I tried in vain to post this introduction to the Eick case earlier, but had some technical difficulties.
This is one of those stories than can be confusing so I’m giving you a cast of characters before you begin:
A.J. Eick was a wandering shoemaker and a pretty good gambler. Although the details of his murder are horrifying, the fact that he was the actual victim was never proven to the satisfaction of all parties involved. However, I do believe that if he had actually arrived in Oklahoma City to verify his existence there would have been more news items about it (see articles after the parole).
Sam Bartell was the Sheriff of Oklahoma City and later Justice of the Peace. He had a few legal troubles of his own throughout his life. He also had several wives. His second wife, Mary, was a prison matron in Oklahoma City and well-known for her charity work.
Wood King apparently lived in Caddo at one time. He was accused of killing Mr. Eick, but later released for lack of evidence.
Frank Hopper was also accused of the murder, but later released.
William Yoder was accused and convicted of killing Mr. Eick. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled after eight years. Interesting note: his relative petitioned to have him returned to prison because they were afraid of him.
Tomas Curtis was also accused and convicted of killing Mr. Eick. He was sentenced to life in prison, but also paroled after eight years.
S. I. R. McCuan was the manager of Morrow’s Wagon Yard where the party of gamblers left their horses while they were in town. (I believe this must be Samuel I. Rite McCuan who later lived in Shawnee and McCloud.)
Mr. Morrow was the owner of the above named establishment.
Wilkes Williams was the Deputy of Lexington, Oklahoma and identified by a prostitute, Rose, as being a member of the group of men seen together.
Mr. Frutell was the owner of a cotton gin in Buckhead, Oklahoma and supposedly left town with the other men.
The Filson brothers discovered the body in the river. The 1900 census for OKC shows a divorced woman named Martha Filson as the mother of six sons and one daughter.