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Tilghman, William Matthew, 1854-1924

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1854-07-04-1924-11-01-

Biographical / Historical

Bill Tilghman was a career lawman during the Wild West days of Kansas and Oklahoma. He was the city marshal in Dodge City, participated in the Kansas County Seat Wars and the Oklahoma land rushes, and served as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Oklahoma. With fellow marshals Heck Thomas and Chris Madsen, known as Oklahoma's Three Guardsmen, he is credited with bringing order to the Territory. He documented his life in The passing of the Oklahoma outlaws, a film that he directed and starred in as himself. In 1924, at age 70, he became city marshal of Cromwell, Oklahoma and was shot and killed after arresting a corrupt federal prohibition agent for public intoxication.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Dorothy Johnson Collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: WHC-M-2535
Scope and Contents FULL FINDING AID (PDF)

Collection. Stories (n.d.) written by Matie Mowbray Thomas concerning the exploits of Deputy U.S. Marshal, Heck Thomas, including a transcription of a letter written by Isaac Parker recommending Thomas' appointment as marshal of U.S. courts for Oklahoma; Correspondence (1876-1960) concerning Heck Thomas, including a letter to Thomas from U.S. Senator Tom P. Gore, a letter to Bill Doolin from his wife, Edith, and a letter to Matie Thomas from Chris Madsen. Also includes magazine articles (1935) titled "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" and "Heck Thomas Collects" recounting the exploits of Heck Thomas as a railroad express messenger in Texas, and as U.S. deputy marshal in Indian Territory; and diaries (1889-1895) kept by Heck Thomas which include notations about cases, witnesses, etc.
Dates: 1876-1960

U.S. District Court Collection: Western District of Oklahoma

 Collection
Identifier: WHC-M-1321
Scope and Contents FULL FINDING AID (PDF)

Stenographers' notebooks (1893-1910); books (1873-1912) of statutes, cases, and rules of procedure; U.S. Marshal's records (1890-1912), and Court Clerk's records (1892-1921) concerning witness, juror, prisoner, and court staff expenses; ledgers (1898-1935); and correspondence (1894-1926) of the Court Clerk and the Marshal with the Attorney General, the United States Attorney and others. U.S. District Court Photograph Collection also in repository.
Dates: 1890-1935