I don’t have a exact date for this article, it was printed some time in late Sept or earlyOct1949 in the McAlester OK. newspaperThe article has many folds in it, so I’m not sure all words will be correct.
On the back part of the newspaper clipping is a portion of a add that reads: Mildred’s exclusive women’s ware?? Anniversary October 1,3,4,5 1949
Transcribed by:Brenda C. Johnson Andrews
Descendant of Alexander Hamilton, First U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Lived for some
Years at Indianola
Alexander Blackburn Hamilton, great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton secretary of the treasury, spent the last evening of an eventful life, filled with hardships and thrills in a modest home at Indianola.
Mr. Hamilton was born at Marshall, Saline County, Missouri, April 28, 1855.He lived in Indian Territory and Oklahoma all his life except for approximately 14 years.Death came in 1935 at the age of 80 years.
“I was practically reared just west of Durant,” Hamilton recounted a number of years ago.“My mother started back to Missouri at the close of the war.The old stage line from Fort Smith to Sherman went just west of where Durant is now located.My mother was a good cook and she stopped there to help a woman cook for a stage company that was stationed there.I had a brother and sister younger than myself and an older sister was married and living in Texas.
When I was 18, I went back to Texas to visit my sister and while there I went to work for a cattleman named Burr Yarber, in Montague County.I worked for him from 1873 to 1876.His son was captain of the Texas Rangers.In 1876 we went to Fort Custer to carry some cattle which the government had bought for food for the Indians there.It was our job to deliver them there.”
“While at Fort Custer, we heard of a big boom that was on in Yellowstone Park.It had been agreed that a pal of mine and myself would be through when we delivered the cattle and it was our plan to go to Brooken over here in what is now Haskell County, as my friend had a cousin there and he was going to settle an estate.I had been his buddy for three years.We decided to change our plans temporally and go through the park.We put our horses in pasture and went through the park by wagon.It too 40 days to go through.It was six miles wide and 90 miles long.”
“There we heard of the massacre of Custer and his force and we hurried back.We saw the battleground.We saw where they had buried the soldiers and there were dead Indians lying all around on the ground.An officer named Johnson had charge of the fort, having come from the North Platte and taken command.He had three scouts, Buffalo Bill Cody, Sierra Jack and “Red” Thomas and 1,000 men.They killed all the Indians they could find.Sitting Bull got away, returning to the reservation.Four hundred Indians from the state of Washington were all killed, as well as half of their horses, after I got back there.They had come to help Sitting Bull with the massacre.”
“I road by the side of Buffalo Bill for three days.He told me afterward that Rain-in-the-face, a chief down in Mexico, had brought 1600 men to help in the killing and that they followed them way down to the line where the chief escaped.Bill Cold told me; “I killed between 30 and 40 of them after they got across the Mexican line, but I didn’t go across.”
“He told me that hijackers did a lot of the devilment there and laid it onto the Indians.He said it got so bad for awhile that they traveled with flags.If he saw a man wave a red flag, it meant stay away, and if a white flag was waved it expressed willingness to talk.Whenever I saw a bunch raise a red flag said he “I’d ride for some high point and kill every one before they could get me.”He had a high-powered rifle and from a high point, could pick ‘em right off.”
Hamilton treasured a rifle ball and an arrowhead which he picked up on the Custer battlefield.
Long time in the Big Park
“After we left Fort Custer, the second time, we came down straight through this country.We had a geographical map compass and spyglass that we got in Yellowstone Park.
We were 30 days in making the trip and 16 of those days; never saw a man or a house.We came out where Amarillo is now.There was no town then and no white people there.We came on to Brooken and my buddy settled his estate and I returned to Durant.
He was married there in 1875 to Miss Lou Perkins.They lived there two years and then moved to Indianola.She died in 1890.Alex H. Hamilton Jr. and Walter Hamilton of McAlester are among the children still living.
I haven’t lived more than 10 miles from Indianola since 1877.Hamilton continued.There is more land in cultivation in one field here now than there was then in this whole country between Scripto and Gaines Creek.
He was married again in Indianola to Miss Lillie Reynolds.
Of this marriage, Mrs. Otis H. Sherrill and Mrs. Ben Johnson of McAlester are among the children still living.
And interesting incident in the life of Hamilton was when the Sheriff had a writ for a women by the name of Sarah Maree of Kiowa about 1879 and asked Hamilton to serve it.
I was well acquainted with her so I went to the home of her brother-in-law and found him ill, with a doctor from down near Antlers in attendance.I was told where Sarah was, by her brother-in-law.Alf Maree, and then I told him if he would give the papers to her I would not go and serve them on her.
The doctor listened to our conversation very intently and kept looking at me, then made the assertion: You’re a detective: I told him I wasn’t exactly.A few days later, his barn burned and he sent for me.When I arrived he said he believed he knew who burned the barn.Put up your horse and feed him and come in to dinner.He said after dinner I will detail the whole thing to you and I think you can catch him.He thought his horse and buggy had been burned in the fire.
I made a thorough investigation around the barn, after haring his suspicions and told him he was all wrong.I found the hoof of a horse.It had been broken off by falling timers.I said to him; here is a hoof that has never worn a shoe.See, someone put his horse in here to hide his crime, riding away with yours.
We lit out and after two or three days, the doctor said “you can hunt all you please; I am going home.’“I asked him to give me the certificate of the C brand.The Anti-Horsethief Association at Atoka gave $50 in cash for every stolen horse that had been branded by it.”
He went home and I went down through the Gaines creek bottoms and on into Arkansas.I kept on the trail furnished me by folks who had seen horses of the description I gave in the possession of two men.”
I captured the horses and brought back one of the thieves to Fort Smith and put him in jail.
Thirty-one days had passed since I had left the doctor’s home and I guess he was beginning to think I was never coming back.When I shouted at his gate, a woman, who was washing, ran out and cried;
Oh Doctor ! Here is a man with your horses.
Where did you get them?He asked, curiosity sticking out of his eyes.
When I told him I got them in Arkansas, at Hot Springs, he said; “What in the devil were you doing way over to Hot Springs?
Hunting horses, “I promptly replied.
I was provided with a good dinner and we set out together for Atoka where I received $100 for my work of 31 days.I was on a salary, also and that made my pocketbook fat for that month.
I was appointed to the Indian Light Horse service by Jack McCurtain chief the Choctaw Nation.That was the only time I ever met the doctor and cannot recall his name.
As a member of the Light Horse he ranged over the southeastern Oklahoma for 20 years or more, experiencing many thrill in conflict with desperadoes of those early days.Having failed to return with a certain thief he was sent after, he made the statement that he “got away”.Relatives say that is always the way his accounts end.He never said a word about having killed any of them.
He was well acquainted with Tom Starr, a giant seven feet and four inches in height, who admitted he had killed an enormous number of Cherokees and Creeks but not many Choctaws- only about 50.Tom Starr was at war with the whole Cherokee nation at one time and the chief had a bodyguard of 50 men when he went to court, being in great fear of Tom Starr, who shot him through a window and killed him.No man was ever found who could arrest him and the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Government made a treaty with him.
The other members of the Starr gang of outlaws, included the noted woman outlaw, Belle Starr, lived across the river from him at Briartown, and he knew them all.
It is related that he was in North McAlester when five or six bandits terrorized the place by riding up and down the street and shooting.He asked an officer if he was going to permit that to go on and he replied that it was a bad gang and he wanted to keep out of it as long as possible.Hamilton borrowed an old gun that was out of whack, buckled it on and went out and called their hands.They rode away peaceably.
On one occasion, the sheriff asked him to assist in the arrest of Pink Lee and Jim Lee, outlaws and brothers who lived on the Canadian River near Holdenville.With six-shooters in each hand, they raced their horses toward him shooting all the time and trying to run over him.He shot one of them through the arm and killed his horse.They had robbed all of the stores in McAlester.Marshall Merchon waylaid them on Red River a
Month later and killed both of them.The battle with the outlaws occurred 4 or 5 blocks north of the business district.At the time Hamilton was living in the middle of what is nowLake McAlester.