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The Beginning of Tulsa
By J. M. Hall (1927)
(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)
Nothing here is free for the taking. This book is reproduced here with the permission of the copyright holder - see copyright statement.
EARLY TULSA MURDERS
There are many nameless graves in Tulsa.
The early bad men who were shot down on the street often went under nothing but nicknames. Sometimes when asked on their deathbeds to reveal their true names so that relatives in the States might be notified they shut their lips and died without replying. The first man killed in Tulsa was named Cotton. A man named Connor stabbed him during a brawl in a gambling tent on Main street, just south of the Frisco tracks.
'Texas Jack" may have been the second to pass on. He was riding horseback along Main street one day when Tom Stufflebean, who was standing on the porch of the Hall store, called to him. Jack became angry, hitched his horse and announced he was going to kill Tom. He went across the street to a store where he loaded his gun. Meanwhile a hunter drove up with a wagon loaded with prairie chickens. His gun was beside the seat. Stufflebean slipped to the wagon and got the shotgun.
Just then "Texas Jack" appeared at the doorway of the store with his gun in hand. "Drop that gun," Stufflebean commanded. "Texas Jack" never moved. "Drop that gun," came the second deadly command to obey. 'Drop that gun," for the third and last time. It wasn't dropped, but "Texas Jack" was. Stufflebean shot him full in the face, putting out both his eyes. He lived nearly a week. The writer and Dr. W. P. Booker witnessed the entire affair but neither mentioned it. Neither wanted to be summoned to Fort Smith as a witness in a trial of this character. Stufflebean was arrested, however, tried and acquitted. He had followed the law of the west.
"Texas Jack" refused repeatedly to tell his correct name, even when he knew he was going to die.
SHOT OFF HORSE
'Yockey," the only name the pioneers knew him by, had threatened to kill several men in town. One was Sam Childers. Sam caught "Yockey' one day while the latter was sitting on his horse in the middle of Main street between First and Second Street and shot him off. He lived for a short time but would not reveal his true name nor his home town.
"Old Man" Drake tended the Frisco pumping station after the railroad engineers had put a dam across Cat creek near the present railroad bridge. This creek flowed through what is now the north side business section, passing near the present Brady hotel and Tulsa Tribune plant. The Frisco had a water tank near the dam. Drake lived in a shack close at hand and kept chickens and pigs. Some of these were stolen from time to time and he voiced his suspicions of the guilty parties plainly. One day he heard a noise in the pig pen and crawled up the hill to surprise the intruder. As he reached the top someone shot him. He rolled back down the hill, almost to the door of his shack, and died there.
THE CLINTON FAMILY
DR. FRED S CLINTON
Several families have been closely identified with the history of Tulsa, as we have already seen in this story.
The Clintons make up one of these. Dr. Fred S. Clinton, Lee Clinton, Paul Clinton and their sister, Mrs. J. H. McBirney, are the Tulsans in this family.
The father and mother were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clinton. The elder Clinton was a cattleman and lived on a big ranch near Okmulgee, until 1884, when the Frisco railroad was extended to Red Fork Then the Clintons built a fine home in that town. Mrs. Clinton was a citizen of the Creek nation.
Dr. Fred Clinton was about 7 years of age when the town of Tulsa was
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