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By Michael King

In most of the county-seat wars the fighting, that is the real killing, commenced before, at, or immediately after, the alleged election, but in the case of Gray County the bloody finale was postponed for more than a year. There was a growing disposition to depend more on courts to settle the controversies and rather less on guns in the hands of hired killers. So the tragedy was delayed while motions for rehearings were filed and argued. In this case, Cimarron had the advantage of possession; the docket of the Supreme Court was crowded with more business than the three judges could dispose of promptly, and Cimarron was taking advantage of this delay. Meantime, the Ingall's crowd had captured most of the county offices, among them the coveted office of sheriff, and the bolder spirits decided that it was time to quit fooling with their rival and take the law in their own hands. This is the story of an attempt to remove the remaining records from the Cimarron county clerks office on the morning of January 12, 1889.


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