Okfuskee County, Oklahoma
Crime News Gleanings


DEATH IN CHURCH ENDS OLD QUARREL
Okfuskee County Black Settles Difference With Revolver - Posses Are Out.
Welectka, Okla., Aug. 24.--(Special)--Hayward Atkins was killed, Joe Collins was fatally wounded while sitting in church during services at Clearview this evening. Calvin Buford is being sought by posses which are scouring Okfuskee county tonight. All three are Negroes.
The men had quarreled before, and it is said that Buford walked up to the church and fired through the window at his two enemies. There is no fear of mob violence in case the man is caught. (The Daily Oklahoman, August 25, 1910 - Transcribed by C. Anthony)


WOMAN LYNCHED BY SIDE OF SON
Okfuskee County Mob Takes Double Revenge for Officer's Death.
Bridge is Gallows.
Jailer Bound and Gagged While Blacks Pay Penalty for Crime.
Muskogee, Okla., May 25.--Mary Nelson, Negress, and her son, eighteen years old, were taken out of the county jail of Okfuskee county, at Okemah, Wednesday midnight and hanged to the timbers of a bridge over the North Canadian river six miles away.
The mob which formed quietly, went to the jail and bound and gagged Lawrence Payne, the jailer, then taking his keys they went to the cells and taking the two Negroes out, bound them. The two bodies were found this morning still hanging to the bridge.
The members of the mob were masked and the jailer states that he had no idea who any of them were. The work was done so quietly that the town was not aroused and no one knew of the lynching until this morning except those who were engaged in it.
Two weeks ago Deputy Sheriff George H. Loney went to the Nelson home in search of some stolen meat. He found it and started to make an arrest when he was shot and killed. Both the Nelson woman and the son at first claimed to have fired the fatal shot, but it was later admitted that it was the son who fired it.
The husband of the woman was arrested at that time and sent to the penitentiary for larceny. After the Nelson woman and her son were taken they confessed that they had deliberately laid a plot to kill Loney. About a week ago, when Jailer Payne went into the cells, the Nelson woman attacked and tried to overpower him and get his revolver. He fought her off and finally subdued her. J. A. Dunnegan, the sheriff of Okemah county, was completely surprised by the mob Wednesday night. He did not know of what was going on until Thursday morning and states that he had never even heard a rumor of an attempt of lynching. (The Daily Oklahoman, May 26, 1911 - Transcribed by C. Anthony)


THREE MINISTERS CAUGHT SEINING
Eighty Persons Arrested in Okfuskee County at One Time.
Mass Meeting Held.
Indignation Has Spent Its Force But They Refuse to be Fined.

There have been mass-meetings and indignation meetings galore during the last few days among the prominent citizens of Weleetka, Okfuskee county. No race problem or other burning issue of the kind agitated the minds of the citizens who assembled to discuss their wrongs. It was all on account of the arrest of eighty residents of the place by a deputy from the state game warden's office, who charged that illegal seining had been going on in the North Canadian river. It is said that two or three ministers of the gospel were among those who were accused of casting their nets well but not wisely.
The trouble developed last Friday. W. D. Shallenbarger is deputy game warden for the section, but as there were many of his neighbors and friends among those charged with violations of the game laws, the arrests were not made by him, but by Deputy Warden Mullins, who was sent to Weleetka to serve the warrants.
Following the arrests a mass-meeting was held and three persons entered pleas of guilty. They received the customary fine of $50 and costs, the total in the three cases amounting to $175. The other seventy-seven refused to plead guilty or to stand for any fine, and they clubbed together, raised $175, and paid the fines and costs of the trio who pleaded guilty.
Then the indignation meetings began in earnest and there were threats among some of the bolder spirits of burning the residence of Deputy Warden Shallenberger, although he had nothing to do with the arrests. Talk of violence was confined to threats, however, and so far no active demonstration has been made. It is reported Wednesday that the popular indignation has about spent its force, and while the citizens who were so unfortunate as to have charges of violation of the law placed against them, "just naturally have it in" for deputy game wardens on general principles, there probably will be no more expressions of bitterness-- and no more seining. (The Daily Oklahoman, August 31, 1911 - Transcribed by C. Anthony.)

Escaped Convict Caught
Special to the World - Malester, December 7.—George Smith, the last of the trio of state prisoners who scaled the walls of the penitentiary October 12, was recaptured in Kansas City today, according to telegraphic reports to prison officials. An officer has been sent for him. Smith was serving seven years for burglary from Okfuskee County. (December 8, 1916 Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK) Volume: XII Issue: 79 Page: 1)


MOTHER HELD PRISONER IN ATTIC IN OIL PLOT FREED - - CHILD DEAD
By Associated Press State Wire
OKEMAH, Okla., Feb. 6. – Mrs. Bessie Baker, 17 years old, was released from the attic of her home today by county officers, where she says she has been held a prisoner for eight months by her husband, whom she declared had entered into a conspiracy with others to get control of valuable oil property in the Beggs field which the wife owns. The husband was arrested today on complaint of the wife.
Mrs. Baker told the officers that during her “imprisonment” she became a mother, but that the child died because the husband had denied her and the child medical attention. When the wife was rescued the body of the baby, which had been dead two hours, was lying in the bed with her.
The wife implicates Mr. and Mrs. Curly Martin, with whom they were living, as co-conspirators with her husband. Martin is said to be held in the county jail at Okmulgee on a charge of murder in connection with the killing of a negro some time ago.
Suit was filed today in the district court at Okmulgee to recover the land which the wife alleges the husband had secured from her illegally during her “imprisonment” in the attic. Defendants to the action are Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Martin, Roy A. Hockensmith of Okmulgee, B. T. Huddleston of Okemah, Hunter Montgomery and Ernest Day.
Mrs. Frank Cole, a neighbor, who discovered the “imprisoned” girl, said she was frantic with grief and that she did not know that her baby had died until she was released.
[SOURCE: Tulsa World (Oklahoma) February 7, 1920, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman].


MURDER CHARGE FILED
OKEMAH, Okla., Dec. 22. – Charges of first degree murder were filed here today against Oscar Gaylor of Prague and Dick Roberts, a farmer living near Garrison City. They are charged with the murder of Bob Hughes, an Oklahoma prize fighter who died in an hour and a half after a shooting affair which occurred near a restaurant in Garrison City Sunday night.
[SOURCE: Miami District Daily News, Miami, Oklahoma, December 22, 1922, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman].


CAUGHT MAKING "STILL"

Okemah, Dec. 21 - Bruce Wishow and M. M. Wells were arrested Tuesday afternoon and placed in the county jail by Sheriff L. M. Collier on a charge of manufacturing whiskey. When arrested Wishow was at work on a large and complete still of 55 gallons capacity, the outfit being located in a ravine about three miles north of Mason. Five barrels of mash was at the still ready for cooking. A few minutes after the arrest of Wishow, Wells came strolling down the ravine and he was also garnered in. (Tulsa World, December 22, 1922, page 12)


 




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