Lawmen & Outlaws
 O. T. & I. T.

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Joe Davis Clippings
Submitted by: Mollie Stehno


The Oklahoma Leader
November 30, 1916

Purcell, Nov. 28-Joe Davis, his wife and three associates, were arrested here last night by United States deputy marshals and federal detectives on the charge of robbing a train at Bliss, October 18, and killing Percy Norman, a mail clerk. Davis it is alleged is the leader of a band of train robbers and outlaws who have been operating in a number of western states. He is wanted in Apache, Arizona for a bank robbery also.
The arrest at Purcell was the end of a ceaseless search of federal railroad and express officers through the southwest that began when a Santa Fe train was held up and Percy Norman, mail clerk, was murdered October 18, near Bliss. Officers have been trailing Davis and his wife for weeks, they assert, waiting for appearance of other alleged outlaws. Monday night Davis, his wife, Wells, Courtney and Brogan gathered in a boarding house at Purcell and officers swarmed in at supper time.
An effort will be made to have the prisoners transferred to the federal jail at Guthrie. They are now in the Muskogee jail.
The penalty for killing a mail clerk while on duty is death or life imprisonment. The federal authorities will take charge of the case in this instance.
Rumors are rife that a number of arrests will follow. It is said that several prominent men in northern Oklahoma will be placed under arrest. One of them being from Logan County, near the former State Capital.
If the case is transferred, it is more than likely that the trial will be held in January.

The Oklahoma Leader
December 7, 1916

Joe Davis Is Given Until December 8th to Put Up $25,000 For Appearance
Joe Davis alleged train robber and leader of the gang that murdered Mail Clerk Norman in the Bliss holdup last month, must furnish a $25,000 bond before Friday noon, or he will be turned over to the officers from Arizona, who are seeking to return him for trial there on a charge of complicity in a train robbery at Apache, Arizona, a year ago.
Momon Pruiett and Jean P. Day appeared before Judge Cotteral today as attorneys for Davis. They say the big bond will be made. The bond will hold Davis on the train robbery charges.

The Oklahoma Leader
December 7, 1916

Joe Davis, one of the men accused of assisting at the recent train robbery near Bliss, was in the federal court here this morning on the application of District Attorney John A. Fain, for a transfer to the jurisdiction of the federal court of Arizona. One of his attorneys was present and asked the court to delay the hearing until Wednesday morning in order that other counsel may be present, which was granted.
Davis is out on $10,000 on an appeal from the eastern district, where he was convicted and sentenced to two years and a fine of $500, for participation in the Katy train robbery two years ago. It is now claimed by the Arizona officers that he was implicated in a train hold up there last September, and it is to answer that indictment that his transfer is sought.
It is understood that his bondsmen are now trying to escape their liability on his former appeal bond by surrendering him to the Muskogee court, and in that way to hold him to answer for the Bliss robbery, and prevent his being tried in Arizona. At least that is the explanation the federal officers here have figured out.
The application for this transfer is raising several complications, involving just where Davis should be tried and on which of the three charges.
Davis was brought to Guthrie from Oklahoma City by Deputy Marshals D. P. Miller and J. A. Mulker, two of the officers who were members of the posse that arrest Davis and four others at Purcell some time ago.

The Oklahoma Leader
December 7, 1916

"Tip" From Pen
Information furnished a Northern Oklahoma sheriff by a man now doing time at McAlester on a bank robbery charge was the original crew on which the Federal agents worked and the names of other men implicated I the robbery are supposed to be known to the authorities at the present time. Arrests of the remainder of the gang of six are expected any time.

The Oklahoma Leader
December 7, 1916

After The Robbery
After the robbery of the Santa Fe train, in which the men secured noting valuable, the outlaws rode east on horses, crossed the Arkansas River almost due east of the scene of the robbery and then turned north to the Charley Creek country, southeast of the town of Kaw City. There they stayed, thinking they had eluded all pursuit, and really had, except a man out hunting discovered one of their horses. Once more the robbers were forced to flee, this time without their horses and other equipment. They broke up the gang then and each man started to a nearby town to look out for himself.
Officers say that Davis is wealthy. He furnished $10,000 in cash as an indemnity for the bond furnished on the first charge. His money is now in a Muskogee bank.
Davis is probably 20 hears old, tall and well built and has a happy disposition. He doesn't seem to be worrying much over his present predicament.
Judge Cotteral will decide Thursday as to whether he will be held for trial here or returned to Arizona.

The Oklahoma Leader
December 7, 1916

Joe Davis alleged leader of a train robber gang and apparently charged with the Bliss Santa Fe robbery in which Mail Clerk Percy Norman was killed, lost his fight in federal court here.
Yesterday he abandoned his effort to make $25,000 bond fixed by Judge Cotteral of the United States court. United States marshals started with him last night for Phoenix, Ariz., where he is under federal indictment.
Davis is charged in Arizona with conspiracy to obstruct the United States mails, and with assaulting a railway mail clerk. Both charges grew out of the robbery of a train on the El Paso 7 Southwestern railway, September 6.
Four other persons who were arrested with Davis at Purcell are being held for the grand jury that assembles here in January. It is thought they were implicated in the robbery of the Santa Fe train at Bliss October 18.

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