Old Greer County was a part of the "Wild West" for about forty seven years. First as a part of Texas, then as Greer County, Oklahoma Territory. Cattlemen and cowboys moved in, followed by "nesters", farmers who came to plow and tame the land. As people moved in, so did the Lawmen and Outlaws, crimes of passion and assorted disputes, which at times ended in the death of someone. Then the Courts came along, summoning citizens for jury duty, to hear the trials and make decisions.
The Sun Monitor and the Mangum Star, from 1898 to 1903, published in Mangum, Greer County, Oklahoma Territory reported the news of marriages, deaths, funerals, court case, murders, and general "good times" stories that happened in the County.
This page explores some of those news worthy events in Law and Disorder, exerpted from the early issues of the Sun Monitor and Mangum Star. It contains many names of the citizens of Greer County, Oklahoma Territory, both the good and the bad.
District Court, Feb. 26, 1898, Mangum Star
Claude Kimbell, Murder - acquitted; Green Kellem, Theft - thrown out; Louis Crabtree, Gambling - guilty;
Aug. 2, 1899, Mangum Star
A. West shot and killed L. Newman, in SW Greer County, Sunday. Partners in cattle, conducted a large ranch. Family trouble - improper overtures to the wife of West. (Third attempt)
March 21, 1900, Mangum Star
J. A. Bolin kills Will Elzey, bad feelings over a tract of land. Mr. Bolin returning from Mangum when he was accosted on the prairie by Elzey, drew revolvers and began shooting. Each fired three shots, Bolin hitting his aim just above the eye. Gave up to Sheriff, in jail. Elzey lived 8 hours.
District Court, May 2, 1901, Jury Selection, Sun Monitor
Petit Jury: S. J. Berry; C. W. Cole; H. C. Maxwell; J. W. Gray; G. R. Moore; B. Jennings; E. J. Frizzell; J. B. Richardson; L.O. Floyd; D. P. Roach; C. M. Jones; W. E. Webb; N. P. Byars; F. W. Gilbert; Don MacQueen; T. D. Lyle; T. F. Harris; Wiley Zinn; J. H. Simpson; B. F. Simpson; J. P. Henderson; C. F. Howser; T. J. Moody; W. E. Lanning; A. P. Slayton; J. A. Jones; I. Kamenzind; W. R. Morrow; W. E. Wells; W. H. Harrington; J. O. Turner; J. W. DickeyWiley Mudget; C. H. Gibson; J. B. Wakefield;
Grand Jury: A. J. Simmons; C. W. Churchhill; U A Silk; J. H. Grimes; G. W. Break; J. A. Avery; T. B. Eaton; J. B. Lock; W. M. McAlister; J. W. Price; E. C. Lowder; D. Jones; R. S. Waddell; W. A. Eason; Doc Bellows; H. C> Inklebarger; H. H. Terry; E. E> Russell, J. K. Coodner; Claud Hood; J. E> Johnston; J. A. Price; R. L. Marsh; J. B. Hess; O. C. Moore; Lem Roby; J. M. Berry; E. N. Whittiker; D. A. Stayton.
May 9, 1900, Mangum Star
Eldorado Killing. Cage Beach and his brother Luke Beach attempted to drive cattle across the premises of Noah Wise and William Collins when they were forbidden. War Broke out. First shot by Collins who inflicted a serious wound in Cage Beach's face. Beach rose on his elbow killed Collins on the spot. Wise got a shot just below the heart. Luke Beach getting his left arm shot off.
May 23, 1901, Sun Monitor
J. A. Bolin charged with the murder of killing William Elzey, had trouble over the dividing line of property. Bolin acquited.
Court Cases, May 23, 1901, Mangum Star
Territory vs Luke Beach, not guilty.
Territory vs Cage Beach, murder, not guilty
Territory vs A. West, murder, not quilty
Territory vs D. B. Hobson, killing of A. E. Gibson about a year ago, in court.
Territory vs Noah Wise, murder, not guilty
Attorneys at Court: A. M. Stewart; C. H. Alldredge; J. M. Dillard; J. D. Morse
District Court Cases, May 30, 1901, Mangum Star
D. B. Hudson for killing A. E. Gibson, not guilty
Joe Foster for killing Buntrock, case continued
July 25, 1901, Sun Monitor
Martha Picnic. Deputy Sheriff Tom Burden arrested Jesse Martin for carrying a revolver. While they were still on the grounds, Carl Crosby came riding up on a horse. Martin stopped to talk to him and Crosby dismounted. Martin immediately jumped on the horse and started to escape. Officer Burden made a rush and grabbed at him catching his shirt sleeve and tearing it off. Martin got away and Officer Burden arrested Crosby for helping Martin escape and brought him and Martin's sleeve to jail. Crosby claimed to be innocent, but finally concluded to plead guilty and was fined $10 and costs. Martin can get his shirt sleeve by calling on Jailor Bragg.
Aug. 1, 1901, Sun Monitor
Horse stealing going on. Horses missing from John Crooks, of Bettina, R. E. Boyd, Mr. Latham, near Francis and N. G. Betenbough of Reed.
Oct. 24, 1901
Killing at Leger. M. M. Welch, prominent business man was shot and killed instantly by I. N. Ennis, real estate agent. Ennis pleaded self defence and was out on bail.
May 8, 1902, Sun Monitor
Leger thieves who stole three horses and burglarized a store at Leger returned empty handed. Police reported that they followed the theives into the Indian Big PastureSW of Lawton and lost them.
June 5, 1902, Sun Monitor
May Martin brought back from Arkansas for trial for death of baby. Six people arrested in killing.
June 12, 1902, Mangum Star
Blair Infant Murdered. Martin, Shipman, Brown. Sheriff Tom Burden arrested Brown for murder, no date ca April 1902. Story of Sheriff going to Arkansas after Martin.
July 3, 1902, Sun Monitor
Roger Mills Sheriff and Deputy killed by horse thieves. Sheriff Jack Bullard, formerly lived in Greer County., 38 years old, John Cogburn killed. Murderers were Sam Green and Pete Whitehead.
Aug. 21, 1902, Sun Monitor
Grand Jury, 70 names drawn for jury duty. U. J. Davis, Granite; J. M. Ferris, Navajoe; W. H. Skaggs,Francis; W. E. Chism, Coralea; Tom Brothers, Jester; O. P. Durham, Eldorado; Frank Dacus, Granite; Fount Frost, Delhi; W. H. Harvick, Eldorado; E. T. Davis, Erick; W. H. Powers, Francis; I. Mills, Louis; J. M. Kelley, Navajoe; H. M. McMath, Mangum; R. L. Waggoner, Mangum; A. T. Stowe, Mangum; G. L. Moss, Warren; A. H. Richarson, Francis; J. L. Herd, Mangum; S. K. Powers, Duke; W. H. Morgan, Eldorado; M. L. Langham, Francis; E. H. Stroud, Dunbar; J. T. Kimble, Altus; R. L. Teeter, Leger; J. W. Bailey, Dunbar; Ira Hood, Delhi; H. P. West, Eldorado; R. Stinnett, Navajoe; W. P. Vermillion, Martin.
Petitt Jury, L. A> Catlett, Reed; A. J. Conner, Bettina; J. J. Chaney, Martha; R. E. Willis, Yeldell; John Billingsley, Mangum; T. H. Evans, Granite, O. A. Lock, Bloomington; R. O. Weems, Carmel; P. L. Ponder, Reed; S. H. Sheriff, Louis; C. W. Robinson, Francis; E. D. McGregor, Altus; B. D. Smith, Carmel; T. F. Shrewder, Dryden; K. A. Dunn, Duke; W. S. Canter, Aaron; E. J. Roberts, Bloomington; J. M. Lynn, Looney; W. T. Hughes, Carmel; W. R. Bradley, Willowvale; Henry Farmer, Koreb; C. Whitt, Blair; L. S. Hughes, Mangum; W. R. Payne, Duke; Dave Elms, Lock; J. C. Collins, Granite; J. L. Sweet, mangum; A. J. Merritt, Martha; T. I. Truscott, Olustee; R. V. Hand, Dock; B. E. Shives, Navajoe; Geo. L. Wright, Willowvale; G. C> Smith, Duke; B. R. Cameron, Mangum; J. C. Holley, Witt; J. L. Ellison, Eldorado; J. D. Franks, Coralea; R. C. Hannah, Mangum; John Absher, Delhi; A. P. Pierce, Mangum.
Sept. 11, 1902, Mangum Star
Grand Jury: J. M. Ferris; W. H. Skags; Fount Frost; W. M. Harvick; I. Mills; J. M. Kelley; H. B. McMath; A. T. Stowe; J. L. Herd; S. K. Powers; W. H. Morgan; M. L. Langham; E. H. Stroud; R. A. Teeter; H. P. West; R. Stinnett
Sept. 28, 1902, Mangum Star
Territory vs. Yarborough, burglary, hung jury
Territory vs Bert Taylor, larceny, continued by agreement
Territory vs Nason, larceny, dismissed
Following cases continued on motion of defendent
Territory vs Prat Smith, larceny
Territory vs Henry Kimball, assault with attempt to kill
Territory vs Will Clements, assault with attempt to kill
Territory vs Barton Russ, burglary
Territory vs Lewis Crabtree assault with deadly weapon
Territory vs Wesley Wimes, larcency
Territory vs Marshall Balsam, assault with dealy weapon
Territory vs Lee Truitt, larcency, hung jury
Territory vs g. M. Jarbo, assault
Territory vs R. E. Bullock, obtaining money under false pretense
Territory vs E. M. Stockbridge and Will Maxwell, feloniously killing domestic animals
Territory vs Thomas Cates, rape
Territory vs. E. M. Stockbridge, killing cattle
Territory vs Sid Woodring, stealing animals
Theodore Wiseman, larceny
Wm. Huff, larceny
J. H. Green, obtaining money falsely
L. H. McConnell, advising miscarriage
Sept. 25, 1902, Sun Monitor
First Man Sentenced To Life From Greer County: Joe Foster for murder of August Bunrock. Foster mean, drunk, stabbed Bunrock without provocation.
Nov. 12, 1902, Sun Monitor
Territory vs. Bob Williams, assault, acquitted
Territory vs. Frank Churny, larceny, guilty, $10.00
Territory vs Henry Haddock, acquitted
Territory vs. R. S. Lewis, not guilty
Territory vs J. H. Jenkins, carrying pistol and brass knucks, guilty, $25.00
Territory vs Charles Gore, carrying pistol, $25.00 plus costs
Territory vs Jno. Turner, discharging fire arms, guilty
Territory vs g. W. Kleck, shooting a mule, convicted and fined
Territory vs J. C. Settles, maltreating an animal, continued
Territory vs Ed Mullens, carrying knucks, continued
Territory vs T. A. Willis, carrying pistol, continued
Territory vs Geo. McKibbin, wounding a cow, continued
Territory vs J. G. Martin, killing an animal, dismissed
Territory vs R. S. Lewis, malicious mischief, not gulty
Territory vs S. H. Presler, carrying pistol, continued
Territory vs Jon Molden, killing domestic animal, continued
Territory vs Doc brock, B. W. Tedder, unlawfully selling liquor, continued
Territory vs Vessie Mathis carrying pistol, not arraigned
Territory vs Branch Buntin, killing domestic animal, not arraigned
Territory vs Ed Cansler, appealed from Justice Court, not arraigned
Jan. 1, 1903, Mangum Star
Letter: Pilot Point. Texas, 12-22-02: Inclosed find one dollar for some chickens I stole from you once. I am saved and sanctified and on my way to heaven and I don't want to hear them chickens squalling when I get there. Yours in Christ, Charles Busby
Jan. 1, 1903, Sun Monitor
Deputy Sheriff Bud Love Stopped By Women With Gun. She Meant Business and He Left.
Deputy Sheriff Bud Love has a reputation for getting what he goes after. He is cool headed, steady nerved, very determined and fears not man, beast or the devils, but under certain circumstances when he had a woman to deal with he will show the white feathers. This was demonstrated a few days ago. Officer Love was sent out near Reed to get some horses on an execution. Love found the place. There were no men folks about, but a woman met him at the door of the house and he told her his business.He was walking toward the the lot where the horses were when someone came hurriedly down the path behind him and ordered him to stop. He looked around, it was the woman he had met at the door of the house and she had a wicked looking gun which she held with the business end toward his heart. In the words of Sir Walter Scott :
Bud Love was brave, but to his heart,
The life blood rushed with sudden start....
Had it been a man who had tackled him he would have acted promptly and settled the matter quickly, but it was a woman and she in such condition physically as to cause Mr. Love to realize at once that over exertion or excitement might bring results that would add greatly to then tragic appearance of the scene. He bowed politely, said, "Very well, Madam, I will retire," got on his horse and rode home, humming to himself as he rode along. There are moments when you want to be alone.
Jan. 1, 1903, Sun Monitor
Cordell Tragedy: A. J. Johnson shot and killed by J. A. White, editor of Cordell Beacon.
Feb. 19, 1903, Mangum Star
Territory vs D. R. Williams, forgery, guilty
Territory vs W. W. Brooks, dismissed
Territory vs Lee Truitt, Herman French, theft of horses belonging to Mr. Talkington near Leger, facts so strong that they plead guilty. Larceny against French dismissed, Truitt 2 years, French 1 year
Territory vs Jas. Pierce, 2 cases theft of cattle, 1899, dismissed
Territory vs R. E. Brown, charged with taking diamond ring, $16.00 from a friend near Francis. Guilty of larceny, fined
Territory vs. Jno Allen, 2 cases grand larceny
Territory vs Lt. Byers, selling liquor to minor, bail
Territory vs Jas. F. Dun, grand larceny, plea not guilty, bond
Territory vs. Thomas Cates, rape, all witnesses testified for Dun, verdict not guilty.
Territory vs. Pratt Smith, larceny
Territory vs. H. B. Kensel, obtaining money under false pretenses
Territory vs. T. V. Turner, murder, asked for change of venue, granted to Hobart
Territory vs J. C. Collins, money through false pretenses, fined, pleaded guilty, jail sentence.
Territory vs Frank Churny, attempt to kill
Territory vs Sid Woodring, continued
Territory vs E. N. Stockbridge, continued
Territory vs L. H. McConnell, submitted to Grand Jury
Territory vs. May Martin, continued
Territory vs Aaron Brown, guilty of manslaughter, 5 years
Territory vs Martin Wilson, A. B. Marchman, and Mose Walls, resubmitted to Grand Jury, manslaughter, 90 days jail, fine.
Territory vs W. Huey, dismissed
Territory vs Hugh Heath, plea not guilty
Territory vs T. N. Wilmore, plea not guilty
Territory vs Walter hunter, continued
Territory vs Lon Hunter, continued
Territory vs. Will Clements, continued
Territory vs R. I. Duncan
Territory vs Will Maxwell, continued
Territory vs W. Huff, continued
Territory vs Martin Wilson, for murder, went to jury, manslaughter, 90 days in jail, fine
Feb. 26, 1903, District Court: Territory vs Lewis Crabtree, assault, guilty, 30 days in jail
Territory vs Al Yantis, dismissed
Territory vs Barton Russ, burglary, hung jury
March 5, 1903, Sun Monitor
Grand Jury Chosen: W. R. Roberts; A. Gleason; R. B. Howard; J. D. Tewart; J. T. Neely; R. A. Bynum; G. W. Jackson; J. R. Eccles; R. A. Vinson; A. N. Sanders; G. S. Roberts; Frank Dudick; R. A. Henderson; R. T. Procus; J. C. Mills; L. G. Loden; M. J. DeLong; H. P. Reeves; J. A. Robinson; W. R. McWilliams; J. D. Sentell; B. B. Talley; T. J. Robb; S. Brunck; S. A. Templer; W. M. Duran; W. M. Wicker; C. R. Garner: J. T. Thompson>
March 5, 1903, Sun Monitor
Texas Ranger, Capt. W. H. McDonald was in Mangum for court this last week. Old Settlers will remember McDonald and Sheriff Mathews of Childress who got in a shooting match where Mathews was killed and McDonald tried for murder but acquitted on grounds of self defense.
June 25, 1903, Mangum Star
J. L. Crabtree dead, suicide, who lives south of Cameron Lumber company, early settler, love for whiskey and gambling worked his downfall.
July 2, 1903, Mangum Star
Will Baysinger shot Charlie Williams, in Olustee, last Friday, charged with murder. Baysinger, has resided in Olustee for several years. Williams deceased lived in Olustee two years. Difficulty occured last Friday, 26th at Mat L. Cowan, 7 miles SE of Olustee. There was a fist fight, separated a few minutes, shots by Baysinger, Williams grabbed an axe and hurled it. Williams died the following day.
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