I am often surprised by the number of crimes reported in the paper. We like to think of the “good old days” when people were honest and upright and no one locked their front door and children were safe in their yards. I’m not sure that time ever really existed. I think that the lack of communication from one area to the next just meant that many crimes were unreported and unknown and therefore people felt safer than they actually were.
Today’s post is a brief glimpse of life in 1899 and reports a variety of crimes. I can’t be certain of the “disposing” crimes, but it is my understanding that this was usually related to getting rid of property- horses, cattle, land- that didn’t belong to you in the first place.
It is rather alarming to see that someone got 100 lashes for stealing a horse. After reading this description from an earlier post about 25 lashes, you can understand that 100 lashes could easily kill someone.
The culprit in such cases is stripped to the waist and held with his arms around a tree- there is an oak at Push-ma-ta-ha which has served for this purpose for many years. A man holds each arm of the prisoner and he is held firmly against the tree while officers lay on the lashes; each one laid on five in the instance mentioned. It is an ancient method of punishment, but it seems to have a good effect and is not open to the objection that imprisonment for a month or more is- that a man’s family is deprived of his support and the taxpayers of the county pay for him. There will have been others punished in similar manner by the time court adjourns in the forks of Boggy.
Also note that there are two women listed on the court docket.
The Caddo Herald
August 25, 1899
Choctaw court for the third district will adjourn today.
A culprit convicted of horse theft got 100 lashes at the Choctaw court last Tuesday.
A tent show with its concomitant fakers and dirty fortune-tellers held forth below the railroad a while this week. They played to a good house.
Caddo dealers are getting assurances of a big business from over the Washita way this fall. The territory east has been coming to Caddo for a long time and excursions to other points always accent the difference between Caddo and other points in favor of Caddo.
The job office of The Herald has had almost all the business it could handle for the past three weeks and its matchless capacity makes that a big lot indeed. Folks who have printing done in The Herald Printing Office always come back- for it is better and cheaper than the others.
William Walker was tried Tuesday at Push-ma-ta-ha in the Third district court for the alleged killing of his aunt Susan Hart in 1896 over near the Green Walker settlement in Kiamichi County. Walker was arrested in the Chickasaw country in June and escaped from the Tishomingo jail returning voluntarily the flowing day to give up. He was turned over to the Sheriff M. W. Leflore of Jackson County, who is also third district jailor and has been confined since that time in this district. His case was set for trial last week, and Judge E. W. Everidge, district judge, being disqualified to try the case by reason of relationship to the deceased; Hon. J. H. Goforth was elected special judge. The prisoner was represented by Homer & Elting who interposed a plea to the jurisdiction which the special judge sustained, discharging the prisoner. Upon motion of the district attorney, Paul Harris, the case was reinstated and the judgment set aside by Judge Everidge, who set the case for hearing on Tuesday of this week. At that time Judge Will Durant was selected special judge and the defense was represent by Homer & Elting and Judge Duke. There was no evidence upon which to convict the prisoner beyond the merest circumstantial matters and the jury, after staying out 2 hours, returned a verdict of not guilty. The prosecution had retained A. R. Durant and Davis Homer in addition to the district attorney and his assistant, H. J. Bond. The case was celebrated widely and sentiment was strongly against the prisoner among a number of people. The case was a hard fought one and resulted in something of a surprise that there was no evidence against the prisoner.
The more careful a man is in buying the more skeptical he is in selecting his pants, the better we like it. He will then more fully appreciate the BUCKSKIN BREECHES. He’ll see at a glance how carefully they are made. When he puts his hands in the pockets he’ll find a printed guarantee which says: “If not as represented your money back”. They couldn’t be more- they’ll never be less.
Mrs. Mae Hamilton will open her school Sept. 4. Her ability as a teacher and governess is well known at Caddo; she solicits all her old patrons, also as many new ones as feel like giving her their support. She always treats her patrons right in prices and don’t have to cut under any one else to do so. Her charges are reasonable with one pupil to a family or where there are more than one. Consult her before sending elsewhere.
Atoka Term of District Court
The criminal cases for trial at the September, 1899 term of U. S. court at Atoka are hereby assigned as follows:
Monday, September 11
_16 James Goodwin, larceny
_25, Ephraim Campbell, larceny
355 Zenus Allen, assault to rape
Tuesday, September 12
_26 Wilburn Wade, larceny
356 John Norman, embezzlement
366 Benj. F. Wylie, disp. mtg. prop.
370 Ben Dyson and ______, gaming
371 Hardy Burns, gaming house
Wednesday, September 13
377 E. J. Ramsey, disposing
378 E. J. Ramsey, disposing
379 E. J. Ramsey, disposing
380 E. J. Ramsey, disposing
381 E. J. Ramsey, disposing
383 L. A. Kaufman, disposing
___Harry Chon, int. and disp.
___Harry Chon, int. and disp.
___Harry Chon, int. and disp.
Thursday, September 14
312 James Simms, disposing
327 G. W. Sorrels, murder
369 Joshua Leflore, murder
Friday September 15
317 & 318 John Harrimond, disposing
3_3 Wm. Shinnall, disposing
374 Gus Wallis, disturbing peace
3_9 Elizabeth Marsh, mfg. beer
Monday September 18
382 Colbert Glover, murder
276 Jane Teague, con. death of bastard child
Wm. Smith suicided at White Bead Tuesday.
J. B. Lankford’s drug store at Atoka was burned Monday night. It was fully covered by insurance.
James Green was arrested at Durant this week on charge of murdering Judge H. Wall at Duquoin, Ill. Last August.
Miss Bettie, aged nineteen, the adopted daughter of Mrs. J. H. Franklin of Colbert, died Friday afternoon form an attack of the fever.
A number of gentlemen of Vinita are interesting themselves in the project of erecting a monument to the Rough Riders at some suitable place in the city.
A grand public fee school convention will be held in Purcell late in September with a view of making a presentation of the condition to congress.
R. W. McFarland, of Greenwood, has resigned his position as a member of the board of appraiser which is fixing the values of Choctaw lands preparatory to allotment.
Representatives of the Missouri Pacific railway are now looking over ground preparatory for the beginning within ten days of a survey for a line of the system from Caney, Kan. southwest through Oklahoma.
Cherokee council will meet in November. It is expected to be an example of a rough house for there are any number of schemes and snaps to be worked. The treaty will be the main thing however.
A prisoner in the Ardmore jail under the name of J. R. Freeman is said to be one Spotswood, who is under sentence of death in Bates County, Mo. for a crime committed many years ago. He has been identified by a Missouri officer.
The first execution under the auspices of the Federal government to take place in the Territory occurs at Muskogee today: Silam A. Brown for the murder of James Cuthbert, and Matthew Craig for the murder of Marshal Hendrick. (Oklahoma executions data base says Cyrus Brown.)