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Garvin County

County Seat - Pauls Valley

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Garvin County Deputy U.S. Marshals

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Return to Historical Pictures Index

lawmen.jpg (270368 bytes)

If you have any info on this picture and/or the identity of those pictured please let us know so we may post it here.   The comments we have received so far are listed below.

Well, the mystery deepens.  I just returned from the historical society and the picture is there.  It is a part of the Susie Peters Collection.  It is labeled US Marshals, 8 deputy marshals at Paris, Texas, 1892. It is numbered 1-5 across the bottom with the individuals named as 1. Bill Henderson; 2. John Swain; 3. J. J. Dickerson; 4. Heck Thomas; 5. Bill Little.  Accross the top, it is numbered 6-16 and goes: 6. Will Weaver; 7. unknown; 8. Bill Lindsay; 9. Bill Stewart; 10. John Walner; 11. Jim Chandler; 12. unknown; 13. Louis Eichoff; 14. Bill Hutchinson; 15. Chris Madsen (?) 16. Ran Dickerson.   So far all everyone agrees on are John Walner and Heck Thomas.  Go figure. --- Mike Tower--- 8-5-2003

I believe the fellow in the hat with a mustache, standing at the far right, is A. M. Foss, but I could be mistaken. And, I think the little feller sitting third person down, next to Heck Thomas, who is fourth man sitting, is Chris Madsen. I'd be careful about advertising the picture as one of all the men who were U. S. Marshals in Garvin County because through a variety of sources, I've identified nearly fifty men who held Deputy U. S. Marshal commissions who served in and around Pauls Valley and about the same number who claimed to have been marshals but who were in actuality "possemen" and did not hold a commission.  I think it is a photo of those men who were Deputy Marshals for the Southern District Court at Pauls Valley, 1893 to 1907. But, it may not be, because I don't see Charles Worley in there. Regarding the age of the photo, since Fred Waite is not pictured, it was probably made after 1895 and since Heck Thomas is pictured, it could not have been made after 1912. --- Mike Tower---7/2003

The man seated first from right with his badge visible under his coat is Henry A. "Heck" Thomas.
submitted by Diron L. Ahlquist

The man in the middle in back with the gray hat and mustache is John H. Walner
submitted by William Walner Dulin

The man in the light suit with no hat, if front of John H. Walner is Houston Marion Byford of McGee.
The tallest man, looking to his right, in the black hat to the far right is Whit Hyden of McGee.

submitted by Mike Webb

I have names to contribute for four of the men, however, their identities are not confirmed. I am fairly certain of two of them but the other two are circumstantial. I cannot at this time say that they all served as Deputy Marshals; my research hasn't come that far yet. Here are my suspects: 

2nd man from the left, standing:

Almost certainly this man is James W. Gardner, b. 1849, son of Isaac & Rebecca (Johnson) Gardner. Later photographs of him support this claim. James W. Gardner married 28 Sep 1870, Emily (Cornwall) Lawson, b. 1844 Kentucky, widow of William Lawson of Kentucky. The Isaac Gardner family came to Indian Territory in the Choctaw removal of 1832. Zachariah "Zack" Gardner of the grist mill on the Washita River was an older brother of James W. Gardner. There were a number of other siblings and a large clan of Gardners were produced from this family.

3rd man from the left, standing (hand on the presumed James W. Gardner):

Probably Benjamin Gardner, b. Jan 1877 Indian Territory, son of James W. and Emily (Cornwall) Lawson Gardner. Later photographs of Benjamin Gardner are not very helpful in matching this face. However, the fact that Ben was probably just a teenager when this photograph was taken makes it difficult to compare his face 40+ years later. This is the same Benjamin Gardner who was interviewed for the Indian Pioneer Papers.

4th man from the left, standing (next to John Walner):

Almost certainly William Riley Losson / Lawson, b. 4 Nov 1860 in Missouri, son of William & Emily (Cornwall) Lawson. Later photographs somewhat support this assumption, though I have no other early photographs of him; all the photographs I have which show him clearly are of much later date. William Riley Losson / Lawson was a long-time Deputy US Marshall and continued to serve as a lawman after statehood. His step-father was James W. Gardner.

1st man from the left, seated (the presumed James W. Gardner's hands on his shoulders):

This is very likely "Zack" Gardner, b. 18 Oct 1873, d. 10 Apr 1896, son of James W. Gardner and Emily (Cornwall) Lawson Gardner. He was undoubtedly named for his uncle Zachariah Gardner, older brother of James W. Gardner. There are no other known photographs of this younger "Zack" Gardner; I didn't know he existed until I found his burial listed in Oaklawn Cemetery of Wynnewood last year (thank you so much for the transcriptions!). Since I discovered "Zack" Gardner's existence, another relative has supplied me with a copy of a letter written by him. Though I have no other photographs of the young "Zack" Gardner, I am relying on his strong resemblance to the man identified as James W. Gardner, standing behind him with both hands on him. They look very much like father and son.

Some of my assumptions of the identities of these men are based on analysis of when I think the photograph was taken. (Please do tell me if anyone else can put a better date on the photograph, because that could certainly affect my analysis.)

Some of my assumptions to date the photograph and to put names to faces:

1. John Walner was born in 1862 and died in 1905. The photograph could not have been taken after 1905 as a result. John Walner looks to be possibly around the age of 30. That assumption puts the date of the photograph circa 1892.

2. James W. Gardner, the man I have the strongest case for identity, was born in 1849. In this photograph he appears to be maybe 50 years old +/- a few years. That assumption puts the date of the photograph circa 1894~1904. However, he looks considerably younger in this photograph than he does in a photograph taken of him circa 1905. That fact puts this photograph some years earlier than 1905.

3. If the man standing next to James W. Gardner (with his hand on James' shoulder) is assumed to be Benjamin Gardner, then looking at Ben's birthdate of Jan 1877 and the fact that he has a thick mustache makes me think that he would have been probably at least 18 years old. That assumption puts the date of the photograph circa 1895.

4. Concerning the man seated in front of James W. Gardner, whom I assume to be "Zack" Gardner. He really looks like a son of James W. Gardner to me. James W. Gardner had four sons, to my knowledge, besides his step-son William Riley Losson / Lawson. The four sons I have knowledge of were Zack Gardner (b. Oct 1873, died at age 23 in Apr 1896); Benjamin "Ben" Gardner (b. Jan 1877); James D. "Buddy" Gardner (b. Nov 1883, d. at approx. age 21 circa 1905); and Adolphus "Dolph" Gardner, the baby of the family whose birthdate I don't yet know.

If this seated man is assumed to be a son of James W. Gardner, he almost certainly is not James D. "Buddy" or Adolphus "Dolph" because the oldest of those two, James D. Gardner, would have been only about 22 years of age in 1905 when John Walner died at the age of ~43. Certainly, in this photograph, John Walner does not appear to yet be close to the age of 43 which puts the photograph some years earlier than 1905.

There is a possibility that the seated man could be Benjamin Gardner (and therefore not the man standing next to James W. Gardner -- that possibility, however, does beg the question of who is that young man with his hand on James W. Gardner and standing between James and his stepson?) If the younger man next to James W. Gardner is indeed his son Benjamin Gardner, the most likely son of James W. Gardner that the seated man could be is "Zack" Gardner.

If the seated man is indeed "Zack" Gardner, the fact that he himself died in April 1896 would put the date of this photograph in or earlier than April 1896, but not much earlier I believe -- because if the younger man next to James W. Gardner is indeed Benjamin Gardner, his birthdate of Jan 1877 would have made him 19 years old if the photograph had been taken in Jan 1896, for instance. This younger man certainly couldn't have been much younger than maybe 17 years old I would guess. Therefore, my final wild guess at a date for this photograph is somewhere between Jan 1894 and April 1896.

Is there any chance that your other contributors could add some biographical data to the names they contributed? I know a little about John Walner (because of the great website), but I have no idea who the other men are and would love to know more.

Submitted by Leslie Crosby Carignan


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