Cowboy Skeletons
"Celler Under Old Saloon Reveals Skeletons of Three Gamblers at Table"

Ponca City, Okla., Sept. 5 (1912):

Three skeletons, sitting in chairs about a poker table with $275.75 in front of them was the grouesome sight that was found...met the gaze of spectators when the old "Missouri John" saloon building on South First street was moved from its foundation.

The discovery was made in a secret cellar, which no one in the city ever dreamed was in existence.

These men were all dressed in cowboy attire, slouch hat, buckskin leggings, high heeled boots, with silver spurs, each having a six-shooter in his belt.

On the table in front of them were several stacks of different colored poker chips and $275.75 in currancy and silver. Besides this, there was a full case of quart bottles of Heim beer sitting close by, with just three empty bottles in the case.

How these men came to their death is as much of a mystery as the secret cellar with its secret passage to the cold storage house on the rear of the lot. No mark of violence could be found and there was not an empty chamber in any of the three guns.

(Source: Ramona Herald {Wash. Co., OK} dated September 6, 1912, page 1 column 5)
Posts: 195 | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Did anyone have Aces & Eights? On a more serious note, with this being a hidden cellar it could have been tight enough to trap carbon monoxide from the lamps, and probable cigars (possible heat stove)but that is pure supposition. I wonder if a coroner's report still exists that may give an understanding of what actually occurred.
Posts: 47 | Location: Pawnee | Registered: Fri June 17 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Carbon monoxide poisoning from the lamp was my "first guess" as well. They just sat there, studying their cards, and went to sleep . . . the long sleep!

No coroner records exist!
Posts: 195 | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I believe I have a picture of that building in Ponca, from that time period. Will try to get it on here or on my Osage County Tribute. com site for you`ll to see.
Lot`s of claim jumpers ended up floating down the Arkansas River a little earlier then this. I know that`s how we held that good bottom land.
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(Ponca City Courier dtd 8/29/1912 p4c2-3):

"The Old Saloon and New Garage"

'Missouri John's' old saloon on South First street is being hauled away from the corner near the old passenger depot.

In saloon days, it used to be the resort of yeggmen, and for every crook known in the category of crime - - male monstrosity, and female degenerate, but many a good man, who had seen better days, buried his sorrow over John's 'mahogany'.

He (John) would either buy or take in exchange for booze, any kind of merchandise that was ever bought, sold . . . born, begotten or manufactured, from a package of pins to a circus camel.

W.H. McFadden, oil well producer, will erect an automobile public garage on this spot that will make all other competitors forget they're in the business.

"A Ghastly Discovery"

At 4:15 this afternoon, a Courier reporter entered a chamber of horrors. As we go to press at five o'clock, there is no time to write the story or put it in print. Suffice it now, that three skeletons were discovered and a carload of bottled booze. This evidence of some mysterious crime, may, probably be removed tonight. Read tomorrow issue.

{Next Issue Of Ponca City Courier - - Missing!}
Posts: 195 | Registered: Mon December 15 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oldwest~ You known ther wer a bounty out on me.
I`ll cut you a deal.
Yo`all go out on SecondLifeStudios.com-
That snow scene on the gallery is 1st st. Ponca City Okla.about that time period.
No hard feeling on my part just hope you wear glasses.
We`re even.
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