The Plot to Kill "Diamond Dick Rowland" & The Tulsa Race Massacre - Part One

By Randy Hopkins –



J.M. Adkinson from a campaign advertisement courtesy of the author.

On Tuesday afternoon, May 31, 1921, a newspaper article titled “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl In an Elevator” hit the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. Located on the front page of the Tulsa Tribune, it was promoted by the outcries of newsboys - “negro assaults a white girl!”[i] In modern parlance, “Nab Negro” was fake news. Its deceit married hatred and bred hysteria. One hundred years later, the outcome is called the Tulsa Race Massacre.[ii]

Part 1 - Cleaning up Tulsa


The trail to “Nab Negro” began in April 1920, when the Tulsa Republican Party’s “Bigger and Better” ticket won a narrow, upset victory in city elections.[iii] The win, which ousted incumbent mayor Charles H. Hubbard and three Democrat Party city commissioners, was a bipartisan affair. During the primary election three weeks earlier, almost five thousand voters had cast ballots for Democrat mayoral candidates versus barely two thousand Republican votes.[iv] A dissident “law and order” faction of the Democrats, however, led by defeated primary mayoral candidate Charles F. Hopkins and his supporters Tate Brady, Stephen R. “Buck” Lewis, and Lina Walker Hull switched sides and put the Republicans over the top.[v]

The monstrous consequences of the election were revealed in June 1921, when Greenwood lay in ruins. Hubbard had actively campaigned for Greenwood votes and his energetic supporters there included Andrew J. Smitherman, publisher of the Tulsa Star, and J. B. Stradford.[vi] Odds are high that a re-elected Hubbard administration would have never countenanced Tulsa’s race war.[vii] Under the new administration, Tulsa’s city government caused it.

Thaddeus D. Evans, a lawyer and farm loan agent, became the mayor, but the dominant force of the new regime was commissioner James Munroe Adkison. Born in Ohio and raised in Texas, the forty-one-year-old Adkison ran an insurance and loan company and had served as city treasurer during the prior Republican administration from 1916-18.[viii] Adkison tallied more votes than any other candidate, crushing incumbent Police Commissioner F. A. Bohn by over twenty-four hundred votes and outpolling Evans by over eight hundred. With the consistent support of Evans and O. A. Steiner, the assertive Adkison commanded a narrow majority of the commission.[ix] He became Police Commissioner, the most hotly contested commission assignment.[x] Adkison was also Tulsa’s acting mayor during Evans’ absences, including during Roy Belton’s lynching in August 1920.[xi]


John A. Gustafson courtesy of the Tulsa World

Since Adkison promised the “enforcement of every letter of the law,” the selection of Tulsa’s police chief became the most highly anticipated post-election appointment.[xii] There were competing candidates, each with their own set of backers, and for a time no one had the votes for the job.[xiii] To the deep chagrin of rebel Democrat Lina Hull, local private detective John A. Gustafson won the role.[xiv] It was a puzzling selection for a straight-laced administration. The forty-seven-year-old Gustafson’s sparse biographical information sketches a portrait of grifting and corruption.[xv] He was a private eye who claimed the Pinkerton and the William J. Burns Detective agencies for his resume and the American and Oklahoma Bankers Associations for clients.[xvi] Gustafson advertised his expertise in the areas of intelligence and infiltration; he ran spies.[xvii] Former and future Tulsa County Sheriff Willard McCullough, then a private citizen, tried to head off Gustafson’s selection, prophetically warning Tulsa’s new mayor and commissioners that:

"Gustafson has all his life been connected with detective agencies and with the

underworld, and knew nothing about working with anybody but snitches and crooks, and that he would have no other kind of men on his force, and that such a police force would be a menace to the City of Tulsa." [xviii] Gustafson also boasted of skills in the art of violent ambush, claiming to have masterminded the bloody Deep Fork Valley ambush of January 1917.[ixx] Evans’ operative order upon taking office was “cleanliness” and Adkison and Gustafson worked hand in glove to do the cleaning.[xx] Adkison proclaimed Gustafson the man to make “Tulsa’s morals better - immediately.”[xxi] Gustafson, in turn, proclaimed his boss was the “heart and soul in the campaign to make Tulsa a better place in which to live and to rear boys and girls to clean manhood and womanhood.”[xxii] A series of wars on crime and broadly defined “undesirable characters” were launched with round-ups a regular feature of newspaper coverage.[xxiii]

Today, Adkison and Gustafson are remembered for deputizing four hundred special deputies during the Tulsa Race Massacre, as Adkison admitted, and for having armed at least two hundred and fifty of them, as Gustafson admitted.[xxiv] On June 2, 1921, Adjutant General Charles Barrett of the Oklahoma National Guard declared that these special officers were chiefly instrumental in inciting the outbreak and did most of the shooting.[xxv] Twenty years later, Barrett wrote that “they became as deputies the most dangerous part of the mob” and were the heart of Greenwood’s incendiaries.[xxvi]

Adkison and Gustafson, however, had long shown an eagerness for sanctioning precipitous violence. On August 22, 1920, they declared war on the “underworld.” Gustafson promised a clean-up so complete it will look like “a treatment from an electric vacuum cleaner when we get through.”[xxvii] A few hours later, Tulsa taxi driver Homer Nida was hi-jacked and shot near Red Fork. After a week of heated newspaper coverage, Nida died and his alleged killer, Roy Belton, 20, was easily removed from the Tulsa County jail and delivered into the hands of a lynch mob. While Nida lingered between life and death, William Cranfield, a taxi driver identified in state attorney general’s files as a ring leader of the lynchers, approached Tulsa county officials about facilitating the killing. At a discussion at the Elks Club, Cranfield told Assistant Tulsa County Attorney A. E. Montgomery that they “wanted to lynch Tom Owen (sic) alias Belton” and that “the police had agreed with them to help them lynch this boy and that they had some good citizens in addition to that.”[xxviii]

The Tulsa police thereafter acted exactly like they were in on the deal.[xxix] As lynching rumors picked up speed, Gustafson promised County Sheriff James Woolley that the police were “ready at the call.”[xxx] When Woolley called, he was told that the police “were all out” and their whereabouts unknown.[xxxi] In spite of at least thirty minutes advance notice, the police arrived at the courthouse, a mere four blocks from the police station, only after Belton had been driven away.[xxxii] Suddenly energized, Gustafson and his force joined the boisterous mile-long cavalcade trailing Belton’s “fate car.” Most of the city’s police watched the murder, ordered by Gustafson to stand down for fear of harming the audience of thousands, including women and children.[xxxiii] Instead, the police helped manage the crowd and control traffic.[xxxiv] While Roy Belton’s corpse was still warm, Gustafson told the Tulsa Tribune that his death would be “a good object lesson to that class of criminals and do more to stop hi-jacking than anything else that could have happened.” He told the Tulsa Daily World that, “It is my honest opinion the lynching of Belton will prove of real benefit to Tulsa and vicinity.”[xxxv]

The police never made an arrest and nobody was ever punished. Adkison later surfaced on the eve of a grand jury investigation leading a successful public relations effort to burnish the police department’s reputation.[xxxvi] The grand jury gave the police a clean bill of health despite hearing testimony from only one officer, Doc Bissett.[xxxvii] Every observant person and especially in Greenwood was free to draw conclusions about the affair and its meaning for the future.[xxxviii]

While Roy Belton's murder was promoted as a vaccination against hi-jacking, failure of purpose was added to its horrible consequences. Crime was not vanquished and a postwar financial depression and collapsing oil prices did not help.[xxxix] On December 21, 1920, Adkison declared that “the greatest crime wave in history…is sweeping over the country.”[xl] Under assuring headlines in the Tulsa Daily World - “Shoot Down a Few Highwaymen and “Crime Wave” Ends” - Adkison encouraged Tulsa businessmen to station armed men in their businesses, not in the open where they might deter, but where they could “see but not be seen.” He and Gustafson urged this uncertain posse to “shoot to kill and not merely to frighten.” Adkison recommended hiring out-of-work former soldiers but proposed no control over them or even their identification.[xli] Adkison also announced that the police would begin using specially commissioned men in emergencies.[xlii]

In early 1921, the Evans administration found itself confronted with two new foes. One was the discovery of “agitation among the colored people” in Greenwood, centered on a possible “black uprising.” So, Adkison and Gustafson, with Evans in tow, crossed the tracks into “Little Africa” and met with “a group of negroes of the better class” who were told that the problem was theirs to deal with and “if there ever was an uprising we would hold them responsible.”[xliii] In a few months, their threat of collective punishment would turn out to have been a prophecy.

The other new problem struck Adkison and allies where it hurt - they were themselves accused of being soft on crime. Worse, they found themselves under legal investigation, one that they had unwittingly helped launch. In March 1921, Adkison and Gustafson led a chorus of grumbling that Tulsa County Attorney William F. Seaver’s prosecutorial laxities were to blame for the crimewave.[xliv] After dissatisfaction with Seaver, a Republican, spread to the Oklahoma Bankers Association, Oklahoma’s Democrat governor J. B. A. Robertson ordered Democrat Attorney General Prince Freeling into action.[xlv] Freeling, in turn, assigned the investigation to Kathryn Van Leuven, advertised as the first female assistant attorney general in the nation.[xlvi]

Kathryn Van Leuven courtesy of the Tulsa Tribune

The investigation into County law enforcement quickly morphed into an investigation of the Evans administration. The morphing was helped along by Lina Hull, still publicly seething over Gustafson’s selection as police chief, and her husband J. Arthur, an oilman, and director of Tulsa’s dominant Exchange National Bank.[xlvii] Van Leuven and the Hulls became open allies and the investigation publicly turned to subjects more scintillating than booze or gambling. Van Leuven announced an intent to investigate whether “young white girls were being permitted to attend dances in the negro quarter and take part in them along with negro men and women.” This was joined with a complaint that she was being “shadowed” by a man she took to be “a detective or an underworld character.[xlviii] The next day, Freeling, who would soon announce his candidacy for governor, declared the investigation was expanding to city officials.

On April 16, Mrs. Hull and other prominent citizens announced the reinvigoration of the Committee of 100, an elite “law and order” group that exercised heavy control over public affairs during the World War. Van Leuven addressed the new organization, as did Richard Lloyd Jones, publisher of the Tulsa Tribune, who followed with an editorial praising the Committee members as the ”best citizens.”[xlix] Prior to April 1921, Jones’s editorials and Evans administration policy had been largely consistent, if not coordinated.[l] Relations between Jones and the police were about to take a nasty turn, though other people would bear the consequences.


Van Leuven invited the public to tender their criticisms in confidence. Mrs. W. H. Clark, a former Tulsa police matron, reported that the police station had aspects of a brothel and a brutal one at that.[lii] Much unsavory and odious behavior, she claimed, involved Chief of Detectives James Patton, who would later run of the investigation of Diamond Dick Rowland.[liii] A federal Bureau of Investigation agent reported that the town’s hotels and rooming houses were awash with prostitution. The Brady Hotel, owned by key Evans’ supporter Tate Brady, was said to have “the most popular reputation for their prostitutes.”[liv]


Other complaints in the attorney general’s case file suggest that Gustafson was running too true to his reputation for graft, with claims of pawnshop rake-offs, payroll padding, and diversion of confiscated booze.[lv] Gustafson placed his dubious policeman Doc Bissett as rooming house inspector, a position fertile for bribery.[lvi]

None of these details were shared with the public, which likely made rumors the more titillating, especially with Jones’ newspaper stirring the pot. The Tribune had been alternating between criticism and support of the police, but on Monday, May 16, Jones’ editorial page crossed the Rubicon by claiming the existence of “police instructions to let booze, gambling, and prostitution alone.”[lvii]

Richard Lloyd Jones, publisher of the Tulsa Tribune courtesy of Russell Cobb

Jones’ editorial lit the fuse and Adkison exploded. At the city commission the next morning, Adkison demanded a city-run “court of inquiry,” at which his accusers would be forced to produce or shut up. Accusing Jones’ editorial of “damnable lies,” Adkison continued:


"I demand that these apostles of purity be brought before a court of inquiry. I have been severely criticised (sic) and I want these howling wolves hushed. When my integrity is attacked I want proof."

Evans wanted nothing to do with this, pleading that “we can’t go around listening to every dog that barks up a tree.” Adkison’s usual opponent on the commission, C. S. Younkman, was happy to give Adkison the public show he craved. Gustafson appears not to have uttered a word.[lviii]

Subpoenas were served on sixty witnesses, including Jones, Van Leuven, and the Hulls. On May 19, 1921, the court of inquiry kicked off before a crowded city hall auditorium.[lix] Evans presided and the city commission sat in judgment. The plan was to let the administration’s freshly minted special counsel, Tulsa lawyer A. J. Biddison, grill anyone who came forward. Things went immediately awry. Jones, by now the police department’s public enemy number one, was the first witness and announced that Mrs. Clark, the former police matron, had been threatened by the police, as his paper would that day elaborate in detail.[lx] Jones said he had seen the attorney general’s evidence, but wouldn’t part with any of it. Van Leuven also refused to disclose any complaints, but won “thunderous applause” by noting that Evans and city attorney Frank Duncan had failed to present themselves to her for questioning. Rev. Harold Cooke won more cheers relating his tour of Tulsa’s north side nightlife, complete with ethnic dialect.[lxi] J. Arthur Hull climaxed proceedings by testifying that “we found whites and negroes singing and dancing together. Young white girls were dancing while negroes played the piano.”[lxii] Van Leuven revealed that Evans and two commissioners were themselves under investigation.[lxiii]

While the city’s Republican paper, the Tulsa Daily World, did its best to argue that the accusations against the police had fallen flat, Jones’ Tulsa Tribune reported every juicy detail.[lxiv] Biddison, the administration’s mouthpiece, proclaimed Jones “the municipal liar” and worked the Judas metaphor, arguing that Jones had back-stabbed the administration, that the Tribune’s former “splendid support” had been “but the preparation of the place where the treacherous steel might enter your vitals,” and that Jones had “intended from the first, an opportunity to stick the knife into you to the hilt and when that opportunity came it was sought to be driven home.”[lxv] The commission voted 5-0 to exonerate the police, but the attorney general’s investigation remained as did Jones’ self-righteous editorials. In short order, however, most of the administration’s embarrassments would all but be forgotten.[lxvi] The forgetting began on Tuesday, May 31, with the arrival of the day’s Tulsa Tribune and “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl In an Elevator.”

To be continued in Part 2: The Police Nab a Negro


Endnotes:

[i] John Hope Franklin & John Whittington Franklin, My Life and An Era (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1997), 196. [ii] There are several different published versions of “Nab Negro.” The version quoted by Roscoe Dunjee, Bob Hower, and Alfred Brophy matches the body of the article printed in the Tulsa Tribune’s surviving June 1, 1921 state edition. “The False Sorry (sic) Which Set Tulsa on Fire,” The Black Dispatch (Oklahoma City, OK), July 1, 1921, 1; Bob Hower, Angels of Mercy (Tulsa, OK: Homestead Press 1993), 210; Alfred L. Brophy, Reconstructing The Dreamland (New York: Oxford University Press 2002), 24-25. This correct version has Rowland giving his “Diamond Dick” moniker to the “police” - a risky boast for a negro arrested for assault of a white girl - and includes Rowland’s alleged admission that he put his hand on the girl when she was alone. The version quoted in the Race Riot Commission Report, Hannibal Johnson, and Randy Krehbiel has Rowland giving the inflammatory name to the “public” and omits the “put his hand” sentence. Scott Ellsworth, Death in the Promised Land (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1992), 48; Scott Ellsworth, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot, 2001), 58; Hannibal B. Johnson, Black Wall Street (Austin, TX: Eakin Press 1998), 38; Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa 1921 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press 2019), 33. The version quoted by Loren Gill, R. Halliburton, and James Hirsch also refers to the “public,” but includes the “put his hand” sentence. Loren L. Gill, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” (master’s thesis, University of Tulsa 1946), 22; R. Halliburton, Jr., The Tulsa Race War of 1921 (San Francisco, CA: R and E Research Associates 1975), 4; James L. Hirsch, Riot and Remembrance (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company 2002), 79-80. Tim Madigan’s The Burning (New York: Thomas Dunne Books 2001) does not even quote the whole article. All the writers except Gill, Hower, and Halliburton incorrectly omit the “an” from the title. [iii] “Evans and Bigger Tulsa Ticket Win,” Tulsa Daily World (OK), April 7, 1920, 1, 10; “Vote By Precincts in City Election,” Tulsa Tribune (OK), April 7, 1920, 5. [iv] In the March 1920 primary, the total Democratic vote for mayor exceeded the Republican vote at 4,905 to 2,160. “Democrats Select Hubbard Again for Mayor of the City,” Tulsa Tribune, March 17, 1920, 1, 10. With the support of the rebel democrats, Evans won a narrow 4,891 to 4,684 victory. Republican commission candidate O. A. Steiner won even more narrowly, suggesting that without the factional split the Democrats would have retained a majority of the city commission and selected the next police commissioner, This would have likely been Herman Newblock, a former Tulsa police chief and the only Democrat who won re-election. [v] For the role of rebel democrats, “Hubbard and Evans Win for Mayor,” Tulsa Daily World, March 17, 1920, 1, 13 (Tate Brady promises to deliver 1,500 votes to Republicans); “Evans and Bigger Tulsa Ticket Win,” Tulsa Daily World, April 7, 1920, 5. (Hopkins exults over GOP win). For role of the newly franchised women’s vote and Lina Hull, “Evans and Bigger Tulsa Win, Tulsa Daily World, April 7, 1920, 1, 5. A late surge in support for Evans was credited to public reaction over an “arrest” of Lina Hull at a voting precinct she was observing. Richard Lloyd Jones, also a nominal Democrat, soured on Hubbard for failing to repudiate the Democrat’s “yipper” faction, alleged to be the “open city” crowd favoring bootlegging, gambling and more. “Not a Yipper City,” Tulsa Tribune, April 7, 1920, 18; “When the County Wakes Up,” Tulsa Tribune, July 28, 1920, 14. Jones’ paper would later call the anti-Yippers like Buck Lewis the “decent citizenship.” “Which List Do You Want to Control the Democracy of Tulsa,” Tulsa Tribune, August 1, 1920, 1. [vi] For Smitherman’s support, “Hubbard Administration Sure to Win,” Tulsa Star (OK), March 13, 1920, 1; “Bohn Has Made Good as Police Commissioner,” Tulsa Star, March 13, 1920, 1 (“Tulsa is the only city in the state having a Colored Man officiating at the head of the detective department”); “EXTRA! Our Best Citizens Favor Mayor Hubbard,” Tulsa Star, March 15, 1920, 1; “Democratic Nominees Will Win,” Tulsa Star, April 3, 1920, 1; “Deserting the Party,” Tulsa Star, April 3, 1920, 12; “Loving Cup to Mayor Hubbard,” Tulsa Star, April 17, 1920, 1. Hubbard received approximately sixty percent of the vote in the precinct dominated by black voters. “Republicans Win by 206 Votes!” Tulsa Star, April 10, 1920, 1. For Stradford support, “Popular Colored Republican Candidate Praises City Democratic Administration,” Tulsa Star, March 13, 1920, 1. Hubbard also made a practice of addressing political rallies in Greenwood, an act that generated ridicule in the white press. “Mayor Hubbard Principal Speaker at Colored Democratic Rally,” Tulsa Star, February 21, 1920, 1; “Democratic Rally To-night,” Tulsa Star, March 13, 1920, 1; “The Colored Man and Democracy,” Tulsa Daily World, February 27, 1920, 4. [vii] In March 1919, for example, a delegation of African American men visited the county jail demanding assurances of the safety of certain prisoners. Scott Ellsworth, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” Tulsa Race Riot: A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, 53. Thaddeus Evans would later assert that they came armed. “Message Mayor to Commissioners,” Record of Commission Proceedings, City of Tulsa, Vol. XV, June 14, 1921, 24-6. No mass hysteria ensued. [viii] For Adkison’s biography, Clarence B. Douglas, The History of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Volume II (Tulsa, OK: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921), 52-3; Joseph B. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright, Oklahoma: A History of The State and Its People (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1929), 122-23. Adkison’s name appears on a Ku Klux Klan roster from the late 1920s. Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa1921, 203, 282, n41.For Evans’ biography, “Mayor’s Wife Will Help Fulfill Promises,” Tulsa Tribune, April 8, 1920, 8; http://genealogytrails.com/oka/tulsa/bios1.html#evans_thaddeus_daniel. Evans was born in Iowa in 1868 and raised there, moving to Tulsa in 1906. Evans served as Tulsa Municipal Court Judge from 1917-1918 and adjudicated the vagrancy trial that immediately preceded the Tulsa Outrage of 1921. Randy Hopkins, “Birthday of the Klan: The Tulsa Outrage of 1917, The Chronicles of Oklahoma 97, no. 4 (Winter 2019–20), 423-26. Evans was a principal in Hopping & Evans, a farm loan company. “Keep Tulsa Clean,” Tulsa Daily World, March 31, 1918, 9. [ix] The triumvirate of Evans, Adkison and Steiner often found opposition from Republican commissioner C. S. Younkman, who ran a downtown drug store, and returning Democrat Newblock. Their opposition was especially intense on police and budgeting issues and had the cooperation of City Auditor Mrs. Frank Seamon, the first woman elected to city office. “Fund Row Shakes City Hall,” Tulsa Tribune, February 13, 1921, 1 (internal warfare in administration breaks into open and Adkison asks city auditor to resign); “Look on Acts of Mrs. Seaman with Suspicious Eyes,” Tulsa Tribune, March 27, 1921, 3. [x] Possibly reflecting the bipartisan nature of its win, Evans first penciled in the surviving Democrat Newblock as police commissioner. This was reversed after a torrent of criticism. “Newblock Tells Police Plans,” Tulsa Tribune, April 9, 1920, 1; “Adkison Is Slated for Police Job,” TulsaTribune, April 10, 1920, 1; “Adkison is Man for Job, Mayor Hints,” Tulsa Tribune, April 12, 1920, 1; “Assign New City Officials Places,” TulsaDaily World, April 18, 1920, 1, 4. It did not help Newblock’s case that his likely candidate for police chief, John Moran, had been shot in the back during a mysterious incident three days before the election and remained in serious condition. “John Moran Shot by Holdups,” Tulsa DailyWorld, April 4, 1920, 1. For Newblock’s unavailing support of Moran as police chief in the Hubbard administration, see “John Moran Resigns Federal Job to be Chief of Police,” Tulsa Daily World, April 10, 1918, 1. John Moran was brother of the City Auditor in the Evans’ administration, Mrs. Frank Seaman (Mary Moran Seaman). As mayor, Newblock later appointed John and Mary’s younger brother, Rees, as Tulsa police chief from 1922-28. https://www.tulsapolice.org/content/history/chiefs.aspx [xi] For Adkison as mayor pro tempore, “Society Women at City Hall Help Start Evans Term,” Tulsa Tribune, May 4, 1920, 1. For Evans’ absence during Belton, “New Charter Plan Checked to Evans,” Tulsa Tribune, August 21, 1920, 1 (Evans out of town to return “about September 1”); “Mayor Will Return Soon,” Tulsa Daily World, September 3, 1920, 18 (Evans on vacation in Colorado to return September 5th). Belton was lynched around midnight on the evening of August 28. [xii] “Adkison Vouches He Would Enforce Law,” Tulsa Tribune, April 11, 1920, 4. According to Tulsa political historian James Mitchell, a common feature in early municipal elections was the charge that incumbents were soft on crime and corruption and should be replaced by the out-of-power party who would put things in order. The 1920 municipal election did not alter this pattern. James M. Mitchell, “Politics in a Boom Town: Tulsa from 1906 to 1930,” (master’s thesis, University of Tulsa, 1950), 30-33, 99-104. [xiii] “Adkison is Man for Job, Mayor Hints,” Tulsa Tribune, April 12, 1920, 1; “Chief Allen Asks Force to Keep Jobs,” Tulsa Tribune, April 13, 1920, 1; “Administration Is Divided on Chief,” Tulsa Tribune, April 24, 1920, 1; “Name Police Chief from List of Five,” Tulsa Tribune, April 26, 1920, 1; “To Name New Chief,” Tulsa Daily World, April 26, 1920, 1 (no candidate with three votes). [xiv] For Gustafson’s “unanimous” selection, “Name Gustafson Chief of Police,” Tulsa Daily World, April 27, 1920, 1 (per Adkison, “We investigated his record and character carefully and found them to be unquestionable”); “New Chief Promises Cleanup,” Tulsa Tribune, April 27, 1920, 1. For Hull’s anger over Gustafson, “Opens Fight on Evans’ Police Head,” Tulsa Tribune, April 29, 1920, 1 (per Hull, “Everybody that knows anything about John A. Gustafson is against him” and “[s]omebody has pulled the wool over Judge Evan’s (sic) eyes”); “Evans Sticks by Guns in Police Row,” Tulsa Tribune, April 30, 1920, 1 (per Evans, “Time, I believe, will show that our proposed clean up of Tulsa will not be retarded but hastened” by Gustafson and “will cure (Hull’s) hurts”). The common explanation of how an alleged grifter could become police chief in a bluenose administration is provided by Mitchell who concluded that a “vice ring, using its money and influence, brought pressure on each administration to refrain from living up to its pre-election closed town pledges.” James Mitchell, “Politics in a Boom Town: Tulsa from 1906 to 1930,” 32. [xv] “Local Findings on John A. Gustafson,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, box 25, record group 1-2, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries (hereafter “Attorney General Case no. 1062”). The “Local Findings” document is undated, unsigned, and consists of much hearsay and/or gossip. It claims he was brought to town by “Dan Herring, crook” In early 1917, Herring briefly served as a police captain but was canned after the surfacing of skeletons from his past. “Police Captain Herring Ousted,” Tulsa Daily World, April 20, 1917, 2; “Herring Tells Why He Was Discharged,” Tulsa Daily World, April 21, 1917, 7; “Letter Special Officer to E. L. Lucas, Chief of Police, 30 March 1917,” Attorney General Case no. 1062. The Local Findings also quoted Gustafson as being supported for chief by Lee Kunsman of the “open town class.” The socially prominent Kunsman ran a clothing store in the Bliss Building, where Gustafson’s agency was located. Kunsman, however, appears to have supported liquor and crime crackdowns. “Police Clean-Up Blocked,” Tulsa Tribune, May 20, 1921, 2 (per Kunsman, city officials “are incompetent”). [xvi] ”Kick” in Chicken Feed Led to Booze Raid,” Tulsa Tribune, July 18, 1920, 1, 11 (former detective for William Burns and Pinkerton agencies); “New Choice Possible for Chief of Police,” Tulsa DailyWorld, May 28, 1918, 4 (endorsed by Tulsa Retail Merchants Association). Gustafson testified at his July 1921 removal trial that he arrived in Tulsa four years earlier. Prior to that, he testified to living in Kansas City for “fifteen or twenty years.” “Gustafson Testimony District Court State of Oklahoma v. John A. Gustafson,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062. The 1910 federal Census, however, placed he and his wife in Portland, Oregon, where he was managing a department store. 1910 U. S. Census, Portland Ward 5, Multnomah, Oregon Roll, T624_1286; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0160; FHL microfilm: 1375299. Gustafson was born in Missouri on November 11, 1873 and raised there. [xvii] For “intelligence” work, August 10, 1917 letter from Gustafson to Oklahoma Governor R. L. Williams marked document 82169, folder 1, box 36, R. L. Williams Collection, Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center, Oklahoma City, OK. By 1920, Gustafson’s agency was headquartered at the Bliss Building at Third Street and Main.“Tulsa City Directory 1921” (Tulsa, OK: Polk-Hoffhine Directory Co., 1921), 676-77. [xviii] “Part 1 Attorney Notes of Witness Testimony,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 2. [xix] The ambush took the lives of Oscar Poe and the Hart twins, Billie and Harry, alleged bank robbers. “Tulsa Detective Tells of Fight,” Tulsa Daily World, January 20, 1917, 1. Other newspaper coverage of the shootings either omit or downplay Gustafson’s role. “Three Youthful Bandits Die When Caught by Posse in Hell Hole of the Hills, Muskogee Times-Democrat, January 19, 1917, 1; “3 More Bank Bandits Killed in Battle Today,” Tulsa Democrat, January 19, 1917, 1; “Bank Robbers Killed,” Okmulgee Chieftain, January 25, 1917, 1. Gustafson thanked Governor Robert Lee Williams for helping with warrants to collect the rewards in the case. See footnote 17 above. The “Local Findings” document says Gustafson lost his contract with the American Bankers Association for wrongly claiming a reward and it may have been this one. Gustafson was still associated with the Oklahoma Bankers Association in March 1921. “Freeling Sent Here to Push for Sperry Trial,” Tulsa Tribune, March 26, 1921, 1. [xx] “New Mayor Attacks Vice Ring,” Tulsa Tribune, April 7, 1920, 1 (per Evans, “Tulsa must be made a clean city”); “Mayor T. D. Evans Talks in Sapulpa,” Tulsa Daily World, April 15, 1920, 7 (Evans will clean up Tulsa); “New Chief Promises Cleanup,” Tulsa Tribune, April 27, 1920, 1; “New Mayor Orders ‘Closed Town’,” Tulsa Tribune, May 4, 1920, 1 (when swearing in Gustafson, Blaine and others, Evans orders them to “close the town and keep it closed”); “New Commission Now in Control,” Tulsa Daily World, May 5, 1920, 1; “Cobwebs and Dirt to be Ousted at Police Holdover,” Tulsa Tribune, May 5, 1920, 4 (Evans says police station is “a disgrace to darkest Africa”). [xxi] “Name Gustafson Chief of Police,” Tulsa Daily World, April 27, 1920, 1. [xxii] “Drive Crime from City, Orders Chief,” Tulsa Tribune, August 22, 1920, 8. During the 1910s, new city administrations conducted “beheadings” of the police, firing existing officers and replacing them with new ones. The early Tulsa police, then, were unprofessional tools of the ruling political party. Early in their reign, Adkison and Gustafson took a two-week tour of other major police departments. They returned promising to professionalize the Tulsa force via civil service reforms. “Police Civil Service Law is Demanded,“ Tulsa Tribune, August 8, 1920, 1; “Cops May Get Civil Service,” Tulsa Daily World, August 21, 1920, 18. The promise faded and it was not until the 1930s that such reforms reached the department. “Two Centuries of Policing in Tulsa,” The Police Chief, September 1990, 56-7. [xxiii] “Seize 48 in 7 Police Raids,” Tulsa Tribune, May 6, 1920, 1; “Underworld Defies Police Department,” Tulsa Tribune, May 9, 1920, 1; “Murder Try Brings Order from Chief,” Tulsa Tribune, June 2, 1920, 1 (war on gunmen and hi-jackers); “50 Men Will Help Police Curb Crime,” Tulsa Tribune, June 10, 1920, 1 (Tulsa Jaycees to be sworn in as police); “Mayor will Stop Show of Weapons,” Tulsa Tribune, June 17, 1920, 1; “Declares War to End on Whisky Makers,” Tulsa Tribune, July 18, 1920, 11; “Mayor Backs Officers in Booze War,” and “City Plans to Halt Gun Sales,” Tulsa Tribune, July 20, 1920, 1; “City Orders Police Force Increased,” Tulsa Daily World, December 22, 1920, 1; “Strict Policing Safeguards City,” Tulsa Daily World, December 23, 1920, 1; “Chief Orders Booze Cleanup,” Tulsa Tribune, March 1, 1921, 1. “Undesirables” included anyone who could not prove a legitimate means of livelihood, a testy standard given that the country was entering a post-World War financial depression. “Drive Crime From City, Orders Chief,” Tulsa Tribune, August 22, 1920, 8. [xxiv] For Adkison’s four hundred special commissions, “Inefficiency of Police is Denied, Tulsa Daily World, July 19, 1921, 7; “Chief and Officers Take Witness Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 8. The 2000 Tulsa Race Riot Commission report suggests there were five hundred commissions, which George Blaine may have confirmed in his 1946 interview with Gill. Loren L. Gill, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” 28, n21. For arming at least two hundred and fifty men, deposition of J. A. Gustafson in Stradford v. American Central Ins. Co.; Superior Court of Cook County, No. 370,274 (1921), 3-4 (“We armed during the night probably two hundred fifty citizens who assisted the Police Department in trying to quell the mob” and “I think we armed about two hundred fifty”) (hereafter “Gustafson 1922 deposition”). This confirms that the police sponsored the “looting” of the nearby hardware stores. “Police Accused From Stand,” Tulsa Tribune, July 15, 1921, 9 (per J. W. Megee of Megee Hardware, “issued guns on demand from the police station”); “Part 1, Attorney Notes of Witness Testimony,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062) (“store broken into and arms dealt out, supposedly by Capt. Blaine”). Blaine testified that he tried to protect the store, but “they rushed me.” “Chief and Officers Take the Stand,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 8. [xxv] Barrett’s declaration occurred at the public meeting at the city hall auditorium. “Tulsa in Remorse to Rebuild Homes; Dead Now Put at 30,” NewYork Times, June 3, 1921, quoted in Tom Streissguth, ed., Reporting: The Tulsa Riot 1921 (St. Paul, MN: Archive of American Journalism, 2018), 70; “Tulsa Will Rebuild Homes of Negroes,” Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), June 3, 1921, 2. [xxvi] Major General Charles F. Barrett, Oklahoma After Fifty Years: A History of The Sooner State and its People, (Oklahoma City, OK: Historical Record Association, 1941), 209 (“…in a race war a large part, if not a majority, of these special deputies were imbued with the same spirit of destruction that animated the mob. They became as deputies the most dangerous part of the mob and after the arrival of the Adjutant General and the declaration or martial law the first arrests ordered were those of special officers who had hindered the firemen in their abortive efforts to put out the incendiary fires that many of these special officers were accused of setting.”). [xxvii] “Drive Crime From City, Orders Chief,” Tulsa Tribune, August 22, 1920, 8. [xxviii] For Cranfield as mob leader, Work product and investigative documents preserved in State of Oklahoma v. James Woolley in the District Court of Tulsa County, Attorney General Civil Case No. 1017, box 23, record group 1-2, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK, 1017-036 (hereafter “AG Civil Case 1017-page no.”). For Elks Club conference, Transcript of the testimony of A. E. Montgomery in court of inquiry conducted by Assistant Attorney General C. W. King, “In the Matter of the Investigation of the Conduct of the County Officials of Tulsa County, Okla,” September 1920, State of Oklahoma vs. James Woolley in the District Court of Tulsa County, Attorney General Civil Case No. 1017, box 23, record group 1-2, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK, 166-68 (hereafter “Court of Inquiry, witness name, page no.”). [xxix] Victor Barnett, managing editor of the Tulsa Tribune, stated that, “everybody knows who did the lynching. The best people in town formed the mob. It was done as a protest against the inefficiency of officials of the law. City police officers directed traffic at the lynching, affording everybody, as far as possible, an equal chance to view the event. It is said that the police telephoned a local undertaker before the lynching took place to come out and get the body.” Walter F. White, “Tulsa’s Shame Due to Race Prejudice and Corrupt Rule,” Chicago (ILL) Defender, June 18, 1921, 3. Barnett’s belief had not stopped his paper from writing up the lynching in a way to justify police behavior. “Mob Lynches Taxicab Slayer,” Tulsa Tribune, August 29, 1920, 1. [xxx] “Probe Belton Lynching,” Tulsa Daily World, August 30, 1920, 3. [xxxi] As Woolley described it: So I went up to the office and I called the police station. I says “There is a mob here” I says “Have you got any men down there?” And they says “I will see.” So they fooled around there a while. Pretty soon he called up and answered and said “They are all out.” I says “Where are they?” And he says “I don’t know.” I says “You have them to call me just as quick as they get in because this mob is here.” Court of Inquiry, Woolley, 132. [xxxii] For 30 minutes notice, “Probe Belton Lynching,” Tulsa Daily World, August 30, 1920, 3 (per Gustafson, “the call came about 10:30 o’clock when the jailer phoned that the mob was on its way to the jail”). Belton was taken at 11 p.m. that night. “Mob Lynches Tom Owens,” Tulsa Daily World, August 29, 1920, 1. The Daily World was still using Belton’s alias for the headline. [xxxiii] AG Civil Case 1017-001; AG Civil Case 1017-037. [xxxiv] The head of the police department’s traffic division later bragged about being at the lynching. AG Civil Case 1017- 003. (“Doctor Donohoe told Nick Remachel (sic) that this would get them in trouble and the policeman replied “He didn't (sic)give a d—, he was there”). For head of traffic division, “Rigid Steps to Enforce Traffic Law,” Tulsa Tribune, May 7, 1920, 1. [xxxv] “Mob Lynches Taxicab Slayer,” Tulsa Tribune, August 29, 1920, 3; “Probe Belton Lynching,” Tulsa Daily World, August 30, 1920, 3. [xxxvi] Three days before the grand jury commenced, Adkinson threw a special “prison dinner” for the newsmen of the town and presented speakers attesting to the ability, integrity and appearance of the department. Adkison offered a resolution thanking the newspapers for all their support and fifty policemen approved it with a standing ovation. The next day, the Tribune reported that the Tulsa police department was “[t]he best, in fact, that has ever safeguarded the interests of the Magic City.” “Police Department Lauded for Efforts,” Tulsa Tribune, September 21, 1920, 3. The Daily World did not cover the event. [xxxvii] According to the attorney general’s file, policeman Doc Bassett (sic) bragged to Curley Lemon that “they received telephone message fifteen minutes before mob taken prisoner from sheriff, and that they went to cornor [sic] of courthouse and waited until mob got prisoner, and then got car and went to scene of tradedgy [sic].” AG Civil Case 1017-003. Bissett was a detective and the “they” waiting with him likely included more of the department’s plainclothesmen. [xxxviii] Oklahoma suffered two lynchings over the weekend that Belton was killed, with a Black teenager named Claude Chandler effortlessly lifted from the Oklahoma County jail. If there was a link between the two lynchings other than timing, even if just mutual encouragement, a possible nexus was Gustafson and Oklahoma County Attorney O. A. Cargill. Cargill has been outed as the likely mastermind behind the Chandler killing. Bobbie Dobbs, “1920 Lynching of Claude Chandler: Shedding Light on a Painful Past, The Oklahoman, February 22, 2016 at https://oklahoman.com/article/5480171/1920-lynching-of-claude-chandler-shedding-light-on-painful-past? Cargill and Gustafson were later linked through the Oklahoma Bankers Association. “Freeling Sent Here to Push for Sperry Trial,” Tulsa Tribune, March 26, 1921, 1. [xxxix] James S. Hirsch, Riot and Remembrance, 77 (a year earlier oil had stood at three dollars a barrel, but had collapsed to one dollar and sixty per cent of oil industry was shut down); “Crude Oil Prices are Slashed,” Tulsa Tribune, January 8, 1921, 1; “Two Big Oil Firms Slash Wages,” Tulsa Tribune, February 2, 1921, 1; “New Oil Shutdown Threatened,” Tulsa Tribune, May 3, 1921, 1. [xl] “City Asks More Police and Money,” Tulsa Tribune, December 22, 1920, 1. [xli] “‘Shoot To Kill’ Is Police Advice,” Tulsa Daily World, December 28, 1920, 1. Adkison explained that when he operated a grocery store, he hired a “special man” equipped with a sawed-off shotgun loaded with buckshot and placed him in a hiding place with a view. The Tulsa Worldcommented that, fortunately for some robber, no attempt was made on the store. Lucky, as well, for Adkison's customers and employees. [xlii] “Police May Use Special Officers,” Tulsa Daily World, January 5, 1921, 7. Adkison said he was going to get a municipal ordinance for this. It was not Adkison’s first foray into special commissions, as he had previously granted police powers to members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. “To Be Special Officers,” Tulsa Tribune, June 11, 1920, 20 (Jaycees to be given “same authority as that vested in regular plainclothes men”). [xliii]“Police Say They Knew of ‘War’ Plans, Tulsa Tribune, June 3, 1921, 1; “Warning Against Further Trouble,” Tulsa Daily World, June 4, 1921, 11. In 1946, Adkison, then chief clerk in the Tulsa water commissioner’s office, and George Blaine, then chief of police, confirmed these warnings in 1946 interviews given to Loren Gill. Loren L. Gill, “The Tulsa Race Riot,” 15, n33. [xliv] “Chief Orders Booze Cleanup,” Tulsa Tribune, March 1, 1921, 1 (Gustafson tells Ministerial Alliance that blame for conditions is “squarely at door of the county attorney”); “Enforce the Law Police are Told,” Tulsa Daily World, March 1, 1921, 1, 13; “To Disclose Six Drug Stores in Booze War,” Tulsa Tribune, March 2, 1921, 1 (Adkison blasts Seaver). Their attack came on the immediate heels of the death of a 20-year old stenographer in the county attorney’s office who allegedly drank poisoned wood alcohol which she allegedly lifted from some kind of evidence cabinet. “Poison Booze Kills Divorcee, Tulsa Tribune, February 28, 1921, 1; “Woman Dead and Companion Blind, Tulsa Daily World, March 1, 1921, 16; “May Exhume Remains of Mrs. Wilson,” Tulsa Tribune March 3, 1921, 1. Adkison and Gustafson’s criticisms against Seaver may have been coordinated with Richard Lloyd Jones. “Excuses Won’t Go,” Tulsa Tribune, March 2, 1921, 14. Seaver left dissatisfaction in his wake. Even local Republicans turned on him. “Seaver Under Fire of Own Party Heads,” Tulsa Tribune, March 16, 1921, 1. Seaver’s failure to prosecute defendants in the Nida shooting came in for blistering criticism from Gustafson. “Seaver’s Conduct in Office Is Under Fire,” Tulsa Tribune, March 30, 1921, 1. [xlv] “Seaver Ousted in Bank Case,” Tulsa Tribune, March 26, 1921, 1; “Freeling May Quiz Seaver on Office Change,” Tulsa Tribune, March 28, 1921, 1. Robertson also directed Freeling to investigate Seaver’s alleged mishandling of a statutory rape case. Letter James B. A. Robertson, Governor, to S. P. Freeling, Attorney General, 24 March, 1921,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062. [xlvi] “Seaver’s Conduct in Office Is Under Fire,” Tulsa Tribune, March 30, 1921, 1; “Small, Very Feminine Woman Fills Big Job,” Tulsa Tribune, March 6, 1921, 23. [xlvii] For J. Arthur Hull as director of Exchange Bank, “The Glorious Fourth,” Tulsa Daily World, July 4, 1917, 7. [xlviii] “Freeling’s Aide ‘Shadowed’ in Quiz of Crime,” Tulsa Tribune, April 8, 1921, 1 (“He was a large, red-faced man who wore glasses and had a general appearance of roughness and boorishness about him not entirely hidden by the rather well-tailored clothes he wore. I took him to be either a detective or an underworld character”). On the evening she investigated the negro quarter, Van Leuven escaped her pursuer by taking dinner and staying at the Hulls’ home and sneaking out from there in Mr. Hull’s automobile. [xlix] “Freeling to Extend Quiz of Crime Here,” Tulsa Tribune, April 9, 1921, 2. On April 12, assistant attorney general George F. Short disclosed that city commissioners were now in the crosshairs. “Suspect in Auto Theft Ring Freed,” Tulsa Tribune, April 12, 1921, 1. Short’s brief tenure in Tulsa was marked by his attempt to lead raids using borrowed Tulsa policemen. Gustafson ridiculed the effort after it came up empty-handed, apparently because everyone had been alerted. “Raid Hotels for Evidence in Vice Quiz,” Tulsa Tribune, April 15, 1921, 1; “Police Chief Says Assistant Attorney General Lead (sic) Raids,” Tulsa Tribune, April 17, 1921, 30. Shortly thereafter retreated to Oklahoma City, not returning for the court of inquiry and leaving matters in the hands of Van Leuven. Short succeeded Freeling as Oklahoma Attorney General. [l] “Committee of ‘100’ Demands City Cleanup,” Tulsa Tribune, April 17, 1921, 1; ”The Committee of 100,” Tulsa Tribune, April 19, 1921, 16. The new Committee promised to follow in the old Committee’s footsteps by hiring a private detective to assist public officials. The earlier Committee of 100 paid the salary of Tulsa County Attorney’s special investigator, E. S. Macqueen. “Funds Not Available; Macqueen Resigns Job as Enforcement Officer,” Tulsa Daily World, November 2, 1918, 4. State district judge Redmond S. Cole later named Macqueen as “the man that fired the first shot” on May 31, 1921. June 6, 1921 letter from Redmond S. Cole to U.S. Department of Justice official Jas. G. Findlay, M290, box 12, folder 1, Redmond S. Cole Collection, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. (hereafter “Cole to Findlay letter”). Macqueen’s name also appears on the list of knowledgeable individuals regarding the lynching of Roy Belton. AG Civil Case 0017-004. [li] Evidence of co-ordination between the Evans administration and Jones’s editorials include: - support for gun sale restrictions. “Would Place Ban on Sale of Pistols,” Tulsa Tribune, June 16, 1920, 1; “Cut Out the Fire Arms,” TulsaTribune, June 16, 1920, 15 (editorial); - support for police training. “Let’s Have a Pistol School,” Tulsa Tribune, January 3, 1921, 12 (editorial); “Will Teach Police Use of Firearms,” TulsaTribune, January 4, 1921, 1; - demands for full support of Adkison and Gustafson. “A Law Enforcement Lesson,” Tulsa Tribune, January 6, 1921, 14 (editorial); “Go After Them,” Tulsa Tribune, February 12, 1921, 8 (editorial). [lii] “Statement of W. H. Clark,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062. [liii] “Statement of W. H. Clark,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062. Clark testified that Patton beat a black female prisoner with a rubber hose and told a white Canadian woman who allegedly served as a police sex slave that she was “not as good as a nigger; all these sons-o-bitching foreigners ought to be killed. You are nothing but a ___.” She also accused Patton of having sex with a female prisoner atop the police clerk’s desk, drinking or being “dopey” on the job and, along with Gustafson, removing confiscated booze from lockup. Clark accused officer Leo Irish of having sex with a female prisoner through the bars of her cell. On June 1, 1921, Officer Irish was the motorcycle officer who later roped six captives from Greenwood together single file and made them run “at a hot pace” behind his cycle to detention. “Blacks Tied Together,” Tulsa Tribune, June 1, 1921, 2. [liv] “Federal Report on Vice Conditions,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, box 25, record group 1-2, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 3 (a Brady Hotel bellhop called “Baldy” sent a girl to the investigator’s room, price $4.00, and assured him “to have no fear of the police”). A separate investigation conducted by H. H. Townsend reported that “bell boy no. 9” at the Brady Hotel said: "if we would come down there at any time that he was on duty that he would get us a pretty girl, any kind we wanted, and any kind of whiskey we wanted. We asked him if Tate Brady, the proprietor of this place, knew what the bell boys were doing and he said that he might know but that he didn't get any money out of it. He said that all of the bell boys did the same thing at this place." “Report on Vice Conditions in Tulsa, 1921 May 18,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 1, 3, 5. This must have been a ripe moment since Townsend was accompanied by Rev. Harold Cooke, pastor of the Centenary Methodist Church, located across the street from the site of Tate Brady’s villa. J. Arthur Hull was also along. They toured “nigger town,” as Townsend called it, inquiring about booze and girls. They were observed by a policeman who might have arrested them. It would have been a priceless event had it happened. [lv] H. O. Brown, a private detective with the William J. Burns Agency, reported that Gustafson was getting rake-offs from pawn shops. “Miscellaneous Witness Notes,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 2. Brown and Gustafson had recently worked on the Sperry, Oklahoma bank robbery case promoted by the Oklahoma Bankers Association. “Seaver Ousted in Bank Case,” Tulsa Tribune, 26, 1921, 1. A former assistant U. S. Marshal claimed that two detectives at Gustafson’s detective agency were being paid by police funds. “Statement of W. S. Ellis,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 1-2. [lvi] “Police Clean-Up Blocked,” Tulsa Tribune, May 20, 1921, 2 (Lina Hull’s outrage over Bissett as rooming house inspector); “Federal Report on Vice Conditions,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 3 (Bissett rooms at Hotel Boswell where four women, described as “keen stuff,” were said to be “hustling”); “Part 2 Attorney Witness Notes,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 3 (witness McInturff to testify that Bissett bragged “about following young women from the railroad station and taking advantage of them in various ways”). [lvii] “Better Get Busy,“ Tulsa Tribune, May 16, 1921, 12. For alternating Tribune policy, “Tulsa Filled with Danger for Police,” Tulsa Tribune, May 2, 1921, 1 (“Tulsa is the most dangerous place in the world for police officers.”); “Make Tulsa Decent,” Tulsa Tribune, May 13, 1921, 24 (editorial claiming “Prostitution, bootlegging and gambling, with all their degrading influences, have run pretty much unmolested, both by the city and county authorities”). [lviii] “City Turns on Police Critics, Plans Inquiry,” Tulsa Tribune, May 17, 1921, 1; “City Calls Bluff on Police Critics, Tulsa Daily World, May 18, 1921, 1; “Ask Citizen to Assist in Probe,” Tulsa Daily World, May 19, 1921, 1. Steiner seconded Younkman’s motion and provided the requisite third vote along with Adkison’s. Newblock voted no and Evans did not vote as there was no tie to break. [lix] “Threats Fly in Police Quiz,” Tulsa Tribune, May 19, 1921, 1, 3; “Impeachment of Police Falls Flat,” Tulsa Daily World, May 20, 1921, 1. Lina Hull’s favorite for police chief, H. H. Townsend, was also there. Hull and her allies were of the view that “one man with nerves and no restrictions could clean up the city.” Tulsa Daily World, May 21, 1921, 17. Townsend had briefly ruled the police department from September 1916 to early 1917. His reign was a violent one, marked by raids conducted by his “wrecking squad” who sometimes fell hard upon innocent parties. Even the downtown Retail Merchants Association eventually demanded his resignation. The end came in January 1917, when he and his “wreckers” shot a 21-year old taxi driver twice in the back. Under indictment for murder, Townsend resigned and was hired by Standard Oil’s primary Tulsa subsidiary as security chief. Randy Hopkins, “Birthday of the Klan” The Tulsa Outrage of 1917,” 416, 418, 420-21, 428-29, 437, n37-38, 438, n46, 439, n53, 445, n115, 446, n120. [lx] “Threats Fly in Police Quiz,” Tulsa Tribune, May 19, 1921, 1, 3 (Tulsa police officer Roy Meacham said to visit Mrs. Clark the morning of the hearing and said she would be in great trouble and possibly “leaving town” if she talked, having earlier told her “I’m telling you they’ve got things framed against you at the station and they’ll blacken your reputation if you dare to talk”). The Tribune also quoted Mrs. Clark: “It all goes to show that Tulsa is in the hands of the toughest gang of crooks in the county. I have served for 12 years as a welfare officer and police matron in some of the biggest cities of the country and I never ran up against anything so rotten as the Tulsa police department. I know what I’ve seen with my own eyes and I am not afraid to tell the truth.” For further Clark testimony, “Matron Bares Police Failures,” Tulsa Tribune, May 21, 1921, 2; “Statement of W. H. Clark,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062. [lxi] “Threats Fly in Police Quiz,” Tulsa Tribune, May 19, 1921, 1; “Police Clean-Up Blocked,” Tulsa Tribune, May 20, 1921, 1. The Tribune wrote that the “bubble of innocence” affected by the mayor and commissioners was “rudely burst” by Cooke’s performance. [lxii] “Matron Bares Police Failures,” Tulsa Tribune, May 21, 1921, 2. C.E. Buchner, another Townsend man, brought humor to the proceedings by telling Evans that “prostitutes ply their trade in front of the city hall.” Mrs. Frank Seaman testified about the process for issuing subpoenas, suggesting Gustafson shopped for favorable witnesses. [lxiii] “Impeachment of Police Falls Flat,” Tulsa Daily World, May 20, 1921, 1. Adkison and Street Commissioner Steiner were caught up in charges relating to alleged financial dealings with the city. Neither case involved substantial sums, but they became public embarrassments, especially for Steiner. Mrs. Seaman diligently assembled the evidence against them. “Steiner Case Put Up to Mayor by Duncan,” Tulsa Tribune, December 2, 1920, 1; “Letter Mrs. Frank Seaman, City Auditor to Mrs. Van Leuven, Assistant Attorney General, 13 May 1921,” There is no mention of Younkman or Newblock as a targets. The investigation thus centered on the controlling Republican triumvirate. [lxiv] “Impeachment of Police Falls Flat,’ Tulsa Daily World, May 20, 1921, 1; “Thirty Witnesses Fail to Link Police to Vice,” Tulsa Daily World, May 21, 1921, 1; “Police not Shirking; Tulsa Morals at Par, Citizenry Testifies,” Tulsa Daily World, May 22, 1921, 1; “Attack on Police only Propaganda,” Tulsa Daily World, May 25, 1921, 1; “The Biddison Statement,” Tulsa Daily World, May 26, 1921, 4 (editorial). For the Tribune's contrasting views, “Threats Fly in Police Quiz,” Tulsa Tribune, May 19, 1921, 1; “Police Clean-Up Blocked,” Tulsa Tribune, May 20, 1921, 1; “Unique,” Tulsa Tribune, May 20, 1921, 22 (editorial); “Matron Bares Police Failures,” Tulsa Tribune, May 21, 1921, 1; “Police, Angry, Scrap Idea of Aiding Women,” Tulsa Tribune, May 22, 1921, 1; “Blow Away the Smoke Screen,” Tulsa Tribune, May 22, 1921, 34 (editorial); “Duncan Points the Way,” and “The City’s Loss,” Tulsa Tribune, May 24, 1921, 18 (editorials); “Whitewashed,” Tulsa Tribune, May 25, 1921, 16 (editorial). [lxv] “Attack on Police only Propaganda,” Tulsa Daily World, May 25, 1921, 1-2. [lxvi] The attorney general would later successfully remove Gustafson from office, but apart from a charge relating to failing to disarm the Black “invaders,” the only successful charge involved auto thefts. “Chief Guilty - Sheriff Up Next?,” Tulsa Tribune, July 23, 1921, 1, “Chief Found Guilty on Two Counts,” Tulsa Daily World, July 23, 1921, 1. Charges involving booze, prostitution, and extortion were discarded along the way. “Points in Chief’s Trial,” Tulsa Daily World, July 20, 1921, 1; “Chief Tells Own Story About Riot,” Tulsa Tribune, July 19, 1921, 2. Even the auto theft charge had been delivered to the attorney general by County Attorney Seaver and his longtime “evidence man,” possibly as revenge against Gustafson. “Nabs Suspect as Fence for Auto Thieves, Tulsa Tribune, April 5, 1921, 1; “Ask Quiz of Auto Thefts,” Tulsa Tribune, April 6, 1921, 1; “Statement W. F. Seaver,” Attorney General Civil Case no. 1062, 1. The Attorney General repaid that favor by waiting until two weeks remained in Seaver’s term before securing his removal in a suspiciously quick end-of-year hearing. “Seaver Fights Suspension in Supreme Court,” Tulsa Tribune, December 14, 1922, 1.


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