IOOF SONORA Lodge #10 and Cemetery

California Cemeteries, California Historic Places, IOOF

Stories From The Grave

George Newcomb  


Final Resting Place Row 5, Plot 78 


When the "Adopt A Grave" article came out in the April 16th, 2014 Union Democrat, J.R. O'Hara thought that this might be something he would like to get involved in since he doesn't like alarm clocks and likes to work at his own pace!


Prior to the May 3rd Adopt A Grave "Work Day" he and his wife, Carolyn, paid a visit to the IOOF Cemetery to see if there were any O’Hara’s buried there, unfortunately there weren't. One headstone did jump out at J.R., who is a Western History buff. The headstone belonged to a "George Newcomb". O'Hara was familiar with the Newcomb name. It belonged to an outlaw around the "Cherokee Strip" who began his career in 1891 with the "Dalton Gang". His name was George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb.

Our George Newcomb died in 1877 when "Bitter Creek" was only eleven years old. O'Hara thought there must be a connection. He was able to contact a "Donald Newcomb" who is related our "George Newcomb.  Believe it or not the George Newcomb buried in the IOOF cemetery is a distant cousin of the infamous outlaw! Bitter Creek was buried west of Norman, Oklahoma at Ten Mile Flat, but his grave has since been washed away by the Cimarron River.


About "Bitter Creek"

The outlaw George "Bittercreek" Newcomb was born Alfred Hue D. Newcomb on May 2, 1866 in Fort Scott, Kansas. After spending his early years as a cowboy (see attached letter he wrote on ) he became an outlaw. He was fond of saying "I'm a wild wolf from Bitter Creek, and it's my night to howl". Hence the "Bitter Creek" in his name. Also, who ever heard of a bad guy named "Alfred"! So he changed his name to "George"!



Some of the outlaws exploits include;


  • A train robbery on July 15th, 1892 at Adair, Oklahoma with the "Daltons."


  • Jan.20, 1893 near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, along with Jesse Jackson, they were involved in a gunfight with lawmen. Newcomb and Starr escaped.


  • Sept. 1, 1893 Newcomb and "The Doolin Gang" were involved in the "Battle of Ingalls" Oklahoma. Several outlaws and lawmen traded shots and Newcomb was wounded in the leg and fled into a stand of timber.


  • April 1, 1894, in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma Bitter Creek and Bill Dalton tried to rob a store owned by a retired sheriff. A shootout ensued, the lawman was seriously wounded and the outlaws fled empty handed.


  • Spring, 1895 near Dover, Oklahoma....having just robbed a train "The Doolin Gang" was involved in a shootout with a posse. Newcomb escaped, unscathed!


  • On May 2, 1895 Dunn Ranch of the Cimarron River, Oklahoma "Bitter Creek's" luck runs out...Newcomb and Charley Pierce went to the ranch to see Newcomb's sweetheart, "Rosa Dunn," also known as "the Rose of the Cimarron" and to collect $800 from the "Dunn Brothers." There was a $5,000 reward for Newcomb and when they halted in front of Rosa's house they were shot to death for the reward.




If only these graves could talk....what stories they could tell.


Thank you J.R.O'Hara for providing this information!

 

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