O.K., someone tell me what this is all about:
From the Purcell Territorial Topics, March 27, 1890:
"Judge Jennings of Kingfisher, father of Prof. J. J.; Atty Ed; and Dept Marshal Al Jennings, is here this week visiting the boys. He is a hale, hearty old gentleman of genial disposition and suave manners and shows very clearly that the boys are "chips off the old block." Like each of the boys he is an accomplished musician, having put in many years with bands, therefore the band room of his son's band at this place was to him a particular attraction and he paid it a visit on Tuesday evening, complimenting the boys very highly upon the advancement they are making."
The mention of Al Jennings being a deputy U.S. marshal is sure news to me. Anyone else have any other documentation on this?
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
Al Jennings (the self-admitted "Terror of Oklahoma") certainly had a most varied resume, including stints as a chicken rancher, evangelist, politician, and train robber, but I'm not aware he ever served as a deputy marshal. In fact, he had a rather low opinion of USDMs. In the article he wrote which appeared under O. Henry's byline ("Holding Up A Train") he notes that " . . . the majority of these upholders of the law [i.e. USDMs] were once lawbreakers, horse thieves, rustlers, highwaymen, and outlaws . . . and that they gained their positions and immunity by turning state's evidence, by turning traitor and delivering up their comrades to imprisonment and death." I suspect the article Mike found is simply inaccurate in its description.
Okay, this is from the Purcell Territory Topics for June 12, 1890:
"Our young friend, Mr. Al Jennings, has resigned his commission as Dept. U. S. Marshal, and has been admitted to the bar at Paris, Texas, to practice in state and U. S. Courts. We congradulate our friend upon entry to the profession in which he will doubt attain a high place."
At this time, one of Al's brothers was a practicing attorney in Purcell, I. T. and his father was a frequent visitor. The family later moved to the Pottawatomie and Sac & Fox reserve and Purcell was the "jumping off" point for Oklahoma Territory folk moving there.
Could it be possible that Al really did hold a commission out of Oklahoma Territory or Kansas? And, how would one confirm that?
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