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Oklahoma Death Records


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, 2007 [mudman@cableone.net]. 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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