Pittsburg County Guardian (McAlester, Okla.), Vol. 16, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 9, 1920 Page: 1 of 10
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k'u •*-ot*,rlcal Society
Pittsburg County Guardian
GUARANTEED LARGEST WEEKLY CIRCULATION IN PITTSBURG COUNTY ALL HOME PRINT
a standard county newspaper
Mcalester, oklahoma, Thursday, dec. 9. 1920.
the newspaper that goes home
Harkey Confesses In
Trunk Robbery Case
As a result of what is admittedly Doxvcll, it is said, his assignment to
one of the cleverest bits of sleuth duty having terminated some days
work ever staged in the county, three previous. However, he still had in
men, all more or less well known in his possession a gun belonging to the
the community, are held, one in jail chief local enforcement officer, and
and two under substantial bond, it was the request to return this that
charged with the robbery of the home was used as the occasion for bring-
tof Mary Bostello, two miles w<j|st of ing Fry and the Bosletto woman to-
the city, which occurred Wednesday gether for purposes of identification.
night of last week, and a story of
which robbery was carried in last
' The men arrested are S. J. Buckner,
former guard at the state peniten-
tiary; Henry Fry, former deputy
sheriff of Latimer County and later
The arrest of Buckner followed
the finding of a letter addressed to
him and which was found in the bed
of an auto in a local garage.
The officers had learned that a
service car had been called from the
said Mr. Monk, "and this office is not
desirous of using any duress to se-
cure a statement, and, furthermore,
advises that you wei^h carefully any
statement you make in the case."
In the face of this warning, how-
ever, Harkey decided to make his
statement, which, Mr. Monk says, re-
quired more than two hours from first
to last, and which, when transcribed,
will constitute a small book within
Bonds Turned In.
INTEREST ON TIP TOE
IN HAMON TRAGEDY
Monk Resigns; Whitt
New County Attorney
No single tragedy ever enacted in
the state appears to have more an-
gles and leads to it thnt the death
Owing to a most
connection with one
lus mi offer
he knows how to make a race and put
the strongest "pop into uny work ahead is shown
of the late Jake Hamon, of Ardmore. [ legal firms in the city, County At- j'-V the^faot that he piled up a whaling
Immediately after it was reported Bftermath of the investigation tomey Carl Monk last Monday filed K \ ote Jor the office. It is quite
that Harkey had made his statement. |brings rumors and reports and alle- | his resignation
bondsmen for both Buckley and Fry. | Rations and statements all the way with the county
who had been placed under $5000 I fr°m El Paso to Chicago and back to | take effect January 1, next. The re
assigned to duty in an enforcement American Garage at about that hour.
officer capacity under James Dowell, Investigation developed that a call
and L. M. Harkey, farmer and form- had come in for a car, and that three
erly in the grocery business on the men were waiting at the disabled car.
west side of the city. Harkey is at It was also found, the officers say,
liberty under a bond for $1000. Fry that when the service car reported,
is at I'berty under a bond for $5000, only two men were there, one of
t and Buckner was still held at the whom was Buckner. The car was robbery.
f county jail Thursday morning, not brought on into town.
having furnished the required $5000 Aboul 3 oVlock Thur.sday morning,
bad up to that time Fry was re- as M„ GUlock was lcavjn> the Ge£
leased Wednesday afternoon. His try.Lackey cafe he heard „ telpphom,
bond was signed by A. James, of Ola, f|l)| for a ^ tQ come *
Ark., his father-m-law, who quail-1celtain location on th t sjd f
bond on the first arrest Thursday ofjSan Francisco.
last week, reported to the county at-1 Clara Smith Hamon, the woman
tomey ami asked Io be relieved of sought in the case and charged with
further responsibility as bondsmen. | having fired the shot that put Ham-
Both men were re-arrested and on's life out, has not yet been ar-
placed in the county jail Monday fol- I rested, although prosecuting Attorney
'lowing the making of the statement,i Brown, of Ardmore, believes her ar-
Fry being released on Wednesday' rest is only a matter of hours now.
\vhen bondsmen appeared and quali-1 In fart, many believe she will now
fied to the entire satisfaction of the give herself up. since the flood of
examining judge. 1 publicity incident to her hurried de-
The preliminary examination of all parture from Ardmore has been well
three m n will be had before Judge aired and her diary gotten to the
R. A. Thompson next Monday, the Public. She is declared to be in hid-
cliarge against them being conjoint 'n£ in a Mexican citv, probalj
fied for $15,000 on the bond, and by
M. L. Green and Virgil H. Green,
each of whom qualified for $*,000;
and bv J. H- Munn, who qualified for
A full confession of the whole af-
fair. said to have been made to the
officers, including County Attornev
Monk, by Harkey, last Monday, lines
almost to the letter, it is said, with
the theory of the members of the
sheriff's force in developing the case.
The county attorney's office and
the sheriff's force workked unceas-
ingly for four days and nights before
having in hand the full ev:'Unce that
resulted in securing the Harkey con-
fession and at several times along
the way it looted lite leads ni"'ht
play out or end in a blind ancle. The
Bet result- are due to painstaking of-
ficial wo 1 ■ 'ani i i by unusually ex-
cellent "head work."
As will be recalled, Mrs. Bosletto,
with her 18-< ear-old daughter and a
sr i. tramped ;ntn the eitv Wednes-
di.v night "< lost week, arriving here
about 11 o'clock, and reported to the
sheriff's office that their home, near
the Redmon mine, west of the city,
had been entered, she and three of
the children had been led some dis-
tance from the house by a man rep-
resenting himself to be an officer,
some Choctaw beer was poured out,
the house ransacked and a trunk con-
taining $1300 taken. Her husband,
a confirmed invalid, had been left
in the house, and after she and the
children had been taken a short dis-
tance thev had been turned loose with
the statement that the enforcement
officers would he back after them
next morning. When she got hack
to the house, her husband told her
about the trunk having been remov-
ed. She hurried to town, as above
stated, and renorted the robbery.
Deputy-Sheriff Felix Gilloek and
others from the sheriff's office went
at. nnce to the Boslette home that
night. Thev ouest'oned members of
the family as to the annearance of
the men, the manner of their actions
generally, and inquired closely as to
wb" freouented the place.
The fact that the pretended of-
ficer on the night the home was rob-
bed had bond-cuffed Mrs. Bosletto,
led Mr. Gil'oeV to suspect that who-
ever entered the home must have had
access to either the state nrison or the
eountv fail, or to some similar insti
j Mrs. Bosletto stated, in reply to
questions as to who had been to her
j place within recent days that "Mr.
Buckner and a couple of friends" had
been there on the preceding Monday
evening. Also, the minute descrip-
tion given by Mrs. Bosletto as to the
man who actually handcuffed her on
the Wednesday night following this
visit of the three men, tallied remark-
ably with that of Henry Fry, in the
mind of the officers. Soon after this,
it was found on investigating among
local taxi-drivers that one of them
stated, after being closely question-
ed, that he had driven three men in
a taxi out to the Bosletto home on
the M |iday evening before the rob-
bery, and that one of the men was
Buckner and another was Fry but
that he did not know who the third
man was; that they bought a pitcher
or two of "choc." drank it, paid him
$2.50 for taking them out, and re-
Thursday morning, Deputy-Sheriff
Gilloek contrived to have Fry call at
the home of Enforcement Officer J.
B. Dowell. In the meantime, the two
Bosletto women, mother and daugh-
ter, had been taken to the Dowell
home and placed where they could
note the approach of anyone to the
home. Mr. Dowell called Fry over
the phone and asked him to bring his
siac-shooter and ."cabbard over, as he
needed them. When he approached
the Dowell home, the women are said
to have remarked: "He is the man
who arrested us Wednesday night."
Pry entered the house and the wo-
men each, without particularly arous-
ing suspicion, came into the room
and took a look at him. later reas-
suring the officers that Fry was the
man who had handcuffed Mrs. Boslet-
to that night. Deputy Sheriff Gab-
bert, who had been stationed in an
adjoining room at the Dowell home,
then came out and placed Fry under
At the time of his arrest Fry was
not directly in the employ of Mr.
the city. The location, connected with
other incidents of the evening, arous-
ed his suspicions still further, and he
investigated to ascertain who was
picked up by this car and where and
found, it is said, that the men were
Buckner and Fry, and that they had
been picked up at the Harkey home.
| Juarez, iust
across the line from El
Buckner has been an employe at the T'aso> Tex. It was asserted during
state prison for many years and was,'V week that she had a conversation
in charge of the convict gang on west with a newspaper reporter in San
Grand Avenue at the time he was ar- I Antonio, had told him that she shot
rested. Fry was formerly a deputy-' Hamon and why, and that he could
sheriff of Latimer County and, it is j 'ra(' ,0 her arrest any time if she
said, had also served as a guard at s'10"ld be guaranteed a trial by a jury
the state prison, in addition to as- '''omen.
sisting Mr. Dowell as an enforcement alleged diarv, taken from a
officer. | trunk in Kansas City and spread
The fact that parties suspected1 broadcast through a news agency
were well known made the handling
of the case from start to finish a
delicate task, both for the rourfy at-
Officers next centered their efforts ' tornoy s office and the Si1:; riff's of-
at finding whose car made the trip p" the officers being loath to ac-
to the Bosletto home on the night oflCP|?' the suspicions as well founded
the robbery. The car brought in by l,T1til having developed facts and cir-
the service man from the American i <*!'ms^an<'ps that left no other conclu-
Garage on the night of the robbery, I >l0n °Prn 'o them in the cast,
belonged, it was said, to Harkey. In
CRIMINAL COURT DOCKKT. *
it had been found, the officers say,
the letter addressed to Buckner. j*
Suspicion pointed to Harkey as *
having been at the Bosletto home on *
the night of the robbery. Thursday *
he was taken before Mrs. Bosietto, *
but she could not identify him as hav- i .
ing been one of the men at the house 1 . , , A . . - ,
that night, and the next day he was * ?ases ""Clreted for t"p Januarv
taken to the Bosletto home to see if * tPrm _ wstrict court, which
RosleHo could •'dentify hirr lie c',^ld
not, saying that he ■ was so badly
has attracted much attention and
caused much comment because of
statements made alleging continued
mistreatment at the hands of "the
colonel," as th« late national com-
mitteeman was reftercd to. This al-
lotted diary followed the. incidents
and events of her life down to two
days before the death of Hamon.
In the meantime, from
comes the report that the apartments
of Mrs. Joke Hamon, maintained in
that citv, have been entered and ran-
sacked bv mvsterious invaders, who
took mail addressed to Mrs. Hamon
his resignation as county attorney ®P,0PG8 that thes two oppeonnts for
commissioners, to ' both 'n the prime of busi-
ness and legal life, should enter into
the field of legal practice as asso-
ciates. Mr. McSherry has been asso-
ciated with Mr. Gordon since coming
to the city, rind has established him-
vi If thoroughly in the confidence and
esteem of not only the legal fratern-
ity, but of the public as well.
The new county attorney has
signation was accepted with pro-
nouncd regret by the commissioners.
O. H. Whitt, assistant county at-
torney, was named to succeed Sir.
Monk, after a spirited period of bal-
loting by the commissioners, there
being four well-known attorneys ap-
plicants lor the place. The selection
of Mr. Whitt was based not only on ass'stant to Mr. Monk for three years,
his efficiency as demonstrated in the '"I1' ''as t)r,'n constantly on the job,
position of' assistant attorney, but the exception of the time he was
because of his detailed knowledge of ,>nF Kcd in military service, having
the vast amount of criminal cases enlisted for service during the war
that are to be heardi during the Janu- an(' ')0,'n assignd to Ihe ordnance de-
ary term of district court. partment at Washi %-ton. Following
the armistice he returned home and
resumed his post as assistant attor-
nev for the county. He is an inde
Mr. Monk, the retiring eountv at-
torney, has served two full terms, and
was nominated for a third term with-
out opposition. He is rated as one of
the most effective county prosecut-
ors in the state, and the rating is bas-
ed on the fact that he has gotten re-
sults for the state during his incum-
bency of the office. No man in the
county attorney's office has surpass-
ed his work, a fact that was also in-
dicated by his repeated re-election to
He resigns to accept a partnership
with F. i). McSherrv, under the firm
name of Monk & McSherrv. with Hon.
James H. Gordon as consulting at-
torney. They will occupy the five of-
fices now occupied as law offices by
Mr. Gordon and Mr. McSherry.
pi,' | Mr. McSherry, the junior member
... ' I of the firm, had the unique distinc-
Because of its keen
to the people of the eountv, The * and which has accumulated during
Guardian is this week publishing + her absence at Ardmore and since the
the complete list of criminal * shooting of Hamon. It was susnect-
* ed hv the owner of the apartments
, * that this act. was "to sunnress facts
* opens Januar 3 -V that m >' ♦ b.v, bearing on the
This court term is of special * death of Hamon."
tatigable worker, has demonstrated
his ability in many instances to the
entire satisfaction of his former chief
in office, and has a county wide cir-
cle of friends who will be gratified
at !iU deserved promotion. He is a
graduate of one of the best law
schools of the country anil was a
practicing attorney with his brother.
| under the firm name of Whitt &
1 Whitt, at Crowder, at the time he
was appointed to his place as assis-
tant eountv attorney.
It is understood that the assistant
county attorney, who will be appoint-
ed to succeed Mr. Whitt, will be nam-
ed bv him prohahiv this week, in ord-
er that prenaration may start on the
line of evidence to he submitted by
the state in the manv eases to come
tion of opposing County Attorney I up at the Januarr .term of district
Monk !n the general election, and that 1 court.
e robbery occurred, but i . . ma'n tacts about the nrin- * late Jake Hamon, to the effect that
d an engagement with I , c1.Da' se* for trial will be ★ her husband had confessed to her that
said, according to the of- 1 . in The Ouardian. * he had formerly married Clara Smith
he and Buckner and Fry *********** but had been divorced from her at
frightened at the time the trunk was '
taken out he could not
Harkey, however, had
ing out with Buckley and
evening the robbery
said he had
had gone out to try to locate some
liquor that had been buried by an In-
dian on the state prison farm, and
that was how it happened, he said,
that they were out in his car at the
With these leads and the general
air of Harkey when questioned, how-
ever, the officers believed he had a
close connection with the affair at
the Bosletto home, and Mr. Gilloek
pressed him so close that he finally
gave what the officers say is a con-
fession that bears out practically all
their first theories on the case.
Following his alleged confession,
the trunk from the Bosletto home
was recovered, and $200 which he is
reported to have gotten as his share
of the booty that night, was turned
back to the office's and by them to
Mrs. Bosletto. The battered trunk
was also taken possession of bv her,
and returned to her home.
An odd thing in connection with its
contents when searched by the offi-
cers was the finding of a pair of
shoes made at the state prison, with
the state prison number and all still
showing. How they got into
trunk or when was a mystery.
Bosletto would not have "
importance, since it virtuallv
Also, from California comes
* THE WEATHER *
* Robert Combs, U. S. Weather *
* Observer, McAlester, Okla. *
Week ending December 8. 1920.
weatherford, Tex., in 1917; that he
had married her at the behest of his
uncle, Jake, and that for doing so he
had received a pension of $100 per
month; that he finally got tired of
this small amount and about two
months before the tragedy he loft,
saying he was going to Oklahoma to
"have it out with him," (Hamon) and
that she had not seen him since.
To cap it all, the county attorney
of Carter County, has changed the
charge against Clara Smith from
assault to kill to murder, in order
to simplify her return to Oklahoma
for trial when finally arrested.
Conn Alleges Illegal
Voting Files Contest
BURGLARS HAUL AWAY MASONIC TEMPLE TO
AUTO LOAD OF SILKS COST NEARLY MILLION
i When proposed improvements to
__j_ u i • . A, ,h'' '0l-al Masonic Temple are com-
Buiglars made their way into the , plotedl it is declared the building and
New > ork Store, at Hartshorne, some equipment, grounds and a,H, will rep-
time Wednesday night, and cleaned resent approximately $1000,000 in
the establishment of silks, silk shirts Actual construction has been
and fine „ n, * begun on the remodeling of the tem-
and fine dress goods to the amount „IPi un(ler plans draw£ by Charles
of from $i00 to $800, according to M. Thompson, the Little Rock architect
B. Epstein, proprietor of the store. I who drew the plans for the original
The burglary was not discovered un- ' *!uild,'.nK' Jhe new plans mean a
til Ml- Fnc+oln I n J i "Oubl'ng of temple accommodations
til Mr. Epstein went down Thursday ami wi„ this the secon(, temp]e
morning* to open his store for the in ma>rnificence in tho state, surpassed
day. Word was immediately dis- on'v by the new structure at Guthrie,
patched to the sheriff's office" and Plans for remodeling the local tem-
Sheriff Conn and Undersheriff Gil- j P'e were drawn two or three years
lock left early Thursday morning for ago, but construction work was held
Hartshorne, where every effort will be "P bv the war conditions. When fin-
made to locate the guilty parties. ished nnd equippped under the new
Entrance was gained through the plans the temple will contain more
frontdoor, which had apparently been than $25,000 worth of scenery alone—
unlocked. The goods were loaded in- a value greater than that of some of
to an auto or wagon waiting near the the most noted theatres in the West,
-That more than
Declaring that, if the votes cast in j for the
the last general election were prop- j sheriff
^e erly counted and the illegal votes Third-That more than 150 per-
a pains their going back into the trunk. I George Porter, filed formal suit in
I he shoes are in possession of Jus- i district court Wednesday, contesting
tice of the Peace Thompson. | the election of W. S. Sanders, the
Subsequently, Mrs. Bosletto admit- I republican candidate, and asking that
ted that she had taken the shoes, it is his certificate of election be cancel-
said, having accepted them, accoii'- 'led and annulled, and that certificate ^ _.lu
mg to her story, m exchange for' of election instead be issued to Sheriff | allowed to vote who were not
lhe number of the Coim. - .
Fourth—That at Carbon more than
60 persons were illegally registered
and allowed to vote, and that said
voters were republicans.
Fifth—That at Hartshorne, in
Wards 2 and 3, many persons were
shoes (convict number)
which is the number of
.. ...... . . i the poll books, and that many others
•a,, i • „ actl0n ,s dlrect«d against Will-, voted who had been illegally register-
, conv^t. iam S. Sanders, as the candidate de-i ed, and that the vote in these nre-
andle^-b^ i«S': Co,?nl>'' clared elected on the face of the elec- j eincts does not represent the senti-
and who is still serving in prison. , tion returns, and .against Robert Hall, I ment of the legal voters and should
The >nt.rr*t,«n that they might have C. C. Null and William P. Hill, the ! "ot be counted! that all^^f^ «id boxes
belonged to the person who committ- members of the county election board, j in these various precincts should be
front, and the operators got away
without disturbing anyone or their
operations being suspected. Practic-
ally the entire stock of silks in the
store was taken.
This is the second robbery in that
immediate vicinity in the past two
months, the other being when the
Famous Store, owned by Louis Roth-
baum, just across the street from Ep-
stein's, was robbed and a large quan-
tity of fine dress goods taken.
while facilities for handling masonic
reunions, exemplifying degree work,
and the like will bo as complete a-i
expense can make them.
Contract for the remodeling of the
structure has been let to Georpe
Deibler, a local contractor. Excava-
tion for tho foundation work has been
eoing on for several weeks. It was
held up tempororily during the recent
reunion, but work will be pushed now
with the greatest vigor, it is said.
ed the robbery at the home is there-
fore exploded, say the officers.
The trunk was found in a little ra-
vine on the old Busby pasture, now
owned by other parties, and located
just south of the state prison farm.
When the trunk was first rifled, it
is alleged, it was located on the state
prison farm, having been carried
The contest complaint sets out that thrown out and that the certificate
the returns, as certified to by the heretofore issued to Sanders be can-
board, showed a return of 5241 j rolled and made null and void.
votes for Conn and 5,322 votes for! The filing of this suit had been
Sanders, or a majority of only 81 j contemplated for some time, it is
votes all told. It is alleged that San-; said, but Mr. Conn did not want to
ders did not get as many votes as act until he had what he believed
shown by the face of the returns and was evidence to justify every chal-
. --- —- - ■— i that Conn received more than are lenge made in the election results
there for that purpose, but was later accredited to him by said returns. As the change in thp sheriffs of-
[nto^the Vo7her°nrem; u ^ and I . Briefly. the grounds specified for fice comes the first Mondav in janu-
into the other premises, where it was the contest are as follows; arv. following a general election it
found by tho officers. It had been j First—It is alleged that the elec- is evident that the filing of the con-
cut onen apparently with a knife, in ti6n officials generally misunder- ......
an effort to extract the money con- stood the law governing the counting
tents, a.nd later had apparently had of votes and that in many cases where
the lock removed. la "oter had voted under the circle in-
.No money, other than the $200 al- 1 dicated by the eagle (republican) and
leged to have been .uined back by t had also voted in the square oppo-
Harkey, has so far been recovered, site the name of the democratic nom- of tho office, before finally adiudi-
anv connection with 'the affafrV i |nee f°r "heriff, the.e ballots had | cated. but persons familia" with con-
HarkeTis S M J wlv ' i'','0? rrro"eousl>' thrown out as mu- tested cases noint out that, in such
statement tn ^ ? ' *llatei' when- >n fact, they should cases, even wher annealed to the hiVh-
statcment to the officers without any | have been counted for Cimn. | est court« for final determination
Wien Harkev starteS faTXi W ' Sew?~'^ °"e ^a-t80n' mnv h>' advanced as causes of public
wnen Harke> started to give his as election judge at Quinton, "went !-A * —J - *'—* v1
statement to the officers, County At- from booth to booth electioneering for
tornev Monk warned him that he did the republican candidate for sheriff,
not have to make a statement unless, in total disregard of the law," and
desired to do so; that the state that he persuaded voters to vote
would hold out no promise of immun- against Conn and that, in many in-
irv1* ,p?rt. stances, *0ie took the stamp from the
You are charged with one of the hands of the oter" and in opposition
most serious crimes in the catalog," to the voter's wishes voted his ticket
test will immediately take on tho
greatest political interest throughout
It has been suggested that the
case might drag through the courts
for a lone period, perhaps the term
McAlester Trust Company
interest and a final hearing had with
out any great delay.
Tn the meantime, during the inter-
vol between Januarv 3 and the date
when the suit will be determined.
Panders will be in charge of the of-
fice of sheriff and discharging the
functions o* same, as the de facto
sheriff of the eountv.
The Largest State Bank in Southeastern Oklahoma
DEPOSITS GUARANTEED UNDER STATE LAW
"IN THE HEART OF MCALESTER"
At Choctaw and First
E. M. FRY, President.
G. C. COCHRAN, Vice-President.
W. S. O'NEAL, Caahier.
CABELL C CORNISH, Asst. Cashier.
W. E. NASH. Asst. Caahier.
M. K. MOUSSA. Assistant Cashier
MELVIN CORNISH, Chairm?-.
SAM L MORLEY.
R. C. NELSON.
w. b. mcalester.
CHAS. E. HEAD.
Dr. E. N .ALLEN.
FRED C. SWITZER.
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Garrett, Forrest A. Pittsburg County Guardian (McAlester, Okla.), Vol. 16, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 9, 1920, newspaper, December 9, 1920; McAlester, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc141826/m1/1/: accessed September 20, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.