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Henry Masoner Gang
Submitted by:  Sandra Stephens

The following information was found in THE INDIAN PIONEER HISTORY COLLECTION, a collection of questionnaires sent out during 1937 as a WPA project.

"The Henry Masoner gang, which operated around Allen and Holdenville, stopped at a ranch near Ada and asked for something to eat. While the woman was getting something for their meal, they plundered the ranch. Before they left she recognized her husband's spurs on one of the men. Her husband when he learned of it got together a group of ranchers and came after the gang. They stopped at our ranch and wanted a guide to a ranch northeast of what is now Allen. Eli Pickens, whom I stayed with, said that an Indian named Sid Nelson could go with them. I begged to go instead. This was allowed on condition that I return when I got in sight of the ranch.

The Marshall and a posse had just passed on when we saw someone passing our ranch. I rode out to meet them. It was part of the gang the Marshall was after. One of them had a toe shot off, but when I questioned them they said he had just hurt it on a rock or something. They asked if I had seen the Marshall and I said no."

Another interview with A.N. Boatman was in Vol 104, p 104, continuing the Henry Masoner story:

"A federal court had been established in what is known as the Sandyland District at Paul's Valley. Another such court was at Ardmore.

After the posse had fought it out with the Henry Masoner gang between Allen and Holdenville, they were returning with two or three of its members when they passed by our ranch.

The rest of the members of the gang followed the posse back and if they had caught up with them there would have been another fight. The gang wished to release the members that had been captured.

The two or three outlaws arrested by this posse were taken to Paul's Valley for trial."

Although no time frame is mentioned in the interview, Masoner family members have deduced that it must have been between 1880 and 1885. We are interested in finding more information about this gang and its members. If you have additional information please e-mail Sandra Stephens

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