Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lawman Sam Bartell (1863-1944): Constable, U.S. Deputy Marshall and Detective

An early name of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City was Sam Bartell. In early days his stature as a lawman, Deputy U.S. Marshal, and public servant was well recognized. He was a well-known figure in the years before and after Oklahoma statehood in 1907.  Like many of the men of his time period he was a complex and forthright individual. Circumstances of his lifetime evoked extremes and actions that often led to difficulties in the taming of the region once Territorial status and then statehood were achieved.

He was b.1863, either in Kansas or in Kansas City, Missouri to Englehart Bartell ;d. 12 Nov. 1944 in Oklahoma City. He had brothers Dan (also a Deputy Marshal) and R.G., a barber.

He was married three times: his 1st wife Alta Cannon and his 2nd wife was Mary Ellen and his 3rd wife was Ala/Ola Mary Elliot (1930 Census); his known children were Carl, Bernice, and Winnie: he had a brother Dan of Foley, OK; . He is buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Oklahoma City. 

He went to work for the Oklahoma Detective Agency and in that capacity worked on one of the most mysterious of cases, The Katie James Murder of 1905.

First Policeman of Oklahoma City, Deputy Marshall and civic leader, Charles F. Colcord mentions Bartell several times in his autobiography.  (The Autobiography of Charles Frances Colcord. Tulsa, OK: Helmerich, 1970.  245p. Sam Bartell, 148, 157, 164, 165). On page 157 he wrote:  “Very few  officers in Oklahoma ever brought more criminals to justice than Sam Bartell.”
His Life in Print:.

  • Owens, Ron. Oklahoma Justice, mentions Bartel several times,
  • 1892 - Bartell resigns as constable in Oklahoma City to pursue livery business. The news article said: "Sam was a splendid officer and it is too bad that the annoyances of the office were such as to cause him to give up." (OTJ, Feb5, 1892, pg. 5)
  • 1892 - Bartell's brother "R.G." or "R.F." comes to OKC from west Texas and opens a barber shop near the Commercial Hotel.
  • 1893 - July Nix takes office as U.S. Marshall and sets up strict rules and criteria for his "men".  The initial men selected as officers included: "John Hixon, Morris Robacker, Frank Hindman, George Orin Severns, and Joe Pentecost at Guthrie; J. M. Jones, John Quimby, Charles F. Colcord, Sam Bartell, and John Hubatka at Oklahoma City; William Banks at Cheyenne; J. H. Gill at Tecumseh; Charles L. Roff at El Reno; Frank Farwell at Anadarko; C. H. Marx at Osage Agency; J. A. Cooper at Kingfisher; James Vandeventer at Orlando; Thomas Tipton and Alonzo Poling at Chandler; C. W. Reynolds at Perkins; William Ivey at Choctaw; S. T. Butner at Crescent City; and George Smith at Norman. "
  • 1893 - Bartell is identified as "Deputy U.S. Marshall" and notes he is busy on the trail of 'wood choppers' in the El Reno area.
  • 1893 - Sam's brother Dan comes from Colorado Springs to help Sam 'find the criminals'. October 15.
  • 1895 – US Marshall (http://www.okolha.net/dusm_usm_B.htm) under E.D. Nix Note, news articles indicate he is referred to as a Deputy U.S. Marshall in August of 1893.
  • 1902- “Court claims” re Sam Bartell for services during Small Pox outbreak. 3-22-1902, Oklahoman, pg. 3.
    1903- “For Chief of Police” 2-18-03 Oklahoman pg 8
    1903 – Pavement paragraphs 4-7-03 Oklahoman pg 5
    1903 – “Deserter Caught” 7-30-033 Oklahoman pg 5
    1904- “Mr. Ramer was Arrested” 1-3-04 Oklahoman pg 21; pg 5
    1904- “Pavement Pickups: Tale of Tit for tat” 11/10/04 Oklahoman pg. 7 (mentions son Carl)
    1904- “Pavement pickups” 11-24-04 Oklahoman pg 5
    1905- “Stevens in Jail” 4-25-1905 Oklahoman pg. 5
    1905- “Killed Herself Woman Arrested at Shawnee.” 7-29-1905 Oklahoman pg 2
    1905- “Mystery is deepening” 8-02-05 Oklahoman pg 1
    1905- “Elderly negro woman found yesterday with her throat cut”. 11-26-05 Oklahoman pg 9
    1907 – “Livingston a Wise One” 1-5-07 Oklahoman pg 1
    1907- “Bloodhounds trail bank safe blowers.” 4/20/07 Oklahoman pg. 12
    1907 – “Murder in the Grand Ave Saloon” 3-16-07 Oklahoman p.1
    1907- “Private patrolman threatens a sleuth” 9-14-07 Oklahoman pg. 5
    1908- “Bartell Objects to removal as deputy” 11-1-08 Oklahoman pg 5
    1908 - “Officer Bested” 12-8-04 Oklahoman pg. 15
  • 1909 - “Sam Bartell Wins in appeal for Pardon.” 10-13-09 Oklahoman pg 13
    1909 – “Bartell pardon to be contested” 10-10-09 Oklahoman pg 9
  • 1910 – “Boomer’s Attend marble funeral” 7-27-10 Oklahoman pg 5 (father’s funeral in CA; identified as “Anglehart” who was born in Germany and served in Civil War)
    1910- “Issue now up to court” 9-17-1910 Oklahoman pg 16
    1910- “Severns boosts Oklahoma city” 11-25-10 Oklahoman pg. 1
    1910 - “Blood Poison” 12-18-10 Oklahoman pg 16 [Dam & Sam Bartell)
    1911 – Justice of the Peace OKC (testified in court case Henry vs State 1913)
    1911 – “Long list of Christmas Charities to her Credit” 12-24-1911 Oklahoman pg 18 (with photo of Mary Ellen Bartell)
  • 1912- “Sam Bartell – Sheriff Candidate” 4-22-12 Oklahoman pg 58
    1912- Testified in Court case see
    1913 – “Bartell Returns and makes Bond. Former Justice of the Peace prepares for trial on embezzlement charges.”8-10-1913 Oklahoman pg5
    1915 – Justice of the Peace OKC, testifies in Ex parte gee
    1927-“Fifteen cast eyes toward Sheriff Post” 9-11-1927 Oklahoman pg 9.
  • 1931- “Railroad squatters fail to file claims” 1-24-1931 Oklahoman pg. 1
  • 1932- “Fugitive arrested faces old charge” 9-18-1932- Oklahoman pg. 24
(Descendant sent the image; source unknown)

Marshal Nix will later recount that Bartell was hired to ferret out the truth in a multiple murder situation in what he called the "Pott Co. Saloon Battle" (see Oklahoman Dec. 4, 1932, pg. 49).

Additional links in reference to Sam Bartell...

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