Ada Evening News
Ada, Pontotoc County, Indian Territory (OK)
August - December 1907

Abstracted / Transcribed by Diron Ahlquist

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 Ada Evening News, August 1, 1907
J.E. Carter, U.S. Constable of Tishomingo, was here today enroute to Konawa on official matters.
Ada Evening News, August 6, 1907
Duties of District and County Officers
...Sheriff - Shall be the preserver of the peace. He shall serve all writs and other process from the courts in both civil and criminal cases. He shall apprehend and arrest all parties guilty of any infraction of the law. He shall be the custodian of the jail. He shall have full authority to appoint all deputy sheriffs.
...Constable - Shall receive and execute all process, both civil and criminal, issuing from the justict[sic] court. He shall be conservator of the peace. They have jurisdiction throughout the county and may appoint deputies.
Ada Evening News, August 9, 1907
Some Eloquent Figures
Appalling Amount Of Crime In Pontotoc County Traceable To Liquor
The Corner Saloon The Dispensary
The following words and figures speak for themselves, and most eloquently for a heavy vote in Pontotoc County for state-wide prohibition.
Ada, Ind. Terr., August 8th, 1907
To the Prohibition Executive Committee, Ada, Ind. Terr.
Gentlemen: In compliance with your request I have carefully examined the United States Commissioners' dockets, for Ada, Sulphur, and Roff, I.T., and herewith I submit the following report as a result of such examination:
Ada docket shows two hundred and twenty-three arraignments before U.S. Commissioner wherein the defendants were charged with the introduction and sale of whiskey.
Thirty murder cases also adorn the pages of these dockets where the evidence shows the defendants to have been under the influence of whiskey at the time the crime was committed.
Fifty-two assault to kill cases appear on the same dockets, evidence shows positively that whiskey was the cause.
Three cases of rape, three young men while intoxicated committed the horrible crime near Franks, I.T. and now languish in the United State penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.
Roff, I.T. Commissioners docket shows twenty-two defendants arrested on the charge of introducing and selling liquor.
Four cases of assault to kill where defendants were intoxicated appear on this docket.
One case of murder. The same old story, the defendant was intoxicated.
Sulphur, I.T. While there has been little Commissioner's work at this place, yet thirty defendants have appeared before his honor on the charge of introducing and selling whiskey.
The above reports I assume are absolutely correct and the docket at this place can best convince the doubtful. In addition I might say that there are many fugitives from justice charged with the crime of introducing and selling liquor, not included in this report. The largest number of these cases came direct from the famous Corner Saloon, at Corner, O.T. Wishing all kinds of success in your valuable work that means so much to the people of the new state, to Oklahoma, and assuring you that I will be at all times only too glad to assist you in your most worthy undertaking.
I am respectfully etc.
T.E. Brents
Office Deputy United States Marshal
P.S. I neglected to mention forty-one cases pending in the United States district court at this place where defendants are charged with introducing and selling liquor.
Ada Evening News, August 9, 1907
Oklahoma Notes
From Kansas City Times
Near an old Indian church in the neighborhood of Wewoka six murders have been committed in the last thirty days.
Ada Evening News, August 9, 1907
Dry In New Mexico
Guthrie, Aug. 8 - Deputy United States Marshal Dave Hadden, who has returned from his vacation in New Mexico, says that in the Southwest, where there is no irrigation, the settlers are in terrible straits. At Carlsbad he says there has been no rain for a year and cattle in great numbers are dying.
Ada Evening News, August 9, 1907
Dead Man's Branch
Gruesome Place Near Atoka
Scene Of Many Bloody Deeds
McAlester, Aug. 8 - No historian who cares for the reputation for truthfulness will ever attempt to write a history of the Choctaw Nation without mentioning the old road that leads from Atoka to Old Boggy Depot, a distance of twelve miles. Along this short road many murders have been committed, many robberies perpetrated by the bold highwaymen who once roamed at will over this country.
The most dreaded place, the most talked about, and where the greatest number of crimes have been committed is where the road crosses Sandy Creek, about two miles southwest of Atoka. At this point, many years ago, two men were found dead in the thick wood covering this lonely spot. It was then given the name of "Dead Man's Branch" and has carried the name to the present time.
A few years ago the mail carrier who traversed the route from Atoka to old Boggy Depot was murdered at the same spot where the two men had previously been found. The men who committed these murders were never apprehended and brought to justice; in fact, justice at that time was not lavishly dealt out to offenders in this country.
During the war between the states, Quantrell, in passing this dark and gloomy spot, hung five men there. One of them, it is related, was one of his own men who had disobeyed some of his orders, the others were union soldiers seeking recruits for the northern army.
After the Civil War a stage coach was held up at this place and its occupants robbed of all their money and valuables. About twenty years ago three men were traveling in a heavy spring wagon, stopped at the crossing and camped for the night. Next morning they were gone, but the investigation showed that they had been at work.
Near the road stood a large elm tree under which the men had camped. Starting from this tree they had measured a distance of more than one hundred and fifty feet in several directions. The lines being easily traced by the small stakes they had used and left sticking in the ground. At the end of one of these lines a hole had been dug about three feet deep and a large pot had been removed therefrom. Persons who now live in Atoka say they saw the place whence the pot was taken and who say from the imprint of the pot and its legs it much have been of full tend gallon capacity.
No one ever saw these men again or learned whence they came. People who now live near this crossing declare that ever once in a while men have been seen at this place during the night with lanterns, as if searching for something.
Strange to say, all the murders and robberies that have been committed at this place were all at or near the same spot. Even unto this day persons who have lived there for many years have a strange and uncanny feeling in passing this place and will go many miles around to avoid it, insisting that ....[DID NOT COPY REMAINDER]
Ada Evening News, August 9, 1907
For Obstructing RR Track
Deputy U.S. Marshal Burton of Purcell brought to Ada today two Negro boys charged with putting an obstruction on the Santa Fe track last Sunday. The U.S. Commissioner for that district is away on vacation, which necessitated bringing the prisoners before Judge Winn. Accompanying the officer as witnesses are L.G. Martin and W.J. Clements and W.W. Powers, special Santa Fe officer.
Ada Evening News, August 30, 1907
Booze Got Busted
A barrel of liquid at the Katy station consigned to Haskell Grocery Co., Ada, excited the suspicion of U.S. Deputy Marshal Chapman, and he broke into it, finding 18 gallons of whiskey, which he promptly consigned to the gutter. There were several reasons for suspecting something wrong: There is no such firm as Haskell Grocery in Ada; Charles N. is the only Haskell known in these parts and it is a notorious fact that he is neither on the booze side nor the barrel side in the present campaign.
Ada Evening News, September 5, 1907
News came here announcing the death of Noah McGill, a prominent Chickasaw Indian of Tishomingo.
Ada Evening News, September 23, 1907
Iron Teeth In Jury Charge
Judge Dickerson Enjoins Grand Jury To Indict For Liquor Offenses If Beverage Contains Least Bit Of Alcohol Or Malt - U.S. Court Formally Convened.
"If one sells liquor containing any alcohol whatever, or any malt, whatever be the name under which it is sold, it is your duty when the facts are brought before you, to indict that man." These words from Judge Dickerson in his charge to the grand jury constituted the most sensational feature of the opening day of U.S. Court.
"There is no such thing as the so-called 'Territorial Drinks'," continued he, "the Territory court of appeals has decided clearly that any drink is unlawful however small be the percent of alcohol or of malt. That is the law." The judge in his charge gave particular emphasis to violations of the liquor law, saying in that connection: "If any of you grand jurors need any bracing up of the backbone, you should find it in the results of the recent election on the prohibition issue, which show this community as well as nearly every other community in the territories, wants laws against liquor and wants them enforced. No longer can be urged the old argument for leniency and looseness that 'the people do not want the harsh laws against the liquor traffic enforced'.
In addition the court made special petit and the grand juries were impanelled[sic], and directly after noon he delivered his charge to the latter, whereupon he proceeded to sound the civil docket to ascertain how many cases were ready for trial.
The following representative citizens of Pontotoc county constitute the grand jury:
J.C. Cates, foreman, R.E. Hayens, J.A. Biles, J.F.M. Harris, H.C. Russell, T. Spencer, H.A. Hodges, C.M. McClain, N.B. Butler, Price Statler, W.P. Chism, J.S. Gish, Jno. McKoy, M.M. Sanders, J.H. Hilburn, W.W. Burkhart.
These fifteen were sworn in as petit jurymen and fifteen more talesmen were ordered summoned:
Vic Florence, W.L. Jones, P.M. Jinks, R.W. Rhea, W.H. Nettles, R.W. Campbell, G.W. Lowrey, Cole Emory, W.H. Ryan, John Murphy, J.W. Salter, J.M. Sawyers, Geo. Garrett, J.R. Allen, Wiley Hunt.
The genial Colonel Tom Smith is at his post as court crier; Miss Alma Harrison, from Chickasha, is the court stenographer this term; Judges Alexander Gullet and Eugene Hamilton represent the government in the prosecution...
Ada Evening News, October 5, 1907
"Pussy-foot" Himself Pinched
Muskogee, I.T., Oct. 5 - While engaged in a raid yesterday Special Officer William E. Johnson of the Interior Department was arrested by the city police on a charge of malicious mischief and disturbing the peace. Four of his deputies were also arrested on a similar charge.
In retaliation, Johnson had Joe Lightie arrested on a charge of introducing intoxicating liquor.
While the raid was in progress, 2,000 people followed the officers from place to place.
Ada Evening News, October 6, 1907
Indictments Number 198
It was published in The News that the recent grand jury returned 160 true bills, but Deputy Marshal T.E. Brents has carefully totaled them and finds they reach the enormous number of 198. Very few arrests have been, as yet, made on these indictments, it having been such a task to make out all the warrants.
Ada Evening News, October 24, 1907
What "Pussy-foot" Has Done
Tell New Yorkers He Smashed 216,081 Pints In 14 Months
New York, Oct. 24 - William E. Johnson, better known in the Indian Territory as "Pussyfoot", "boozebreaker", and good prohibitionist, spoke this week at the Hohunk conference, being held on the Smiley estate in the Catskill mountains, and told of his work in the Indian Territory as a special U.S. officer to suppress the illegal traffic.
Johnson spoke immediately after Francis E. Loupp, commissioner of Indian affairs. He told at length of conditions in the territory, of the ways of the Indian and his white brother, of the wonderful possibilities and the extraordinary actualities of the new state of Oklahoma, and then came to his own remarks.
In his remarks, Mr. Johnson gave some interesting statistics of the activities of himself and his personal deputies during the fourteen months in which he has been engaged in enforcing the law in the Indian Territory and Oklahoma. These seizures and arrests are solely those of Mr. Johnson and his personal deputies, and do not include at all the arrests by deputy marshals and other regular United States officers.
"During the fourteen months, I have made 1537 separate seizures of intoxicating liquor and have made 892 arrests in liquor cases that resulted in binding over to the grand jury or grand jury indictments. This does not include probably a hundred prisoners who were turned loose on account of insufficient evidence. The liquor seizures consisted of the following items:
Alcohol, 359 gallons
Choctaw beer, 1,652 gallons
Cider, 4,621 gallons
Intoxicating bitters, 5,914 bottles
Beer, 109,858 pints
Wine, 402 pints
Whiskey, 46,417 pints
Other liquors, 194 pints
These seizures were almost entirely in small amounts. The average value of the goods in each of these 1,535 seizures according to the current retail price of same, was only about $361[?61?]. In addition to this, we have raided 75 gambling houses in which was summarily destroyed $15,000[?] worth of property and convicted ninety-three gamblers. The total value of property destroyed by us in these raids is $118,529[?]".
Ada Evening News, October 25, 1907
Ada Now Absolutely Dry
All Twe[sic] Per Cent Beer Joints Closed By Deputy U.S. Marshal Brents
No More Malt Liquors, However Weak Will Be Tolerated Sold
During the forenoon, Deputy U.S. Marshal T.E. Brents served notice on all the six drink joints of Ada that they must cease doing business and close at high noon and stay closed as long as the federal officers have authority in this section - in other words, until statehood is proclaimed. All jointists have apparently complied and Ada is now as "dry" as any town has been.
It's been many a day since Ada was what is termed a "wide open" town, one where it was easy to procure intoxicating liquors.
But because of more or less uncertainty about the law, the officers have not vigorously fought the sale of weak malt liquors, the so called "2 per cent" beers. So Ada like most other towns of the Territory has supported all along several "joints" whose chief income was from the sale of such beer, but it appears to be all over now, at least, until statehood, then the problem will be up to the county officers to grapple with.
Deputy Brents returned from Ardmore this morning with orders from Marshal Porter to close em up, and later he received a telegram from Sam Cone, "Pussy-foot" Johnson's deputy containing like orders. It appears that Johnson's force and the U.S. Marshal are co-operating in this shutdown in the Southern District and probably the lid is being put on tight today in all towns in the Chickasaw Nation. Dealers are being generously allowed time to ship stocks of goods back to the brewers. Those who try to sell anymore will be arrested and their goods smashed.
It is thought the jointists will lie quiet for a few days, until statehood is proclaimed, then try once more to ply their vocation.
It is even possible that many will try to conduct an outright saloon business. Many bar fixtures are being shipped into the Territory just now, which is ominous of such an attempt. Two Denison men have already tried it at Roff. They started out selling genuine "Blue Ribbon" beer at 25 cents a bottle, it is reported, but very soon the officers put a quash on their business and each of them is now under bond to answer to the grand jury.
Ed Brents says the lid is certainly going to stay on tight now as long as he remains an officer in Ada.
Ada Evening News, October 26, 1907
A Bunch of Bonds
Office Deputy U.S. Marshal T.E. Brents announces that during October he has taken appearance bonds to the aggregate amount of $49,900 - and October is not yet out. These bonds have been given to defendants indicted by the last grand jury in most cases accused of violations of the liquor law.
Ada Evening News, October 26, 1907
Father And Sons Arrested
S.R. Tarkington and sons, Steve and Gus, in custody of Deputy U.S. Marshal Hammer, were brought in from Mill Creek today on the charge of disposing of liquor. All three readily furnished appearance bonds.
Ada Evening News, November 7, 1907
T.E. Brents, office deputy U.S. marshal, after keeping afoot and at work for days though afflicted with eye trouble, had to go to bed last night, surrendering to a serious attack of stomach disorder.
Ada Evening News, November 13, 1907
City Marshal Shot Boy
Tulsa, I.T. Nov. 4 - John Ellis, marshal of Skiatook, a small town just north of this city, is under arrest here charged with the murder of Lon Henderson, a young boy. It is said that Henderson was shot by Ellis while resisting arrest. Ellis will have a hearing before the United States Commissioner today.
Ada Evening News, November 13, 1907
Wycliffes Will Surrender
Cherokee Outlaws Arrange To Give Up To County Authorities On Statehood Day
Muskogee, IT Nov 13 - Tom, Charlie, and Jim Wycliffe, the three Cherokee outlaws who, after killing a deputy marshal, have defied the efforts of the government to capture them for more than a year, have announced that they will voluntarily surrender at Tahlequah, Saturday, immediately after the statehood proclamation has been issued and the present regime of marshals in Indian Territory is out of office.
The surrender of the Wycliffs[sic] will be one of the big features of the statehood celebration at Tahlequah. The plan of the Wycliffes[sic] seems to be complete. Through their friends they have conducted negotiations with the county officers-elect of Cherokee County, made arrangements to give bond and in all probability, they will not go to jail at all but will be released upon their bond.
The career of the Wycliffes has been spectacular. While scouting from the officers, charged with murder on March 11, 1906, they ambushed and killed Deputy Marshal Ike Gilstrap who, with a posse, was after them, and wounded two deputies. The fight took place in a ravine in the Spavinaw hills. Marshal Darrough called upon the government for assistance in running down the Wycliffes. He was given 100 picked men and a month was spent in the pursuit, but the Wycliffes were never approached by an officer and they were never more than 50 miles from the scene of ambush.
The bitter hatred of the Cherokees for the officers and the extremely rough country enabled the outlaws to elude their pursuers successfully. Bloodhounds were put on the trail and the hounds were killed. Marshal Darrough finally gave up, thoroughly baffled. The chase cost the government about $6,000.
In the meantime the movements of the Wycliffes were well known to their friends and newspaper men went into the fastnesses of the Cherokee Hills, sought out the outlaws, found them and got their statements.
They have always declared that they were willing to stand trial in the state courts and could prove ample justification for killing Gilstrap, but they could not get a fair trial in the hands of the federal officials.
It is understood that one of the pleas of the defense will be that Gilstrap went to the home of Charlie Wycliffe and insulted Mrs. Wycliffe and that the father of the three outlaws had been nearly beaten to death by another deputy marshal because he refused to give information as to the whereabouts of the boys.
Ada Evening News, November 14, 1907
Brents Honored With Deputyship
Office Deputy U.S. Marshal T.E. Brents, who has made good during his service at Ada, has been lifted still higher by his chief, G.A. Porter, the recently appointed U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District under statehood. Today Mr. Brents received his commission as office deputy at Muskogee with instructions to go at once and take charge. He will leave tomorrow. For the present, Mrs. Brents and the rest of the family will probably remain in Ada since Mr. Brents does not wish the childrens' school work interrupted.
Ada Evening News, November 14, 1907
Dr.[sic] T.E. Brents returned from a business trip to Western Oklahoma.
Ada Evening News, November 14, 1907
D.E. Booker, ex-city marshal, of Ardmore and an old time peace officer in this county, is in the city on land business.
Ada Evening News, November 14, 1907
Making Ready For Change
Federal Officials Winding Up Business - Officers Elect Preparing To Begin
There is considerable activity in official circles these days on the eve of statehood. Federal officers are busy getting ready to quit business, while the county officers are making what preparations they can to begin business.
Deputy U.S. Marshal T.E. Brents has already sent in his reports, and has turned over office supplies and fixtures to his chief, U.S. Marshal Porter, at Ardmore. His office now looks pretty bare. Nothing remains for the local force but to preserve the peace until the hour of statehood.
The most voluminous part of the winding up task falls upon the U.S. Clerk's office. It will not be possible for Deputy Constant to have all records ready to turn over to District Clerk W.T. Cox before some time next week.
A sto[sic] the disposition of pending criminal cases there is grave perplexity. It is clearly the intent of the enabling act and of the state constitution to transfer the bulk of such cases to the state courts for trial. But it is not clear which ones shall be tried by the new federal court, and which by the state tribunals....[MORE BUT DID NOT GET COPIED]
Ada Evening News, November 20, 1907
At The Court House
...The county commissioner have chosen Frank Hall as constable to succeed Jerome Looper, who removed to New Mexico. They have also been busy today passing on official bonds and fixing up other matters about the court house.
Ada Evening News, November 20, 1907
Under Sheriff S.T. McClure was in Stonewall today serving court processes.
Ada Evening News, December 2, 1907
Jno. Scribner of Ada and Miss Katie Stick of Stonewall were united in marriage at Stonewall yesterday afternoon. The wedding was a very quiet affair, only a few friends being present. Mrs. Scribner, the bride, is the daughter of Wm. Stick one of the most prominent Indians in this part of the new state and the groom, Mr. Scribner, is one of Ada's well known business men being the junior partner of the firm of Moss & Scribner. Mr. and Mrs. Scribner will reside in Ada.
Ada Evening News, December 2, 1907
Alleged Horse Thief Proves His Innocence
Last week the sheriff's office here was notified that a horse belonging to W.T. Hart of Purcell had been stolen and for all officers to look out for the horse and Chas. Vantrees. Yesterday Deputy Sheriff Geo. Culver arrested Vantrees with the horse, but could not hold him as Mr. Hart withdrew his complaint as Vantrees proved that he had hired the horse. Mr. Culver is satisfied as he collected his reward of $35.00.
Ada Evening News, December 2, 1907
names City Marshal of Ada Dick Couch.

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