Jim Garrett was shot three times on the night of May 8, 1909, while sitting in a resort owned by Joe Cowdan on south Broadway. He went to the hospital in critical condition.


Jim Garrett was shot three times on the night of May 8, 1909, while sitting in a resort owned by Joe Cowdan on south Broadway. He went to the hospital in critical condition.

The city and county officials searched in all directions, hoping to capture the man who was responsible. Acting on information received from Garrett, the County Attorney’s office had a warrant sworn out for Lindsey Coleman, charging him with intent to kill. Both men were well known in the city.

Garrett was employed as a watchman at the Shawnee Planing Mill. Coleman had numerous relatives in the city, and at one time he was on the Shawnee Fire Department. He later served with the Tulsa police. He had returned to Shawnee several months earlier.

Among the first to reach Garrett after the shooting was Assistant County Attorney Hunter Johnson. He asked Garrett who shot him, and he replied that it was Coleman.

Johnson then asked him why. “Because I was a witness against him in the police court,” replied Garrett.

Chief of Police Charlie Hawk and a deputy appeared and started out after the man who did the shooting. However, there were few clues as to his whereabouts.

Garrett was taken to the hospital where physicians were called in and extracted the bullet. They were not hopeful of his recovery.

By the next day, Coleman surrendered to Chief Hawk and bonded out for $8,000. Coleman had telephoned the Chief and said that he would surrender and meet him at the Santa Fe depot. He handed over his gun to Hawk, stating, “Charlie, I had it to do.”


“Fore,” shouted C.J. Benson to his companions at the Country Club on May 8, 1909. All the golf enthusiasts on the ground ducked at this word of warning.

It was the second shot for Benson. The first was a miserable failure, just a few-yard drive. Benson was determined that the second would be one that would elicit admiration from the other amateurs present to try out the new links. He made a long drive, 160 yards to be exact.

From out in the road, where F.B. Reed sat in a buggy, a wild shout went up. Reed called to his traveling associate, J.W. Rubey to get busy. Rubey pulled his cap down. He made a swing and missed. Then he took off his coat and went after the game in dead earnest. With all his might, he drove the ball, but he fell behind Benson in covering the distance. C.B. Robertson and H.A. Pierson were the other players.

A hurried consultation was held. No one was in sight that could be readily impressed into service. A vain effort was made to get Reed to leave the buggy, but he refused, preferring to furnish vocal enthusiasm from the side line.

In further research, Fred Caldwell was found, and after the situation was explained, he readily volunteered to act as caddy. He also contributed as umpire, coach, ipso facto.

Around they went, these four. Before the last green was reached, Robertson lost his ball. Rubey, who was mastering the game in professional style, was judged the winner. This opened and closed the initial round of golf at the new Country Club.


There were startling facts surrounding the murder of Mollie Colelasure. Her body was discovered on May 11, in the McConkey pasture, southeast of the city by the owner.

The interesting part of the story came from her companion on a stroll through the pasture, Claude Garman. He claimed he was forced to flee when they were attacked with a six-shooter by some unknown assailant.

Judge Malcolm McKenzie empaneled a jury to hold an inquest that afternoon. Nothing happened, and the jury was discharged until further notice.

Colelasure was the mother of three children, whom she had left at the American Rooming House on south Union. She had worked there at various times. Her relatives lived at Chandler.

A suspect was an Indian named Ambrose Craine, who was supposedly engaged to the woman at different times. Garman claimed that while they were in the pasture together a man appeared that in his mannerism was an Indian. He fired between the man and the woman.

“I know you Lindsey,” he reported to have said. “You get out of here or I’ll kill you!”

At this moment, according to the story, Garman ran one way and Closelasure the other. Garman claimed a shot was fired at him, but missed. He continued to run toward town. He said he then heard another shot.

He reported to the police station and the policemen quickly made their way to the pasture, but did not find a body until it was discovered the next day.

By May 15, Garman was formerly charged with the murder. A warrant for his arrest was sworn out by the dead woman’s mother, Esther J. Armberg. The authorities were pretty much “closed mouth” about the investigation, but had indicated that he contradicted himself several times in retelling the story.

The circumstantial evidence mounted every day against Garman. Even one girl said she saw the whole thing and that Garman did not do it.

In commenting on the witness, Sheriff “Dink” Pierce said, “Don’t believe a word of it.” 


“Alpha Pass,” was the signature that Carrie Nation signed in with at the Norwood Hotel on June 9, 1909. Her face extended around the world as a “fighter of booze and the boozers.”

Always the center of attraction, this aged woman, who ordained herself to distinction in Kansas, received many visitors during her brief stay in Shawnee. She left after just one day in the city. She claimed she would be back soon to deliver one of her flamboyant lectures. She said she knew of several “joints” in Shawnee that she despised.

“You are as bad as the bootleggers,” she exclaimed. “I will go right away if you will tell me where I can find these places that are so poisonous to the mind.”

She was asked the purpose of her visit, which was the second in as many months.

“I own property here, and am coming back again before the month is out to deliver a lecture. When fall arrives, I intend to sell my property in Shawnee and buy sheep with the proceeds. I want to accumulate something for my old age.”

She was then asked why she left Kansas. “Because I was interested in making Oklahoma a prohibition state in the territorial days. Roosevelt made a trip to Oklahoma to fight statehood and I did to fight for prohibition against the booze.”

(These stories and many more will appear in the history of Shawnee, coming in 2019).