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Introduction - Alive If Possible, Dead If Necessary PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee Cordry   
Tuesday, 18 May 2010 22:17


On a cold December day in 1926, Oklahoma Governor Martin E. Trapp looked on as veteran peace officer H. A. Thompson joined five other lawmen in carrying a casket down the steps of the First Christian Church in Oklahoma City. A forty-five man honor guard of the Oklahoma City Police Department was part of a crowd of four hundred and fifty people attending the funeral service of State Operative Luther Bishop. Thompson was a special agent for the Frisco railroad. Sharing his burden were Claude Tyler, W. E. Snelson, James Brown, Sam Tulk, and Charles Woorley. Each of the men had served as peace officers for many years and was aware of the dangers which they faced. Thompson, perhaps more than the others, understood the true challenge confronting the lawmen of Oklahoma, where outlaws would resort to any means, including murder, to avoid capture.

Prior to statehood, infamous gangs such as the James brothers, the Youngers, the Daltons, and the Doolins all sought refuge at one time or another in the Indian Territory. In those days the chief law enforcement officers were Deputy U.S. Marshals. From about 1875 through 1900, over one hundred marshals who rode for the federal court in Fort Smith lost their lives in the line of duty.1 The grim reality is that law and order in the early days of Oklahoma was a deadly business, and gun fights between outlaws and lawmen were common. H. A. Thompson was a veteran of one of the biggest gunfights there ever was in Oklahoma.

On September 1, 1893, in what became known as the Ingalls Raid, Payne County Undersheriff H. A. “Hi” Thompson joined over a dozen lawmen who surrounded the small town of Ingalls where the infamous Doolin gang was holed up. A fierce gun battle ensued in which three marshals were killed. Deputy U.S. Marshals Dick Speed, Tom Hueston, and Lafe Shadley were shot down.2 The Doolin Gang had escaped. Marshal E. D. Nix ordered his men to “bring them in - alive if possible - dead if necessary.” Three years later Bill Doolin was captured by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Tilghman.3 He was taken to the jail in Guthrie, but he later escaped. Doolin was eventually tracked down by Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas and was killed when he tried to shoot it out with Thomas and a posse. Tilghman, Thomas, and Chris Madsen became known as the “Three Guardsmen” of Oklahoma Territory.

When Trapp became Governor of Oklahoma in 1924, his state had been experiencing one of the worst crime waves in history. Trapp called on Bill Tilghman to become his “special investigator,” and dispatched him to clean up the oil boomtown of Cromwell. Governor Trapp, while watching the Bishop funeral procession, remembered that he, U.S. Marshal Alva McDonald, and others had carried Tilghman to his grave after he was shot down in the line of duty. Within a few weeks of Tilghman’s murder, Governor Trapp was forced to call on Marshal McDonald and Oklahoma City policeman Luther Bishop. Trapp gave them the order to “take the bandits alive, but to shoot to kill if necessary.” State officials quickly followed by creating the Oklahoma Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, the first such law enforcement agency in the United States.

Two years later, Governor Trapp, Marshal McDonald, and H. A. Thompson were helping lay to rest State Crime Bureau Operative Luther Bishop. Bishop was described by federal officials as having “been successful in putting in the penitentiary more bank robbers and other outlaws than any other man in this state.” Bishop, who had often been the subject of death threats, was the victim of a very violent death. Mortuary officials, fearing vandalism, recommended to the family that a headstone not be placed on the grave. As a result, the grave remained unmarked for over sixty years. And the murder of Luther Bishop remains a mystery.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 June 2010 15:32
Excerpt from "Edmund Guerrier" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee Cordry   
Thursday, 13 May 2010 16:26


The Story of Edmund Guerrier

by Dee Cordry


Stanley Vestal once wrote that when William Bent closed his first adobe trading post on the Arkansas River it was the end of the "old west" and the beginning of the "wild west." William Bent and his friend Kit Carson were among the pioneers of the old west. General Custer, General Hancock, Ben Clark, "Buffalo Bill" Cody, "Wild Bill" Hickok, George Bent, and Charles Bent were among the participants of the Indian wars representing both sides of the conflict. There was a unique frontiersman who knew all of these men well, a man who witnessed first hand the end of the old west and experienced the adventure and hardship of the wild west. He played a part on both sides of the Indian wars and survived the Sand Creek Massacre. His name was Edmund Guerrier, and the town of Geary, Oklahoma is named for him.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 22:11
Cherokee Lawmen and Outlaws PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee Cordry   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 15:11


(Oklahombres Journal)

The removal of the Cherokee Indians from their homes in the east to the lands now known as Oklahoma brought great suffering upon the Cherokees. The removal also resulted in violence between the Cherokees who supported the removal treaty and those who did not. One family name that became well known during this Cherokee "civil war" was the Starr family. But this is not a story about Belle Starr. It is a story about Cherokees who fought each other over the removal, and Cherokees who fought for law and order …….

What Is HombreHistory.com? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee Cordry   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 15:31


For over twenty years, I have researched the historic people and events of Oklahoma and the great plains. I have had written work published in the Oklahombres Journal and the Chronicles of Oklahoma. My book, Alive If Possible - Dead If Necessary, was published in 2005. I was the author of the Outlaw and Lawman Map of Oklahoma, published in 1989.

HombreHistory.com provides online access to the interesting history of "Hombres."

For a reasonable fee, Internet users may access online materials presented here that are user-friendly. All text is fully indexed and searchable; all items are categorized and tagged for easy browsing and searching.

For more information, contact me at:   dcordry at (@) gmail dot com.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 September 2010 17:55
Outlaw Elmer McCurdy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee Cordry   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 14:55

Excerpt from “Sideshow Outlaw: Elmer McCurdy

(Oklahombres Journal, Spring 1999 Vol. X #3)

On the night of March 23, 1911, Walter Jarrett; Lee Jarrett; Elmer McCurdy; and Ab Connor jumped aboard the train near Lenapah. This was Elmer's first attempt at cracking a safe, and he misjudged the amount of nitro to use; the safe became too hot. According to reports by the Pacific Express Company, the explosion threw the door of the safe across the car and tore a gaping hole in the entire side of the express car. Twisted silver coins lay on the floor of the express car. $4000 in silver, which had been inside the safe, was melted and blown into one corner of the car. Elmer retrieved a coal pick and attempted to chop the melted silver from the wall. Apparently he failed, for when the train arrived in Kansas City, a crowbar was used to extract the melted silver from the wall. The "take" in the robbery was a mere $450.

After this fiasco, Walter and Elmer decided to split their partnership. Walter went back to Missouri, while Elmer headed for the Osage Hills ………

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