Today I came across the amusing story “Bad Man in Town” from the Ada Evening News, in Oklahoma, August 27, 1910. The reporter had a way with words. Although the story was not intended to be funny, I laughed until my side hurt and then decided to share it with you. The story occurred at Francis, a community several miles northeast of Ada, and was first reported in the Francis Wigwam:
Bad Man in Town. “Last Friday our city was honored by the presence of Tom Starr one of the remnants of the Starr gang, which infested the Chickasaw country in the early days. Starr was arrested at Sasakwa on the Fourth of July for disorderly conduct and put in the town cooler. He succeeded in breaking the lock and escaping together with another inmate. He was shortly afterward recaptured and given 80 days on the county road gang. Last week during the temporary absence of the guard he beat a trusty nearly to death and got away arriving in Francis Friday. In some strange and unaccountable manner he secured some intoxicating liquor and grew braver and braver until he considered himself valiant enough to take charge of the town and run it according to his ideas of municipal government. He had in some way become possessed of two revolvers but laid them aside while he went to the City Meat Market to get a butcher knife which he needed in his business. He got the knife but about the same time Marshal Bob Duncan took a hand in the game and requested Tom to give up the knife. Thomas refused and he and Bob immediately mixed. The bad man was quickly overpowered but not until he had made two or three thrusts with the knife and Bob received two flesh wounds on the hand. Deputy Marshal Lance arrived and the prisoner still fighting was landed in jail where he amused himself by battering all the furniture into kindling wood. Mr. Duncan took him to Wewoka Sunday and turned him over to the authorities of Seminole County who were very glad to get hold of him again. His little holiday will add about six months to his sentence. “Starr, like most sons of outlaws is a degenerate. He has none of the intelligent deviltry and cunning of his notorious father. When sober he is a harmless loafing fellow but when he gets a pint or two of ‘mule’ in his carcass he becomes a dangerous maniac. A term at McAlester [prison] is what he needs and it is only a question of time before he gets it.—Francis Wigwam” It seems that the community had its fill of Mr. Starr.