Bert Bradley, cashier of the Newalla State Bank, was held up by a lone robber at 2:15 P.M. on March 20, 1914, and robbed of cash estimated at from $700 to $1,200. The robber left town in a southwesterly direction before Bradley could give the alarm. The posse was quickly in pursuit.

Bert Bradley, cashier of the Newalla State Bank, was held up by a lone robber at 2:15 P.M. on March 20, 1914, and robbed of cash estimated at from $700 to $1,200. The robber left town in a southwesterly direction before Bradley could give the alarm. The posse was quickly in pursuit.

As soon as the news was received in Shawnee a posse was organized and left on a Katy engine for Newalla at 3 P.M. Those in the posse were Chief of Police Charlie Hawk; Frank Earnest; Night Chief Jerry Spann; N.M. Douglas, deputy sheriff; Fire Chief L.A. Brown; John W. Jones, cashier of the State National Bank; Sargent P. Freeling county attorney; William Grace, ex-sheriff; and Otis B. Weaver, editor of the Shawnee News-Herald, and eventually a few others.

At 2:15, when Cashier Bradley was in the bank alone, a stranger of medium height, light complexion, and wearing a ragged moustache, with gauntlets on his hands, approached the cashier’s window and shoved in a black piece of paper. The cashier looked down at the paper, thinking it was a check, and a moment later, looked up into the muzzle of a revolver.

Keeping Bradley covered, the robber made his way inside the cage, gathered up what cash he could find, then hurried from the building and out of town in a southwesterly direction. He was afoot and disappeared into the brush. It was believed that the robber might be one of the three who attempted to rob a bank at Choctaw a short time earlier.


After a desperate encounter, in which five men and a boy were either wounded or their clothing pierced with bullets from a high-powered gun, Joseph Agnes Patterson, a telegraph operator, was finally killed just before dusk by the posse. The officers and some citizens gradually closed in upon him until they formed a circle about 50 yards in circumference about the ravine in which he lay hidden.

The body of Patterson was taken to Oklahoma City, where it was held awaiting word from relatives. He was raised near Newalla and was an orphan living with his grandmother, who died several years earlier.

The money he stole from the bank was not found. William Grace visited the scene of the chase and Patterson’s death, and found a bundle of checks and other papers not far from where the body lay. Chief of Police Charlie Hawk was resting easy after being wounded. Deputy Sheriff Timmons’ arm was put under an X-ray, but the bullet could not be seen.

John W. Jones, cashier of the Shawnee National Bank, of which the Newalla institution was a branch, was the first man in Shawnee apprised of the robbery and was a member of the posse which went from Shawnee. The entire group displayed marked courage and zeal in the thrilling man-hunt that ended in Patterson’s death.

Jones said on Friday afternoon, he was called by Bert Bradley, cashier of the State Bank in Newalla, who informed him that a daylight hold-up took place at their bank by one lone robber. He asked if possible, if bloodhounds could be obtained and sent to the scene as quickly as possible. He immediately contacted Chief Hawk who quickly put together a posse. They quickly inquired of the Katy Railroad if they would supply an engine to take them to Newalla, which they immediately provided for the officers.

After about a 40-minute run, they came to the section line about two miles east of Newalla. When they arrived there, some of the section hands waved them down. The train stopped, and they all alighted. Four of the men took a westerly direction, and all the rest headed north. There they met several farmers who said they located the outlaw in a thicket, about a quarter of a mile west. Hawk and a young farmer took to the open and made a circle around the thicket, extending to the north and cutting any escape in that direction by the perpetrator. Timmons, Earnest, Spann, Tully Darden, Douglas, Grace and Jones all fell into the thicket and advanced north.

In the meantime, Hawk and the young farmer, being in the open and advancing faster than the others, got to the end of the thicket before the others came out. There they struck the trail and were following it when Hawk sent the young farmer back for re-enforcements. Patterson appeared suddenly at the end of the thicket and opened fire on the young farmer. He in turn, fired at Patterson with his Winchester. Hawk opened up with his revolver, but to no effect. Patterson then dropped to his knees, took deliberate aim at the chief. The shot took effect and dropped the Hawk.

While the firing was taking place, all the others ran to where Hawk was located. He was lying in a ditch, bleeding profusely. Darden took charge of him and summoned a buggy, which was east of the section line. Hawk was then driven to a neighboring farm house.

In the meantime, W.P. Dix, Robert Chandler, Freeling, and Brown, who were originally sent in another direction, arrived at the farmhouse where Hawk was taken. The rest of the party then made a rapid advance in the direction of the robber, following his foot tracks as a guide. They saw him jump into a gulch.

Grace was in the lead when a shot was heard. They all ran down to where Grace was kneeling. He said, “Look out, he’s down there in the thicket!”

Just after this, Timmons was shot in the fleshy part of his arm. He left and went to the farmhouse. Another shot was fired at the posse and struck Spann’s hat. Another shot was fired, apparently by Douglas, who had been reconnoitering on the west, unknown to the rest of the posse. Douglas said he spotted the outlaw and fired and the man never moved. They advanced closer and when they got near, a farmer yelled out, “Come on boys, we’ve got him!”

When they arrived at Patterson’s body, they found one wound in his forehead and another in his shoulder. The body was lifted out of the gulch and placed in a car and sent to Oklahoma City. Eventually, all the posse members who were injured recovered, including Chief Hawk.

(This story and hundreds more appear in “REDBUD CITY: Shawnee, the Early Years, 1830-1929,” the first volume of five, documenting the history of the city of Shawnee. Only 500 copies are being published, so get your order in quickly, to make sure you reserve your book. The pre-publication price is $50, plus tax. After the books arrive in Shawnee, which will be any day now, the price increases to $55. It is also available in digital form immediately at $30 and $35. They may be purchased by contacting Clyde Wooldridge at (918)470-3728, or through the Pottawatomie County Historical Society at (405)275-8412. Volume Two, the 1930s and 1940s, will be available near Christmas time. You may get your pre-orders in for that edition as well. Volume Three, covering 1950-79, is scheduled for 2019, followed by Volume Four, 1980-1999, the following year. The fifth, and final volume covering the 21st century is planned for 2021-22.)