Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History
Project for Oklahoma
Date: February 14, 1938
Name: Larkin V. Merimon
Residence Address: Route 2, Blanchard Oklahoma
Place of Birth: Adams County, Illinois
Field Workers Name Robert H. Boatman
An Interview with Mr. Larkin V. Merimon
I was born July 23, 1871 In Arkansas and
came to the Territory at an early date, settling in the Chickasaw Nation at
what was know as "Old Darty".
At the time horse thieves and outlaws were
very numerous throughout the central and southern parts of the Territory and
many good horses were stolen and run into Texas, where they were rebranded and
sold or taken on across the border into Mexico.
It came to the attention of the
law-abiding settlers that they must, in order to protect there welfare, both
present and future, blot from existence this organization of law resisting
Thus in order to assure themselves of
protection against such invasions the Anti-Horse Thief Association was
organized with headquarters at Ardmore. There were branch offices. Anywhere
from twenty-five to fifty miles each direction that worked in cooperation with
the original headquarters. The aim of this organization was to do away with
horse thieving; they had special riders to hunt for stolen goods.
In order to join the group $1.00 was
required as membership fee and an assessment of .50 cents per month; this
money was used to pay the salaries of the hired riders. Each rider was pledged
to his duties and promised to cooperate to the best advantage of the
I became a rider for the association
located at Darty and rode and worked for this association for two years. This
association adopted a brand (U.S. branded on the hoof at the edge of the hair
on the right foot) and every member of the association had this brand on their
As a rider for the organization I was
given the right to carry a gun and there was no limited distance as to hunting
for stolen stock. When stock was stolen in one district, its riders notified
other riders of other post by postal cards or letters so they would be on the
lookout for the thieves.
I was sometimes absent from my post for
two weeks, meanwhile riding a hundred miles looking for stolen stock. I was
given written authority to investigate any suspicious goods. On finding a
group of horses about which there was doubt I showed the supposed owner my
written authority and investigated the stock. If they had the U.S. brand on
them the man in possession of such stock was asked to account for them. If he
produced proof satisfactorily that they were honestly his it was all right;
other wise the rider took over the horses and notified the owner of the stolen
stock and a Federal Man. If the owner identified the horses as his the officer
escorted the thief to jail where he was tried of horse thievery.
The office of Darty was once notified that
a team of bay horses had been stolen from near Lexington and were on route to
Sherman, Texas. I being an experienced rider, took up the supposed trail of
the horse thief and after two or three days riding, came upon a man with two
horses near the Red River. Upon demand of explanation of his possession the
man turned the horses over to me, claiming he had picked them up as strays. I
delivered the horses to the bar-o-bar (-o-) ranch near Madill, which was owned
by John WATSON and the owner recovered his horses from this ranch after paying
a fee of $20.00 for same to me.
This association continued in existence
for several years and was one of the most helpful organizations known in
regard to combating outlawry and horse thievery in Indian Territory. I fully
believe this has been one of the most important factors in the up building and
modeling of our present respect for law-abiding citizenship.
Submitted to OKGenWeb by Jason Allen
firstname.lastname@example.org, nephew of Larkin Merimon, December 2000.