© 2001-Present: Marilyn Montgomery
Sam Montgomery - Beckham County, Oklahoma
Story written by: Susie Alice Montgomery
from "Prairie Fire", published by the Western Oklahoma Historical Society of Elk City, OK
In late 1894, Lindsey Powell Carpenter, along with Susie Elizabeth Montgomery and her five children: Tom, Allen, Ione, Fannie, and Sam, started from Greenville, Texas, in a covered wagon loaded with what belongings they had, for Indian Territory.Their ultimate goal was to reach a claim northwest of Foss, IT, near Foss Lake, where Lindseys mother had made the run a few years earlier and staked a claim. The Montgomery family, along with grandma, her son, Willie, and daughter, Margaret, lived in a half-dugout in the Edwardsville community. The youngest child, Samuel Albert, was four months old at Christmas time, when the family arrived to make their home in the Territory. A few years later, when the lumber was available,they built a frame house on the claim. Three additional children were born to the Montgomerys: Lucy, (Mrs. Parven Hickey of Cheyenne, Oklahoma); Alice, (Mrs. John Marcum of Sayre, Oklahoma); and Joe, of Visalia, California.
The children attended school at Pumpkin Ridge, a small schoolhouse northwest of Foss, where Lindsey Carpenter was president of the School Board.
Sam Montgomery was 16 years when he went to Arkansas to work for a year. When he returned from Arkansas, Sam got a job hauling freight from the railroad, which ended at Weatherford, Oklahoma, to Busch, which is now Elk City. It took approximately a week to make a round trip from Weatherford to Elk City and back with a wagon load of freight.
In 1912, the Montgomerys and four of their children who were still living at home, moved to Sayre, Oklahoma. Sam met Claudia Verron Cooper
, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Cooper. Verron's father, was a clerk at the first United Cash Grocery in Sayre. Two years later, Sam and Verron were married. To this union four children
were born: Samuel Claud, now of Burns Flat, Oklahoma; Jessie Lorene Laresta, (Mrs. Marshall Moore, of Acton, California); Mabel Elizabeth, (Mrs. George Fenter, of Elk City, Oklahoma); and DeWitt Armistice of Stockton, California.
Sam was a farmer until 1935, when he was appointed deputy sheriff of Beckham County. He served as deputy sheriff under Ed West for four years. The first two years the family lived in Sayre, the second two years, they lived in Elk City. In 1939, the Montgomerys purchased a grocery store at the junction of highways 6 and 283, eight miles north of Sayre, Oklahoma and fourteen miles west of Elk City. All of the children had finished high school. Claud graduated from Doxey High School, and Jessie, Mabel and DeWitt from Elk City High School. In 1944, Sam Montgomery was elected Beckham County Sheriff, and served that office continuously for six years.
One of his more interesting experiences was searching for Charlie "Pretty Boy" Floyd, when he was number one outlaw. Sam was so close to the outlaw at one time, that he searched a farm where Floyd was hiding. Sam checked three sides of the barn, and later learned that Floyd was hiding on the fourth side.
In 1950, Sam Montgomey was appointed State Pardon and Patrol Officer. He served the state for eleven years when a heart attack forced him to retire. Sam spent his late years on a farm west of Elk City until his sudden death, September 10, 1975.
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