Lawman and the Land Rush

Bill Tilghman (1854-1924) Holding A Winchester Rifle

Bill Tilghman made his mark with the boomers and sooners.

Bill Tilghman is famed as a lawman of the Oklahoma and Indian territories. But he was also a settler and homesteader. During the land rush of 1889, Tilghman claimed land in the new town of Guthrie, building a store that he used to finance other acquisitions.

In the 1891 rush, Tilghman staked out a ranch. It was only after that he became a deputy US marshal. But he took advantage of one more land rush, this one in 1893. A new town, Perry arose from the dust—and Bill Tilghman was hired as its first marshal.

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