We were saddened to learn of the death of one of our charter Oklahombres memebers, Ken Butler.
His book " Oklahoma Renegads" and his many articles were some of the best on the history of Oklahoma's outlaws and lawmen.
He will be missed.
Dennis L Lippe, Chairman
Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial
PO Box 10776
Oklahoma City, OK 73140-1776
Ken's passing is that of a great historian of Oklahoma, and even more a great man. Mr. Butler will be greatly missed. If there are any funeral notices, please pass them on via this web page.
I know that several months ago, Ken was diagnosed with an eye condition and that his vision was quickly leaving him. In our last correspondence, I could tell that this fact and that he was losing his ability to conduct historical research and write articles were really having a hard impact on him. He was a great author/historian, a great Oklahombres, and a great man and will be sorely missed.
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Grave Side Services will be Friday at 2 P.M. at the Elk City Cemetery.
Rest in Peace Ken!......We will miss you.
"I wasn't but 145 pounds but I had a good pistol" T.W."Buckshot" Lane, Sheriff Warton County Texas
I did not know Ken long or well, but I admired him from a distance. You see, in writing, there are many "classic books;" novels with a style that every author attempts to copy. But, there are dang few short stories meeting the definition of classic, especially in the lawmen and outlaw genre. Ken Butler captured one of those few in a short story I first saw in the State Troopers Magazine, summer, 2001, entitled "Those Troublesome Stevenson Brothers." The story presented was the15 year outlaw career of a pair of brothers who each murdered a law enforcement officer. The focus and flow of the narrative was absolutely spell binding and in my opinion remains one of the best stories ever told. And, if it's true that we are remembered so long as just one person can recall our name, then, because he shared his ability in this writing and others, Ken will live on in the memories of historians a good long while yet.
'Twas good to live when all the range
Without no fence or fuss,
Belonged in partnership with God,
The government and us.
With skyline bounds from east to west,
With room to go and come,
I liked my fellow man the best
When he was scattered some.
When my old soul hunts range and rest
Beyond the last divide,
Just plant me on some strip of west
That's sunny, lone and wide.
Let cattle rub my headstone round,
And coyotes wail their kin,
Let hosses come and paw the mound,
But don't you fence it in.
By Badger Clark, Jr.
(Source: Riata And Spurs by Charles A. Siringo, Houghton Mifflin Company, NY (1931 pp. 260-261)
I haven't been on lately and just today learned about the passing of Ken Butler. I never met Mr. Butler but did share some email correspondence with him a few years ago. He wrote some stories that I am tied to by location and/or family. It was interesting corresponding with him and he was extremely friendly and helpful. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet him at some point. I will miss not having had that chance.
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