Monday, November 4, 2013

Crowdsourcing Results: Louis B. Powell Attacked in Drumright, Oklahoma

Last week, in CrowdSourcing Opportunity: When and Where did John Louis Powell Die? (posted 29 October 2013), I described the question raised by my friend, John, about his grandfather's death date and death place.  I found a 1920 U.S. census record (with his mother and three sisters) and a 1930 U.S. census record for him (with his wife and three children), and a possible Find A Grave memorial page.  I was unsure that the memorial was him because it didn't jibe with my friend John's photograph which purported to show John as a young child with his grandfather after 1941.  

In my post, I asked my readers to provide suggestions for further research after my two hour foray into online records.  Several did, and you can read them in the comments to my blog post.  

One commenter, Luin, saw my blog post on Tuesday and went to the Oklahoma History Library on Thursday and found three articles about Louis B. Powell's demise within one hour.  She has sent them to me as digital images, and I want to unfold the story in two parts, one at a time.  

Here is the first article, from The Daily Derrick [Drumright, Oklahoma] newspaper, dated 8 October 1935, on the front page, column 2:

The transcription of the Powell article is:


"Louis B. Powell, 33, Farmer, to Hospital with "50-50" Chance of Recovery

"Lon Hulsey, 42, of Drumright is being held in jail and Louis B. Powell, who lvies in the Olive community and gives his occupation as that of a farmer, is in a hospital with a fractured skull as the result of an altercation in which Hulsey is alleged to have chopped Powell in the head three times with a small ax.

"Officers investigating the case said the fight took place at the home of Ollie Mitchell Brannon, who lives on east Second street between Virginia and Kentucky avenue.  The men are alleged to have fought over Hulsey's wife.

"Hulsey was said by police to have found his wife in company with Powell at the Brannon home.  The fight ensued.  Hulsey has made no statement relative to the fight other than saying "He run at me and I hit him."  Officers were told by witnesses however, that Hulsey struck Powell with a small ax or hatchet.  The injuries on Powell's head substantiated that statement.

"Mrs. Hulsey is suing her husband for divorce.  She has not maintained a separate residence, however, from her husband, but has lived with him at the home of John Baxter, corner of Federal street and Virginia avenue.  The case is now pending in court.  Mrs. Hulsey is said to have become acquainted with Powell while her husband was in the county jail at Sapulpa on whiskey charges.

"The physician attending Powell said that the man had a "fifty-fifty" chance of recovery.  Powell is a well built man who stands about 5 feet 10 inches and weighs approximately 195 pounds.  He is said to be separated from his wife and the father of two children.  He has been making his home of late with his widowed mother, Mrs. Icis Powell, in the Olive community.

"Officers say that Powell has "caused quite a bit of trouble" the last few months.  He is at present under a stay bond from both county court and city court here for drunkeness and drunken driving.  He was taken to the hospital here by Mrs. Hulsey and Tommy Tucker.  Hulsey was arrested by police at the Baxter place.

"The injuries sustained by Powell are to the back of the head and appears as though they might have been inflicted as he ran toward Hulsey in a ducking position.  Two of the blows were seemingly struck with the sharp edge of the ax and the third blow with the blunt edge of the instrument.

"Officers are awaiting the outcome of Powell's injuries to thoroughly investigate the case and were not sure Tuesday whether Hulsey took the ax with him or obtained it at the Brannan place.  Powell's mother has not indicated whether or not she will press charges if her son survives.  Mrs. Hulsey and Mrs. Brannan were witnesses of the fight.

"Powell is said to have spent several years of his life as a professional wrestler.  He also is said to have lived in the Schlegal community at one time and to have discovered his ability as a wrestler while in school there.  He has been known to officers here the last three months.

"Hulsey is also reported to have struck Mrs. Hulsey across the head with the broadside of the ax during the melee."

This story is fascinating in so many ways.  John was told by his mother that his grandfather was attached or murdered, and this article bears that out if this is actually John's grandfather.

It is almost certain (to me, at least) that the Louis B. Powell of the article is the Louis B. Powell of the 1920 U.S. Census, 1930 U.S. Census and the Find A Grave memorial.  This article names his mother as Icis Powell ( had indexed it as Jeis Powell in the 1920 census, and my later reading was perhaps Iris Powell).  

The next post in this series will provide two articles that describe what happened after 8 October 1935 regarding Louis B. Powell.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Cousin Russ said...


A couple of interesting items in that newspaper article.

"He is aid to be separated from his wife and the father of two children."

Should be three children, right?

May be other Court Records as "... He is at present under a stay bond for both county court and city court"

And this is really interesting "as a professional wrestler". I think I remember seeing "Powell" show up in some sports related newspaper articles. May have to go back and look.