The Bad Boys of the Cookson Hills

The Bad Boys of the Cookson Hills

by R. D. Morgan


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The story contained in these pages is a detailed description of a vicious crime and the eighteen-month long manhunt to track down the criminals involved. It details the history and crimes of a loose-knit gang of bold outlaws originally known as the Cookson Hills Gang, then the Ford Bradshaw Gang and finally the Underhill-Bradshaw Gang whose members blazed a path of robbery and murder through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas in 1932-34. It also chronicles the efforts and sacrifices of a handful of brave lawmen that tracked them down.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781581070590
Publisher: New Forums Press
Publication date: 01/06/2002
Series: Oklahoma Legacies Series
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

R. D. Morgan is a native of the frozen cornfields of the north. He shook the ice off his nose and joined the US Army immediately after graduating from high school, serving as a Military Police officer. After his military career, he worked several years for the federal government as an electrician in Arkansas and Missouri. Two years ago, Morgan and his wife took an early retirement and moved to Oklahoma to pursue their passion of researching and photographing people, places, and stories pertaining to 1920s and '30s history. The author got a passion from listening to his Grandfather's tales about life and culture in the Midwest during the depression years. A year ago, the couple began writing a popular weekly column in the Haskell News on Oklahoma history. While doing research for their column, they discovered the story of the Cookson Hills gang. Realizing the story of neither the outlaws nor the lawmen's exploits had ever fully been told they tackled the job. This book is the result of that project. The Morgans are currently active members of Oklahombres, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Oklahoma lawmen and outlaw history. They have had their stories published in the Oklahombres Journal, Okmulgee Daily Times, and the quarterly journal of Three Rivers Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

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The Bad Boys of the Cookson Hills 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read for those history buffs that want to know the "other side" of the story. Could use a little better editing; grammar and spelling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well told story.I was raised in the Cookson Hills and this book follows the stories I heard from the old-timers since I was a child.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this book has some original material, it has not documentation to back up what the writer is discussing as true. The quality of photographs are poorly transposed on paper, which is probably the publishers fault. The author has no endnotes or footnotes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Author Ron Morgan has produced a wonderfully researched book that powerfully evokes the crime-ridden Depression era. Reads like a novel but it's all true and Morgan's unrelenting pursuit of truth deglamorizes the legendary Cookson Hills outlaws and downsizes them to human proportions. The emphasis here is on the "Cookson Hills gang," led in turn by "Kye" Carlisle and Ford Bradshaw, aided by the likes of Wilber Underhill, "the Tri-State Terror," and they come across not as Robin Hoods but as the brutal and psychotic thugs they were in real life. Lawmen, both good and bad, get equal treatment here and the ruthlessness of some of the bad ones is just as appalling. The manner in which Deputy Bill Harper dispatched Bradshaw is as cowardly and cold-blooded as the outlaw's own crimes. It's a gruesome story but a fascinating glimpse of Oklahoma history during one of our nation's bleakest periods.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, couldn't put the book down until finished. True story that reads like a novel.