Saturday, October 25, 2014
As the sun began to set on frontier life, a vigilante act ripped apart a young Oklahoma community and brought shame to citizens struggling to distance themselves from backwater violence. In the early morning hours of April 19, 1909, a group of Ada residents - many of them community leaders - avenged the murder of a popular local rancher and former U.S. Deputy Marshall A. A. "Gus" Bobbitt by lynching the four suspects. The mob effectively drove the outlaw element out of town, but in the process perpetrated a terrible miscarriage of justice. (To date, no person has ever been identified or prosecuted in connection with the killings.) DEATH OF THE OLD WEST marks the 100th anniversary of the event by examining the hanging and the fallout that still fascinates historians and stirs emotions among local residents.