Sunday June 14, 1903 the brothers Sam and Will Martin robbed more than 75 people who traveled on the old road to Pawhuska near Liza Creek three miles west of Bartlesville. They committed several other robberies across the region and finally they camped near Wooster Mound south of Pawhuska. Sam and Will found two women cooking at a “cow camp,” robbed them and demanded a meal. The very next day they were so bold as to return to the same camp, and this time they rode away with a large pot of beans.
A granite stone was placed south of Pawhuska as a historical marker, beside the highway across from the Bronze Horse Foundry. It bears these words: THE BATTLE OF WOOSTER MOUND Near this site on August 8, 1903, U.S. Marshal Wiley G. Haines, Chief of Osage Indian Police Warren Bennett, and Constable Henry Majors ended the career of the notorious outlaw gang known as the Martin Brothers. The outlaws were wanted for murder and robbery over a five state area. During the fierce gun battle Sam and Will Martin were fatally wounded. Marshal Haines was seriously wounded but recovered. “No better stroke for law and order in the territory was ever struck than in wiping out the vicious Martin Gang.” (Judge Horace Speed)
It has been said that a large amount of money was cached in this area. My search located the camp, the actual site of the gunfight, several copper jacket slugs, and an assortment of markers that may lead to one or more caches of ill gotten money.
Copyright Bill Wade #grampawbill
18 November 2015