I noticed someone referred to Floyd as "Choc Floyd" - was he Choctaw??
Second, for what it's worth, my Great Aunt managed a hotel in Oklahoma where she became acquainted with Floyd when he came to stay there. Floyd was often at her house for dinner when he was in town. I don't know if this was just a casual friendship or perhaps he was related in some way. Aunt Beckie was married so it wasn't a love interest. The Hotel was in Hugo, OK. Clydene
As I remember the story, He was nicknamed "Choc" because of his preference for choc beer. This was a beer from a Choctow Indian recipe, and was sold in buckets.
( formerly Cowboy Dan)
When Pretty Boy Floyd , wife Ruby Hardgraves filed for divoice on January 4,1929, My great grand father A.W.Comstock ,a well known Pawhuska attorney,having represent Chief`s of the Osage Tribe and other tribe members, oilmen like Barnsdall,friends with Governors,Henry Johnson, William (Alfalfa Bill Murray, represented her. Said she charge her incarcerated husband with neglect.
Our old family tales of hiding Ruby out in Pawhuska, Oklahoma on Ninth Street in the old Wares Home a full-blood Osage city home, my Aunt Daisy Ware watch out after her. This was doing the divoice.
I have another interesting story about Pretty Boy and Ruby son Jack Dempsey Floyd don`t know if it`s been told before, later, rooster up, and I need some strong firehouse coffee.
76 years later,what's the consensus about
Charley Floyd's involvement at the massacre at Union Station?
He denied it to the bitter end but...
Although the massacre did not fit Floyd's M.O. he can be placed in KC at the time of the shootings.His travelling partner's fingerprints were found at the residence of someone who was likely involved. A witness on the scene ID'd Floyd as one of the shooters(Shaky witness though.)Floyd also had heavy connections to individuals who were behind or at least somehow connected to the massacre.... Although my gut feeling tells me he was involved I'm still not totally convinced ...R.D.
Verne Miller was absolutely involved in the massacre.
Verne Miller told Vi Mathis that Floyd did a great job of driving the getaway.
Vi Mathis told the FBI of those comments.
Adam Richetti's fingerprint(s) were found at Miller's house.
Incidentally, the same machine gun Miller used at the Kansas City Massacre was used to kill John Lazia.
Miller either gave or sold the gun to Lazia's organization after the incident.
True, Miller was apparently one of the triggermen. But,I'm not certain of the truthfulness of many of the informants and witnesses that crawled out of the woodwork in the aftermath of the massacre and some of the investigative techniques of the FBI at the time stunk to high heaven.I take many of their conclusions with a grain of salt as well...On the other hand, due to Floyd's folk-hero status many people have refused to consider his involvment in such a cold-blooded assassination since it tarnishes his "Robin Hood" veneer..... Although a debate has raged for seventy-odd years concerning the details of the KC affair the evidence does point to Floyd being involved in this heinous crime...
Now, while there is no doubt that Miller did some shooting, there is nothing to suggest Floyd ever fired a shot.
Also, Miller was on the run in Chicago the day after the shooting and was treated for a small wound to his hand by Volney Davis.
While Miller was the gunman, I doubt that Floyd fired even a single shot. The explanation of events in Robert Ungar's "Union Station Massacre" has a reasonable and logical explanation about the shots fired. Much more so than FBI information.
The information about Miller came from Mathis after being held for over ten days and questioned "away from prying eyes and attorneys". She wouldn't talk until she had some assurances her statements would be kept strictly confidential. It was driving the FBI nuts because she wouldn't talk.
The agent who finally was able to reconcile the situtation, was also the agent who shot and killed Floyd upon instruction from Purvis. The Ohio policeman who waited until the seventies to tell what happened has not been credible due to the passage of time. There is reason to believe him.
A bit of Floyd related trivia...suspected PB Floyd associate, Wesley "Shine" Rush, who died in 1966, was buried at Little Cem. Seminole,OK. He was suspected of robbing banks in Garber, Wayne and Stratford,OK.(All in 1934) Convicted of the Garber job and received 20 yrs. Paroled in 1944. His brother ,Jim Rush, was murdered in some sort of hassle in Earlsboro in 1935...How deeply Shine was involved with Floyd is anyone's guess...
Adding to the Shine Rush story: it apears not only was his brother Jim Rush shot in the back during an altercation in a Earlsboro cafe in 1935 but two other brothers died of lead poisoning as well. William Rush was gunned down in a theatre in Gannings, Ok in 1925 and Walter Rush was shot dead in a Teralton dance hall in 1936. Rowdy bunch of oifield toughs...
Agreed, to make sense of the KC Masssacre one must lean heavily upon Unger's fine book...I would highly recommend a visit to the scene of the crime. KC's Union Station is awesome to behold.
Speaking of Floyd and Erv Kelley murder... When I interviewed Floyd's brother-in-law years ago he stated Charley informed him that Kelley's stepping in front of the car that fateful night was an "Act of suicide."....In talking to Mark Lairmore's son, he said, "The posse formed at our Tulsa home before going on to Bixby. Kelley let me hold the machinegun he was using. He had recently been given the weapon by the OK Bankers Association.I was a teenager at the time.I observed Kelley having a hard time working with the gun."...I have always thought Kelley's not being familiar with the Tommy-gun might have put him behind the 8-ball that night...
I've always thought if Mark Lairmore,Crockett Long and Jim Stormont would of not left the area for coffee the results of the Bixby ambush would of been vastly different. All three of these officers were noted mankillers and their combined efforts would of likely bested Floyd and Birdwell in a stand-up gunfight...Wonder why the state has never placed a marker at the site of the Kelley killing or at least on the nearby highway...This would be a good project for Oklahombres to get involved in...Anyone out there agree or disagree???
Yes, Kelley deserves to be honored. Since I haven't done much research on this era, I did a quick google search on Erv Kelley and came up with the Tulsa World's Centennial story on him and his run in with Floyd. A question has arisen, the article gave me a confusion about which way the car's headlights were facing; were they on Kelley's front or back? This is a small point that doesn't detract from Kelley's bravery, but would possibly explain Floyd's brother's assertion that it was suicide to step into the light. The World article is at: http://www.tulsaworld.com/webe...25_238_A1_hLawm25410
Kelley foolishly stepped out from the cover of the chicken house into the lane at the pasture gate facing the oncoming car's front. Birdwell then popped on the headlights exposing the lawman. The vigilante/farmers standing watch with Kelley remained behind the poultry barn. Once the shooting started they ran for tall cotton.....Strange that when I interviewed Cecil Bennett's elderly daughter (Thirteen-years-old at the time) she claimed to have heard nothing out of the ordinary that night although the Bennett home was only thirty yards from the gun-battle site. On the other hand, Officer Counts, stationed three hundred yards distant, heard what he described as popping noises like firecrackers. Of course Kelley's chopper was equipped with a crude silencer while Floyd and Birdwell's pistols were not....Naturally, Floyd's brother-in-law claimed Birdwell was the actual shooter… He did imply Floyd was a good shot, saying, "He could easily knock down a running rabbit at a hundred and fifty feet with a .22 rifle"...According to the brother-in-law, "Our family tried to get word to Charley concerning the ambush earlier that night but failed. We left a lantern burning in the window ( A signal meaning danger) but he must of failed to see it. " Tearing up, he added, " The Charley I knew was a very sweet man."..Incidentally, the individual that currently owns the property where the shootout occurred found two smashed .45 cal. slugs at the old gate with a metal detector...
Ok, thanks for the point of clarification.
Interesting thoughts on Floyd and Kelley. I agree that it would be nice for a marker to be placed on the local area of where the gunfight in Bixby took place. Funding for this is a problem. If Oklahombres or any member wanted to start a Memorial Fund for this I would be in favor of it. We would have to get permission from the owner of the land and/or City of Bixby. Any other members have thoughts or idea on this???
It was my understanding that Crockett Long did not actually leave the location, he just was not at the same place as Kelley.
You’re right. My mistake, I had Crockett Long confused with Detective J. A.
Smith. According to reports, Long and A. B. Cooper were with Kelley until they
left the scene about five minutes before the shootout joining Officer Counts at
a schoolhouse located 500 yards north of the chickenhouse (The schoolhouse was
located at the present intersection of the new highway). Anyway, Okmulgee County
Sheriff Jim Stormont (Brother of legendary Dep. US Marshal Don Stormont), along
with Tulsa City Detectives Lairmore and Smith, left their posts at an
intersection located a half-mile south of the farm a few minutes earlier. The
three officers had maintained their position for more than six hours before
travelling to town for coffee.…As for the local farmers stationed with Kelley
during the gun-battle. I was told by old-timers who knew them, they were present
just to collect a share of the reward money offered for the capture of Floyd and
Birdwell. One, armed with a shotgun, ran for tall cotton the second the first
shot was fired, while the other, armed with an automatic rifle supplied by the
officers, claimed the weapon jammed, so he threw it to the ground and fled into
the nearby pasture….Incidentally, Crockett Long was involved in the Stonewall
raid where he and a dozen officers attempted to ambush Floyd and Birdwell while
they were hiding in a barn owned by Ellis Echols. The affair was complete
fiasco. They were literally the posse that couldn’t shoot straight. The infamous
duo escaped without a scratch while posse members claimed their bullets simply
bounced of the pair due to their wearing bullet-proof vests, steel helmets and
shoes…Echol’s grandson informed me his Granny turned the outlaws into the
authorities because Grandpa had stopped working the crops in order to drink
“Moonshine” with the pair. An elderly gentleman, who bulldozed the barn down
years later, told me the structure was riddled with bullet holes….As for the
Bixby posse members, Erv Kelley was an efficient lawman turned bounty-hunter but
not a gunman, neither was Bill Counts. Lairmore was definitely a noted
“Shootist” as was Detective Smith. Stormont was a one term sheriff with no other
law enforcement experience while A.B. Cooper was involved in many manhunts over
the years. He reminded me of the actor Sidney Greenstreet. I’ve never read of
his pulling the trigger but he must have during his lengthy career. Long was the
traditional “Cowboy” type lawman who proved himself plenty “Game” on several
occasions including the Madill gunfight vs Wiley Lynn.
According to many sources, including Erv Kelly's nephew, Floyd was hit by possibly as many as four times, below the belt by Kelly's gunfire. In 2007, 85-year-old James Kelley was quoted as stating that: "His uncle recruited six veteran lawmen and two deputized farmers...under a full moon on April 9, 1932, the vigil produced only hunger and chills..Kelley allowed most of the men to take a break from the stakeout at the farm," just west of Bixby. "The two farmers and Kelley stayed behind to watch things. Just before 3 in the morning an auto pulled up to the gate, with it's headlights suspciciously off. When the lights were turned on abruptly, it exposed Kelley's position. Kelley then ordered the two individuals to halt." Floyd had stepped out of his auto and "fired from his .45 pistol, hitting Kelley four times, twice in his chest." kelley had somehow fired from his submachine gun "14 rounds, most of them hitting the ground," but Floyd was definitely hit by two if not more shots. His partner in crime at the time, George Birdwell, received no injuries. Kelley fell to the ground mortally wounded as Floyd jumped back in to his vehicle and the pair drove-off. Floyd later told the press that this incident was the only time he had shot and killed a law enforcement officer. Kelley's main error in the gunfight was having two inexperience farmers stay with him as the main force of his group left the scene.
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