H. W. PATTERSON KILLED – Having First Shot His Slayer Fatally, All Due
To Newspaper Personalism
Hon. R. W.
Patterson, register of the US land office, South Enid, Okla and City
Marshal Williams shot and killed each other Wednesday evening and J. L.
Eisenberg, publisher of the Daily Wave, was slightly wounded.
Isenberg and Paterson for some time have been at
swords points over certain articles that have appeared in the Wave.
In Wednesday nights
Wave appeared an article that was especially objectionable.
About 7 o’clock Eisenberg and Patterson met on the
street and warm words followed, when Eisenburg drew a knife. At the
same time Patterson drew his revolver and just as Paterson fired the
marshal stepped between them and was shot through the body. Williams,
as he was falling, shot Patterson, killing him instantly. Isenberg is
now at home.
Patterson was a
resident of Macon, Ga. before receiving his appointment here, and was
one of the most popular democratic appointees within its borders.
Williams recently killed two men here and had a shady reputation.
Eisenberg is an old newspaper man having published papers in Colorado,
Kansas and the territory.
(Hamilton News Press, Marion County,
AL, July 4, 1895 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney)
Claimed to Be Booth
An Oklahoma Suicide Said He Was Man Who Shot Lincoln
O. T., Jan. 19 – Daniel E. George, a wealthy resident of the territory,
who committed suicide here, announced himself on his deathbed to be
John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln. He stated that he
successfully eluded the officers, after shooting Lincoln, and since
remained incognito. His statement caused a sensation and an
investigation was made. Surgeons examined the body and stated the man
to be of the age Booth would be at this time, and announced that his
leg was broken in the same place and in the same manner as that of
Booth after jumping from the president’s box in Ford’s theatre after
All the time George received money regularly from
unknown sources and telegrams arriving Saturday ask that the body be
held for identification. It is claimed that one telegram came from the
address: “George F. Smith, Colfax, Ia.,” the same source as the
mysterious money remittances. Smith is mysterious to everyone in
Oklahoma. Upon his arrival in Enid Sunday, he commanded that no other
persons be allowed to view the remains and promised to return for the
Mr. Smith was asked if Mr. George had ever confided any
of his life’s history to him, to which he answered: “Well yes to some
extent. He had had a past. He may be Booth, I don’t know.”
George committed suicide in the Grand avenue hotel by taking poison. No reason for the suicide is known.
maintained to his attendants that he was Booth, and his general
appearances closely resembles that of the murderer of Lincoln.
states that Booth was killed in a Virginia barn and that his remains
were burned with the building. (Abilene Daily Chronicle, Abilene,
Kansas, Monday, January 19, 1903, page 1)
Former Convict Sought as Slayer
Blackwell, Okla., Dec. 30
(AP) – Bruce Potter, Kay county
attorney, said tonight he was convinced Earl Quinn, alias Earl Howard,
Missouri convict, was the slayer of the Griffith sisters, found shot to
on the highway south of Tonkawa Sunday.
Potter said Quinn was in
Tonkawa the night before the crime
and that “evidence was very damaging against him.” Quinn has not been
Potter revealed a woman held
at Tonkawa was Quinn’s wife and
that Mrs. Quinn “talked,” but he refused to go into details. (San Francisco Chronicle
California), Wednesday, December 31, 1930, page 17)
Capture Suspect Here in
Killing of Two Teachers
Trailing Woman to Omaha Leads
to Arrest of Earl Quinn, Ex-Convct
– Sisters Murdered Last December – Earl Quinn, 30, an ex convict sought
December as a suspect in the slaying, near Tonkawa, Okla., of Jessie
Griffith, Blackwell, Okla., school teachers, was captured in Omaha
yesterday and taken to Kansas City.
Quinn, seized here, readily
admitted his identity, Kansas
City detectives said, but denied having any connection with the
“Well I’m glad the chase is
over,” Quinn told officers. “I’m
not guilty of it – whatever they are accusing me of – it’s a bum rap
and I can
The arrest here resulted from
a tip received by George Rayen
and William Robeen, special investigators for the Kansas City chief of
They received a tip that Mrs. Quinn was leaving Kansas City last
night for Omaha and they drove here, arriving ahead of the train.
Thursday night, they said,
Mrs. Quinn went to Council Bluffs
and remained at a rooming house there until midnight. She then came
Omaha by cab, meeting Quinn at the Union Station. His arrest followed.
Quinn and her husband were returned to Kansas City by auto.
A man hunt for Quinn had been
in progress since the bodies
of the two young sisters were found beside highway No. 77 near Tonkawa,
last December 28.
A murder charge was filed
against Quinn after an
investigation in which officers said a net of circumstances connected
with the slayings.
The sisters spent the
Christmas holiday at Blackwell with
their parents Early the morning December 28 they started in a new coupe
their schools. Mrs. Zexia, the older sister was home economics director
Warner school of agriculture and the other taught music in the Noman
At sunrise, farmers near
Tonkawa discovered the bodies. The
young women had been shot. Their car was missing but was found blood
Potter said investigation
disclosed Quinn had paraded the
highway in that section supposedly in search of a bootlegger “he
highjack” and that a button in the sister’s car apparently was torn
from a vest
found in Quinn’s Tonkawa lodgings.
Rewards exceeding one
thousdand dollars had been offered in
the case. (Omaha World-Hearld, Omaha, Nebraska, Saturday, May 16, 1931,
Quinn Guilty, Jury Decides; Given
New Trial Asked After
Conviction for Slaying Two Girls
Newkirk, Ok., Oct. 3 (AP) –
Earl Quinn, 27 year old ex convict,
Saturday was sentenced to death by a Kay County District Court jury
him guilty of the brutal slaying of Jessie Griffith, young Blackwell
teacher, on a highway south of Tonkawa last Dec. 28.
Jessie, 25, and her old
sister, Zexia, were shot to death
after Jessie had been attacked.
The jury deliberated
seventeen hours and ten minutes after
hearing more than ten days of evidence.
Quinn returned to his cell
shouting condemnation of his
wife, Mrs. Jean Quinn whom he charged planted the death pistol to which
officers said she led them March 25.
The sisters were killed as
they were returning from a
holiday vacation with their parents in Blackwell to schools at Norman
Warner. The State claimed their car was halted by Quinn, representing
as a prohibition officer and that Zexia was shot through the neck. The
were driven to a lonely spot where Jessie was attacked then killed. The
sister, struggling to aid Jessie who shot dead by the killer.
The defense attempted
throughout the trial to fasten the
crime on others and prove that Quinn at the time of the killing was in
Quinn blinked rapidly as the
verdict was read, but his face
showed no emotion. His widowed mother, Mrs. George Quinn, Kansas City,
her head on her son’s shoulder. He pushed her back gently and patted
her on the
arm. She walked with him to the elevator, her eyes filled with tears.
was taken to his cell his mother walked alone to her hotel.
Wife Breaks down
The wife, who Quinn accused
of being a “maniac,” staggered
from the courtroom crying hysterically. As she reached the corridor she
staggered and was caught by a stranger.
“Oh, what will become of us?”
she cried hysterically
Buster Quinn, young brother
of the condemned man, escorted
her to a hotel. There James S. Mathers, defense counsel said doctors
summoned to treat her. The family left at night for Oklahoma City.
Mr. Mathers immediately
applied for a new trial and stay of
judgment. His application will be heard by John S. Burger, presiding
Oct. 9. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Sunday, October 4, 1931,
Earl Quinn Will Make His Plea for
Newkirk, Ok., Oct. 8 (AP) – A
new trial will be asked Friday
by Earl Quinn, condemned to die for a brutal school teacher murder.
His attorney, James Mathers,
is prepared to cite nearly 100
alleged errors in the trial which resulted in Quinn’s conviction and
sentence for the killing of Jessie Griffith, slain with her older
Zexia, on a motor trip last Dec. 28.
Mr. Mathers said he would
seek to have the jurors who tried
Quinn asked if they read newspapers or separated. He also alleges
improper State testimony.
The motion for new trial will
be heard by John S. Burger,
District Judge. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Friday, October 9,
Earl Quinn Sentenced to Death on
Enid, Ok., March 24 (AP) –
Earl Quinn’s motion for a new
trial in the Griffith sisters slaying was denied Friday by District
Judge J. W.
Bird and Quinn was sentenced to die in the electric chair on June 20.
He was convicted a few weeks
ago by a jury which assessed
the death penalty for the murder of the younger sister, Jessie, slain
Zexia Griffith on a road near Tonkawa Dec. 28, 1930.
A previous death sentence was
reversed by the appellate
court and Quinn was retired here on a change of venue. (Dallas Morning
Dallas, Texas, Saturday, March 25, 1933, page 5)
Second Death Sentence of Earl
Oklahoma City, OK., June 1
(AP) – The second death sentence
of Earl Quinn for the slaying of Jessie and Zexia Griffith, Blackwell
teacher sisters, Dec. 28, 1930, was stayed by Governor Murray Thursday
permit consideration of a second appeal.
The execution date,
originally set for June 20, was deferred
to Sept. 29.
Quinn obtained a reversal on
his first appeal and a change
of venue from Kay to Garfield County, where he again was convicted and
sentenced to death. He presented an alibi defense. (Dallas Morning
Dallas, Texas, Friday, June 2, 1933, page 14)
Supreme Penalty Paid
Earl Quinn Put to Death for
Murder of School Teachers
State’s Prison, McAlester,
Okla., Friday, Nov. 24 (AP) –
Earl Quinn one time alcohol runner, was put to death in the electric
early today for the killing of Jessie and Zexia Griffith, school
sisters, nearly three years ago.
Quinn denied his guilt to the
last and declared he was not
given a fair trial. (Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, Friday, November 24,