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Wild West Outlaws and Lawmen

Heck Thomas

Heck Thomas

Heck Thomas was a famous lawman, who wasn't a wanted man in other places, but worked only on the side of the law all of his life.  He worked under "Hanging Judge Parker" between 1893 and 1896, and while working the Indian Territory managed to arrest over 300 wanted men.

Thomas also helped clean-up Perry Oklahoma (Hell's Half Acre with 110 Saloons for 25,000 people) along with Bill Tilghman and Chris Madsen, and they were all known as the "Three Guardsmen." Thomas had learned his Law enforcement under Longhaired Jim Courtright in Fort Worth Texas.

He served in the Civil War under the famous General Stonewall Jackson, and worked as a guard for the Texas Express Company. It was Thomas that ruined a holdup attempt on March 18, 1878 when he managed to hide $25,000 in a stove, and put nothing but decoy packages in the safe. The outlaws made off with $89 in cash, and the "decoy" packages, but in this robbery Thomas was also wounded.

Thomas was in on the near-capture of Ned Christie near Tahlequah around 1889, Thomas set the house on fire and hit the Indian with one of his shots, but Christie managed to escape anyhow. In August of 1896, in or near Lawson Oklahoma, Thomas led a posse that caught up to Bill Doolin as he walked down a road on a moonlit night toward a relative¹s ranch. When confronted, Doolin tried to shoot his way out, but was killed by buckshot from the shotguns that were fired by both Heck Thomas and Bill Dunn. Thomas also helped to trail and capture the Doolin and the Dalton gangs.

The last job for Heck Thomas was as the Chief of Police in Lawton Oklahoma. He lost his job as Chief of Police in 1909 because his health had begun to fail. Thomas died of natural causes three years later on August 11, 1912 at Lawton Oklahoma at the age of 62.

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