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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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The Murder of Marshal Cathey
Return to Shootings Index
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Submitted by  Nancy Castle

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Drawing which appears in this issue of the Pauls Valley Enterprise and Valley News along with the news article


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Marshal Cathey on his horse beside a local building


The Pauls Valley Enterprise and Valley News

Pauls Valley, Chickasaw Nation, I.T., Thursday, November 7, 1907

Joint Fixtures Burned

As noted in another column of this issue relative to running the "Joints" out of town, all joints men had their fixtures on the depot platform in the required three hours.  The committee appointed to look after this matter overlooked the fact that John Stump had not taken out a bill of lading for his stuff.   When this was learned Wednesday morning he was again given an opportunity to ship the fixtures, but refused to do so.  A fire alarm was sounded and the leading citizens of the town, two or three hundred in number went immediately to the depot platform, piled the stuff out in the street, saturated it with oil and applied a match.   The whole was soon licked up by flames and Mr. Stump was a poorer yet wiser man than a few minutes before.


Marshal Cathey's body lying in state

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The Pauls Valley Enterprise and Valley News
Pauls Valley, Chickasaw Nation, I.T., Thursday, November 7, 1907


Shot by Jim Stevenson Sunday Evening at 6:30 O'clock

Citizens Arise Indignation

Joints are Driven From the Town and Fixtures of One Burned

The city of Pauls Valley was thrown into a furor of excitement and indignation when the quiet-tude of last Sabbath evening was broken by a number of pistol shots, which was at once followed by the announcement that Assistant Marshal W.R. Cathy had been foully assassinated by Jim Stephenson.  The announcement was not wholly unexpected by many citizens of the town for Mr. Stephenson is said to have told a number of city officials that he would kill Cathey on the first opportunity.  The opportunity whereby he could accomplish this deed and not risk his own life is supposed to have not presented itself until the time above mentioned.  Mr. Cathey had eaten his supper in the Valley Cafe at about 6:30 o'clock and then started out on his regular beat.  From the best information obtainable Stephenson was standing in the dark beside the door and as the officer stepped out, opened fire on him without any warning.  The first shot is supposed to have passed through the heart and as brave and fearless an officer as ever wore a uniform, fell to the walk dying.  Stephenson had an automatic pistol and continued firing until it was emptied.  One other shot took effect in the abdomen and from the position in which it entered is supposed to have been fired into the body after it was prostrated on the walk.  Other bullets in the walk show that it was the intention of the slayer to make sure of his victim even if he was down and apparently dead.  Mr. Cathy fell with his head toward his assassin and although shot through the heart had enough vitality to draw his pistol and shooting over his head at random fired five times, three of the shots taking effect in the body of Stephenson, one shot shattering the bone of the left leg near the hip joint and the other two inflicting flesh wounds in the other leg. Stephenson was immediately taken to the U.S. jail and his wounds dressed.  He was not found to be in a very serious condition and was moved to the Ardmore jail Monday morning.

The wanton slaying of an officer in the discharge of his duty and especially one who had been so efficient as Mr. Cathy, fired the citizenship to such a degree of indignation that summary vengeance was freely talked.  Early Monday morning little groups of the best citizens could be seen gathered along the streets talking over the incident.   soon the fire bell began to ring and instead of a response from the company, all who gather on the streets were told to go at once to the Opera House to attend a citizen's meeting.  The house was crowded and the meeting was called to order by Mayor Bruce who in referring to the incident of the previous evening attributed the indirect cause to joints of the town, in which it was believed the plot for assassination was hatched.   A motion was made and enthusiastically carried to the effect that a committee of five be appointed to wait on the joint keepers and tell them that they must have all of their joint fixtures and stock on the depot platform and have bill of lading for the same within three house, and that all that remained after that time would be carried into the streets and burned.  There was soon a great rattling of dray wagons and saloon fixtures, tin-top cases etc., were being hurried to the depot.  No joint keeper was allowed to argue the case.  It was simply move now or let the citizens of the town burn their goods, and they moved. 

Never has there been a death in Pauls Valley that has caused such a general regret as this one.  After the body was prepared for shipment and awaiting orders from relatives in Texas, the general demand to view the remains and to send in floral tributes was so great that it was decided  to move it to the Methodist church.  By orders of the Mayor all business houses were closed from 2 to 4 in the afternoon and all were requested to assemble at the church and pay a tribute of respect to the honored dead.   Long before time to begin the exercises, there was not standing room in the church.   The schools were dismissed and all teachers and pupils marched in a body to the church and were allowed to march single file through the church and view the remains.. Eulogistic speeches were made by Rev. Thurston, Mayor Bruce, Miles Lasater and R.T. Jones.   Mr. Jones suggested a monument to Mr. Cathy and at once there were offers from all parts of the congregation which came even too fast to be taken down.  When the amounts thus offered had been run up it was found to be $370.00.  The body was shipped Tuesday afternoon to the home of the dead officer's parents at Youngsport, Texas, accompanied there by his cousin W.A. Cathey, of this place.  The many handsome floral offerings left at the church by sympathizing friends, were carefully boxed up and shipped at the same time.  It is estimated that the flowers, valued at green house prices, would cost something over $200.00.

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Marshal William Randolph Cathey, front row left.
Lawman James Elliott Russell of Pauls Valley is seated beside and to the right of Marshall Cathey.
Marshal Russell died August 30, 1909.  The two gentlemen in the back are unknown.


Year of 1907



Dive Keeper Saved From Mob Only Because His Death Is Now Believed to Be Rapidly Approaching-

Citizens Pay Tribute

Special to The Oklahoman

Pauls Valley, Nov. 4--With one lying on his side, his life blood dyeing the sidewalk with its crimson stream, the other standing a few paces away and cursing his victim-his old enemy--until he too fell, mortally wounded, two men fought a pistol duel on the streets of Pauls Valley at 7:30 o'clock Sunday evening.

Nine shots were fired and when the echoes had died away, one man lay dead upon the sidewalk, the other bleeding freely from two wounds, which is thought will cause his death. The dead man is Randolph W. Cathey, deputy United States Marshal. The other principal in the bloody battle is James Stevenson, a former jointist. The only thing that saved Stevenson from mob violence is the belief that he will live but a few hours.

Stevenson fired first and Cathey shot in self defense. The shooting is believed to be the result of a plot on the part of the jointist to slay the deputy marshal because he has insisted upon enforcing the law.

The body of the dead officer lies in state at the Methodist church--with the coffin a mass of flowers, an expression of the high esteem in which he was held by the citizens of the town.

His slayer was taken to Ardmore and placed in jail there to prevent a lynching. Feeling ran high for a time but cooled as it was learned that little hope of recovery was held for the assassin.

A meeting of the citizens was held this morning at the opera house and expressions of sorrow over the death of the officer were made by the leading citizens.

Judge Dickerson of the Southern district has called a special session of the grand jury to meet in Purcell, I.T., November 11 to investigate the killing.

III feeling has existed on the part of Stevenson for Cathey for some time and frequent warnings of the danger was given the officer. Some time ago Albert Stevenson, a nephew of James Stevenson, was arrested by Marshall Cathey for Violations of the city ordinances in conducting a joint. Stevenson himself was arrested by the officer a short time later for drunkenness. He resisted arrest and it was necessary to handle him roughly in order to take him to jail.

Last night the two then met at Moore's restaurant, but neither spoke. Stevenson went outside and in a short time Cathey followed. As he reached the door, Stevenson began shooting. The first shot struck Cathey in the breast just above the heart and as he fell, the second bullet struck him in the right side. Two more shots were fired by Stevenson while the officer lay on the sidewalk. He then turned and attempted to run, but Marshall Cathey, turning on his right side with difficulty, supported himself on his elbow and fired five shots at his murderer, two taking effect and the other three striking a building across the street. Cathey's shot struck in the right hip inflicting a deep wound and the second striking the right leg above the knee. Breaking the bone, Stevenson fell. Cathey turned on his back and breathed his last. Officers hurried Stevenson to the city jail before the crowd had gathered and Cathey's body was removed to the undertaking parlor.

Stevenson once served a term in the federal jail for the sale of liquor. John Stevenson, a brother, also served a term for killing a man.

A proclamation was issued by the mayor of the city this morning closing all business houses tomorrow as a mark of respect for Marshall Cathey.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Methodist church and the body will then be sent to Santa Anna, Texas, (Correction burial was at Cedar Knob Cemetery, Wilkerson Valley, Bell County, Texas, between Belton and Killeen, Texas)

Cathey was 28 years of age and unmarried. His father and mother live at Youngstown, Texas, and two brothers reside in Santa Anna

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