William Taylor Grave
Sulphur, Murray County, Oklahoma
Lat: 34° 25' 23"N, Lon: 96° 57' 01"W
Contributed by Dennis Muncrief, Dec 09, 2000, last edited Feb 28,
Total records = 1.
To find the grave, go about four miles south of Sulphur. The grave
is one quarter mile south of the Buckhorn Creek Bridge on Highway
177 and about 100 yards off the highway on a little ridge, in the
trees, to the east. This story is of a young man who went bad and
paid the ultimate price. This story was related to me by Bill Uhles
of Sulphur. Bill said that the story was told to him by the owner
of the land, Bill McGiboney. The story was told to Bill McGibney
by Oscar Lowrance of the Lowrance Ranch when the land was originally
part of the Lowrance Ranch back in the 1870's. Take it for what
it is worth.
William Taylor was an orphan who was adopted by the Reverend
Cummins and was raised somewhere in this area of the Chickasaw
Nation. As time went by, Reverend Cummins was sent to a church
to pastor in Oklahoma Territory somewhere around Enid or Ponca
City. William Taylor fell into temptation and followed a life
of crime. William was a horse thief. He would go to Texas, steal
horses and then drive them cross the Red River, back into Indian
Territory to evade the Texas Ranges, sheriffs and other lawmen.
William would drive the horses back into the Territory and then
sell the horses to local farmers and ranchers.
On the ill-fated trip to Texas, young William stole eight or
nine horses and drove them across the Red River with three Texas
Rangers, led by Bill Teagman, hot on his heals. The horses were
driven to a dugout and corral, on the banks of Buckhorn Creek,
four miles south of the present day site of Sulphur. The Rangers
finally found William's hideout late that night. It is said
that the Rangers checked the brands of the horses in the corral
and waited until daylight. When first light came, the Rangers
called to William, inside the dugout, to come out with his hands
high in the air. Instead, the Rangers were surprised when young
William came through the door with iron in each hand, blazing
away at the Rangers hiding in the trees. The Rangers returned
fire cutting William down, bringing his young tragic life to
an early end. One Ranger was wounded but survived his injuries.
The story goes that the Rangers then threw a rope around his
legs and drug William to the top of a nearby ridge, where they
buried him. They then returned the horses to Texas. Reverend
Cummins was notified of the incident by local ranchers and he
came from Oklahoma Territory with a native sandstone tombstone.
The stone deteriorated over the last 100 years until it was
in several pieces. Several years ago, Bill McGiboney, a history
buff and owner of the land where the grave was located, removed
the old stone and placed a new granite monument in its place.
The old native sandstone marker had been trodden over by cattle
and weather had badly deteriorated the soft sandstone.
- Dennis Muncrief
William Taylor, b. Jul 15, 1847, d. Jan. 17, 1877,
Son of Rev. D. Cummins
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