Does anyone know what ever happened to Rose Lutke and Sgt. Daniel Thompson, both of whom were along with Federal Prohibition Officer Wiley Lynn when he shot and killed Bill Tilghman at Cromwell, OK?
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
The last thing I found on Rose was a 1930 story about pleading guilty in federal court for conspiracy in a liquor operation, along with the former mayor of Earlsboro and former police chief of Earlsboro.
Dee, do you know what newspaper this is and what the date is?
Thanks for the info!
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Trying to remember where I saw something on that. Mother was born in Cromwell so run across a lot of odd info doing genealogy research. Will look, but in the meantime, an interesting bit of Tilghman info from the 'Oklahoma Almanac' April 21, 1929:
Bill TILGHMAN, son of former marshal of Oklahoma City who was killed when marshal in the Cromwell oil district by Wylie LYNN, also an officer, in November, 1924, arrested at Davenpor as F. B. WISNO--25 years for cojoint robbery---escaped prisoner from the Tennessee penitentiary at Nashville. Tilghman was arrested as he stepped from a bus and said he was awaiting the arrival of Wylie LYNN on the next bus.
Found it, had downloaded it for my mother in 2001. An article by Tilghman's distant cousin on the 'Bill Tilghman Celebration Day' website. It is a long interesting article at the bottom of the page. http://www.rootsweb.com/~oklincol/tilghman/tilghman.htm
This is an excerpt:
On Halloween night,1924, Tilghman, Deputy Hugh Sawyer, and businessman W.E. Sirmans were having coffee at Ma Murphy's cafÃˆ (adjacent to her reputed brothel) when a shot rang out.
Tilghman, whose cancer had made wearing a gunbelt intolerable, drew his Colt's .32 automatic from a vest pocket and went into the street to investigate. A drunken Wiley Lynn stood there, gun in hand. Brothel madam Rose Lutke was standing next to him. Another known prostitute, Eva Caton was sitting in Lynn's car with her date, a furloughed army sergeant.
Tilghman clasped Lynn's gun hand while jamming his own automatic into Lynn's ribs. He yelled for Hugh Sawyer to disarm Lynn. Rose Lutke, Lynn and Tilghman stood body to body in the dark as the young deputy rushed towards them. Two shots rang out. Lutke started screaming. After a few seconds, Tilghman slumped against the wall. Lynn disarmed Sawyer, who had yelled "Wiley Lynn has shot the Marshal!" though he had been unable to actually see the incident.
Lynn and Lutke jumped in the car and sped off.
William Matthew Tilghman died twenty minutes later on a sofa in the used furniture store next to Ma Murphy's. He had been hit twice in the left lung and bled to death internally.
Perhaps the most interesting aspects of his death were those things that happened afterwards.
Tilghman's body lay in state at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
One month later, the town of Cromwell was torched. No family homes were set afire, but every flophouse, bar, pool hall and brothel was leveled. It is said that the fire was retribution and was set by one of the "good guys."
Had it been a Cromwell resident, the fact would have come out in the ensuing three-quarters of a century. It is more likely that it was a Tilghman lawman friend, like Madsen or Long.
As reputedly promised by organized crime bosses, Lynn got the best jury, witnesses and counsel that money could buy. He was found not guilty. Key witnesses never showed up.
Rose Lutke disappeared.
In 1932, Wiley Lynn was killed in a shoot-out in a drug store in Madill by none other than Oklahoma Crime Bureau agent Crockett Long. Long and a teen-aged bystander also died.
At the onset of WW II, skeletons were found in the Amerada Oil tanks in Cromwell. Had the mystery of the whereabouts of Rose Lutke been solved?
Cromwell laid out in 1923
Cromwell Post Office established May 17, 1924
Tilghman had been Cromwell Town Marshal for a few weeks before his killing.
Does the Cromwell Town Directory for 1924 list any member of Town Marshal/Police besides Tilghman?
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