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June 3, 1997

Judge E. W. Jones was a newspaper editor, attorney, historian and a pretty fair country baseball player who had personal knowledge of Perry at the time of the September 16, 1893, Cherokee Strip land run. He had a fine sense of the significance of events during that time and he cared enough to record many items of interest for posterity in his weekly newspaper, The Perry Republican. Other stories by Judge Jones are contained in a short history of Perry which he authored. We started this account of Perry's early days by Judge Jones in the previous Northwest Corner, and now here's the rest of the story just as he wrote in for his newspaper on February 8, 1912:

"Northeast Perry was homesteaded by 'Billy' McCoy, one of the clerks in the local land office. His contest was short lived, however, the claimants getting rid of him in a few months. Billy was a Milwaukee product and after the boom days of the town subsided he went back to take his old place on the police force which he had resigned to come to Perry.

"John Malone, brother of the register of the land office, was the contestee of Northwest Perry. The settlers defeated him in his fight, which was shortly followed by his becoming insane. He was taken to Jacksonville, Illinois, and committed to the asylum, which then took care of our insane, where later he died.

"The contest over West Perry was a battle royal. Henry Bowie, one of the real characters of the early days, filed his homestead entry on the quarter section and against him were a thousand town lot claimants. Bowie had come here from Texas. He was a direct descendant from the illustrious defender of the Alamo. The contest for West Perry continued for several years but Bowie lost and like Henry Linn, down and out, wended his way back to his old home in Texas.

"South Perry was the battlefield where various and sundry characters made their mark in early day history. Chas. E. (Doc) Reed, a veterinarian and practical horseman; Chas. (Buffalo) Jones, pioneer and plainsman, later game warden of the Yellowstone park, a friend of President (Theodore) Roosevelt and breeder of the catalo, a cross of the domestic cow and the buffalo; John McClintic, now in business in Oklahoma City; 'Jack' Combs, soldier of fortune, who died a few years ago in Kiowa county; all were contestants for the homestead right while against them were arrayed hundreds of settlers seeking town lot titles.

"This was the last of the townsite additions to be adjudicated and resulted in Doc Reed winning against all claimants, the first time in the history of land openings of a homesteader winning against the settlers.

"Reed obtained a deed for the land and later transferred it to Thomas H. Doyle and it is now known as the 'Doyle Addition.' Reed, was a reckless fellow, of not too pleasant disposition when sober, which was with him periodically, and he had but few friends at the finish of his local career, realizing comparatively nothing after having his claim to the land recognized.

"The story of the 'run' made by himself and ‘Buffalo’ Jones as recited in the records of the land office, would make several chapters of the spectacular history of Perry. Their relays, change of horses and breakneck speed, demoniacal riding and driving coming from Orlando over the rough country makes a story of dime novel interest."

Thus ended this installment of Judge Jones' interesting account of the homesteader battles inside the city limits of Perry. We are all indebted to the old Judge for his careful chronicle of that exciting period in the life of our placid little community.