July 1, 1896 Execution
On July 1, 1896 the five members of the Rufus Buck Gang were executed. In July of 1895, the gang embarked on a thirteen day crime spree. Leader Rufus Buck, a Euchee Indian, Lewis and Lucky Davis, Creek freedmen, and Sam Sampson and Maoma July, Creek Indians, all had previous criminal records. Within two weeks, they killed at least two people, including Deputy Marshal John Garrett, wounded several others, robbed anyone who crossed their path, and raped several women. They were finally apprehended after a seven hour shootout, and stood trial for the rape of Rosetta Hansen. Found guilty, they were the only men to hang in Fort Smith for rape. This was, quite possibly, the largest mass execution for rape in U.S. history.
Did You Know?
The only known image of Judge Parker in his courtroom is this one from the federal courthouse on Sixth Street which dates from the 1890s. There are no photographs of the courtroom located in the former military barracks.