Lute Houston
Chickasha Daily Express, Saturday, April 4, 1903: Readers of the Express will recall the tragic death of Lute Houston, a brother in law of Mat Chilton and Luther Smith of this city, whose dead body was found Tuesday, November 4, 1902, near Swan Lake, near Ft. Cobb in the Kiowa and Comanche country. Houston's body was found by a party of hunters, whose attention was first attracted to the spot by buzzards wheeling over it. They investigated and found the body of a man who had evidently been there several days, which had been picked and torn by buzzards. Both sides of the skull had been crushed, and there was a running noose around the neck, which seemed to indicate the manner of his death.
Houston had left Chickasha 3 weeks before leading 3 horses and riding a valuable animal. The supposition was at the time that he had been murdered by horse thieves, but now it appears that Houston had been employed by the federal authorities here to procure evidence against a band of outlaws, and knew too much for his own good. At any rate he was murdered in cold blood, and his body left as food for the buzzards, while his horses were made away with.
A few days ago Ben and Jim Hughes, two old ranchmen living north of Mountain View, in the new country, were arrested by the authorities at Cordell, charged with the murder. The Hughes' have been under suspicion for the murder for several months past, and their actions have been closely watched by the authorities in hopes of securing sufficient evidence to convict, which they now believe the have secured. The brothers are well known the country over as bad men. For years their ranch north of Mountain View has been the harboring place of all classes of criminal, including horse thieves, train robbers, and hold up men. They are know to have been associates and members of the Perkins, Moran, Casey and Doolin gangs, and their place has been under the surveillance of the officers for a long time. The brothers were tried and convicted in Texas for train robbing several years ago, only escaping through a technicality. The officers are sure they have the right men.
Later: Tom Burke, a well known citizen of Chickasha, has been appointed field DUSM in place of J. Lee Smith, who tendered his resignation several days ago to wed Mrs. Colbert of Bradley. Mr. Burke is a splendid man for this position, and will make a worthy successor to Mr. Smith.
Later: Luther Smith has been appointed U. S. Jailor for the Chickasha jail by Judge Hosea Townsend, the appointment to date from April 1, 1903. This appointment was made in place of Mr. Gibson who resigned some time ago. Mr. Smith has already been sworn and has taken his position.
For more information on Houston, see Deadly Affrays, The Violent Deaths of the US Marshals, by Robert Ernst (Scarlet Mask:2006)
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