Does anyone know where the deputy U.S. marshals kept their horses and wagons in Fort Smith, Arkansas? I have never heard anyone talk about this.
Hey there Art
I have been racking my brain since reading your query and cannot think of the criminal case file I am needing. I remember seeing in my collection a case file from Fort Smith I think involving a horse, saddle, or gun that was stolen from a deputy marshal who I believe was Robert J. Topping while his horse, etc. were being boarded at a local livery stable in Fort Smith. I'm thinking that the file also mentioned the name of the stable. If I locate it I will post additional info.
On the Trail
Secretary/Editor Oklahombres Journal
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
FWIW, the following appeared in today's (7/9)Arkansas Democrat Gazette ("Justice Served: Fort Smith's hanging history ropes in Tourists"):
"Executions were also not open to the general public. Once a fence was built around the gallows, only about 50 people were allowed inside to witness the event."
"And hangings weren't an everyday event, [Park Ranger] Northrip said. U.S. marshals often used the empty enclosed area to corral their horses" (What's Up! section p. 11).
I finally found the story that I was thinking of. Though it states that the "barn" was in the Choctaw Nation, other indications throughout the story seem to refer to the "reservation" as the military or former military reservation of Fort Smith. You be the judge.
Harry Warfield (aka John Starr; a black man) and Joseph Kendrick were charged with the larceny of a pair of saddlebags, two undershirts, two pairs of socks, two locks, and one slicker coat from Bernard Connelly in the Choctaw Nation on November 4, 1886. The same time they also took from James Collins a bridle, from Scott Andraine two overcoats. Warfield was arrested at Fort Smith on November 5 by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bernard Connelly. Both men were found guilty and sentenced (Fort Smith Case File, Harry Warfield & Joseph Kendrik, #195)
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bernard Connelly stated on November 9, 1886:
"I came in here [Fort Smith] with my outfit a week ago last Monday and went over to the Hunter barn on the Reservation and put up. Last Thursday, noon, we put our bedding, clothing, etc. up stairs in the barn. I saw my saddlebags hanging up there at noon Thursday. Friday morning Scott Andraine missed his overcoat. I then went upstairs to see about my things. I found my saddle riders and slicker coat gone. George Bartles and H.M. King who belonged with my outfit came up. Kings overcoat and Bartles' pants were missing. I had seen Warfield around there late in the evening before and I suspicioned[sic] him. Soon after we missed the things Warfield came back to the stable and when he left I followed him. He went down to the Texas corner and went into a wagon yard and came around out of the yard and went to a man who had a load of corn and talked to him a little and then got in the wagon and they went off together in the direction of the Hunter barn. Soon afterwards we say him on the street in town, he soon afterwards came back to the Hunter barn and stayed there a few minutes then struck out around the Cemetery. We overtook him at the planing[sic] mill. The policeman who was with me told him he would have to go back and told him what he was accused of. Warfield denied it. The policeman then told him that if he would get up the things he would not bother him. He said he knew nothing about the things and the policeman then told him he would have to come back. We started on back. I came on to the barn and after I had left there a minute or two I looked back and saw that policeman and Warfield had stopped and were talking. I went back, policeman said that Warfield said that if we would give him a little time until he could see Joe Davis he would get the things. He then took us over to old man Harris in the Choctaw Nation when we go there we found old man Harris and Joe Kendrick there. Warfield, Harris and the policeman stepped out and while they were out Joe left. Warfield then called to me and said the fellow was not there, that we would go up to Joe Davis' house. When we got up there we found no one there, but a Chink of a boy, he asked the boy where Joe Davis was, the boy told him he did not know any Joe Davis in that country. Warfield then said we might as well go back we can't find him. I then brought him back to town and turned him over to Bartles to guard while I went back and made a search. When I got back over there I found he was making his home with Joe Kendrick. I went to Joe's house, he was out in the field and I sent him word to come in that I was going to search his house. Bud Heady was with me. Kendrick and old man Harris came down to the house. We searched the house, we found a bridle Heady brought the bridle out and asked Joe if he knew anything about the bridle, then he looked at it and said Harry wArfield brought it there Tuesday or Wednesday on a pony. Heady then picked up a pair of reins and asked him if he knew anything about them. He said they belonged to his harness bridle that he had owned them all summer. So we left the reins but brought the bridle along with us. Mr. Collins who stays at the Hunter stable readily recognized the bridle as his. I told him about the reins being over there and described them to him. He showed me the ends of a pair of reins he had lost. On Saturday morning, I went back over to Kendrick's, Harris going with me. I got the bridle reins. I found a horse brush that I had identified as belonging at the Hunter stable. Joe told me that Harry had brought it there Friday morning. I then told Joe that he had better get thosee things up that he knew all about them. He said well we will hunt for them maybe we can find[sic]. Harris told me about some shirts that Harry had brought there to Harris' so we went down to Harris'. I went to some clothes hanging on the fence and found an undershirt of mine and a pair of drawers. I then went back to Kendrick's house and made another search. I was shown Harry's box and I went down into it and found another undershirt in it that belong to me. I went to a wash tub there and found one of Bartles' shirts that was all we found in the house. We looked in the cotton field but found nothing. Joe proposed to go into another field where there were logs laying around and maybe we would find something there. We looked around and found nothing. When Joe said there is an old hollow stump here we haven't looked into, we had better look in that. Harris got to the stump a little before I did and spoke and said I expect here are your goods that you are hunting for. I went there and found my slicker, my saddle riders, and Scott Andrains overcoat, everything had been taken out of the saddle riders except some cartridges. I brought things back over here bring Joe Kendrick with me. Sunday, Scott Andrain, old man Harris, and myself went back to Kendrick's house to make another search. That day I found a pair of locks belonging to me hid up behind a rafter under the roof of the kitchen. Monday old man Harris brought over two pair socks that belonged to me. Whilie we were hunting for the stolen property when Kendrick was with us he denied knowing anything about them. Among the articles lost by me were 2 undershirts worth $1.00, 1 pr saddle riders worth $3.00, 1 pr drawers worth .25, 1 shirt checked worth .50, 1 pair cuff buttons worth $1.50, 2 locks worth .60, cartridges cal 38 worht .25, 75 rounds 44 cartridges worht 1.00, 1 slicker coat worth $2.00. There were also some cuffs and collars and 2 shirts belonging to Bartles in the saddle riders worth something, I don't know how much." (Fort Smith Case File, Harry Warfield & Joseph Kendrik, #195)
Henry Harris stated he and Kendrick were sitting on the porch of Harris' house when Connelly and the policeman arrived. Warfield claimed to be working in Fort Smith at a stable taking care of a sick man. (Fort Smith Case File, Harry Warfield & Joseph Kendrik, #195)
Warfield was found guilty on three counts of larceny and sentenced to a total of three years in the Southern Illinois Penitentiary at Menard where he was delivered by Deputy U.S. Marshal J.C. Pettigrew on November 17, 1886 (Fort Smith Case File, Harry Warfield & Joseph Kendrik, #195)
The Indian Journal December 1, 1886 notes Warfield and Joe Kindrick convicted of larceny and sentenced to three years each in penitentiary not specific on which prison.
Harry Warfield, alias John Starr, was a discharged soldier of the 10th Cavalry at Fort Sill in 1872 when he and another soldier were accused of murdering a man named Edward Van Antwerp at that post. Both men apparently were discharged for want of evidence. However, Warfield went on to become a constant menace in the Indian Territory being arrested throughout the 1880s and 1890s and serving several penitentiary terms. He also later served two terms in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester in the 1910s-1920s. He died in the 1920s in Oklahoma and is buried in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery.
On the Trail
Secretary/Editor, Oklahombres Journal
On the Trail
Secretary, Oklahombres Inc.
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