I have been doing my families genealogy and I need help in where to look for information. Two of my great grand uncle's were in law enforcement in Shawnee, Oklahoma. According to family stories, Alfred H. Grall was the first Marshall of Shawnee. He served as Marshall from 1894 to 1898. Later, his brother Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Grall was Chief of Police in Shawnee, but I don't know of the years. I think Frank's son Art Grall may have been in law enforcement also in Seminole.
My cousin and I are traveling to Shawnee next week. We have heard that both Alfred and Frank's pictures are hanging in the halls of the Police Department in Shawnee and we are hoping they will let us take pictures of the pictures. While we're there we were hoping to do some research. Would it be better to go to the library in Shawnee, or to a bigger library like one in Oklahoma City? Does anyone know of any books that might have a bio of one or both of them? We are also planning to visit their graves which are in Seminole.
Any help, idea's or direction would be most appreciated!
Since you are going to Shawnee, I would suggest you do a search on the internet to see if Shawnee and Seminole have genealogy/historical societies visit them - generally when these are in the smaller towns they are not open on Saturday and Sunday. I have not been to either in those two towns, but sometimes historical socities in these small towns have good information. Also, sometimes their genealogical information is kept at the public library - so check for both. Check the internet for public libraries in those two towns - sometimes they have rather strange hours to be open.
My experience with police deparments and sheriff's offices is that if they have phtos on the wall somewhere, you would be able to photograph those. If you find a photo on the wall, ask if they have extras filed around somewhere.
It sounds like you are coming from out of state. I would also suggest that you go to Oklahoma City to the Oklahoma History Center (on the corner of Laird and NE 23 Street in OKC - very easy to find). They have most of the newspapers that have been printed in OK. I do not know if the newspapers for Shawnee and Seminole go back to the time frame for which you are talking, but if you are from out of state, it would be well to check. It may be the newspapers carried the obits for your persons. The Oklahoma History Center research room is open Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am till 4:00 p.m. They have a very informative website.
WOW - great information. You are right. I am coming from Texas (not too far away) but my cousin is flying in from Reno. We will only have 3 days, and I'm sure that time will fly by fast. I am most interested in the Oklahoma History Center - that sounds like it would be just the place to go.
I will check tonight to see if Shawnee and/or Seminole have genealogical societies. I should have thought of that myself.
Thank you so much for your help. We are both excited about the trip.
Below is what I have on Frank Grall:
Frank Grall was born about 1870 in Missouri. He was a deputy U.S. marshal for the Western District of Arkansas. He later served as Chief of Police of Shawnee, O.T. and was Sheriff of Seminole County from 1917-1920. He was a member of a posse that shot and killed a gang of thieves in 1893 after the thieves had robbed a Rock Island passenger train. In 1920, he was living with his wife, mother, and two children in Wewoka, Seminole County, Oklahoma where he was serving as Sheriff.
-"Daily Oklahoman", July 25, 1917
-"The Seminole Producer", October 26, 1980
-1920 Federal Census, Wewoka Town, Seminole County, Oklahoma, ED#256, Sheet #4A
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
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