The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 319

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Book Reviews


Gunfight at Ingalls: Death of an Outlaw Town. By Glenn Shirley. (Stillwater:
Barbed Wire Press, 199o. Pp. x + 18o. Preface, black-and-white photo-
graphs, illustrations, map, bibliography, index. $15.95-)
One of the most desperate gun battles in the history of the Old West took
place in 1893 at Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory. Bill Doolin and his "Okla-
hombres," a notorious outlaw gang, had been using Ingalls as a lair for a num-
ber of months. Doolin was treated for a wound by an Ingalls doctor, and after
robberies the gang would drink and gamble at the town's two saloons, then bed
down at the O.K. Hotel.
On the morning of September 1, 1893, thirteen deputy U.S. marshals ap-
proached Ingalls in three covered wagons. A bloody shootout ensued, during
which "Arkansas Tom" Jones gunned down three officers and an innocent by-
stander from the upper floor of the hotel. Another citizen was shot by lawmen
who thought he was an outlaw. Fugitive "Bitter Creek" Newcomb was
wounded, along with two other civilians. But Newcomb managed to escape,
and Doolin, Bill Dalton, "Dynamite Dick" Clifton, and "Tulsa Jack" Blake shot
their way to freedom. Jones, abandoned in the hotel, was forced to surrender,
while marshals Tom Hueston, Lafe Shadley, and Dick Speed were dead or
dying. The final toll was five killed and three wounded. A massive manhunt
was launched, and Doolin and his men eventually were slain or captured. In-
galls attempted to regain a measure of respectability, but local residents contin-
ued to engage in gunplay. When area railroads bypassed the little community,
permanent decline set in, and Ingalls became a ghost town after World War I.
The foremost authority on outlawry and law enforcement on the Oklahoma
frontier, Glenn Shirley has researched the Ingalls shoot-out for half a century.
In several other books he has partially described the battle at Ingalls, while
other historians also have related part of the tragic story. With meticulous at-
tention to detail, Shirley at last has produced the dfinitive history of one of the
West's most violent encounters between peace officers and outlaws. The origin
and demise of Ingalls are thoroughly recounted, and the principal characterrs
are drawn with accuracy and perception. Numerous photographs are pro-
vided, as well as pertinent maps and a richly detailed plat of Ingalls during the
fight. The volume is exhaustively documented and will prove a welcome addi-
tion to the bookshelf of any western buff.

Panola College


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 23, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.