Lawmen & Outlaws
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William "Bill" Doolin

cowboy pic

Mrs. Bill Doolin Here
Transcribed by: Mollie Stehno

January 23, 1896-The Oklahoma Leader-Mrs. Doolin, wife of Bill Doolin, the notorious outlaw, arrived in Guthrie about dark last evening having driven from her home at Lawson, Payne county, in an open cart accompanied only by her two year old son. She drove as far as Perkins Monday remained there over night and came on to Guthrie yesterday.
Upon arriving here she went at once to the federal jail and was admitted to see her husband the king prisoner of the institution. The meeting between them was quite affecting and the little boy wanted his father to go along with him. After conversing with her husband for some time Mrs. Doolin left and went to a boarding house.
She is a tall woman considerable above the average in height, dark hair and complexion and though looking worn and wary she still bears strong trace of her former beauty. The little boy is a pretty little fellow nicely dressed.
Mrs. Doolin is about twenty-five years old, the daughter of a country preacher named Elsworth who is also postmaster at Lawson, Ok. She first met Doolin four or five years ago while he was yet employed as cowboy in the Pawnee and Osage country and after a year or more of courting they were married. Their domestic happiness was rather shot lived and broken however, for Doolin was so frequently called away on "business" and the deputy marshals came around too frequently to allow many protracted seasons of honeymoon.
So wary were the couple and so strange their actions at times that it was a long time before it could be learned that Doolin was married and it took twice as long to find out whom it was he had married.
It was something over two years ago before Doolin began the most desperate part of his career that it was decided to give him a chance to come in and give himself up stand trial and be proven guilty or innocent. A letter was sent to him at Ingalls making the offer from the department of justice but he did not call for it and deputy Tilghman went to see Mrs. Doolin (then known as Miss Elsworth) and urged her to see him, have him get the letter and come in. She denied up and down being his wife or being in any way connected with him, in fact said she had never seen him that she knew of and of course had no interest in whether he was prove innocent or guilty. Tilghman came away completely bluffed and the next day the letter was returned as uncalled for.
The evening of the day the letter had been sent back to Guthrie, however, Doolin walked into the Ingalls post office and asked for it. Had he been a day sooner and received that letter his subsequent career might have been very different from what it has been.
Mrs. Doolin in conversation last evening stated that Bill had been wanting to give himself up for over a year. He wanted to settle down and live a quiet life, but of course had no chance as long as there were so many charges against him and he was being hunted on every side. She was glad he was captured at last and that it had been done by a brave man who did not shoot him down. He would now have a chance to prove that the many charges against him were false and that he was hunted and persecuted for crimes of others with whom he had no connection save having been associated with them on the range before they took to lives of crime.
Mrs. Doolin will probably remain several days and help her husband secure defense.
Doolin, himself, on being asked last night as to whether the woman was his wife or not and where he had met her said he did not care to talk on the subject.
Doolin's Early Career
The Arkansas City Traveler of last evening has the following to say about Bill Doolin's early career:
As stated in a recent issue of the Traveler, Bill Doolin, was at one time in the employ of T. L. Hill, of this city, when the latter had charge of cattle down on the Salt Fork for the Wyeth Cattle Company. Doolin belonged to the 4-D gang and Mr. Hill says that he was the most peaceable and quiet one of the whole outfit. He worked for Mr. Hill during the winter of '88-98 and bore the reputation f being an inoffensive, quiet, industrious man.
He is quite shone as a paragon of virtues, compared to the picturesque crowd of pirates who composed the "4-D" crowd at that time. That crowd used to make a specialty of coming up here and attempting to run the town. They were no generally successful in this, but they did paint her a bright, bright red. Bill Doolin seldom came up with the rest of the crowd when they were on a spree. Prominent among the other rough riders of that lurid time on the Salt Fork was Slaughter Kid, who also worked for Mr. Hill and afterwards also became prominent in desperado circles.
A Precious Memento
When Bill Doolin was searched after being arrested there was found stowed away in an inside pocket and carefully wrapped and preserved a single sheet of note paper, yellow with age and creases almost worn through.
One side were some figures on the other side written in a feminine hand sentiment in prose and poetry as follows-possibly a relic of his courting days or some sweetheart of his youth:

1. How often by that lonely word
Our pleasures have been riven.
Goodbye is often said on earth
But never said in Heaven.

2. Be ever true to you manhood
that you life may be prosperous
and a happy one is the earnest
wishes of your friend.

3. Learn to thin, for thoughts are noble,
Learn, oh learn to think aright,
And embody thoughts in action
Then press on with all your might.
Live to make life grand and noble
Live to make it pure and true,
Learn to act your own part bravely,
Learn to think and learn to do.

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Updated: Wednesday, 06-Aug-2008 06:46:47 CDT

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