These pages are rendered in effort to clarify the issue of the lesser known outlaws, badmen, rounders and highbinders of the Old West and the area known as the Indian Territory. Other than the James', Youngers' and Doolin-Daltons' who were famous in their own rights. There were many men and women arrested during the Territorial days before it was split into the Twin Territories; Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory.
From 1865 [end of Civil War] through the 1920's almost everyone was a rounder to some degree, horse and cattle rustlers, bank and train robbers were a dime a dozen. However these were not the common crimes that people were arrested for. The Territorial Marshalls who rode for Judge Isaac Parker, was as tough or tougher than the hooligans they sought. They arrested people for almost every crime imaginable. Cherokee Bill for example was sought for mail robbery, but was arrested and convicted of murder. Most of those hung by Judge Parker went down in history as unknowns.
The purpose of this page is not to glorify them, but define their way of life, mode of dress, their weapons and how they wore and used them.
My dad was the younger of 13 brothers and sisters. Born in 1907 the same year Oklahoma became a state. There was little difference between 1907 the turn of the century and the late 1880's down along the Red River. He and his brothers were all outlaws of some little repute. Not famous enough mind you for the research efforts of the Oklahombres to be interested in but enough for the Sheriff's and Marshal's to have wanted posters out on them. Most of the Sheriff's told me that they compared my dad [he was listed on the wanted posters as "Slim Robins"] to Cherokee Bill for out and out onryness.
When I was about knee high to a toad stool, my dad woke me up early one morning and told me to saddle up the horses for him, my little brother Bill and myself. We started out before daylight through the swamps just North of the red river. After he cut trough several barbed wire fences, I got suspicious about what we was up to. We came on a small herd of Herefords and he told me. "Come boy we're gona move these here doggies through the cuts in the fences." I didn't ask any questions just pushed them through and we worked them back on to our land and into the swamps on to a small island where an old cattle rustler buddy of dads was waiting with a small fire and several hot running irons. Bill and I stood around and watched as they changed the brands on the cattle. Then we rode home. My mother was waiting on the porch with a cocked shotgun, "If you take my boys rustling cattle again, I'm going to blow you to blue thunder." That was our last venture on the other side of the law. My mother brought us up to ride with the law and not agin it. Most of my relatives when they weren't being outlaws, carried badges. [I carried a California Ranger (State Police) badge for ten years. Was a Criminal Investigator Division [CID] Special Agent for the US Army for 30 years].
My dad always wore dark pants [not blue jeans], high black boots, white shirt, black suit coat over a wide belt with two Colt .45 cal SAA Peacemakers tucked into his belt, this was topped off with a wide brim white Stetson sombrero. He wore a white or grey Stetson his whole life. I had never known a time during my life that I ever saw him without a Stetson on his head.
He was known to borrow other peoples cattle and horses and the occasional un-guarded bank. Dad even showed up one time with a Model "A" Ford car. I had never seen a car up to this point.
According to my great aunt, my grandmother had told her, that when she was about 18 years old [about 1898]. My grandfather wanted to marry her, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Cause she thought he was an outlaw and a rounder. But, her brother wanted her to marry him, cause he thought he was neat and he like hanging around with an outlaw. Grandma refused and went out the back door and jumping on a horse, headed for her dads house about 100 miles away. They caught up to her and forced her to back to my cousins, who was a preacher. They forced her to marry up with grandpa.
Before grandpa married grandma he had been for a time with the Choctaw Lighthorse.