ or kidnap a young girl away from home for immoral purposes.

He is also charged with other crimes, one is selling whiskey in violation of the law, another practicing medicine without being registered. It is also alleged that he bought the relinquishment of an old man, Mr. Nelson near Thomas for 160 acres of fine land. Mr. Nelson was to receive $800 after the relinquishment was signed, we understand Debow only paid him $100, the other $700 remains unpaid and the chances seem good for Mr. Nelson to be swindled out of it entirely, unless he succeeds in his efforts to get his claim back by proving fraud. It seems to be the general impression that Debow and his alleged sisters are frauds and schemers and decent people would do well to give them a wide berth. Debow is now in the meshes of the law and we hope for the good of society, justice will be meted out and no doubt he fully realizes that ‘the way of the transgressor is hard.” (The Daily Oklahoman, Saturday, October 21, 1889, page 4)

Arrest a Boy for Fogery

Wanted in Custer County For Passing A Worthless Check – Ed Brooks, a boy, twenty years old was arrested Friday morning by Deputies Terry and Hamilton. The lad is charged with forging a check for $92.35 at Arapaho, Custer County. The officials from that county will be down tonight to take him to that county for trial. (The Hobart Daily Republican, Friday, November 8, 1907, page 1)

L. S. Adams wanted in Custer County

A requisition on the governor of California for the return of L. S. Adams, wanted in Custer county on a charge of obtaining money under false pretense was signed Tuesday by Governor Cruce. Adams is alleged to have represented to a man named White that the Midcontinent Life Insurance Company had been organized with $750,000 paid in and $1,000,000 insurance written and sold him forty-five shares of stock for $2,500 on the representation that White would be elected a director in the company,  while giving a mortgage on property in Texas to raise the amount. The alleged fraudulent transaction was made February 4, 1910 and Adams who has been missing since that time has recently been located at Los Angeles. (The Daily Oklahoman, Wednesday, November 15, 1911, page 12)

Serious Charges by Miss Barnard

Two Custer County Boards Accused of Inhuman Treatment of Insane Patients – Alleged Horsewhipping Is Denied by Members at Arapaho Meeting

Arapaho, Okla., Dec. 11 – That she will endeavor to send to the state penitentiary members of the Custer County board of commissioners and the examining board for the Insane for the alleged horsewhipping and other inhuman treatment accorded a man named Fancher, in the county jail awaint an examination, was the statement made by Miss Kate Barnard, commissioner of charities and corrections at a meeting of school land lessees and other farmers of the vicinity here Thursday afternoon.

The members of both boards were severely arraigned. Miss Barnard declaring that she will seek to have the charges pressed by the attorney general. The charges are denied in full by members of both boards who declare they court a complete investigation. When they attempted to deny them to Miss Barnard following the meeting she shook her fist in their faces and declared she was not afraid of them, also that she would press the charges.

Members of the court board of commissioners are Andrew Taylor, chairman; George Day and O. E. Watson. Members of the examining board are County Judge J. C. McKnight, Dr. M. C. Comer and George Darnell. Taylor, Day and Darnell were present at the meeting.

Fancher recently was sent to the asylum for in the insane at Norman. The inhuman treatment, it is alleged took place just previous to his commitment.

While the charges created considerable talk among the farmers little credence is given them by the majority of those who attended the meeting. (The Daily Oklahoman, Friday, December 12, 1913, page 4)

Former Cashier Held for Fraud

Weatherford, Okla., Aug. 30 - J.H. Anderson former cashier of the defunct Farmers State Bank, was arrested Wednesday by sheriff Ben Monroe on a charge of issuing fraudulent cashiers' checks. This is the second time Anderson has been arrested since the bank failure, the first being for alleged false statements of the condition of the bank to the bank commissioner.

He gave bond in both cases for his appearance. Both charges were sworn to by Bank Examiner Cooper. Anderson is under a doctor's care and unable to leave his house. (The Oklahoma Times, August 30, 1919)

Warren Abby

Witness in Case in Oklahoma

Clinton, Okla., Dec. 14 (AP) – A former wife appeared unexpectedly today and testified in behalf of Warren Abby, 56, Oliver, La., farmer charged with murdering his second wife.

Mrs. Anna Abby, who was divorced from the defendant November 22, 1934, was brought from Salinas, Calif., by the defense as a character witness.

County Atty. Milton Keen had read in court numerous letters in which the first wife accused Abby of “running around with other women.”

Under cross-examination, Mrs. Abby said of those charges:

“I thought they were true at the time and later found them untrue.”

Mrs. Abby testified she had not seen Abby for three years and described the martial differences leading to their divorce.

Abby earlier spent a total of six hours and 40 minutes on the stand.

He said he struck his second wife with a connecting rod because she threatened to kill him but declared he could not remember what happened until he saw her lying on the ground beside the car, her head crushed by a series of blows.

Abby brought the woman’s body to Clinton last October 6 and reported she had been killed by a hit-run driver.

Keen said the state would seek to prove Abby sold a drug store in Cherry Valley, Ark., and other property belonging to the second Mrs. Abby and then deliberately “got rid of her.”

Defense Atty. E. I. Mitchel described Abby as a respectable farmer who had lost money in an attempt to organize a farm co-operative and had become temporarily unbalanced because of his setbacks.

Both the state and the defense rested their cases when court recessed tonight and will present closing arguments tomorrow. (Advocate, (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Friday, December 15, 1939, page 5B)

Louisianian Is Convicted of Murder

Clinton, Okla., Dec. 16 (AP) – A district court jury late today convicted Warren Abby, 56 year old Olivier, La., farmer of murdering his second wife and recommended death in the electric chair.

Oklahoma law provides that a jury recommendation is mandatory.

Abby, who only once during the trial displayed emotion, retained his calm when the verdict was announced. He broke down and wept when he described the actual slaying.

The jury which received the case late yesterday afternoon retired about 9:30 p.m. last night and resumed its deliberations this morning.

Abby was arrested last October after he brought his wife’s body here and reported she was killed by a hit run driver. County attorney Milton Keen became suspicious and filed a murder charge against Abby when a blood stained connecting rod was discovered at the scene of the alleged accident. Later he announced Abby had confessed the slaying. (Advocate, (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Sunday, December 17, 1939, page 12A)

Louisiana Killer To Die August 29

Oklahoma Appeal Court Affirms Death Penalty – Oklahoma City, June 11 (AP) The Oklahoma criminal court of appeal affirmed today the death penalty for Warren Abby, 58 year old Louisiana wife slayer, and set his execution for August 29.

Abby, a farmer from Olivier, La., beat to death 62 year old  Julia Abby near Clinton on October 6, while they were on their way to California.

Abby met his wife through a matrimonial agency four years previously. He originally was condemned to die March 15, 1940, but was given a stay when he appealed. (Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Thursday, June 12, 1941, front page)

Electric Chair Claims Mail Order Husband

McAlester, Okla (AP) – Warren Abby, 58 year old Louisiana farmer, was executed early Friday for murdering his 78 year old mail order bride, Julia, to get her money.

Abby, scholarly appearing Olivier, La., farmer, met his wife through a matrimonial agency. The two were traveling through the country when on Oct. 6, 1939, he beat her to death with a tire iron near Clinton.

Abby first blamed a hit and run driver, then confessed, contending he killed her in self defense during a moment of temporary insanity. (The Macon Telegraph, (Macon, Georgia), Saturday, August 30, 1941, page nine)


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