Exploring USA one town at a time: Marlow, OK #41

Marlow is a city in Stephens County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 4,662 at the 2010 census.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 km2), of which 7.1 square miles (18 km2) is land and 0.14% is water.

The Marlow Public School District services the City of Marlow. Marlow High School is located near the center of town, and Marlow Elementary School and Marlow Middle School are also in town.

Marlow, Oklahoma, USA, 28 February 2023

History of Marlow, OK

Born along the Chisholm Trail and on the banks of Wild Horse Creek, the legend of the Marlow family and the five Marlow brothers has been proven to be more fact than fiction.

Dr. Williamson Marlow and his wife, Martha Jane, a relative of Daniel Boone, first established a homestead in this area during the early 1880s. The site of the original Marlow family home is reported to have been located just north of Redbud Park.

Somewhat of a nomad by nature, Dr. Marlow provided medical treatment to the many settlers in this portion of Indian Territory and many cowboys driving cattle up the Chisholm Trail. He also farmed while his sons reportedly herded horses, selling many animals to the U.S. Army at neighboring Ft. Sill. Dr. Marlow died in 1885.

In 1888, his five sons were accused of horse stealing, a later proven unfounded charge. Four brothers (Charlie, Alfred, Boone, and Lewellyn) were arrested and transported by a U.S. Deputy Marshall to the Federal Court in Graham, Texas, for trial.

Hearing of this brother’s arrest, George Marlow took the entire family to Graham to clear his brothers but soon found himself behind bars.

Boone Marlow ultimately escaped and returned to the Marlow area in Indian Territory, while his four brothers were scheduled to be transported to an ostensibly safer jail in Weatherford, Texas.

Graham citizens and law enforcement officials made several attempts to lynch the Marlows. On the night of January 19, 1889, the brothers were shackled in pairs—George to Lewellyn and Charlie to Alfred—for the trip to Weatherford.

When the group reached Dry Creek outside of Graham, a signal was given, and a hidden mob opened fire on the seemingly defenseless Marlows.

The guards ran to join the mob while the brothers leaped from the wagon and armed themselves with guns taken from the guards. In the vicious gunfight that followed, Lewellyn and Alfred were killed. Both George and Charlie were seriously wounded.

Retrieving a dead mob member’s knife, George Marlow unjointed his dead brother’s ankles. He and Charlie used a wagon to escape the ambush site.

Three mob members were also killed, and several others were wounded. Several members of the mob were later prosecuted and convicted for the assault upon the brothers.

Boone was later poisoned near Hell Creek, west of Marlow. His corpse was then shot in an attempt to obtain a $1,500 reward, but his killers, too, were brought to trial.

Alfred, Boone, and Lewellyn are buried in a small cemetery outside of Graham in what was once Finis, Texas.

George and Charlie Marlow survived the attack, eventually moving their families to Colorado, where they became outstanding citizens, serving as law enforcement officers.

In 1891, after sentencing mob members for their part in the attack, Federal Judge A. P. McCormick said: “This is the first time in the annals of history where unarmed prisoners, shackled together, ever repelled a mob. Such cool courage that preferred to fight against such great odds and die, if at all, in glorious battle rather than die ignominiously by a frenzied mob deserves to be commemorated in song and story.”

Entertainment in Marlow, OK

Redbud Park, located in the eastern part of the town, includes; the Hideout (a large playground), a trail through the park, a stage for concerts, and the Outlaw cave (the cave where the Marlows often hid out).

The Life Center is a church-funded recreational center that includes a basketball court, a walking track, and several rooms that can be rented.

Miller Park in the western part of the town includes the public pool, Miller Pond, and the Mile trail.

Main Street Shops & Restaurants.

“Stop dreaming about your bucket list and start living it.” ~Annette White

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