BY ELSIE CADY GLEASON
One of the most influential and intelligent builders of the Panhandle of Oklahoma, R. B. Quinn, died June 10, 1939. For fifty-two years he had worked quietly and earnestly for its development. No man was more frequently quoted, as he successfully edited in turn the Hardesty Herald, the Guymon Herald and the Guymon Tribune. After fourteen years as a United States Land Commissioner, he resigned with a perfect record. As United States Marshal for the western district of Oklahoma, he was complimented by President Coolidge and President Hoover for his excellent handling of criminals in seven years of service.
His life falls into three periods: (1) at Hardesty where he waited fourteen years for a railroad that never came; (2) at Guymon where he was a member of the townsite company and active in its civic and educational development; (3) at Guymon and Oklahoma City, after statehood, where he worked for the growth of Texas County, and as United States Marshal.
Richard Briggs Quinn, known in later years as R. B. (Dick) Quinn, was called by the nickname by all who knew him from 1887 to 1907. The newspapers of that period rarely used "Mr." as a prefix to any name. Will E. Bolton, editor of the Woodward News, answered to Billy, W. I. Drummond, Beaver Herald editor, to "Pete." In referring to Quinn in his paper Mr. Bolton used "Colonel Dick Quinn," as did the Cimarron News, but the news sheets of Beaver City called him "Dick Quinn" and such he shall be called in the story of his life at Hardesty.
No-Man's-Land never had a railroad. The original survey of the line known as the Golden State Limited of the Rock Island system laid tracks through the valley of Coldwater Creek not far from its mouth. It seemed a splended location, as it was in the center of an excellent grazing country. In 1886 rumors of an extension across the strip which lay between Kansas and Texas were widespread, and settlers began to drift onto the plains that Texas, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico had not included within their boundaries.
On January 10, 1887, a youth of nineteen stepped off the Rock Island train at its terminus, Greensburg, Kansas. He was a slender lad about five feet, seven inches tall, with an erect carriage. A firm mouth and chin and large brown eyes which kindled into laughter if any fun was being planned, or became cold, severe and stern if any injustice was to be righted, marked his face with the courage, determination and honesty which were to characterize the man of later years. After looking over the town, he found a man with a buckboard who was willing, for pay, to drive him to the end of the rail-
road survey. Arriving there, a second Jehu with the same type of conveyance agreed to take him to his destination.1
The last driver was inquisitive and learned that his companion was Dick Quinn, who had been born at Roanoke, Missouri, in 1869. His father had been a captain in the Union army, but his mother was a strong Southern sympathizer. Some years after his father's death, his mother had married Mr. W. A. Sullivan. Dick had a brother, Wallace Quinn,2 and two little sisters, Carrie3 and Olean4 Sullivan. For the past two years he had been working on the Legal News in Chicago, and he was now on his way to visit his mother's brother, Charlie Briggs.
After the drivers left Kansas they passed through vast stretches of slightly rolling land—a grey expanse of dead grass, broken by an occasional clump of leafless cottonwood and hackberry trees standing along small, shallow, sandy-bottomed streams. (Many of the cottonwoods had been cut down during the storm of 1886 to allow the horses to eat the leaves.)5 All through the country were wide paths which the cowmen called trails. Sometimes there were ten or twelve of these close together, worn down to the sod with no vegetation showing, to the width of a hundred yards. These were the highways of No-Man's-Land, along which herds of cattle passed on their way to northern markets and on which freighting wagons and mail coaches traveled. Cutting from the trail at varying intervals were the marks of wagon wheels which led to a squatter's home, or a well-worn road stretching some distance to a ranch house or a small settlement.
As the riders approached Coldwater Creek they traversed a valley about half a mile wide, through which a stream ten feet wide and a foot deep flowed with a clear, rapid current. There was a good heavy soil covered with buffalo grass and free from prairie-dog holes.5 Not a tree was in sight, except one young cottonwood that stood about a mile northeast of the settlement.6 At the mouth of the Coldwater they turned west one mile to "Johnny Fulkerson's Place." It was just a family settlement, but "a pretty good town in 1887 in No-Man's-Land," for it had a store, a saloon, a wagon
1Interview with R. B. Quinn by E. C. Gleason in 1937. Many newspaper clippings kept by Mrs. Quinn over a long period of years furnished considerable information.
6Mrs. Crow drove over to the mouth of the Coldwater in 1931 to look for any trace of "old" Hardesty and was confused because there were so many trees, some of them twenty feet high. This growth of trees seems to prove statements of early residents that the vast herds which grazed there ate off the seedlings as they came through the soil.
yard and six or seven regular homes. Of the four types of houses in this country (the dugout, the half-dugout, the frame "shack" and the sod house), the last-named was found here, though some had shingle roofs. Lumber had to be hauled by team from Dodge City, Kansas, and was too expensive for extensive use.
Very shortly after Dick Quinn's arrival the settlement was named Hardesty, to honor Colonel Jack Hardesty who had a camp east of it and a large ranch on Chiquito Creek. No one remembers what became of the Fulkersons. In the spring, when Mr. W. A. Sullivan arrived with his family, he bought the store from its owner, a man whose last name was Frank. A new sod building was erected opposite the corral to house the stock of goods. In a short time he brought a large frame building from some deserted town and built it onto the "Farmers' and Rangers' Store." The addition was used for the home, and the large dining room always had a place for the family and a half-dozen or more transients—cowboys, adventurers, freighters, land prospectors and ranch owners. The store was usually cared for by the family, as Mr. Sullivan was a freighter as well as store owner.4
The building owned by Frank was rented to "Herb" Craig for a saloon. Prior to Craig's arrival the town's saloon, located just north of the corral, was owned by Billy Bailey,7 who left the country shortly before the Sullivan family came to Hardesty. Dick Quinn and Mr. Briggs homesteaded south of the Coldwater, but Mr. Sullivan bought the homestead of Frank, which was a mile northeast of the store. The "six or seven houses" were built along the road between and just beyond those shown on the plat. For years the only graves in the lonely little cemetery on the hill northwest of town were those of Silas Eldridge and a Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cruse who were frozen to death in the blizzard of 1887 while attempting the trip from Hardesty to Beaver.4
Hardesty was not far from the Jones-Plummer trail and only a mile from the old National Cow Trail from southern Texas. Often immense herds camped at the mouth of the Coldwater, when the bellowing of the cattle and the songs and shouts of the cowboys would be heard in the little settlement. The next day thousands of head of cattle would pass slowly along the trail in sight of town. Hardesty was the crossroads where the road from the county seat
7Mr. Nelson was told that the town of Hardesty began when Billy Bailey and Joe Cruse opened a saloon. He reports: "Bailey and Cruse had helped Scranage of Beaver City start the town of Grand Valley, but Scranage wanted to run everything, so they moved over to the Hardesty location to start a town of their own. Someone put in a stock of groceries and a feed yard in a short time." In the Guymon Herald of November 22, 1906, Dick Quinn stated that "old" Hardesty was first located on the south side of the creek by Dodge City parties, but was shortly moved to the north side.
and the trails from Coldwater and Beaver Valleys met the Kansas-Texas trails.3 Frequently foreign herds grazed all winter near Hardesty and those on the way to market stopped to rest for several days. Three thousand Bell (Texas) cattle were turned out for months in 18938 and four Bell herds aggregating eight thousand were later held in the vicinity.9 (The Bell cattle were usually supervised by John Taylor, who was considered one of the finest and most experienced "bosses" in the business. He always was dressed in the most elaborate and expensive clothes and would be the idol of the movie fans of 1939 could he have lived so long!) A herd of twenty-two hundred T O and some Three-block cattle from New Mexico passed along the trail. An "outfit" which had a team of twenty oxen all yoked together and hitched to a tank on wheels with three wagons and a cart trailed together followed, one man handling the whole "shebang."10 A K Y herd from New Mexico grazed close by, and a T O herd from Lincoln County, New Mexico, moved near town in 1894.11 In those days practically all livestock was turned loose on the range to shift for itself. The early day cowman sought a place along some stream, usually flanked by a hill which meant a windbreak. The only time the stockmen received the benefit of grass lands far removed from streams was when the big rains filled the upland lakes, when herds were rounded up and driven to such places to be held as long as the water remained.12
—by Mrs. Olean Crow
*The schoolhouse, a one-room sod building, had a half window on the north and south sides, with a door facing the road. The teacher used a table and chair but the students had no desks and were seated on benches. All the equipment was crudely constructed of rough lumber.
The above are only a few instances of the numbers of cattlemen who made Hardesty a congregating point. While the herds rested the cowboys celebrated in town. From 1887 to 1901 it was a popular place to stop, and cattle buyers from Kansas City, government officials hunting thieves escaped from Texas, candidates for Congress from the eastern part of the Territory, ranchmen from Hansford County, Texas, travelers and salesmen, all stayed overnight. Dick formed friendships with some of them that lasted through his lifetime.3
Dick's first job at the little settlement was "holding horses." Each cowboy had seven or more mounts which were kept together in the daytime but turned out to graze at night. His work was to round them up in the early morning hours so they would be ready for the drive at sunrise. The pay was fifteen dollars a month. Mr. Briggs and Dick "batched" in an old sod house south of town that winter. When he was not busy he often joined those who were gathering buffalo bones on the prairie. Frequently a wagon could be loaded in half an hour, for twenty-one large skeletons might weigh a ton.5
In the fall, Dick Quinn taught a subscription school in the Bertrand neighborhood, six miles east of Hardesty. In an old humpbacked sod structure with a fireplace in one corner he instructed fifteen pupils, ranging in age from six to forty-two years, receiving in return room and board and fifteen dollars a month.
He was persuaded to start a Sunday School which was well attended. All the men wore guns, stacking them in the corner near the fireplace during services. One Sunday during a discussion of the miracles one man said he believed in them because he knew of a field of wheat that blew out, settled across the road, rooted and made a good crop. It happened that the speaker was a member of the Johnson family which had been at enmity with the Eldridges for a long time. An Eldridge spoke up, remarking that the statement was a lie and he knew it was a lie. In a minute a free-for-all was in progress. Luckily the guns were stacked. Quiet was restored by a disinterested person who grabbed his gun from the corner, waved it at the fighters, shouting that Sunday School would go on or he would know the reason why it didn't.13
Dick Quinn's own account of the Eldridge-Johnson trouble and its final settlement, appearing in the Guymon Tribune for July 21, 1921, under the title: "Early Day Justice and Court Scene in No-Man's-Land" follows:
"After the misunderstanding over the miracle between the Johnson clansmen and the Eldridge boys....the eat-'em-alive members of the Johnson family declared war on the Eldridge boys, of whom there were three—Ben, Silas and Marion. One Sunday evening as the Eldridges were riding along Beaver Valley on their return from a party down the
river, they were waylaid by Charlie Johnson and other members of the family, the Johnsons shooting from behind an old sod wall. The Eldridges divided forces and flanked the Johnsons, who made a run for home and arrived safely, but made fast time. A few days later they did the same thing and were again routed out, but this time the Eldridge boys followed them too close to the home building and Silas was killed just as he turned to seek shelter behind a sand dune, the shot hitting him squarely in the back of the neck...Then the Johnsons kept the body covered and refused to permit disinterested citizens from recovering it. In view of the fact that there were seven or eight of the Johnsons able to use artillery, it was not deemed a boy's job to resist their battlements, so a runner was sent up to Hardesty (it was Old B. C.). He and Quinn rode up the Coldwater, getting a posse together to go down and take charge of the situation.
"About twenty-five men finally went down to the scene of action, but the Johnsons refused to let them get near the house. Finally...W. A. Sullivan fastened a white handkerchief to a stick and walked straight up to the Johnson home, where, after a parley, they agreed to surrender, give up all arms and ammunition, if guaranteed a fair hearing by the people. At that time there was no law in this section except force and the natural tendency toward fair play among western people. When the clan surrendered the house was searched and seventeen guns of all calibre were found and ammunition in abundance—and in the artillery there was one big buffalo gun of fifty calibre. The house was made of sod and at intervals around the walls about four feet from the floor, the searchers discovered loop-holes, showing that the Johnsons had erected the same both as a home and as a defensive feature in case of trouble. The whole tribe, except the women of the family, were brought to Hardesty, where a trial was arranged.
"Some one hunted up a copy of the Nebraska statutes and made a hasty review of the trial of criminals, which resulted in the selection of a trial judge, a prosecutor and some one for the defense, and a jury of six men. Then the trial proceeded, lasting the best part of three days. The Eldridge boys had erred, but were not severely criticized...In reviewing the case of the Johnsons the judge and jury felt that they were too many of them to hang probably most too much trouble and trees were scarce, so the verdict was that they were to be banished after having about fifteen days to assemble their holdings and get ready to be on their way. This was done, and before long the tribe was on the move and were escorted some distance by local citizens. There was some expense, time and trouble attached to the trial, so it was arranged for the Johnsons to surrender several steers which were sold to pay costs.
"As a sequel to the steer business...the Johnsons located in an eastern Oklahoma county after the Run of 1889 and the man who purchased the steers...obtained land in he same county. On making the discovery the Johnsons undertook to recover the steers through the courts of that county. But when the judge heard the evidence he ruled against the Johnsons, holding that in the original deal in No-Man's-Land the people had acted as nearly according to law as it was possible for them to do under conditions as they existed and that the original trial had been conducted in a manner as fair as was possible for men without the jurisdiction of any court.
"The trial was a most interesting scene. The men named to represent the defendant and the state each made arguments to the jury and put up a real fight for their clients. Now and then one of the attorneys would do a little cussing and occasionally when the judge was provoked he would do likewise...Practically every one but the prisoners wore
side arms. It was...the most typically western court scene ever witnessed in the U. S. ..as this was a section without law, marked on the maps as No-Man's-Land, a locality without the jurisdiction of any court and not included in any U.S. Marshal's district. The only authority that could perform was to send U. S. soldiers and this was done only once in the Jack Hardesty War to prevent Texas herds with Texas fever crossing No-Man's-Land."
The judge who sat on this case was the local justice of the peace who had been asked to take the position by the town committee, which was self-elected. He became known as B. C. or Old B. C. Dick wrote a series of articles about him in the Guymon Tribune between 1921 and 1926, principally to entertain old friends of the Hardesty days who either lived at Guymon or subscribed to the paper. A very short one follows:
"We remember the time B. C. and his wife, Marty, crossed the Beaver when the creek was up. Old B. C. was tall and slender, considerably over six feet, and weighed about a hundred and twenty-five pounds...Marty was short and thick and weighed probably two hundred and fifteen...Any way they came down to the Beaver and it was up. On the nigh bank was an old-fashioned sorghum vat such as is used for boiling that product down to the proper consistency. Marty was loaded after some effort, then Old B. C. climbed in. When about half way across Marty teetered the boat, considerable water was shipped in and the vat settled to the bottom. Marty was frantic, likewise Old B. C. was duly agitated.14
"Finally Old B. C. stooped a little and Marty climbed on his back, but when her weight was brought to bear on the situation, she drove B. C. down into the sand as effectively as though he had been hit by a pile driver. So Marty sat plump in the water...An additional rise soon followed, but the couple waded out amid the most awe inspiring flow of profanity ever witnessed by the writer up to this time...The sorghum pan was lost for all time."15
B. C.'s first case concerned a new settler who was charged with setting dogs on range cattle, a very serious offense. The justice opened court with: "Gentlemen, if you are all set, we'll proceed with the rat killin', jine issues and go to bat." The person who was acting for the accused had been studying the only copy of statutes (Nebraska) in town...and offered a demurrer, the first in Beaver County. B. C. didn't know what it was, so he adjourned court. A few citizens visited the defendant later, and the misdemeanor was not repeated.16
The Run of 1889 took most of the settlers living near Hardesty out of the country. Dick Quinn, driving a team for a friend, went with a caravan of thirty covered wagons, belonging to as many families. He returned in a short time, suffering from malaria contracted in the lower country.
The first and original survey of No-Man's-Land was made in the early 70's and extended only twenty-four miles north of the Texas line, including what is now known as townships 1, 2, 3, 4,
with zinc pots placed at intervals of two miles around each six-mile-square township. The remaining portion of the country north of township four to the Kansas line was left unsurveyed until 1889-1891.
During the late summer of 1889, Captain C. F. Hackbush, an experienced government engineer from Leavenworth, with about seventeen men, divided these townships into quarters. Dick helped in this work. The way they measured was to tie a rag to a wagon wheel and count the revolutions. "Not many zinc pats had to be moved more than two feet to get them exactly correct."3
In the fall Dick went to the head of the Cottonwood, a short distance southwest of Guthrie, with a small herd of cattle belonging to settlers who had moved to that locality in the Run. Later Dick lived in a tent with a crew of other cowboys holding some twelve hundred head of cattle for Lew and Frank Kramer at the mouth of Dry Creek, three miles east of Hardesty. One of the worst blizzards of No-Man's-Land came November the second. The cattle drifted before the storm. The men had to get up every three or four hours to round up the strays. The next day they went to the sand hills north of Beaver to hunt for cattle. After an all day search they came back in a rain to find there was no dry fuel (the buffalo chips had been soaked by the snow and rain) and no food prepared, so all went to bed hungry. The next morning they rode a mile up the trail to take off the roof of Billy Bailey's claim shack. Later, Billy said he'd have done the same. Some of the cattle were not found until the spring round-up the following year.17
In 1887 the cowboys were well dressed, with tailored boots, suits of California cloth and large Stetson hats. A merchant at Hardesty advertised: "Stock saddles, $25 — $45. I use the best California skirting and the Frieske Tree. I make a ladies' ranch saddle for $25." Gallup and Grazier saddles were the best procurable.
"All the boys carried six shooters and a short gun on their saddles. Southern lads wore big, long-bladed knives. It was a fine sight to see a bunch of cowboys start off, the sun shining on their silver-mounted bridles and spurs inlaid with silver, sixty feet of saddle rope woven of horse hair, Navajo blankets, white California pants. The Stetson was the most used, but the boys from the South used Mexican peaked hats. The cowboys wore seven dollar pants every day, used silver-mounted bits and a pearl-handled six shooter, but were satisfied with beans, bacon and coffee at the chuck wagon."18
As early as 1895 Dick wrote: "The joyous cowboy is fast fading away. He used to be gay, naturally restless and very emphatic when he was 'bowling up.' No longer is he some dresser, for he wears overalls, wants sugar in his coffee, oatmeal for breakfast and cigarettes. And where he used to sit in dollar stacks, he is now
contented with an ante of one-come-along-two."19 When fences began to spring up everywhere, good clothes began to disappear. "Overalls were good enough for barb wire."
In March, 1890, the people of No-Man's-Land believed the Organic Act for Oklahoma would be passed at once. They were convinced that when this was done the Rock Island would build along the survey through Hardesty. It was a boom time for the village. A number of men from Liberal and its vicinity came to Hardesty late in the month. As Liberal was the end of the railroad line, all kinds of vehicles, surreys, buggies, road carts and farm wagons were used to accommodate the large party. Mr. W. A. Sullivan, postmaster and store-keeper of Hardesty, greeted the visitors, who looked over the townsite. A meeting at the schoolhouse followed, when A. Howenstine was elected chairman and W. T. Gibson, secretary. After several speeches favorable to building a city at the location, a town government was organized. A. Howenstine was elected mayor, W. A. Sullivan, city clerk, and T. J. Bertrand, J. S. Hungate and Charles Toler, councilmen. After the meeting, each person drew a number, and business lots were selected as desired as the numbers were called successively. Among the citizens from Liberal were the Honorable C. C. Robertson, G. C. Brown, M. A. Nelson, J. C. Swiler, Dr. H. H. Sutherland, A. Russell, John Dubois, W. T. Gibson, J. C. Powell, J. W. Black, H. Billings, Honorable W. H. Day and Lambert Willstaedt, editor and publisher of the Liberal Leader.20
"The lots sold rapidly, the purchaser agreeing to put improvements on the lot to the value of no less than two and a half dollars for a residence lot or five dollars for a business lot. Some buildings were hastily erected, but on most of the lots a wagon load of rocks, hauled by two or three men who did a thriving business for a few days, was the only improvement made. The rock piles remained long after the buildings had been destroyed by tornadoes or moved away, and mystified newcomers in later years wondered at the regularly-placed mounds of stones. Captain Turley, brother of one of the directors of the Rock Island, took a homestead south of the townsite. Mr. Ben Clover, a Congressman from Kansas, and his sons and relatives located homesteads."3 "Every one who started a town expected it to be a county seat."
Dick helped to take the 1890 census, driving over the country in a cart between the ranches which lay miles apart, and recording the names of all the inhabitants. By the Organic Act of May 2, 1890, No-Man's-Land was attached to Oklahoma Territory, to be known as Beaver County.
Mr. Lambert Willstaedt, who visited Hardesty with the group from Liberal, was persuaded to start a newspaper in the boom town. Dick Quinn was engaged to run the office and edit the paper, and went to Liberal to get the press. On the return trip the horses became unruly in crossing the Beaver and refused to pull
up the south bank. Boss Neff, who happened along, saved the press from the quicksand by quieting the team and making it pull the wagon out.21
This press, which has been placed in the No-Man's-Land Historical Society's exhibit at Goodwell, has an interesting history. Mr. Quinn bought the press in 1901, when it bore a plate on which the maker's name was stamped. As he remembered it, it was something like "Bronstrub." It developed in the research made by Mr. Kirke Mechem, secretary of the Kansas Historical Society, that Frederich Bronstrup of Philadelphia was the successor of Adam Ramage, who began business in 1800 in the same town. "There is no doubt the Guymon press is one of the old Ramage type, though Bronstrup placed his plate upon it. It does not lessen the value as a genuine product of one of America's first press makers."22
The Hardesty Times began publication in October, 1889, with Dick writing copy and setting type. Frequently cowboys loafing in town helped to print the paper. The enterprise failed, however, and Dick took over the "outfit" sometime in March, 1891, for wages due. He changed the name of the paper to the Hardesty Herald, which was published continuously until the spring of 1901.
The Herald was a four-page weekly which came with the inside sheets filled with printed material, leaving the outside ones for local news and advertising. It was seventeen by twenty-four inches in size, published each Friday and cost a dollar a year. In 1893 the three center columns of the front page were filled with notices for publication of homestead entries. At the left column were professional cards of men of Hardesty, Beaver and Liberal, Kansas. The two right columns were covered with advertising. The back page devoted three columns to exchanges, wit and humor, and editorials on Hardesty matters. The fourth column was ample for local items, while five and six carried local advertisements, with a frequent notice of some magazine, patent medicine or sewing machine. During the 90's the Chicago Interocean, Scientific American and Cosmopolitan advertised continuously, the advertising cost going to the Print Paper Company.
The paper was printed in his combinaton home and office, a seventeen by twenty-four foot sod building, elevated about eighteen inches and divided into two rooms. Along the twelve-foot north wall of the office, conveniently close to the windows, were two type cases. Back of these was a table where the forms stood, while the press was opposite it. The arrangement left a small open space near the entrance.4
Boss Neff tells the following story concerning this office: "One day I was standing inside the open door, holding the reins of my favorite horse, Red, while I visited with the editor. Suddenly Dick said, 'Come in, Red.' I pulled on the lines as I repeated, 'Come in, Red.' Old Red didn't do a thing but jump up and in with all four feet. Dick was sure enough scared for he thought Red would upset the cases, but I got him out before any damage was done. That's the only time I ever heard of a horse going to see the editor."
The Herald had subscribers in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri and throughout Oklahoma. "Dick was a forceful, fearless, fair writer."23 "He was adapted to country newspaper work and ran his paper for all there was in it. On account of its location in the center of a prosperous cattle country, its advertising patronage, especially from Liberal, was profitable, and when the country opened for settlement the Herald fairly groaned beneath the load of final proof and contest notices. Dick...became an important factor in the political and other affairs of that country, represented his town in quarrels with its rivals, attended political and statehood gatherings in Oklahoma, and became a well known, popular and important factor in territorial affairs."24 Will E. Dolton of the Woodward News wrote that the Hardesty Herald, edited by Colonel Dick Quinn, was full of meat concerning the interests of cowmen.25 The week following Dick replied in his paper: "Tut, tut, Major, that title of Colonel don't go. This country rivals Kentucky in Colonels, Majors and Captains, and we prefer the distinction of being the only Private out this way." There was no paper in Old Beaver County whose opinions were more frequently used in the exchange columns of the weeklies than that of Dick Quinn. Mr. Fred Barde, Oklahoma representative of the Kansas City Star, frequently quoted the Herald. He called its editor "the little czar of No-Man's-Land."
Dick always went to Beaver for every term of court and stayed until the sessions were ended. It was a reunion time for all. Once a cowboy stranger rode into town, and seeing such a number of men, asked Dick, "Why the big crowd?" He replied, "O, just a meeting of the deputy sheriffs."26
There is no doubt that Dick spoke his mind in his editorials. The Herald, disgruntled at the Republican ticket of 1895, announced it would go independent in all things and neutral in nothing, and thereafter would select its own candidates for their own qualifications. Dick was an ardent Republican and when he was not carry-
ing on a war with the Democratic papers at Beaver or exposing the misdeeds of Democratic courity commissioners, his editorials gave detailed explanations of new legislation, or any other matter of general interest. A few of the subjects discussed were: irrigation, fences, foreign cattle damages, primary elections for county officers, fire guards, alfalfa, trees and more tree planting, better schools, free range, simplification of mail routes, the going-to-be-greatness of Hardesty when the railroad came. But first and foremost the paper stood for what Dick felt would make a great country. He was frequently asked to write explanations of events in Eastern Oklahoma and often he was to state his position in matters of moment in national affairs. He also sustained the reputation of his part of the country by telling some first-rate fish and other stories. He devoted more space in the Herald to wit and humor than most of the other weeklies.
The newspapers of No-Man's-Land and Old Beaver County recorded the events of the cattle range industry and its decline. In the 1880's news editors, settlers and cattlemen believed the last named had a right to the range, for they had plenty of money to spend. The Boomer movement, the prospect of a railroad, and severe blizzards changed the sentiment slowly.
The first mention of free homes in the Hardesty Herald was in the issue of April 23, 1892. Dick Quinn was one of the first persons to sense the change homesteaders would make in the life of the country and tried to keep down the sentiment against them. "Long ago in this country the marked distinction between cowmen and grangers was obliterated. Every granger works to gather a herd. There are no cattle barons in this country. Nearly every settler has a few hundred acres more than he owns under fence—and it may be said this country contains few who are not able to fence." There were dozens of men located on rivers and creeks in Beaver County who owned one hundred to three hundred head of cattle and ten to fifty horses. They raised some feed, cut the grass and had a good garden fixed for irrigation, and they did not have to plow and hoe all day—and each year had a bunch of cattle to sell. One man raised such a fine crop he called his ranch a farm!
Free range had been the salvation of Beaver County,27 and the Herald believed the longer it had free range, free grass and free water the longer it would flourish.28 But there appeared more people after claims and the Herald hoped to see every available section occupied by a settler.29 However, it maintained, the owners of large herds turned out to graze should pay for the support of the
county government or the schools.30 The Cimarron News scoffed at the idea that farming would pay along the Rock Island and believed the cattleman's second chance would come in six years.31 Beaver County was considered a grazing district by the Interior Department and it was not necessary to plow and plant....as a patent would issue upon proof of grazing.32
The first land office for Beaver County, located at Buffalo, was opened June 11, 1890. It was moved to Beaver after the first inspector visited the country, but was consolidated with Woodward County on September 7, 1893. The removal of the office from the county was considered a great loss, as the distances to be covered by team from the lands west of Beaver made trips very difficult.
In 1893 the total cost of one hundred and sixty acres was, filing and final proof, about twenty dollars. During March, eleven land entries were filed on Seven thousand and forty-six quarters were filed on in the year ending June, 1898. The following year four thousand one hundred and seventy-six applications were signed, making a growth of ten thousand new families in two years. There was still more than 6,000,000 acres of vacant public land and an increasing number of filings continued until the peak was reached in 1903 when they averaged twenty-five a day. One hundred and fifteen thousand acres were filed on or assigned in 1905.33 The governor's report of 1906 showed that there were no entries in 1906 for all the land had been taken.34
Thus Beaver County filled up with homesteaders. The greatest trouble they had with the cattlemen dealt with water rights. The newcomers often tried to squeeze the ranchers from the streams. A nestor could file a claim a quarter of a mile wide along a stretch of creek.35 As early as July, 1899, Special Land Agent C. M. Crocker reported that hundreds of wells were being drilled on ranches, indicating that they had begun to take care of their herds on their own lands.36
The worst storm Beaver County experienced was in 1886, when many ranchers lost up to seventy-five per cent of their cattle. A blizzard on April 6, 1895, killed in the neighborhood of thirty per cent, or the animals starved following it. The most devastating one came on February 16, 1905, when the thermometer dropped below zero. Thousand of cattle had their hoofs frozen off and stood
33U. S. Department of Interior. Commissioner of General Land Office. Annual Reports, 1905, 1906, 1907.
about on stumps until they died.5 This storm convinced the stockmen that Beaver County was not exclusively grazing country and that they must run smaller herds and grade them up, and, if the land should go back to its former condition, it would be better for them because they could buy deeded land.37
"Jack Hardesty was perhaps the first big range stockman to begin to shape up to quit. Early in the nineties he rounded up his herd and either shipped them to market or drove them out of the country...making no effort to intimidate settlers who were coming into the country in considerable numbers.38
Hardesty citizens recall watching a peculiar cloud formation move across the beautiful valley August 12, 1893. It brought a cyclone followed by a deluge of rain. It struck suddenly, for the Sullivans started through their home toward the sod store. As they opened the door, the roof was ripped off. The wind and rain beat with indescribable force against the sod walls, but they withstood it all, and later a new roof made the building as good as new. The barns, printing office, saloon and ranch houses were all destroyed. The Herald office was not worth repairing and everything in it was plastered with mud. Dick's new office was made of lumber, gathered from the wreckage. Letters from front signs of former buildings were observable on the boards used in the building.
Difficult times followed. The Herald was offered for sale July 10, but was off the market a week later. Dick Quinn was appointed township clerk on July 27 and made final proof on his claim October 12. The November 2 issue of the newspaper was reduced to eleven by fifteen inches, "all printed at home—the only all home print paper in Beaver County," because on several occasions the Liberal mail had been delayed as long as ten days at a time and the appearance of the paper depended on the arrival of the stage. Many final proof notices, which had to be printed weekly to retain their legality, were carried in the paper at this time.
"During the years when times were hard and people had a hard time getting along, Dick Quinn was always their friend and turned no one away empty-handed. He always said what he thought and was not afraid of any one. There were many gay cowboy parties in Dick's office. He had much to do in forming public opinion and his influence was felt by all."26
"There was a mystery about Dick I cannot solve. How any man could have ridden the old ranges with Texas boys and drunk the cup that cheers so many years with Texas cattlemen and still be a Republican! He did it and that shows how independent he was."24
Early in 1894 Dick was elected clerk of the school meeting. On July 27 the Hardesty Herald returned to its former size and was printed on a new light-running and comparatively noiseless Army press. At the Kingfisher Statehood Convention the Beaver
County delegation voted against statehood. Dick blamed the man who headed the delegation and said so in a spirited editorial in which he argued for state organization.39
On September 27, 1895, a card appeared in the Herald reading: "Dick Quinn, U. S. District Court Commissioner. I am qualified to make homestead entries and final proofs." During the winter Mr. Sullivan and Dick had bachelor quarters because Mrs. Sullivan took her daughters to Liberal for the school term. Late in the year the Hardesty Herald issued a call for the taxpayers of the township to join Harrison, Optima and Cleveland to test the legality of a one hundred per cent raise in taxes, ordered by the county commissioners. A meeting in February, 1896, elected permanent officers with J. C. Dennison, chairman. Dick Quinn, Boss Neff and Michael Long were appointed a resolutions committee. Later Mr. W. T. Jones took Mr. Long's place.
W. E. Bolton of the Woodward News made this statement in the issue for November 13, 1896: "This is to notify the Beaver County ladies they are overlooking a few bets. Leap year is nearly over and Pete Drummond and Dick Quinn are not snatched." In 1896 Miss Cleo Luikart of Beaver endeavored to secure a school at Hardesty. She was one of the successful teachers of the county and was teaching there in 1901.
George Drummond, brother of Pete Drummond of Beaver City, bought the Hardesty Herald in October, 1897, printing his first issue on October 21. From that time until November, 1898, when he took back the paper, Dick traveled about the county, making final proofs, judging contests and visiting his parents at Liberal.
The cattlemen of central Beaver County organized for mutual protection in December, 1899. The territory included was bounded on the north by Kansas, on the south by Texas, on the east by the John George ranch and on the west by the Stonebreaker ranch. J. C. Dennison was chosen president, R. B. Quinn, secretary. Members were to pay one dollar per head for cattle gathered by the efforts of the organization and each one was to be taxed for failing to attend the round-ups.40
Dick was arrested for criminal libel on a warrant issued to Fred C. Tracy of Beaver City in May, 1900. In August he waived examination in probate court and was bound over to the grand jury. Temple Houston represented him in the case, which was dismissed in October, Mr. Tracy paying all the costs.
T. B. Ferguson and Dennis Flynn were at Hardesty during Dick's absence. Mr. Ferguson writes the following of their experiences with Dick, in the Watonga Republican for August 14, 1919:
"On Thursday of last week, Dick Quinn and E. D. Hopkins were in Watonga, returning to their home at Guymon, Texas County, from Oklahoma City, and were callers at this office. To meet Dick Quinn again reminds one of the early days in No-Man's-Land. Dick went to Old Beaver County a good many years ago, and published a paper, the Hardesty Herald, at old Hardesty on the cattle trail long before the division of the county at statehood. His patrons were mostly cattlemen and his ads consisted largely in descriptions of cattlebrands. Cowmen from up and down the trail for thirty or forty miles took the paper and paid for it too...
"Away back in 1894 Dick Quinn used to come in to Republican Territorial conventions on the Beaver County delegations, and he was generally the delegation. Sometimes George Healy and Dyke Ballinger would also come, but more often Dick was the whole push. Healy and Ballinger were from Beaver City, the county seat. Dick was from one of the out towns and was generally scrapping the county seat bunch.
"In August, 1900, Dennis Flynn and the writer went out to Hardesty to speak in Flynn's congressional campaign. Dick Quinn was not at home. He was down at Beaver City, playing the role of defendant in a libel suit. In his Hardesty Herald, he had accused some of the county officials of grafting and other things not in keeping with good citizenship. He won the case, however. At that meeting, there were squatters in covered wagons from thirty miles distance down the trail, and they were also there from that far up the trail. After the meeting, a rude platform was erected by one of the stores and an old-fashioned dance was held, the cowboys with high boots, broad hats and enormous spurs, taking part. While dancing the hats were generally removed, but not the spurs. After the dance, in the evening, church services were held on the dance platform, one of the young ladies who fiddled for the dance leading the singing for the church. The young people danced and the old folks preached, played and sang.
"It was while at Hardesty on that trip that Dennis Flynn and the writer involved Dick Quinn in trouble with the United States Government. When Quinn went down to the county seat as defendant in the libel suit, he left his paper in charge of a printer from Kansas. This printer had been going it dry for some time and when he got down into No-Man's-Land where the lid was off, he suddenly developed a chronic case of ague and had to take bitters. He had been taking bitters quite freely on the day that Flynn and the writer arrived in the village. By the next day this journeyman printer had developed a chill and had to go to the bunk. It was Saturday and the paper was not printed. To go over Saturday and not print the paper would destroy its standing as a legal publication. This would not do. Before getting his "chill" the printer had set up some type, and sprinkled and weighed down the paper preparatory for the army press. Both Flynn and the writer had manipulated army presses and knew something about those frontier advance guards of the printing press. We put in the forms what little matter the printer had set up, without proofing it or knowing its contents, filled in with patent medicine electros, or anything that was to be found that was type high, dated it properly, locked up, run off the edition, Flynn inking and 'Ye editor' working the press. After the papers had been run off we put them in the post office and thus saved the 'fifty-two consecutive issues." We left town thinking that we had done a good turn for the Hardesty Herald. But in about six weeks a post office inspector visited Hardesty and informed Dick Quinn that he had been reported at Washington for printing and sending obscene literature through the mails. Quinn replied that he had no knowledge of ever having sent out any objectional matter in his paper. The inspector replied that the paper was the best evidence
and produced the objectional copy. The article in question, while not obscene in words, was very 'rocky' by inference and one not adapted to public print. Dick read it, and was at first at a loss to know how it came there, when he discovered by consulting the date that it was the paper which had been printed by 'Flynn and Ferguson.' The inspector was informed as to the real facts, and Dick soon convinced him that he was not 'at home' when that paper was printed. 'Flynn and Ferguson.' made statements for the department, showing that they, not Quinn, had published the issue of the paper which contained the 'forbidden fruit.' The printer had gone. Perhaps he would not have made a statement if he could have been found, for he was the guilty one. Dennis Flynn was in Congress at the time and it is said that he went in person before the Post Office Department to explain matters. The case was dropped. The firm of 'Flynn and Ferguson' published no more papers."
Dick ran for county attorney in 1900 but was not elected. In commenting on his defeat he said that success would probably have meant the making of a poor lawyer out of a fairly good editor. The Herald was becoming one of the most independent, interesting and outspoken county newspapers in Oklahoma, and quotations from its columns found their way into all of its exchanges. Everybody was interested in knowing what Dick Quinn thought about things.24
Miss Cleo Luikart and R. B. Quinn drove to Liberal early Saturday morning, November 24, 1900, and were married that evening at the Rock Island Hotel by Probate Judge Templeton. Mr. and Mrs. McDermott were called in to witness the ceremony. The groom loafed around town with the boys and the marriage was not generally known in Liberal until after the bride and groom had departed for Hardesty Sunday morning. There they were comfortably located and went to housekeeping in the first building south of the Herald office. "When the crowd to charivari them appeared Friday night...they planned to make a lot of noise by bringing the anvils from the blacksmith shop, but they would not work."41 The bride continued to teach at the Hardesty school until the end of the term. The story of their marriage and congratulations appeared in the Kansas City Star, Wichita Eagle and many other Kansas and Oklahoma papers.
The Hardesty Herald for March 15, 1901 stated that it had a greater circulation than any other paper in Beaver County and the adjacent Panhandle counties. About half of the local pages were taken by advertisers from Liberal, Kansas. There were professional cards of Beaver men, and space for the Rock Island Railroad, the Scientific American Magazine, a stage line between Hardesty and Liberal, five notices for publication for final proof, seven cuts of cowbrands (including that of the Panhandle Pasturage Company of Texas), with the remaining space devoted to news items and editorials. One of the editorials read
"It is only a matter of a very short time till a new court house will...have to be erected and fairness to all suggests the location of the new building on the railroad in the central part of the county, rather than at Beaver in the east end and one hundred and thirty miles distant from west end citizens. If the plan of removing the county seat...is rejected, then the matter resolves itself into the single proposition of making three counties out of what is now Beaver County. Both the central part of the county and the west end would strenuously object to two counties being made, and the west end will never be fully satisfied until a county seat is located on or near the Cimarron..."
In May, 1901, Dick moved to the town of Sanford on the Rock Island, which was building southwest toward El Paso. The name of Sanford was shortly changed to Guymon. Hardesty remained stationary in its development after the boom of 1888-89. Many buildings were abandoned by persons making the Run of 1889. The "big wind" of 1893 destroyed some, the cyclone of 1900 finished the rest. On November 22, 1906, in an article entitled "An Obituary To An Old Friend," Dick wrote in the Guymon Herald: "Old Hardesty town is no more. Every vestige has disappeared." At the present time there is a town of Hardesty in Oklahoma, but this was started several years after "old" Hardesty perished and is located about six miles west of the site of the first town.
In 1900 it became generally known that the Rock Island would not run through Hardesty. There was a rumor that the Hardesty Herald was booming Optima Post Office for a railroad town and was hoping to locate a town and move to it, for the railroad had let the contract for the first and second fifty miles of track southwest.42
The Beaver Herald, on April 19, 1901, reported that Liberal and Hardesty men had located a town thirty-five miles southwest of Tyrone. A company, capitalized at $5,000, had been formed, with E. T. Guymon, president; G. E. George, treasurer; and R. B. Quinn, secretary. Citizens from Hardesty, Beaver, Caple, Range, Optima and Red Point had purchased shares. The name of the organization, which held its first meeting at the store of W. A. Sullivan, was the Interstate Land and Town Company.
Early in May, Dick loaded his press, stock and office on four wagons, attached five teams, and drove all night to a new switch on the Rock Island, called Sanford.43 He was the original resident in charge of sales on the new townsite located by his company. T. O. James made the survey and Ed Summers and George Ellison took homesteads adjoining the "town." Later these were sold and surveyed as additions to Guymon, which the new place was called within a few weeks, because the name Sanford was so easily confused with Stratford, Texas.44 Mr. Sullivan moved several prop-
erties from Hardesty. The newspaper office was set up on Main Street, and the first issue of the Sanford Herald appeared on June 12, 1901. It experienced a change of name when the town did. There was no post office for a time, so the papers were mailed at Buffalo. Several items from the first issue were: "The distance from Hardesty to Sanford is eighteen and three-fourths miles. — C. A. Hitch and C. H. Westmoreland of Roy are in town. They marked a straight trail from Roy to Sanford. — Cleo (Mrs. R. B.) Quinn has been appointed postmistress. — A load of lumber for the Star Lumber Company has arrived. Its office building is enroute overland from Liberal. — The name of Sanford will be changed to Guymon.45 — The office of the U. S. Court Commissioner, R. B. Quinn, is located in the Herald office and is open for homeseekers."
The town began to expand. A depot was moved in from Optima. E. T. Guymon brought the first commercial freight to town. In July, C. E. Summers, with his son Edwin in charge, started a dry goods store. The Beaver County bank was established. Robert Quinn, the first child born at Guymon, arrived on October 19. By that time the town boasted of two saloons, a dry goods store, a grocery, a bank and many small residences, including tents.46
The Interstate Land and Town Sompany filed a petition at Beaver to have the county seat moved to Guymon, offering $1500 for a court house building, $1500 for a gift to the county, and free land for the building. On January 16, 1902 the County Commissioners refused to grant the petition.
The first Rock Island train between Liberal and Dalhart went through Guymon on June 9, 1901; the first one to go to El Paso, about March 4, 1902.47 Guymon then had a population of three hundred and fifty and a $5,000 water plant under construction. It was the largest town in Beaver County in 1904 and had a two-room schoolhouse.48
Guymon's population had increased to five hundred and fifty by April, 1905.49 The Herald bought a new press which changed the paper to six pages,—four of them for home affairs. It carried the Panhandle Pasturage Company's brand pictures and a description of the range on May 11 in the first issue printed on the new press.
From 1903 to 1905 the Rock Island sent excursion trains of homesteaders into Beaver County and the country southwest of it.
These came to Guymon about twice a month and created a great amount of excitement and business. Salesmen usually accompanied the crowds, which would scatter out over town "looking around." The day after their arrival every conveyance in town was in demand to carry them singly or in groups to look at unstaked claims. On their return to town the rush, described on a following page by Mr. Giles Miller, would begin.4
In addition to the excusions to stimulate the coming of settlers, there was an almost constant stream of rumors and newspaper reports of prospective railroads, which helped to swell the number of homesteaders. "Beaver County people continue to hear railroad rumors like Hardesty did years ago. At the present time there are enuf railroads chartered thru the county to run one to every township east or west and have a few to spare."51 Newcomers were still arriving in wagons. The Canadian Record, on August 14, 1904, reported that half a dozen wagons a day passed through town on their way to claims in Beaver County.
The rush of homesteaders which began when Guymon was started reached its peak in 1904. The increase in numbers is shown by the final proof and contest notices in the Herald. In 1903 it carried two columns of them, in 1906, three pages. The Kansas City Star, on February 18, 1903, said that Dick Quinn declared there were more than twenty-five hundred claims available within a day's drive of Guymon, and added: "Time was when Quinn preached that the small farmer would be the ruination of Beaver County."
The land office, with Dick Quinn acting as United States Court Commissioner, was the busiest place in the county. "It was no uncommon sight for Dick to arrive at his office in the morning to find one hundred and fifty men and women in line, waiting to make preliminary filings. Eight hundred and twenty people filed in one month. During his fourteen years as Commissioner about fifteen thousand filed for about two million acres of land. When Dick resigned in 1907, Chief Justice Burford complimented him on the way he had conducted the office, for there had been no errors in accountings52 and not a discord or dispute in all his period of service."
As was noted in the Hardesty section, the great crowds of homeseekers took claims on lands used for grazing by the ranchers. These claims were usually fenced, thereby inconveniencing the cattlemen who had been accustomed to moving their herds where they pleased. However, they were not the only ones who cut fences, because Dick Quinn wrote many articles against this and similar practices. An editorial of July 21, 1904 follows: "There are a few fellows in the
country who think it is all right, when a new settler fences his claim across an old road, to pull a post and go through the fence...You have no right to damage a man's fence simply because it crosses the old trail." Repeatedly, by editorials in his paper, Dick Quinn tried to quiet the increasing friction between ranchers and settlers.
With the extension of the Rock Island and the coming of throngs of homesteaders, Beaver County was experiencing a prosperity it had never known. With the population growing, it was natural that an agitation for a herd law should begin. Repeated efforts to establish such a law brought no results. An attempt to extend the herd law over Beaver County was defeated after one of the hardest fights in the history of the Oklahoma Legislature in 1904.53 A week later a group of resolutions were made public. These were entitled "Resolutions of Settlers of Beaver County," and were signed, "Committee." They stated that after May 30, 1905 all stock must be taken from the range. In editorial comment on this incident, Quinn suggested that "Committee" was very vague and that the resolutions were probably organized by a few who wished to create further trouble. Continued issues of the Herald endeavored to minimize any strife. "A few settlers are making a lot of fuss about cowmen in Beaver County, when the facts of the business are there are not enuf cowmen of the old school in the county to make a corporal's guard. The men who own cattle here are, in the main, men who came to Beaver County as settlers and accumulated what property they possess by thrift and good management. This thing of trying to stir up trouble among old and new settlers will be frowned upon by the cooler heads and sensible element."54
Generous space in frequent issues of the Herald was filled with explanations of filing rules. Editorials followed which urged homesteaders to obey them. The Herald was pleased to note the success of settlers who stayed on their claims and believed it would force others to come to live on theirs, so that those who were trying to hold land by a visit every six months would wish to remain on it. It held that those infrequent visitors were not playing fair with the actual settlers who were working to develop the country.55 "The newspaper used its influence to build a good town and would permit no false advertising of it."43
When new enterprises came to Guymon Dick Quinn aided them in every way he could, often by purchasing stock. Suggestions for further development of the town were written into editorials and were usually acted upon by the community. The Beaver County Editorial Association was organized at Guymon on October 13,
1905, at his suggestion. The officers elected were: R. B. Quinn, president, J. S. Moffitt (Hooker Advance), vice-president and Maud O. Thomas (Beaver Herald), secretary and treasurer. A bar association was started at the same time.
Dick Quinn was elected to the board of trustees of Guymon in July, 1905;56 and held offices in the Odd Fellows and Masonic organizations. He was an enthusiastic member and eager to aid in the growth and spread of these two lodges. He made trips to the conventions which they held, frequently as a delegate. He was asked to make the race for delegate to the Constitutional Convention "with support promised," but did not desire to do so.
With all of his activities it is not surprising that Dick Quinn's health began to trouble him early in 1907, so that he wished to be relieved of the work entailed in publishing and editing a newspaper. Warren Zimmerman, who was associated with Harry Gilstrap in the publication of the Chandler News, bought a share in the Guymon Herald in January. At that time the paper was the best paying one in Beaver County and Dick Quinn was considered one of the most successful editors in Oklahoma. In March Mr. Zimmerman bought the Herald. Jack Langston had succeeded Quinn as land commissioner when he resigned in February. After the details of the transfer of the newspaper had been cleared away he went on an extended trip for his health.
On November 16, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring Oklahoma a state. "Old" Beaver County was divided into three counties of almost equal size, which were named Beaver, Cimarron and Texas. The last named had Guymon for its county seat.
(1) No story of Guymon or Hardesty would be complete if it failed to mention the residents of Hansford County, Texas. Its county seat had been a popular gathering-place for celebrations and "grand balls" in early Hardesty times. The court house was the most acceptable place in that country for dances. Frequently invitations to such affairs appeared in the Hardesty Herald. Hansford people attended all-day picnics at Davis Grove and ball games and balls in the Hardesty country. Many of them stopped for a visit with the newspaper editor on their way to Liberal, Kansas, to get supplies. The shortest route was over Martin's Crossing some miles above Hardesty, but almost every week the Herald recorded the visit of someone from Hansford.
(2) When Guymon began to thrive men from Hansford County, some of whom, had large ranches there, established homes in the town, though many returned to Texas to vote. Mr. John O'Louglin,
who lived in Hansford County for many years, lists the following who made Guymon their home: Judge S. C. Tyler, H. E. G. Putnam, Charles O'Loughlin, J. H. Wright, M. B. Wright, J. I. Henson, Patrick O'Neal, Charles Croley, Curtis Lowe, Leon Hays, George and Frank Foreman, Elias Hitch, Thomas McQuillan and a man named Gurst. All of these men, by their active participation in business, church and lodge affairs, helped in the development of Texas County.
(3) Judge Tyler's ranch was located on the Palo Duro Creek, southwest of the present town of Gruver, Texas. The Joneses and the Hensons lived down the Creek from the Tylers, and the Wrights beyond them, toward the eastern part of the county, where the Aikens had their home. The Croleys had their ranch over on Coldwater Creek, east of Texhoma, near the Oklahoma line. Charles O'Loughlin's holdings extended from Palo Duro Creek east to the Ochiltree County line. Many of these men shipped cattle to the northern markets from Guymon. In 1905 a hundred carloads of steers were waiting there for cars.
For a number of years after the sale of the Guymon Herald Mr. Quinn lived at Guymon, continuing to take an active part in civic and political affairs of the town and county. Mr. Abe Hiebert of the Hooker Advance, after a trip to Guymon in 1908, reported that he had called on R. B. Quinn, the reputed czar, dictator and ringleader of Republican politics in Texas County. He wrote: "The county has felt the influence of the Guymon Herald and is better for it because the paper was always a force for good and there was a man of courage, nerve and ability behind it...a man for fair play with a fine sense of justice."
Irrigation had been the subject of many articles in all of the early Beaver County papers. Mr. Quinn was much interested in the extension of projects in Oklahoma and was instrumental in having the Northwest Oklahoma Irrigation Congress held at Woodward on October 20 and 21, 1909. At this meeting he was elected as a delegate to Congress to work for a program for the Panhandle.57
Mr. and Mrs. Quinn, with their children Robert58 and Florence,59 moved to Norman in 1919 so the son could attend the University of Oklahoma. Late in that year Mr. Quinn was associated with Jake Hamon in a Texas townsite. After Mr. Hamon's death he returned to Guymon to found the Guymon Tribune (June 21, 1921) which he continued to edit until September, 1926. During this period he ran for Congress against Dick T. Morgan and was defeated. In 1924, after winning the republican nomination for
Corporation Commissioner over ten other candidates, he lost the election by seventy-three votes. He attended the Cleveland Republican Convention as a delegate that year.
President Coolidge appointed Mr. Quinn United States Marshal for the western district of Oklahoma on September 17, 1926. Before he would name him for the position the President demanded to know if Mr. Quinn was a sincere prohibitionist and whether he would support the laws of the state. This was probably the first time an eligibility test was ever put to an applicant for a federal appointment in Oklahoma.43
Miss Florence Quinn edited the Guymon Tribune from the time Mr. Quinn went to Oklahoma City, following his appointment, until the Christmas holidays, when the paper and press were sold to Mr. Giles Miller. The paper was absorbed by the Guymon Herald which was published by Mr. Miller at that time.
Mr. and Mrs. Quinn lived in Oklahoma City while he acted as United States Marshal. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected he resigned at once, though his term had a year to run, because "some good Democrat deserved the job." After 1933 they remained in Oklahoma City, except for three or four months each summer when they traveled northwest for a visit with their son and then moved on to a camp on the McKenzie River about forty miles from Eugene, Oregon. Delight in fine fishing, which was his favorite sport, made the days in the beautiful pine forests very happy ones for him.
Mr. Quinn's health was not good when they started north in May, 1939, and it became necessary to take him to a hospital in Eugene early in June. There he died on June 10. He was buried in Memorial Park, Oklahoma City.
The life of Dick Quinn after he came to No-Man's-Land parallels the events which changed it from a wild, sparsely-settled country controlled by cattle barons to a land of homesteaders. His early days as a cowboy turned his sympathies toward the ranchers, but with the rush of settlers he realized that they were the people who would build a great state, and at no time in his career did he forget that to have a part in the building of a great commonwealth was his highest aim. "Old" Beaver County and Texas County can be proud to name him as one of their foremost leaders.