The Gateway to Oklahoma History: Dulworths in the Newspapers

I had such a good time recently using The Gateway to Oklahoma History that this BSO (bright, shiny object) drew me back down the rabbit hole once again. Because the Dulworth name isn’t terribly common, I decided to try my luck with them.

Dulworth is NOT a variation of Dilworth, which is mostly a British surname. The Dulworths are of German descent, from John Dulworth aka Dulwit, in Knox County, Tennessee by 1795.

Like some of my husband’s other ancestors, a few of the Dulworths appear to have been free spirits when it came to the social customs of the day. Others seem to have been rough characters. While most of John Dulworth’s descendants lived in the Cumberland County, Kentucky area for generations, they might have had the same wanderlust that brought John from Germany to America. They saw Oklahoma as a new start from the dirt-poor lives they led in Cumberland County, which is part of the poorest area of Appalachia.

Like my Sturgell discoveries, not all of the Dulworth finds were happy ones. The Oklahoma branch of the family were mostly children of Abraham Dulworth and his wife, Mary Jane Adams. They are a good example of the “free spiritedness” in the family. As far as anyone knows, they were the parents of ten children, the first born in 1869, but they didn’t get married until 1883. It also looks like they separated for about a ten year period between 1873 and 1883, but no evidence has been found of marriages to anyone else in those gaps years.

Back to the Oklahoma newspapers – the first article I came across concerned their son, Crittenden (or Crit, as he was generally known), born around 1887. It wasn’t a complementary piece, by any means.

The Greer County Democrat, published in Mangum, on 8 April 1915, painted a grim picture of Crit Dulworth and his newlywed wife, Della Short. They had married just 11 months earlier on 9 May 1914. Crit was about 27, but Della was a very young fifteen years old. I am not sure the Dulworths knew how old they were. Their ages varied all over the place in official records.

By the next spring, she had returned to her family because of Crit’s behavior towards her.

Crittenden Dulworth, aged 24, a tenant on the John A. Trotter ranch, just over the river in Greer county, was placed in the county jail, Wednesday afternoon, in default of bond in the sum of $1,000.00, after waiving his preliminary hearing before Justice Elizey, of Lone Wolf, on a charge of assault with intent to kill his step father-in-law, W.B. Hooper.

Dulworth and his step father-in-law, W.B. Hooper, a farmer living on the North Fork of the Red River southwest of Lone Wolf, figured in a shot gun and revolver duel, late Tuesday evening, in which Dulworth was worsted after receiving a charge of bird shot in the legs, which failed to stop his advance, when Hooper, at a distance of 30 yards, fired directly at his head, filling his face and breast with bird shot.

From an account of the trouble, as related by Prosecuting Attorney Griffith, it seems that Dulworth and his wife did not get along very well and on one or two former occasions had separated. Their domestic felicity was ruffled again last Sunday and Mrs. Dulworth came home to her mother and step father. That evening Dulworth came to Hooper’s and appears to be seeking a reconciliation with his wife, begging her to return home with him. This she refused to do and Dulworth remained at the Hooper’s and retires with his wife. In the night Mrs. Hooper heard her daughter crying and asked her what was the trouble. Receiving no reply she asked a second time, when Dulworth is alleged to have replied, “G—D—it, why don’t you tell her I am beating and pinching you.” Mrs. Hooper then awakened her husband who requested Dulworth to either behave himself or leave the premises. Dulworth, it is claimed, refused to go, replying he would settle with the “old man” in the morning. After a few words nothing more was said that night.

The next morning Dulworth refused to eat breakfast with the other members of the family. Hooper finished his meal, and went to the barn to do his chores. A short time later he was horrified to see Dulworth coming from the house, dragging his wife by the hair, and holding a razor to her throat, threatening her life, if she did not return home. He forced her to go with him. Mrs. Hooper, on this occasion followed with a shot gun, but did not use it, possibly for fear of shooting her daughter.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Dulworth, it appears, escaped from her husband, and again returned to the Hooper home. Late the same evening Dulworth came driving up in a buggy. The Hooper family was preparing to go on a visit to a neighbor’s, but on Dulworth’s appearance, the team was unhitched and Hooper went into the house. Dulworth is said to have driven up and called to Hooper to come out, muttering an oath at the same time. He was requested to leave and not cause a disturbance. To this, Dulworth pulled a 45-caliber six-shooter and fired in the ground.

At this juncture, Hooper appears in the door way with a shot gun to emphasize his demands; Dulworth then informed them that he had come over to “clean up” on them and any of them would do, and flourished a six-shooter, as he advanced on Hooper, who opened fire, shooting at the approaching man’s legs with his shot gun. The shot hit the mark, but owing to the distance, did not stop Dulworth, who fired at Hooper and came within 30 yards of him. Hooper then levelled the gun and filled Dulworth’s face and breast full of shot. Dulworth then walked about 300 yards and fell. He was taken away by neighbors. Dulworth was said to be pretty drunk at the time.

Wednesday morning, both Hooper and Dulworth appeared in Lone Wolf, before Justice Elizey. County Attorney Griffith went over and filed a complaint against Dulworth, the charge reading assault with attempt to kill. He waived his preliminary hearing and was placed under a $1,000 bond, which he states he can make.

No complaint was lodged against Hooper.

While Dulworth is said to have some painful wounds, his injuries are not of a serious nature. He was brought to Hobart by Constable Fender and placed in the county jail.

The Colt’s revolver used by Dulworth is said to belong to John A. Trotter, a former official of the Mangum land office, and on whose place Dulworth resided. Hobart Democrat-Cheif.

The following five years were likely stormy, based on the first year of their married life. Yet, in 1920, the couple was still together with son Odell (Russell), age 3, and daughter Wilma, age 1, but living in Dill, Kiowa County, Oklahoma.

By 8 August 1921, Crit was back in the news, having been arrested when a moonshine still was discovered in his corn field. He was also back in Greer County.

Big Still Found
in Corn Field

Sheriff W. M. Tuton located a nice still of the wild cat variety, Monday four miles north of Granite. It was located in a corn filed belonging to Crit Dulworth, who has been domiciled in the new brick just east of the Court House since Saturday night.

Saturday night an urgent message came from Granite that a man had been killed by mounted desperadoes and officers Tuton, Pitts, Hines, and Cox rushed to the scene. Upon arrival they found Crit Dulworth dead in a manner, but only dead drunk. He had been assaulted by two mounted men and according to the evidence uncovered by the officers, had been robbed of a gallon of first class knock out drops and an almost new worm that could be used for purposes not sacred. According to two witnesses who heard the furore about the assault on the traveler and went to investigate, Dulworth had a real gallon of the well known hootch. When the two investigators went to telephone for the law the two horsemen came back and took possession of all wet goods and appurtenances for the making thereof. Dulworth was then brought to the Greer County Capitol Saturday night and given a nice berth in which to sober up. Sunday morning the officers went back to Granite and took charge of two men who were accused of being the horsemen who swooped down upon the buggy of booze. They were brought to Mangum and one of them entered a plea of guilty and was fined about $10 and costs.

Monday morning it was thought that Dulworth was sufficiently sober to make a statement as to his activities on the fateful Saturday night. After being questioned by Sheriff Tuton and acting County Attorney Milton Thacker Dulworth admitted his guilt of operating a still and manufacturing corn whiskey. Sheriff Tuton went to Dulworth’s place and located the still in the middle of the corn field. It was a crudely constructed concern of sheet metal, with a capacity of about ten gallons, with a fairly good copper worm. Dulworth refused to tell where he got the worm but stated that it cost him $10.40. When asked by the sheriff “How many gallons his corn would make to the acre?” he said “not more than four or five if it doesn’t rain pretty quick.” The Sheriff also secured sampls of “Crit’s Choice Compound for Critters” and it is now in the vault at the Court House.

Dulworth has expressed his intention of pleading guilty at his earliest opportunity and taking his just medicine.

We are told that the Sheriff is considering placing his exhibit of choice stills and their products on exhibition at the county fair. It is said that the elading product of the present sheriff is evidence in whiskey making cases and it seems that his exhibit should be of quite a bit of interest if shown at the fair.

Directly below this article was a second shorter article about Crit’s court appearance:


Crit Dulworth, an account of whose arrest is given in another article in this issue, entered a pleas of guilty to manufacturing corn whiskey, before Judge Jarrett Todd in Court Court, Tuesday afternoon, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $250 and serve 90 days at hard labor in the county jail. The Court stated that he was making the sentence light, it being just half the maximum for the offense, for the reason that he felt sorry for the defendant’s family and wished to be as lenient with him as possible, for his family’s sake. Judge Todd told Dulworth he was not giving him this sentence for a punishment for his crime alone but as an example to others.

Dulworth stated in open court that he did not blame the sheriff or his deputies, in the least, for his arrest and he felt that they had only done their duty in arresting and prosecuting him.

A charge of assault and battery on Hiram Hughes has been filed in Jutice Court against Dulworth and has not been disposed of at this time. Dulworth became ill Tuesday and it is feared by the attending physician that he may have appendicitis.

At some point after the 1920 census and before May 1927, Della had had enough and the two finally divorced. Della took their two children with her to Texas and remarried to Vernon Sebastian.

Crit is last found on 2 May 1927 marrying 21 year old “Mattie Carrie” in Granite, Greer County, Oklahoma. Neither has been found in the 1930 census and no more newspaper escapades have yet been found about Crit. He may have died before 1930.



52 Documents in 52 Weeks #43: Guardian Bonds

Orphaned children were, unfortunately, a daily fact of life through the ages. In early U.S. colonial days, a child was considered an orphan if his or her father died, regardless of whether or not the mother was still living.

By the 1800s, a more formal process for guardianship was in place. Where past practice involved the court choosing and/or approving guardians and even giving approval to binding out these children, care of orphaned children was more likely to have been decided by adult family members, sometimes with and sometimes without formal court approval.

If a court was involved, guardian bonds were often required to be posted. These bonds are usually found in probate papers at the county level. FamilySearch has been digitizing probate records in many states, eliminating the need to contact the county court.

What do guardian bonds tell us? Well, they are usually pre-printed, fill-in-the-blank forms, so the information included is standardized and somewhat limited.

Guardian Bond for “Maryn” L.  Cary

Maryn was actually Marion L. Cary, born c1846, who was about 12 years old when his father, Lockey (aka Loak) Cary died, before 13 May 1858. The family was living in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky at the time. Lockey and wife Quinney (Bass) were the parents of at least ten children based on the 1850 census.

In this particular case, because there were Cary children already of legal age in 1858, Marion’s guardian was his brother William R. Cary. Another brother, James, was one of the sureties.

When I checked the 1860 census, his mother, Quiney, was head of household with nine children at home, including Marion and James. In spite of the fact that the home remained intact after father and husband Lockey died, a bond formalizing guardianship was required and posted.

This particular guardian bond didn’t reveal any difficult-to-discover information about Marion’s family.

In other guardianship cases, the legally appointed guardian or the sureties might be a member of the mother’s family. I had long had a brick wall involving my Oliver Shepley and his wife, Mary, of Groton, Massachusetts, who were in their 20s when both died within a few days of each other in 1758. They had one daughter, Sibbel, who had a guardian, Ambrose Lakin, who was the administrator of her father’s estate. Sibbel was barely two years old when her father died, yet Ambrose took on the responsibility of the Shepley estate, which had little value, for years until Sibbel finally married in 1775 and she received the small legacy from her father’s estate.

Why would Ambrose Lakin take on that responsibility? No marriage record has been found for Oliver Shepley to Mary, but the Lakin family history includes a sister, Mary, for Ambrose, whose fate is left as unknown. This Mary was a few months older than Oliver Shepley and the death record of Mary Shepley, wife of Oliver, notes her age to be a few months older than that of her husband. It appears that Oliver Shepley married Mary Lakin and a guardianship record is the only clue to her maiden name.

Guardian bonds that haven’t survived may be mentioned in court minutes, especially in 18th and very early 19th century records. They might give you clues to unidentified family members.

Friday’s Family History Finds

The best Family History Finds this week:

Family Stories

Lydia Wardwell on Her Presentment for Coming Naked into Newbury Meeting House by Gordon Harris on Stories of Ipswich

A Journey to a Family Village Teaches the Importance of Returning to the Homeland by Vera Miller on Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family

What Is a Limonadier? by Mary Sutherland on Genealogy Ensemble

Putting Yourself in Your Ancestor’s Shoes. . .Historically AND Answers Lead to More Questions About My First Immigrant Ancestor, both by DiAnn Iamarino on Fortify Your Family Tree

The Other Tolchinskys- Into WWII by Lara Diamond on Lara’s Jewnealogy

Photograph Showcase: The Marriage That Stuck on The Genealogy Girl

I’ve heard of transit permits, but have had no luck finding one in Passaic, NJ, although I’ve seen a sample of one from the exact time period in which I’m searching:
Transit Permit for the Remains of Wm. A. Boggs (1815-1899) – My 3rd Great Grandfather by Diane Gould Hall on Michigan Family Trails

Research Resources

Hundreds of Irish Famine Gravestones Discovered in Massachusetts by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

5 Tips for Finding Unique Genealogical Records in Archives by Melissa Barker on A Genealogist in the Archives

Drouin Institute Launches New Blog and Updates Baptisms/Burials Database by Gail Dever on Genealogy à la Carte

A Resource for Researching British Coalmining Ancestors by Nancy on My Ancestors and Me

Barbara Renick Retired, But Her Site Lives On by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings

Tech News

Cleaning Up Facts & Sources in an Ancestry Tree on The Genealogy Girl

Genetic Genealogy

Google That DNA Username by Michael John Neill on Rootdig

Introducing the Triangulator by Roberta Estes on DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

Yes, You Should DNA Test Your Cousins by Patricia Greber on My Genealogy Life

Quick Tip – Sharing a Link to Your Tree at Family Tree DNA by Roberta Estes on DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy


Framed Photographs and Finding Hidden Treasures by Melissa Barker on A Genealogist in the Archives

An Exercise in Possibilities by Nancy on My Ancestors and Me

How I Process a Downloaded Document by Janine Adams on Organize Your Family History

Using Vertical Files for Genealogical Research by Melissa Barker on A Genealogist in the Archives

Your Local Library As a Genealogical Resource by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Gettin’ By with Help from Our Friends – Alona Tester, guesting  on Cheri Hudson Passey’s Carolina Girl Genealogy

Education Is for Everyone

2017 International Genetic Genealogy Conference by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings

Postmortem Photos for Halloween by Amie Bowser Tennant on The Genealogy Reporter

Learn Online About Mitochondrial DNA from Genealogist David Pike by Gail Dever on Genealogy à la Carte

Keeping Up with the Times

Organizational Article You Must Read by Lori Samuelson on Genealogy at Heart

Let’s Honour Our Military Ancestors in November – An 11 Day Challenge by Patricia Greber on My Genealogy Life

Find A Grave Website Updating on 1 November by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings

Last, But Certainly Not Least, the 2017 Awards:

2017 Gold (Superstar) Genealogists, 2017 ,
Rockstar Genealogists 2017: Silver and Bronze Awards,
Rockstars 2017: Australia and New Zealand
Rockstar Genealogists 2017: UK and Ireland

all by John D. Reid on Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections