Murray County, Oklahoma Genealogy Trails

Mullen Wounded by Ross

Sulphur, Okla., Feb. 28 - J. F. Mullen, a transfer man was shot and dangerously wounded by Abe Ross, another driver, in a quarrel at the Santa Fe Station here Sunday afternoon over their "stand" at the platform.

In backing up to await the train, the two men disagreed. After a few sharp words, Ross drew his pistol and fired. Mullen dropped with a bullet wound through his hip. The wound ranges upward. Mullen is in critical condition with chances against his recovery. Ross was arrested and is being held in the city jail pending the result of Mullens wound. (Adair County Sentinel, March 4, 1910, page 6)

Francis Admits Blowup Attempt

Effort to Wreck Sulphur Courthouse is Confessed by Former Deputy – Others Implicated – Later He Tells Fellow Citizens He was Bribed to Do it

Davis, Okla., - Nov. 26 – R. S. Francis a former deputy sheriff of Sulphur

Editor’s Slayer Placed on Trial

Lindsay to Plead Insanity For Killing J. Y, Schenck of Sulphur – R. N. Freancis, a former deputy sheriff at Sulphur has confessed to County Attorney Fagan that he and about a half dozen others of West Sulphur attempted to blow up the Murray county courthouse last September. His confession is surrounded with deep mystery. Those implicated declare him crazy while others believe his story. He described how the guilty parties stood guard to warn those engaged in life dastardly work and gives the names of those directly concerned.

County Attorney Fagan declined to give out a copy of the confession , but admitted it was true that Francis spent several hours in his office Sunday and told the whole story. He is locked up as a safeguard against possible bodily harm. A prominent citizen of West Sulphur said Sunday that Francis recanted on Saturday in those implicated. He is said to have requested the officers to protect him against the irate mob.

Repeated questions asked over the telephone Sunday afternoon were met with evasion and the reply from the county attorney was only an admission that Francis was in safe hands and had confessed and implicated a half dozen prominent business men. Detectives have been quietly working on the case several weeks and recently one of the conspirators wrote a letter that gave them a clue.

It is believed that Francis will be able to save himself a long term in prison by implicating his fellow conspirators. He stated at a public meeting in West Sulphur Sunday afternoon that he was paid $500 by two prominent East Sulphur business men to make a confession implicating certain West Sulpher parties and assured his auditors that he was only making the confession for the money there was in it. For fear of mob violence he is said to be anxious to remain in the county jail. (The Daily Oklahoma, Monday, November 27, 1911, front page)

Paper Eating Case – Political Feud and Editorial Resulted in Death of the Writer

Sulphur, Okla., Dec. 15 – That temporary insanity will be the plea of John C. Lindsay as trial in the district court of Murray county for the alleged murder of J. T. Schenck, editor of the Sulphur Democrat here last August was indicated in the early questions asked perceptive jurors by attorneys for the defense at the opening session Monday afternoon. A man named Rose, the first one called, was asked whether he had any scruples against an alleged slayer entering a plea of insanity.

On motion of the defense, Judge R. McMillan before whom the case is being tried, granted a continuance until 2 o’clock Monday afternoon when the case was called Monday morning. After the start of the trial Monday afternoon the defense entered a motion to disqualify Sheriff Rawlings from service because of prejudice but the motion was over ruled.

More than seventy prospective jurors were examined Monday afternoon before a panel of twelve passed the state. It is probable some of these will be objected to by attorneys for the defense.

The state is represented in the trial by County Attorney Curry C. B. Emmanuel of Sulphur and Moman Pruiett of Oklahoma City. Attorneys for the defense include Ben Williams of Norman, Tom Robinett and W. C. Allen of Sulphur.

It is alleged that Lindsay, former county treasurer of Murray county, shot down Schenck, a crippled man, while the latter was sitting in a buggy in front of a blacksmiths hop in West Sulphur as the result of political enmity. Schenck had published an editorial in the Democrat bitterly denouncing Lindsay two weeks previous to the killing and the date of that event marked the first subsequent meeting of the men.

Schenck lived in east Sulphur while Lindsay resided in West Sulphur. When the editor went over on the west side and was seen by Lindsay it is alleged that the latter secured a shotgun and a copy of the paper containing the editorial, and walking up to the buggy in which Schneck was sitting, demanded that he eat the paper. The edior demurred, and it is alleged, Lindsay threw up the gun and fired twice, the first shot taking effect in the arm, which Schenck raised in front of his face for protecting and the second lead in the head nearly tearing off the top portion.

Considerable feeling was aroused following the killing and Lindsay was removed to the Cleveland county jail at Norman, his former place of residence for safe keeping. (The Daily Oklahoman, Tuesday, December 16, 1913, front page)

Bank Officials Under Arrest

Deputy State Commissioner Taken to Sulphur on Bribery Charge

Oklahoma City, May 26 – Charged with accepting a $45 overcoat as a present from the president of the defunct Bank of Commerce of Sulphur, Okla., Deputy State Bank Commissioner O. C. Carpenter was arrested here today and taken to Sulphur to answer charges contained in an indictment returned by a grand jury yesterday.

On the records of the bank the overcoat was charged. Carpenter refused to discuss his arrest. His attorney, M. M. Thomas, declared that he could not understand why the overcoat was charged to the bank. It was a personal present he said. Thomas characterized the indictment of Carpenter as a effort to make an outsider the “goat.”

The bank president, Charles Bryan, killed himself last winter after charges were made against him.

Sulphur, May 26 – Virtually every person indicted yesterday by the Murray county grand jury, which investigated the affairs of the defunct Bank of Commerce here, had been arrested late today and the making of bond had been completed. Date for the preliminary hearing has not yet been set.

I.E. Pacey, cashier, and E. T. White, teller, of the defunct bank, against whom 11 true bills were returned, voluntarily appeared before their bond of $26,000 each.

Ralph Rawlings, Sulphur attorney charged jointly with Pacey and White, with forging notes to deceive bank examiners, made bond of 42,000. H C. Carpenter of Oklahoma City, acting assistant state bank examiner, charged with corruption in office in connection with the failure of the bank, also was in Sulphur today and made bond.

True bills returned against Pacey and White charged them with receiving deposits in an insolvent bank, embezzlement, fraud and forging notes to deceive bank commissioners.

The grand jury returned 27 indictments, 20 of which were for felonies and 7 for misdemeanors. It was summoned by Judge W. L. Eagleton of Sulphur to investigate the affairs of the defunct bank. (The Tulsa World, Saturday, May 27, 1922, page 8) 


Two Slayers of Bride to Die – Claude Oliver and Nephew, George Oliver, Are to Be Electrocuted

McAlester, Aug. 24 – Two young farmers, who plotted the marriage of one and the subsequent murder of his bride in order to collect $5000 insurance on her life must die in the electric chair at state’s prison here shortly after midnight.

Claude Oliver, 28, and his nephew, George Oliver, 18, pleaded guilty at their trial at Sulphur last December but after being sentenced to death appealed to the criminal court of appeals for a commutation to life imprisonment.

This, however, was denied and Governor Murray, after twice staying the execution to permit filing of appeals and to study the case, destroyed their final hope yesterday with the terse dictum:
I’m going to let them go.

The 15 year old girl wife, whom Claude Oliver married last August and shortly thereafter insured for $5000, was beaten to death last Nov. 3 and her body left in an automobile which was hurtled from a bridge near Davis. A Negro allegedly was paid $25 to “witness” the ostensible accident.

Before her marriage, the bride was Della Ring of Wynnewood.

Two Confess

The two confessed that Claude drove the car while his nephew struck the girl-bride with a heavy file. Later, the husband held her while his nephew delivered the fatal blows with a tire iron.

The 18 year old nephew will be the youngest person ever executed in Oklahoma. The executions will be the 16th and 17th during Governor Murray’s administration and will bring the total since statehood to 41. Six others remain in the prison’s “death row.” (The Daily Ardmoreite, Wednesday, August 24, 1933, page 2)

Boy and Uncle Die in Chair

George Oliver and Claude Oliver Electrocuted in Penitentiary

McAlester, Aug. 25 – An 18 year old farm boy, the youngest of the 41 criminals who have died in Oklahoma’s electric chair, was executed early this morning with his uncle for the murder of the latter’s 15 year old bride.

A record throng of 227 witnesses, all men, watched the boy, George Oliver, precede his kinsman, Claude Oliver, in death shortly after midnight.

The two, Southern Oklahoma farmers, paid the extreme penalty for killing Della, Claude’s bride of three months, in an effort to collect the $5000 insurance policy they had obtained on her life.

This is bad, said George, as he was strapped in the chair. Just previously he had told the crowd:

I did a crime and now I must die for it. I feel like I am going to heaven. Young men – crime doesn’t pay.

His uncle died mumbling to himself. He had nothing to say to the witnesses.  (The Daily Ardmoreite, Friday, August 25, 1933, page 5)



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