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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.

 Page 56

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  Dr. Fred S Clinton (con't)

located, having been born on the Okmulgee ranch, He was offered splendid educational advantages by his parents, as were all the children, and after completing his schooling in the Creek nation, at Kansas City Medical college and other institutions, he returned to Red Fork about 1897 to practice his profession. Later he moved to Tulsa. where he has been one of the moving spirits since.
        The elder Clintons had been natives of Georgia and when the doctor married he went to that state for his bride, who was Miss Jane Heard. They now maintain their home at 1315 S. Boulder ave., from which radiates a lively interest in civic, musical and religious affairs.

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        "Gouge" Childers was an Indian farmer living south and east of Tulsa, not far from Broken Arrow. He had some cattle on his small place. At this time white men had cattle grazing there on which no pasture tax was paid. Childers wanted the Indian chief to appoint him tax collector, but the chief refused to do so. He felt, along with nearly everyone else, that Childers' mind was affected.
        Drinking to excess and worrying over his failure to land the appointment, Childers went into the Hall store one night with a pistol in his hand and demanded $10 from the writer behind the counter. He was persuaded to leave without it and he went to the town's undertaking establishments and ordered three coffins. Then he drove to Red Fork and murdered his sister-in-law. He drove back to Tulsa the next morning acting the part of a raving maniac. He ordered everyone in the Hall store across the street to read a letter from the chief. He started across but no one followed. He came back shouting that he would make everyone come, and was immediately given full possession of the store.
        Two of the clerks stepped into adjoining room and one wanted to slip back into the store and behind a counter and kill the intruder. He was persuaded to wait and finally Childers announced that he was going to kill George Perryman who lived three and one-half miles south of town. He left the store to go there and one of the Indian clerks left just afterward to warn Perryman. The clerk took a trail along a back route but did nor reach the Perryman home before Childers. He saw Childers enter the gate and heard a shot. Perryman had seen Childers coming and had shot him from an upstairs window. Childers dropped dead at the gate.
        There was quick justice awaiting those who committed crimes and were arrested in the early days.
        Goody Koontz and __ Cass of Vinita came through Tulsa and bought some supplies one day. They were on their way to meet a herd of cattle that was being driven from Texas through what is now western Oklahoma to Kansas.
        They were traveling by horse and buggy, with camping outfit along. They crossed Deep Fork creek near the Sac and Fox Indian agency and made camp. While they were eating supper two negroes rode up, unsaddled and made camp nearby. During the night the negros slipped up on the white men and killed them both, killing their bird dog at the same time.
        The next day cowboys found the bodies and notified authorities. The slain were buried on the spot, later to be exhumed and buried in Vinita by relatives, and the chase for their murderer began. Scott Gentry a Creek light horseman, arrested both of them at Eufaula, where they were in possession of some of the clothing of the white men and their horses. The negroes were rushed to jail at Vinita and when word spread through the town that they were there there was talk of lynching them. If it had not been for cooler heads in the town summary justice would have been dealt. As it was, the negroes were taken into federal court at Wichita, Kan., where they were quickly tried and hanged.

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        There were deaths from natural causes that seemed almost as tragic as these murders. Many men drifted into the Territory and died whose friends had no idea of their ultimate fate. One young fellow particularly appealed to those who met him. He had all the appearance of having come from a good family. He had been in Tulsa but a few days, boarding at the home of a widow, when he was taken ill with pneumonia. Though he kept getting worse and apparently was doomed, he refused to tell his name or reveal his home. After the died $500 was found in his clothing. He was buried in the old cemetery on West Second street and after the burial expenses were paid the remainder of the money was turned over to the landlady.

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