“JUSTICE TIMES THREE”

JUSTICE TIMES THREE

— TAMING CRIME AND CORRUPTION — Three lawmen pooled their resources in the late 19th century to track down and arrest more than 300 outlaws in Indian Territory and gunned down several others. 

The U.S. government had purchased two million acres of land in Indian Territory and opened it to white settlers in 1889. But the vast area proved a breeding ground for crime and corruption.

Over a […]

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“STAINED WITH BLOOD”

TEENAGE GANG

— TWO WEEKS OF TERROR — Cradling his rifle, U.S. Marshal S. Morton Rutherford took a deep breath and swung open the door to the federal stockade in Muskogee. He stepped outside to face a large, angry, bloodthirsty mob poised to storm the jail and lynch members of the ruthless Rufus Buck Gang.

Rutherford tried to quiet the Saturday night crowd and told them although the prisoners’ hands were […]

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“MANHUNTER”

DEPUTY US MARSHAL

— RUFE CANNON ALWAYS GOT HIS MAN — Deputy U.S. Marshals Rufe Cannon and J.P. Hunter escorted the Creek Indian fugitive into Fort Smith, Oklahoma Territory, in late 1892, for gunning down a federal lawman.

Captain John Willie spent a year on the run after killing U.S. Marshal George Thornton in a nighttime ambush near the Sac and Fox Indian Agency.

A jury convicted Willie of manslaughter in Thornton’s death.

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“FEARLESS AND EFFICIENT”

Deputy U.S. Marshal

— ONE OF A KIND —  Deputy U.S. Marshal F.M. Miller adjusted the Colt revolver and full cartridge belt, shot a quick glance at a wagon full of prisoners, and then mounted up. Miller happened to be the only female deputy working in the Indian Territory in the late 19th century. 

The Nov. 19, 1891, issue of the Muskogee Phoenix reported Miller won the appointment from the federal court at Paris, Texas, and most of […]

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