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Antlers American - March 12, 1931
STRANGE PATTERNS HAVE BEEN SPUN
Strange patterns have been spun across the tapestry of life.
None more bizarre, however, than the one begun at Antlers 23 years ago.
This small town in 1908 was like many others in the new state of Oklahoma. In the heterogeneous population were the customary number of farmers, merchants, railroad men, clerks, a doctor and a druggist, the banker and the minister. Their children attended the same public school.
Three boys gravitated towards each other in juvenile gang fashion. Inevitable boyhood depredations followed. Earl, Ed and Harry had climbed the first rung of the ladder of life. Their ambitions?
"I want to be chief of the Choctaw nation like my father," martially declared Earl.
"Not I," replied Ed. "I'm going to be a doctor."
"And you?" They asked Harry.
"I'll be a lawyer," the third answered. "Yes, a lawyer and maybe a judge, too, some day, and then I'll send crooks to prison."
The families scattered, friendships were dissolved by the unceasing flow of time.
It was September 15, 1915. P. H. Hearn, the station agent at Antlers was dozing in his small railway office. In the Indian summer night Hearn, had he been awake, would have heard muffled beats of horses' hoofs. Three armed men broke into the station. Rearn's outcry was silenced by sudden death. The safe was emptied of its $18. The bandits separated. Because of the peculiar markings of one of the horse's hoofs, the animal was tracked 10 miles away to a farm near Farris. The owner of the horse was arrested and charged with murder. He was Earl Everidge, an Indian youth. A second man arrested also faced a similar complaint. That was Ed Hembree. The third man sought was Floyd Aikens.
Everidgeand Hembree, convicted of murder, were given life sentences in the state prison at McAlester.
Everidgebecame a convict, not chief of the Choctaws.
Hembreebecame a convict also, not a doctor.
Jack Walton, as governor in 1922, pardoned the two. Everidge came to Sand Springs, opened a real estate office and collection agency. Hembree drifted with the tide of humanity.
Three years ago, Everidge was arrested in Tulsa and charged with forgery and embezzlement in connection with the estate of Mrs. Nellie I. Baker, an Osage Indian. On March 21, 1928, a district court jury in division No. 3, after but 20 minutes deliberation, found Everidge guilty and gave him an 18 year sentence. Everidge was given his liberty on bond pending appeal.
Two years ago, Hembree was arrested in Duncan and convicted of criminally assaulting a young woman. The jury found him guilty and gave him the death sentence. It was also appealed.
By a coincidence the criminal court of appeals at Oklahoma City a fortnight ago affirmed both convictions but reduced Everidge's term to 10 years. Hembree, the court decided, must be executed.
Everidge'smandate of record will come to division No. 3 of district court. He will be sentenced by the judge here.
The judge is Harry L. Halley, the former playmate of Hembree and Everidge.
He became a lawyer, then a judge.........he sends criminals to prison!