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John Nelson Curtis
U. S. Deputy Marshal
Submitted By Luanne Hale

John Nelson Curtis was appointed U. S. Deputy Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas and Indian Territory in May of 1887. He was appointed to fill the vacancy of Dan Maples who was killed while serving in the line of duty.

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While researching my great great grandfather John N. Curtis,
I found these references to him as a U.S. Deputy Marshal after Dan Maples was killed.
Apparently he was appointed to fill Maples' position.
note from Luanne Hale

"John Curtis was appointed to fill Dan Maples' position after Maples was murdered. Curtis was pursuing the five men charges with Maples murder. "

"Deputy U.S. Marshal John Curtis arrived here with Charley Bobtail. Bobtail says John Parish did the shooting that killed Deputy Maples. Bobtail does not deny being with the other parties charged with this crime."

"On the same day that Thomas Trainer was killed, Deputy Marshal Curtis arrested on Hogshooter and one Bobtail (the latter is the brother of Charley Bobtail, now in jail at this place) for complicity in the murder of Deputy Dan Maples. He also arrested Kate Terrell, Alice Bell and Amanda Walker for introducing and selling whiskey in Indian Country. It was a lively day for Tahlequah."

"Deputy John Curtis got in Monday with W.B. Bishop, who is charged with introducing and selling whiskey. He gave bond for his appearance at court and was released."
FORT SMITH ELEVATOR, December 2, 1887.

PARISH, John, Indian Bootlegger, Outlaw - One of the two accused of the killing of U. S. Deputy Marshal Dan Maples, arrested by Deputy JOHN CURTIS

"Deputy John Curtis was in charge of the preliminary investigation into Maples' murder",
"Heck Thomas: Frontier Marshal", Glenn Shirley, author

"Deputy John Curtis brought Charley Bobtail in (to that city) for the murder of Dan Maples"
Fayetteville Gazette, Fayetteville, Arkansas, May, 1887 issue

"Charley Bobtail, who is accused of killing Marshal Maples, at this place (Tahlequah) on the night of this month, was arrested by Deputy Marshals last week, and carried to Bentonville, Arkansas, from which place he will be taken to Ft. Smith for trial."
Cherokee Advocate, Tahlequah, IT, May 18, 1887


References for information:
"The Killing of Ned Christie", Bonnie Speer
"Old West Magazine", Vol. 62, Page 16
"Heck Thomas: Frontier Marshal", Glenn Shirley
"Fayetteville Gazette", May 1887 Issue, Fayetteville, Arkansas
"Cherokee Advocate", May 18, 1887
"Lawmen and Outlaws - Oklahoma and Indian Territory",

Fort Smith National Historic Site:
"Payment to the U.S. Deputy Marshals"
"The Men Who Rode for Parker", Deputy U.S. Marshals
and the Federal Court Period in Fort Smith
Author: Eric Leonard,
"JUSTICE Judge Parker Style", by Dr. Joe D. Haines, Jr.

"Fort Smith Elevator", Fort Smith, Arkansas, May 13, 1887, May 20, 1887
July 8, 1887, December 2, 1887

John Curtis in the middle with two unidentified men.
Someone had suggested the man on the left might be Dan Maples but that information is unsubstantiated.

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