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
Posts Tagged With: Highwaymen
In 1873 there stood a stage station in the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains near Kingman, Arizona. Canyon Station, as it was called, was near the mouth of a narrow canyon that led to a road that twisted up the Cerbat Mountains before descending to Mineral Park.
Legend has it that in October of 1873 a man named Macallum, or perhaps it was McAllen, heard that the government was going to be shipping some $72,000 in gold coins from Prescott to Fort Mohave. Near Canyon Station, Macallum, along with an unknown partner stopped the stagecoach and relieved it of its strongbox before sending it on its way.
A posse was immediately dispatched. Anticipating this, the two bandits buried the heavy strongbox in order to put some distance between themselves and their pursuers. However, the posse soon caught up with the pair and when a gunfight ensued, Macallum’s partner was shot and killed in the melee.
Macallum was arrested, convicted, and sent the Yuma Territorial Prison. Though questioned at length, the desperado refused to reveal the location of the buried loot.
However, while Macallum was serving his sentence he became very ill and upon his death bed, relayed the story to another inmate. When the prisoner was released he wasted no time in following up with the lead and headed to Canyon Station.
At the time, a man named Andy Goodwill was living in the Canyon Station building. Having no objections to the former prisoner’s search of the buried gold, the man spent several days in and around the area, diligently searching for a marker that Macallum had described to him. But as hard as he looked he just couldn’t find the marker. Perhaps this was because Mr. Goodwill had cultivated an orchard and a large garden on the premises. Finally, the discouraged man gave up his extensive search and left the area.
Several years later a woman by the name of Nelle Clack would tell a story of how she believed that the bandits had used a cave in Clacks Canyon to hide out. The cave, formed by two large boulders, would have been an ideal hiding place to observe the movements going on at Canyon Station. It was there, that Nelle had found personal belongings left by someone who had obviously lived in the cave for a period of time.
Today, all that is left of Canyon Station is a few crumbling foundations at the end of a weed-chocked road. The loot from the stagecoach robbery was never recovered.