Oklahoma celebrates its centennial year in 2007

by C.F. David

by C.F. David

The Panhandle of Oklahoma , prior to statehood, was comprised of one county; Beaver, with its county seat in Beaver City , some 130 miles northeast of Boise City .

When it came time to choose a new county seat, it was one of the most acrimonious decisions ever made.

The bulk of this week's “look back” concerns Hurley, a former small community located about four miles north of Boise City . Its information is taken from Alma Cryer's “Hurley Volume I”.

However to write about Hurley we must touch on its citizens desire for their little village to become the county seat. According to Hurley's news source of 1907-08, The Leader, Hurley was a growing community which expected to soon be on the Santa Fe railway line. The leader considered their village to be centrally located in the county, and with the approach of the railroad, a natural center of power...alas neither was to be. Instead, a competition between vying communities erupted. With the formation of Texas and Cimarron County new communities formed immediately, Cimarron some three miles north of Boise City, Doby, two and one-half miles northwest of Boise City, Hurley, Kenton, (then county seat), Willowbar, (some 11 miles southeast of Boise City). After a county wide election on June 11, 1908 , a clear winner was still not apparent, and on August 11, which Boise City won 613 to 335. With Boise City being a clear winner, the movement of the county's records was to have taken place in 30 days; some citizens of Boise City had other ideas. On Sept. 16, ten days early, a group of wagons started at nightfall; toward Kenton, with the purpose of seizing the county's records. Notified of the impending conflict, newly appointed Cimarron County Sheriff, Dudley Sloan traveled from near Garrett to head off any potential problems. On his arrival Sloan negotiated an agreement to wait on a decision from Oklahoma City , soon a telegram from Lt. Gov. George Bellamy ended the problem, the records were released to Boise City .

News from Hurley, 1907

Chicken Thief Shot By Woman...On Thursday night of last week the chicken house of H. R. Crill, who resides four miles south east of Hurley, was visited by a man with what might be called an unlimited gall and a chicken sack. Mr. Crill being away from home, it fell upon Mrs. Crill to protect the chickens when she heard the commotion. She seized the Winchester and started for the chicken house at which instant the thief hit the hike. Mrs. Crill fired seven shots at him and if she didn't hit him she came so close and frightened him so bad that, he dropped a sack of chickens which he had secured, and when the chicken were found it was learned that he had secured seven of Crill's chickens and two of a neighbors.


E. G. Haff, of east of Hurley, was arrested Wednesday by constable Spoonemore, charged with the theft of a buggy, robes, etc. from Postmaster Ingle of Marella, Okla. Search warrants were sworn to before Justice of the peace McKinney and a search was instituted. Some of the property concealed on the premises of Mr.Haff which was identified by Mr. Ingle et al, as part of the stolen property. The theft occurred about three weeks ago, and the outfit was tracked to the farm of C. D. Pipkin, which adjoins the Haff homestead, and there the buggy was found concealed in a half dugout stable. No blame attaches to Mr. Pipkin, as he has been away for several months. Mr. Haff is an old man of near 65 years, well known to the people of the central part of Cimarron county, and has always borne the best reputation, and this comes now as a profound surprise to his acquaintances. The preliminary hearing will be held in Boise City tomorrow at 10 a.m. , before Justice of the Peace Thomas. Mr. Haff put up his team as bond for his appearance. We hope Mr. Haff will be able to conclusively prove his innocence of the affair, as it is hard to think that one of his years would be guilty of the crime as charged.

Found A Skeleton...On Tuesday the Graham boys brought to Hurley a human skeleton which was dug out of the ground on the Bumbelow farm four miles east of Hurley.

The Bumbelow boys were digging a dugout and when they had dug about 22 inches deep they came in contact with the skeleton. It showed that the skeleton had been there for many years as it was badly decayed and could not be dug out without breaking to pieces. The prints showed that it was the skeleton of a person not less than six feet tall.

It is evident that the skeleton was of an Indian, as it could be distinguished by the high cheek bones and the large teeth, and there were also two arrow spears and a piece of slate about 3 X 6 in oval shape, which was probably a luck charm, in the grave.

Buster, the little dog which belonged to Dr. Myers and Will Willis, fell in a pickle keg in the dugout last Tuesday night and poor Buster was drowned and was buried next day by Will Willis and Jean Miller.


That dog that drowned in a pickle keg about two weeks ago; that Buster of Dr. Myers! We said he drowned in a pickle keg, not in a keg of pickles, and because he fell in the pickle keg is no reason that the pickles are ruined. “Naw,” there wasn't any pickles in the keg. Pickles are just the same price, and the dog was buried the next day. Even if there had been pickles in the keg, the dog wasn't left in there. He didn't stay in the keg but one night, and that wouldn't hurt the pickles...much.