Main Street in Ada, Oklahoma, 1908.

Main Street in Ada, Oklahoma, 1908.

In February 1909, a former United States Deputy Marshal was murdered near Ada, Oklahoma, by a cold-blooded assassin.

His murder was one of many that had occurred in a county in which citizens were living among at least twenty assassins for hire.  Less than two months after the marshal’s death, four men who had been arrested for his murder were lynched by a mob of citizens.  In the middle of the night on April 19, 1909, the mob broke into the jailhouse in Ada, overpowered the deputies on duty, and bound the prisoners’ hands with baling wire.   They then led the accused to an abandoned livery stable and hung each one from the rafters.  Unable to rely upon justice through the government due to a faulty court system and jurors who were afraid to convict for fear of retaliation on their lives, the mob took on the role as judge, jury, and executioner.

If ever there a case deserving of vigilante justice … this is it.
Ada, Oklahoma's lynching of 1909. <br>Pictured from left to right:  James B. Miller, Joe Allen, B. B. Burwell, and Jesse West. Photo by Noah B. Stall

Pictured from left to right:
James B. Miller, Joe Allen, B. B. Burrell, and Jesse West.
Photo by Noah B. Stall.