OKLAHOMA: For an Old Debt

As a landholder and lawyer 42 years ago, ferocious, bull-voiced "Alfalfa Bill" Murray presided at the birth of the State of Oklahoma.

It was a hard birth. At the constitutional convention there were fights over county boundaries, dire threats against Alfalfa Bill. Afraid that the Republican governor of the Oklahoma territory would tamper with the new state's constitution, Bill-walked off with the original document in his pocket. To guard Murray and his papers friends formed a brigade of 5,000 citizens, dubbed themselves the Squirrel Rifles. Everyone said the brigade was a joke, but it was a joke with a point. No...

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