Lake Texoma

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Part 2 From Hunting Buffalo to the 1932 Shootout at the Corner Drug in Madill

by
Lumini Services
Kendall Davis is well-versed in the English language. She has 20 years experience as a published author and writing for clients. Her published works include historical articles in museums, magazines, newspaper articles, columns, content marketing, advertising copy, blogging, and academic papers. Kendall also makes her way in the literary world as a copyeditor. Writing about history is her first love interest. If you have editing or content needs on your website or for your books, articles, blogs, or columns, please visit her website to see details and more examples of her work, the services she offers, and contact information. http://kdavis1836.wixsite.com/luminiwrites




David Crockett Long 1893-1932


Corner DrugCookies with Mrs. ClauseLetters to Santa


Madill, Oklahoma


2017—Dec. 9, 6:30 to 7:30 after the Christmas parade


See the LakeTexoma.com Calendar for details.


The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial lists Crockett Long as a former Madill, Oklahoma, chief of police. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation claims Crockett was widely known. An Oklahombres post states that “Crockett was the traditional ‘Cowboy’ type lawman who proved himself plenty ‘Game’ on several occasions”. (1)


Wayne Tilman, a distant cousin of Bill Tilghman, mentions Crockett’s name in connection with Roosevelt’s summons to send Bill to Mexico in 1904 to arrest the San Francisco Railroad paymaster turned embezzler. Bill went to Mexico alone, and Crockett was only eleven years old in 1904. (3) This suggests that Crockett had been long associated with Bill in Wayne’s memories; perhaps Crockett met Bill while he worked for the Madill police force.


Crockett was a suspect in the Cromwell, Oklahoma, burning along with Heck Thomas and Charles Madsen after Wiley killed Bill. (3) Crockett began his career in law enforcement at the State Farm prison in Aylesworth, Oklahoma, first and then at the state prison in McAlester, Oklahoma. (8)


Crockett Long Joins Erv Kelley’s Posse After Pretty Boy Floyd 1932


By 1932, the bounty on Pretty Boy Floyd was up to $4,000, and he was running with his partner, George Birdwell. (5) Erv Kelly, former lawman turned bounty hunter, carried the same type of reputation as a lawman that Bill Tilghman held. (6) On April 9, 1932, Erv assembled a posse of six Oklahoma lawmen which included Crockett plus two deputized farmers. (5) Erv’s mission was to ambush the two outlaws while the posse hid around a farmhouse owned by Ellis Echols near Bixby, Oklahoma. Granny Echols had turned Floyd and Birdwell into the law earlier because she caught Grandpa Echols drinking moonshine with the outlaws instead of working in the field.


Erv posted his men near the entrances of the farmhouse where Floyd was expected to visit his wife and children. After six hours on the stakeout, Erv relieved his men for a break before 3 a.m., and the two farmers stayed with him. Sheriff Jim Stormont and Tulsa City Detective Mark Larimore left for coffee. Erv took a stand in a chicken house, and five minutes before the shootout, Crockett and A. B. Cooper joined an officer named Counts at a schoolhouse 500 yards north of the chicken house. (1)


A car pulled up to the gate by the chicken house with its headlights off. Its headlights suddenly flashed on which revealed Erv who ordered the car to halt. Erv fired his machine gun 14 times and then fell to the ground and died. The posse’s bullets bounced off Floyd and Birdwell as they escaped wearing bulletproof vests, steel helmets, and steel shoes. The outlaws shot Erv four times and left two bullet wounds in his chest. Crockett was an excellent marksman. Lawmen of his time felt that if Crockett had been stationed with Kelley, the outcome would have much different. (1)


Wiley Moves Back Home to Madill 1929


By 1929, Wiley, thought of as the murderer one of the most beloved lawmen of his time who was forced to resign from federal service, had moved in with his parents at their farm outside of Madill, Oklahoma—where he worked on farm machinery, played with his guns, and drank a lot of booze. (7) Crockett Long, at age 36, worked in Oklahoma City for the Oklahoma Bureau of Identification and Investigation (OSBII) and commuted home to his family in Madill on weekends by 1929.


Years earlier, when Crockett was police chief of Madill, Wiley had resisted arrest for being drunk on the streets of Madill. Crockett pistol-whipped him and took him to jail. Wiley told Crockett, “I’ll kill you someday, for this!" After his trial for killing Bill, Wiley wanted to work for the OSBII, and the organization would not hire him. He blamed Crockett for coloring his reputation black. Crockett was one of Bill Tilghman’s close partners. Rumors spread that Crockett made no secret after Wiley’s trial that he would kill Wiley someday. (4)


Oklahoma’s Last Wild West Shootout Took Place in Madill on July, 17, 1932*


On Sunday afternoon in the Corner Drug on the courthouse square in Madill, Oklahoma, about three o’clock p.m., C.C. “Sosh” Keller was tending the soda fountain. Crockett sat at one of the marble-topped tables by the soda fountain with Bill Baker, a stock buyer, and Paul Watts, an undertaker. A mother and a small boy sat nearby at another table, and Rhode Watkins and John Hilburn stood close to the fountain. Approximately eighteen people were in the store.


Wiley strode into the store, drunk, as usual. When he saw Crockett, his anger rose up and he roared, “Put ‘em up you son of a bitch, I’m going to get you sometime, so it might as well be now”. Crockett had lost some of his hearing ability by this time and did not hear Wiley’s demand, but he noticed that people were quickly running out the door. Crockett turned and found himself staring at Wiley’s pistol pointed straight at him.


Crockett failed to talk Wiley out of Wiley’s drunken, enraged mission to shoot him as Wiley yelled, “Crockett, throw up your hands!” and continued to steadily move in Crockett’s direction with pistol in hand. Crockett, in a flash, pulled his pistol and ordered, “Put that gun down, Lynn!” Just then, both men’s guns exploded, bursting with rapid fire at close range.


Crockett, knocked to the floor when Wiley’s first bullet broke his leg, kept firing at Wiley. Rhode dashed to get behind the fountain, but a bullet caught him in the back and killed him. A man named Turley crawled out of the back door on all fours. The mother and child stayed seated and miraculously escaped injuries. A bullet hit a glass case with matches in it and the lit matches rained down on the people behind the fountain.


By the time the lawman and the outlaw had emptied their guns into each other, both men had five bullets in them but remained conscious with blood pouring out of their wounds. Wiley, stumbling and trailing blood, made it across the street to the Watt and McAfee Funeral home and managed to speak to an undertaker, “I’m afraid I’m going to die—Crockett Long has killed me—I’m all shot to pieces”.


Clyde Lewis, a service station operator who heard the gun battle, took Wiley to Dr. Veazy’s office. From there, Elmer Williamson took Wiley and Rhode to Ardmore’s Von Keller Hospital in an ambulance. Crockett rode in another ambulance to the same hospital.


Crockett died while doctors operated in him about an hour to two hours after he arrived at Von Keller. Wiley lived long enough to find out that he had killed Crockett, and said, “If he’s dead, now I’m ready to die,” and he did right then; die, that is, about three a.m. the next morning. (4) (7) (8) (9)


Other Notes


In 1969, Daily Ardmorite staff writer, Wilbert Wiggs, wrote, “Several years later he [Herbert Pate] described Madill as ‘. . . a pretty wild place back then. It wasn't unusual to have three or four shootings a week’. But none of these could compare with events that took place on that quiet, small-town Sunday afternoon when a ‘Grudge Held for Years’ ended”. (8)


In his book, Pretty Boy: The Life & Times Of Charles Arthur Floyd, Mike Wallis recorded, “When he heard about Crockett Long dying in a gun duel, Choc (Pretty Boy Floyd) told some of his friends that he was surprised that he had not been accused in some sort of a role in the state agent’s murder.” (10)


More than 3,500 people attended Erv Kelley’s funeral at his home in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, including hundreds of law enforcement officers and county attorneys with their staffs from around the state. The preacher officiated from Erv’s front porch.


The following history of the courthouse square in Madill is from Memories of Lo Rene Taliaferro Reirdon (1908-2000) and includes a short description of the gunfight from outside the Corner Drug. (15)


http://www.usgwarchives.net/ok/marshall/madill.htm


The Corner Drug in Madill, Oklahoma, still serves treats from its soda fountain and delivers prescriptions to Oakland, Kingston, the Baptist Village, and Madill. Bullet holes from the 1932 gunfight are still visible.


About Crockett Long and His Family**


Crockett Long’s parents were Lorenzo Dow Long and Ann Storm from Indiana. Crockett had eight siblings (Crockett was the 8th in line); In order of birth): Lizzie, Dee Amiy, Leota, Mamie, Elizabeth, Manford, John Edgar “Edd”, and Claude. (11) Crockett married Bonnie James. Private First Class Homer L. Long (1918-1949) is buried next to Crockett. (14) One of Crockett’s other sons is named Kenneth. John Edgar “Edd” Long was a sheriff of Marshall County, Oklahoma by 1928. (16) In 1934, Sheriff Long arrested three people in the slaying of a farmer found by a mystic named Ed Kelley from Ada, Oklahoma. (12) (13) Edd married Lola Verene Williams, and their children are retired Major General John Long, a member of Madill’s Museum of Southern Oklahoma Board of Directors, and Irene Long.


*I am using the fair use clause of copyright law. The account of this Madill gunfight was first written and published by Herbert J. Pate, the editor-publisher of the Madill Record on July 21, 1932. The story I have rewritten and published is taken from many accounts from several sources, including a story by staff writer of the Daily Ardmorite, Wilber Wiggs, in 1969, another version in a book by Matt Cole, two stories by Charles Mooney, an article by Dave Farris in Edmond Life & Leisure, and in other snippets online. I have found different versions attributed to Mr. Pate. Mr. Pate could have only written one version on July 21, 1932, in the Madill Record. I believe Mr. Wiggs posted the correct documentation: "Madill's greatest shooting tragedy..." were the words chosen by the late Herbert J. Pate for the opening paragraph of a news story published in the July 21, 1932, edition of The Madill Record. In his late twenties at the time of this gunfight, Mr. Pate had been editor-publisher of the newspaper since October, 1929. I republished only the spoken lines of this story and wrote it from the most credible accounts available for the education of the history of the area now known as Lake Texoma. All of the information in this story is composed of historic and legal facts and I believe it was originally written by Herbert J. Pate.


**I am looking for information on Crockett Long’s early career as a lawman. It seems extremely sad to me that Crockett is only remembered for two shootouts in the year he died. I have woven this two-part story together only by putting in many hours of research time, and the facts are spread all over with the whole story never together in one place, plus there are many parts still missing. I would also like to know more about Edd Long’s career as sheriff of Marshall County.


Message from the Corner Drug


Mrs. Claus will be bringing some hot chocolate and visiting us after the Christmas parade on December 9, 2017, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring the kids by to decorate a cookie or write a letter for her to take back to Santa. We will be having a lot of sales and giveaways that night too.


Re-enactment of the Corner Drug Shootout Produced by the


Museum of Southern Oklahoma:


 


 
(1) http://oklahombres.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2876036794/m/467106741?r=330106403#330106403


(3) http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~oklincol/tilghman/tilghman.htm


(4) Cole, M. (2009). The Marshal: A Novel of Bill Tilghman. New York City, NY: Simon and Schuster.


(5) http://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/the-hero-killed-by-pretty-boy-floyd/article_e31d7ce0-0558-5192-93bf-f9ece7fe8fcf.html


(6) http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entryname=CHARLES%20ARTHUR%20FLOYD


(7) https://tinyurl.com/y7dc8kte


(8) http://okgenweb.net/~okmarsha/crow.html


(9) http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~okmarsha/crow.html


(10) Wallis, M. (1994) Pretty Boy: The Life & Times of Charles Arthur Floyd. London, UK: Macmillan.


(11) https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/lorenzo-dow-long_7902975


(12) http://www.oklahomahistory.net/mystic.html


(13) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/83243798


(14) https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23028778/homer-l.-long


(15) http://www.usgwarchives.net/ok/marshall/madill.htm


(16) http://okgenweb.net/~okmarsha/kim.html


Pictures


1. Soda fountain at the Corner Drug when it was owned by Forney Keller:


http://www.oklahomahistory.net/ttphotos/madilld.jpg


D.B Taliaferro built the Corner Drug building in 1906. Forney Keller was the pharmacist when this picture was taken, probably around 1915.


2. Crockett Long


3. The badge Crockett would have worn; this badge belonged to Agent McFadden.


4. Corner Drug today




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Lake Texoma Fishing Report from TPWD (Dec. 13)

Water lightly stained; 47–51 degrees; 1.42’ high. Black bass are good on suspending jerkbaits, Senkos and shakyhead worms. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Striped bass are fair on slabs and minnows. Catfish are slow on trotlines and prepared bait.






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