Monday, February 22, 2016

April 19, 1909: J. B. Miller, B. B. Burrell, Jesse West and George Allen

Today we learn about a quadruple lynching in Oklahoma through the pages of The Washington Herald (Washington, D. C.) dated April 20, 1909:


Four Are Taken from Jail at Ada, Okla.


Feud Existed for Years, and Leader of Band Accused of the Murder Was a Notoriously Bad Man, Having Slain Six Men—Each Mob Victim Was Worth More Than $100,000.

Oklahoma City, Okla., April 19.—Four white men—J. B. Miller, B. B. Burrell, Jesse West and George Allen—charged with the assassination of A. A. Bobbitt, a wealthy cattle man, two months ago, were dragged from the county jail at Ada, one hundred miles southeast of this city, at 3 o'clock this morning by a mob of masked men and lynched to the rafters of a barn across an alley from the jail building.

The men were not ordinary criminals. Miller left an estate valued at perhaps $200,000; Allen was recently a bank cashier; Burrell and West were owners of real estate valued jointly at $150,000.

Bobbitt was murdered from ambush on the night of February 27 last near Ada. He was also wealthy, and was prominent as a cattle dealer.

Feud Existed for Years.

A feud had existed for years between Bobbitt and the men who were lynched this morning. After his murder they were quietly arrested along with Oscar Peeler, a young relative of Miller. He was spared by the lynchers, and this afternoon made a confession in which he acknowledged that the mob victims were the murderers of Bobbitt, and he had a guilty knowledge of the crime, through his association with Miller.

It is generally believed that by reason of the wealth and influence of the accused men they would be able to secure acquittal. On that account it was decided that they should be lynched.

No definite action has yet been taken toward fixing the responsibility for the lynching. Six guards on duty at the jail were overpowered and held captive until after the lynching. It is estimated that one hundred men took part.

Sends Ring to Wife.

When taken from the jail Miller wore a diamond ring valued at $250, which he slipped from his finger and handed to the mob leader, asking him to send it to Mrs. Miller, at present in Fort Worth. He also wore a valuable diamond stud, which he presented to the sheriff.

One of the victims, Jesse West, attempted to fight the mob, and was severely clubbed over the head with a pistol. None of the others resisted.

Each victim was married. miller was looked upon as the leader. He has lived on the Southwestern frontier since boyhood, and was widely known as a bad man. It is said that he had killed six men, and was with the noted Pat Garrett, slayer of Billy the Kid, when Garrett was murdered at Las Cruces, N. M., a year or so ago.

A mass meeting is in progress at Ada to-night to take action denouncing the mob violence, but it is hardly probable that the participants in the lynching will ever be identified.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

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