Bud Ballew: Legendary Oklahoma Lawman (Nonfiction)

Elmer D. McInnes and Lauretta Ritchie-McInnes, Globe Pequot, $16.95, Softcover.
Elmer D. McInnes and Lauretta Ritchie-McInnes, Globe Pequot, $16.95, Softcover.

Deputy Sheriff Bud Ballew’s district near Ardmore, Oklahoma, in the first two decades of the 20th century bristled with restless oil boomtowns. Shootings regularly erupted in the area, but Ballew met the shootists head-on with his own violent and unruly personality. He played for keeps, putting seven opponents in their graves before he met his own death during a wild gunfight in 1922. He was rough around the edges but, like many of the peace officers of the past, he was more good than bad, and his reputation remained intact. The authors have obviously done extensive research (with 60 pages of notes) to bring us this well written, action-filled biography. Everyone interested in outlaw history should read it, especially if you’re an Okie.

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