Ponca City News
June 16, 1923
HENRY GRAMMER DIES UNDER WRECK OF CAR NEAR SHIDLER THURSDAY
Henry Grammer, well-known Osage ranchman and former champion roper, being the leading figure at rodeos throughtout the nation, was killed instantly Thrusday night, his neck broken in a motor car accident seven miles west of Sidler this morning and probably will be brought here for burial Tuesday.
Grammer was 42 years old and been a resident of his vicinity since 1901 when he was employed as a cowpuncher on the Sylvester Soldami Ranch in the Osage Indain reservation. He was married here in 1907. He purchased the ranch just a few miles east of here and has resided there with his family during the past 15 years.
Grammer is survived by his wife and three children, a daughter, Thomasene 12 years old, and two sons, Lewis 14 and Henry Jr. 7 years, two sisters, Mres. LKasbener of near by Kaw City and Mrs. C Matthews of Dallas, Texas and an uncle, Ott Callahan of Kansas City.
Glamour surrounded Henry Grammer and he lived in an atmosphere of mystician, frequently in the linelight similar to that experienced by border days characters, and his career covered all that portion of the west from the Montana - Wyoming line to the land of the Osage. In type he was genuine oldtime cowboy, never yielding the spur and the lariat, and whatever the occasion and whenever he appeared it was wearing cowboy boots and spurs, with his lasso looped around the saddle horn. On the streets of Ponca City or Pawhuaka, Arkansas city and many of the other cities and towns of his portion of the west, he was a well-known, picturesque character.
Grammer had numerous distinctions. Not least among them was his well known ability to draw quickly, more so than other men, to shoot from his hip and to have an uncanny aim. He was reported to have many notches on his gun and amoung all the men who knew him, including hundreds of officers, there was never a one who cared to give the cause of opportunity to draw. It was told of Grammer that, premitting the other fellow to draw first, it was Grammers gun that spoke first always.
In addition to his reputation for drawing quickly, Grammer was an Osage ranchman, of considerable prominence an Osage squawman who controlled an extensive acreage, a cowboy of repute from Pendleton to Madison Square Garden, where he had appeared many times, and former champion roper of the world who had roped before practically all the crowned head of Europe during the period just prior to the World War.
No rodeo anywhere was complete without Grammer and even at an age when other men had quit, Grammer was seemly, as agile as ever, just as alert with the lasso and just as good a horseman.
There are more stories, connected with the career of Henry Grammer than any other such character of present period in America. On one occasion when he had offended Uncle Sam in some manner and was serving a sentence on a federal charge in , Oklahoma City, his services were in demand at Fort Worth to act as judge in a rodeo being given under the suspices of the Texas Cattlemen's Association, one of the prominent events of his nature in the southwest.
Learning of Grammers being detained by Uncle Sam, the rodeo officials got in touch with the federal authorities, explaining that they greatly needed Grammers expert knowledge, and he was released long enough to go to Texas City and act as judge, the authorities taking his word that he would return and complete his entence when the rodeo was over. This he did, going and coming back unaccompanied.
Grammer traveled for several years with the 101 Wild West Show and while thus engaged he roped before King Edwards and King George of England, Emperor Williams of Germany, King Leopold of Begium and other crowned heads.
Even as late as last September, during the 1922 rodeo at the 101 Ranch, Grammer waa scheduled to rope against Blue Gentry, also of Osage, for a purse of $500 and the championship of Oklahoma. Gentry had the misfortuure to break his leg while roping his first steer and the contest had to be abandoned. Grammer roped, however in the vatious events. He alwauys kept on hand a bunch of well trained roping horses.
On one occasion a few years agao, Grammer almost met his end, and for a time it was believed that he had, when he was literally cut to pieces by some fellow at Burbank. Grammer was taken to a hospital at Arkansas City and remained there some time, fully recovering and appearing not long thereafter in another rodeo. It was about this time that the daylight robbery of a bank at Coffeyville, Kansas occurred. The men who pulled the job entered the city in a covered wagon, made a perfect secess of the robbery during the afternioon and then escaped on horseback into the Osage Hills.
Authorities suspected Grammer and followed him to home, where he and a pal were asleep the next morning, following the robbery, many miles from Coffeyville. Grammer always laughed that he was to weak following his long hospital experience to ride a horse that far. It would have required constant, fast riding during the entire night. the Coffeyville job netted the men who pulled it about $25,000. An alleged confederate of Grammers told that the later needed money at that time to pay his hospital and doctor bills, together with those of a pal.
Grammer had a wonderful physique and was able to recover quickly. He was a friend in need on hundreds of occasions and many were the people who called on his assistance. On Aug. 7, 1920, Grammer shot and killed Jim Bery, a armhand in western Osage, but he was released on a self-defense plea following his voluntary surrender to the sheriff of Osage county. Another notch reported on his gun, was the allegeed killing of a man in Montana or Wyoming a number of years ago.
GRAMMER TO BE BURIED SUNDAY
Ponca City, -Services to be held at Christain Church
Funeral services for Henry Grammer, Osage county ranchman who was instantly killed in a motor car accident Thrusday night, will be held from the Christain Church at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Rev. E.C. Whitaker wiull offiiciate. Burial will be at the mausoleum.
Due to the fact that the concrete highway is impassable to motor cars the body will be carried to Fourteenth Street where a hearse from Ponca City will be waiting. Motor cars will be on hand to accomodate friends and relatives from the Osage side.
Grammer was killed when a motor car in which he was returning home from Shidler turned turtle when it struck a sharp curve in the road just west of DeNoya. John Mayo of Osage county was driving the machine and his wife was an occupant. Both Mayo and his wife were thrown clear of the car but Grammer was pinned beneath, his body being crushed.
Mayo and his wife reportedheld by Shidler authorities for investigation.
"His death was different from that of most men who had lived a life similar to his. He died with his boots on, it is true, but in his case, death allegedly came from being thrown out of a rolling Cadillac automobile, although it was highly suspected he was dead before the wreck."
Henry Grammer, King of the Bootleggers!!!!
See: "THE ROAD TO MARBLE HALLS - THE HENRY GRAMMER SAGA" by Arthur Shoemaker (2000 149pp)
ISBN# 0-9649790-9-8 Soft Cover $14.95
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