JOSEPH C. MILLER, SON OF GEORGE W. MILLER
CHARGED WITH PASSING COUNTERFEIT MONEY.
[Note: The following information was gathered by Janel Hutchinson of Arkansas City.]
Articles that appeared in the following newspaper:
TIMES-RECORD, Blackwell, Oklahoma, December 19, 1895. Page 7.
Article No. 1:
JOE MILLER IN TROUBLE.
Under Arrest at New Orleans Charged With Passing Counterfeit Money.
The following telegram came like a thunderbolt in a clear sky Sunday afternoon late, addressed to the mayor and chief of police:
Washington, D. C., Dec. 15.
Mayor and Chief of Police, Winfield, Kansas:
J. C. Miller, alias Houghton, son of G. W. Miller of your city, is now under arrest at New Orleans along with B. M. Davidson, alias Darby, for attempting to pass and having in possession large number of counterfeit five dollar silver certificates. If you have any information or reason to believe father of Miller is implicated, is my desire that you take necessary steps under section 5430 revised statutes, to get the plates and outfit. Miller has endeavored to wire to his father as follows: “Come here immediately; don’t fail. I am arrested; serious charge. Answer quick.” By this, quick action on part of authorities is necessary. Keep me advised.
WM. P. HAZEN, Chief Secret Service.
Acting Mayor Myton received the telegram and referred the matter to United States Commissioner L. H. Webb, who wired back for further instruction as to authority for issuing a warrant. Another telegram was received about 3 o’clock, referring Mr. Webb to certain statutes under which to act, but after an examination of the statutes, he decided the authority was insufficient without an affidavit and he refused to issue the warrant without safer grounds upon which to do so. Another telegram was immediately sent Mr. Hazen to that effect, but up to going to press no answer has been received.
A reporter called at G. W. Miller’s office on West Ninth avenue this afternoon, but his office was locked. He then went to Mr. Miller’s residence on the same street, but received no answer to his summons. Mr. Miller is in the city, however, and it is understood is acquainted with the contents of the telegram. He gave the officers permission to search his premises with or without a warrant and offered to assist in any way he could.
J. C. Miller is well known in this city and his friends here hope there is some horrid mistake from which he will speedily extricate himself.–Winfield Courier.
The above item will doubtless prove a great surprise to the citizens of Blackwell, and vicinity, as J. C. Miller was president of the Farmers & Merchants bank, of this city, that failed a few weeks ago. It hardly seems creditable, yet there are greater surprises encountered every day in life. It is said, however, that a warrant had been issued for Joe Miller for his connection with the bank, criminal action having been commenced against him in this county, but it appears from the above, owing to the fact that he has been arrested by the government officials, that he has not been arrested for his alleged fraudulent bank transactions, but for the serious charge of making and circulating counterfeit money.
TIMES-RECORD, Blackwell, Oklahoma, December 19, 1895. Page 7.
Article No. 2:
A MONUMENTAL LIAR.
Anninias Unbosoms Himself To An Arkansas City Reporter.
“A gentleman who has just returned from Blackwell tells a doleful story of the condition of things there. He says that the hard times being experienced in the strip seems to have concentrated at that place and has wrought dire havoc in all classes of business. Tuesday five of the leading business houses there were closed: W. W. Stephenson’s large general store, Mr. Evans’ grocery stock, the Winfield Hardware company, and the two lumber yards. Since the bank failure fully a dozen business firms have failed and all that is left of the town is a little kaffir corn and a few boards on end. The businessmen were stockholders in the busted bank and the creditors have jumped on their stocks with attachments. Business there is none, money scarcer yet. This is a highly drawn picture, but the gentleman affirms that it is substantially correct.”
The above lie appeared in a recent issue of the Arkansas City Daily Reporter. Possibly it was the creation of the imaginative brain of a fake reporter. In the first place no gentleman ever made the assertions contained in the above article, as they are rank lies from beginning to end, and if told at all to the reporter they were told by some disreputable liar who never did nor never will have any right, title, or color of claim to the position of a gentleman. It is very surprising that the Daily Reporter would permit itself to be so grossly imposed upon, when a moments investigation by telephone would have proven the falsity of the report. This town was a least entitled to that much respect and consideration, especially when the fact is remembered that the merchants of this place have transacted thousands of dollars worth of business with the wholesale houses of Arkansas City. But this latter fact seems to have cut no figure with the Daily Reporter, but it will evidently cut a figure in the business relations that have heretofore existed between Blackwell and Arkansas City.
Taking into consideration the size, there isn’t a town in the Cherokee Strip that does more business than Blackwell. She is situated in the heart of the garden spot of the world, and has had but one business failure, and that was the Farmers & Merchants bank. Growing out of this failure were some attachment suits against some of the stockholders of the bank, which have resulted in temporarily closing three business houses, one of which however has already opened up and resumed business, and the other two doubtless will do so as soon as the necessary preliminary steps can be taken. These merchants whose stores were temporarily closed, are men who have never failed to discount their bills, and have been doing a big paying business up to the time the attachments were run. Remember these attachments were not run for amounts due upon the stocks of goods they were carrying, but were run against them as directors of defunct bank, and should the court declare them individually responsible for the bank’s liabilities, they could pay them without materially affecting their standing.
As to the lumber yards being closed, that is another lie. They never have been closed or molested in any manner, and judging from the vast amount of business they are doing, there is no likelihood of such a fate ever befalling them.
The Reporter concludes its article by saying “this is a highly drawn picture, but the gentleman affirms that it is substantially correct.” Evidently it took an affirmation from the “gentleman” to back up his assertion, but if the Daily Reporter has any regards for the friendly business relations that have heretofore existed between Blackwell and Arkansas City, it will make public the name of its informant in order that the citizens of both places may know who the monumental liar is.
The following is another article uncovered by Janel Hutchinson re Joe Miller.
A FEMALE COUNTERFEITER.
She is Pursued into Kay County and Captured.
Times Record, (Blackwell, Oklahoma), December 26, 1895.
A young woman named Mary Smith was arrested in this county, last week, at the home of a family named Hughes on the charge of counterfeiting. A few days prior to her arrest she arrived at Arkansas City, from somewhere in the southeastern part of Kansas, procured a livery rig, and was driven to the claim of a Mr. Hughes, in this county. She had been there but a few days however, when an officer followed her, placed her under arrest, and took her back to where she came from.
From the meager facts learned, it seems she had formerly been engaged teaching school in southwestern Missouri, and while so engaged, formed the acquaintance of an outlaw from the Indian Territory named Huffman. As Desdemonia became enraptured with Othello for the deeds of daring he related to her, this little Missouri school teacher became enraptured with the bold outlaw of the Indian country, and she forsook school, friends, and all to become his mistress. It is often said there is honor, even among thieves, but in the particular band of robbers and thieves, of which Huffman was a member, apparently honor was an unknown quantity. There was another gay and dashing robber in the gang who looked upon Mary’s charms in a loverlike way, regardless of Huffman’s prior claim thereto. Mary became smitten with the new robber lover, and giving Huffman the cold shake, ran off with him.
Such actions upon the part of Mary and her new outlaw lover aroused the ire of Huffman, and arming himself with a whole arsenal, he swore dire vengeance upon lover number two, and started upon his trail with the determination of perforating the aforesaid gay Lothario’s body with sundry and divers bullet holes.
Week before last the two rivals met in a joint at Caney, Kansas, and when the smoke cleared away both men were lying bleeding upon the floor, with an empty six-shooter in each hand. They were placed under arrest and physicians summoned to attend them. An examination revealed the fact that they were both pretty thoroughly shot up, but their wounds are not necessarily fatal.
By telling each that the other had confessed, a confession was drawn out of each, in which the fact was disclosed that they were members of a counterfeiting band, and that Mary Smith, the ex-Missouri school teacher, was the person relied upon to get the money into circulation. In the meantime, Mary had decamped, but officers were upon her trail and located her here in Kay County.
Whether the counterfeit money Joe Miller was arrested at New Orleans for circulating was obtained from this gang, isn’t known, but the denominations are the same, as are also the series. This much is known however: the government within the past two weeks has located and seized $91,000 of this spurious money, having captured $12,000 of it at Paola, Kansas, while George W. Dice, the man arrested at Kansas City the other day for passing counterfeit money, formerly lived at Winfield, Kansas, and at one time was in the employ of Joe Miller.
Kildare Journal, April 10, 1896.
Sheriff Masters has gone to New Orleans to secure Joe Miller, who is under indictment at Newkirk for wrecking the Blackwell Bank.
Kildare Journal, April 10, 1896.
It is reported that Joe Miller, formerly of Blackwell, has been acquitted on the charge of counterfeiting at New Orleans.
Kildare Journal, April 24, 1896.
Sheriff Masters has returned from New Orleans bringing with him Joe Miller, who gave bond for his appearance at the next term of district court. During the four months Mr. Miller was in jail at New Orleans, his wife visited the jail each day and remained several hours.
Kildare Journal, May 8, 1896.
The probate court at Newkirk was engaged the last week in the trial of cases growing out of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Blackwell, which went into voluntary liquidation last October. Great interest has been manifested by the citizens of Blackwell for the reason that several prominent men there were charged with being directors (Joe Miller), and under the laws of the territory, directors are liable for the losses by depositors after the bank is insolvent. But the evidence did not sustain the charge, and the court sustained a demurrer.
Next item found on microfilm at the Arkansas City Public Library. MAW
J. C. MILLER, SON OF G. W. MILLER.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Wednesday, December 23, 1896.
A telegram from New Orleans says: “J. C. Miller, son of G. W. Miller, an extensive cattle raiser of Winfield, Kansas, was yesterday convicted in the United States circuit court here of having counterfeited coins and attempting to pass them. His associate, B. A. Davidson, was also convicted. The case has been in the courts here for over a year, and was one of the most noted ever occurring in this circuit.”
[Note: An earlier news item referred to Miller’s associate as “B. M. Davidson.”]