Notorious outlaws in pre-state Oklahoma through the 1950s are the subject of an exhibition soon to be shown at the Catoosa Historical Society Museum.
Wanted: Dead or Alive features photographic footage of some of Oklahoma’s most infamous criminals. While there may be a few familiar names, such as the Doolin and Dalton and Ma Barker gangs, the exhibit features stories that might not be so well known.
Visitors will learn about the Whiskey Towns, Tulsa Central Park Gang, Spencer State Bank, Wanda Bartram, Ralph Roe and many more. Many of those featured were born and raised in Oklahoma or moved here and started their lives in crime.
The exhibit is scheduled for the Catoosa Historical Museum from June 7 to August 9, 2021. The museum, located at 217 South Cherokee Street in Catoosa, will be open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (except July 3) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is free.
“Sometimes the stories are not so much about the place as it is about the individual,” said Teresa McAfee-O’Donnell, president of the Catoosa Historical Society, which sponsors the exhibit. “While many stories feature despicable characters, others are about people whose lives have been temporarily lost.”
Some of the tales include weird twists and there’s even an unsolved mystery.
The exhibit was developed by the Oklahoma Historical Society incorporating images from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the University of Oklahoma Western History Collection, the National Archives, and the Oklahoma Historical Society.