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George Thomas Love
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Birth: Sep. 2, 1879
Cleburne
Johnson County
Texas, USA
Death: Sep. 10, 1972
Ardmore
Carter County
Oklahoma, USA

George is the most notable and unforgettable of all my great-uncles. It has been my pleasure to help portray his life through various records.

George was very devoted to his family and came to their defense whenever a need arose. His protective nature and quick-temper caused him to get into serious trouble with the law on two occasions.
*****

George Thomas, the first of William "Bill" & Hettie Love's 14 children (names of only nine are known), was born in Cleburne, Johnson Co, TX on September 2, 1879, in the home of his grandmother, Mary (Thurman) Williams. His first name was in honor of his maternal grandfather, George Washington Williams; his second in honor of his paternal grandfather, Thomas Kendrick Love. He received what was commonly considered a good education in the late 1880's, finishing the eighth grade while growing up in TX; his parents lived in at least three different counties before moving to Indian Territory.

George was 15 years old in 1894 when his parents moved to I.T. following his grandmother, Mary, who had moved there two years earlier. His father considered buying land in what is now Oklahoma City; however, he didn't think it would ever be worth much. Instead, they rented farm land in Wilson where his father operated the local gin and general store. His father was in charge of the gin, while George managed the store and worked as postmaster of the post-office in their store.

On June 14, 1900,
George T., age 20, lived in Township 5, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory with his parents, William J. & Hettie J. Love, ages 46 & 37, where they were renting a home. His parents had been married 22 years; his mother had given birth to 13 children - 7 were living. George, his father & brothers all worked farming to help support the family. His siblings were Mose, age 19; Jack, 17; Samuel, 15; Elisha, 13; Rosie B., 10; & Robert L. 6. Two men were employed to help with the farming: Sidney Beesley, age 19, & Jake Mangus, 30.

Over the years it was rumored that the Loves were involved in bootlegging whiskey. The site of a large still operation was discovered near the property belonging to his father in 1902 (article shown on his father's memorial). Whether it belonged to them or someone else is unknown.

George's grandmother, Mary, moved to the south part of Ardmore. A short news article in the Admoreite reported that George and his brother, Mose, and sister, Belle, visited her the last day of April 1903.

George was 26 years old, still single, when an incident took place in the store that quickly made local news. He shot Tom Williams (unrelated), a man who worked at the gin. Two family versions of the incident have been passed down over the years. One account is that when Tom insisted on getting groceries on credit, George refused and shot him; the other is that George shot Tom, who was in the store harassing his pet dog. However, neither version is correct; the shooting did not take place in the family store. This is shown by the following newspaper accounts published in The Daily Ardmoreite unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, December 24, 1905
Tom Williams shot Down By Postmaster Love
Deceased Had Started to Interfere in a Difficulty Between Other Parties When Love Opened Fire, Shooting Him Twice.

Provence, I.T., Dec. 23 - (Special) - Tom Williams, a gin man at Wilson, was shot and fatally wounded at that place yesterday afternoon by George Love, postmaster at Wilson. The shooting occurred about sundown.

It is believed that Love's father and another party named Harris, had a difficulty about some stock getting into Harris' field, when George Love struck Harris with a revolver. Williams, who was a witness to the trouble, is said to have started to interfere when Love opened fire upon him, two shots taking effect, one in the thigh and the other in the abdomen. Love is said to have also fired three shots at Lando Bynum, a merchant at Wilson, in front of whose store the shooting occurred. Love was placed under arrest and carried to Ardmore, where he was placed in the Federal jail.

Williams died at 11 o'clock today of his injuries. He was a member of the I.O.O.F., which order will have charge of his funeral at Pleasant Mound Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Deputy Marshal Irby came in from Wilson this morning having to charge Geo. Love, charged with the killing of Tom Williams who was shot last night. The wounded man lingered until this morning, when he expired. It could not be ascertained whether or not the deceased made an ante-morten statement.

Love who it is alleged did the shooting is a young man apparently about 26 years of age. He is postmaster in the town of Wilson. The exact version of the shooting could not be learned. It seems, however, that Love's father was engaged in a fight when outsiders interfered. The dead man was employed at a gin near that place."


December 29, 1905
"The witnesses in the Williams murder case have all been subpoenaed and the examining trial will be held here Monday. George Love, the defendant in case is accused of shooting Tom Williams at Wilson on Friday last, from which effects Williams died Saturday morning. Defendant was postmaster of Wilson. Deceased was employed at a gin at that place. The shooting took place about sundown and there were a number of witnesses to the affair."

Tuesday, January 2, 1906
"Commissioner's Court
Geo. Love is on Trial Charged With Killing Tom Williams.
In the United States commissioner's court today, the case of Postmaster Geo. Love charged with killing Tom Williams is being tried. At the preliminary hearing this morning quite a number of witnesses were examined. It is remembered that Love shot and killed Williams at Wilson and it is alleged that the deed was done in self defense. Love bears an excellent reputation and has many friends in his section. He is postmaster at Wilson.

The case will probably consume the entire day. Commissioner Gullett of Tishomingo is presiding in the absence of Judge Robnett who is in Washington on a political mission. The government is represented in the trial by assistant Bunn, while Col. Stillwell H. Russell represents the defendants.

There are a large number of witnesses in the case and the trial is attracting attention because of the prominence of the parties."


Wednesday, January 3, 1906
"Love Remanded to Jail
In the United States Commissioner's court yesterday Postmaster George Love, charged with the killing of Tom Williams, a ginner, was remanded to jail by Commissioner Gullet without bail. There was a large number of witnesses examined and the case attracted considerable attention. Self-defense was alleged."


George was released on bond a few days later.
Monday, January 8, 1906 (in part)
"At the Jail
George Love has been released on bond."


George married Nettie F. Wilson in Ardmore, Carter Co, OK on Jan. 14, 1906. Over the years they would have nine children: Thelma, Jewell, Pearl, Howard W., Bertha, Dorothy, Claude Thomas, Frances, & Ted.

The murder case against him lasted a few years for various reasons.

Wednesday, February 17, 1909
"The George T. Love case, the McCoy murder case and the Bonner larceny case(s) are yet to be called this term of court."

February 22, 1909
"District Court
District court with Judge Russell on the bench will convene here tomorrow. Four important cases are to be tried but in two of them, the McCoy and the George T. Love cases, judge Russell is disqualified on account of having been employed as counsel. ... "


Friday, November 19, 1909
"Love Case Called.
Jury Was Secured Late This Afternoon - Both Sides ready.
The George T. Love murder case was called in district court this morning. Both sides answered ready for trial and the work of securing a jury took up the time of the court until 3 o'clock this afternoon."


Muldrow Press (Muldrow, OK)
Friday, December 3, 1909

" To Jury at Ardmore
The George T. Love case, which has been on trial for four days in the District Court at Ardmore, went to the jury last Monday afternoon. Love is charged with having killed Tom Williams at Wilson in the county before statehood. Judge George W. Clark, who has been holding court here for the past two weeks, will return to Oklahoma City Tuesday."


Although it was a serious event, the following newspaper article with news about George's conviction has a humorous aspect to it.

Tuesday, November 23, 1909
"Verdict of Jury
The George T. Love jury found the defendant guilty and assessed his punishment at two years in the penitentiary and a fine of $100. Judge Clark sat in chambers last night until after midnight to hear the report of the jury. At one o'clock he retired and left clerk Tom Gill to remain in the court until the jury came in at which time he was to be aroused and hear the verdict.

At four o'clock this morning the sleepy clerk was aroused. The jury had been at work all night and had a verdict. Judge Clark was gone and when the jury filed into court (neither) the defendant nor his attorneys were present. Love was out on bond and his whereabouts was unknown. The judge had the jury to seal the verdict and leave it with the clerk and it was opened and read in open court this morning."


Later he was "Paroled from the bench" for 2 years for Manslaughter.

On May 13, 1910,
George (shown as Louis G.) & his wife, Nettie, ages 31 & 23, lived in Wilson Township, Carter Co, OK with his parents, William J. & Hettie, ages 57 & 46, who were renting a farm. His parents had been married 31 years; his mother had given birth to 14 children - eight were living.

George & Nettie had been married 5 years & had two children: Thelma & Jewel, ages 4 & 2.

Other members of the household included George's siblings: Edward, age 22; Belle, 20; Robert, 16; & Emma, age 8 (deaf & dumb).
-----

Things were fairly quiet until George and his brother, Mose, agreed to deliver 19 cases of bootleg whiskey to their brother-in-law, Tom Ford, who owned the Ford Hotel in Ardmore. Times were hard, and this would help add income to help feed their families. No doubt, this was to be a quiet operation without any complications. George, who was living with his parents, had borrowed their team of mules to pick up the liquor. (Their mother later said that she wouldn't have let them take their mules if she had known how they were being used.) Things went as planned until he and Mose were bushwhacked near Hoxbar south of Ardmore about 10 o'clock, Friday night, on September 1, 1916. Unknown to them, Special officer Dow Braziel had received a tip that a load of whiskey was being transported into Ardmore from Texas. He and his assistants Oscar Alexander, Tom Adams, and George McLaughlin were hiding, waiting for them.

There are various versions about the evening of September 1st when George shot and killed officer Oscar William Alexander. A lengthy article published about the event three days later is on Oscar's FindAGrave memorial. During his trial George had a different version from what was published in most of Ardmore's newspapers. He advocated that he and his brother, Mose, were ambushed by unknown assailants, possibly other bootleggers. After his brother was shot from the wagon, he fired back, one shot hitting an assailant. Helping Mose back on the wagon, they rushed to his parent's home, which was nearby. Mose was seriously injured and taken to the Hardy Sanitarium. During the night one of the mules died from a gun shot wound. The following morning a posse of lawmen arrived to arrest George. Most of Ardmore's residents were enraged, possibly to the point of rioting, after news about the event was published

The Daily Ardmoreite
Wednesday, November 2, 1916

"Men on Trial For Killing Alexander
George and Mose Love Are Being Tried For The Offense in District Court Today - To Jury Tonight.
Today in district court, the cae of the Sate vs. George and Mose Love, charged with shooting and killing Oscar Alexander near Hoxbar last September is on trial and the case will probably go to the jury tonight. This case has attracted considerable attention on account of the manner and circumstances of the killing.

Oscar Alexander was an officer in this city and went with Special Officer Dow Braziel to intercept a load of whiskey that was reported to be on the way to this city from Texas. The officers were informed who the parties driving the wagon were, and Officer Braziel informed his men that they were dangerous to handle, and warned them to be careful. Braziel, Alexand, McLaughlin and Tom Adams, the latter also being officers, too their strand and awaited the approach of the wagon.

when the wagon was nearing the spot where the officers were standing, Braziel commanded them to halt, stepping in front of the team at the time. Instead, one of the Love boys, it is alleged, fired a charge of shot into the body of Alexander, killing him almost instantly.

The state has introduced all of its testimony and this morning the defense was put upon the stand. The testimony will be concluded and the case will probably go to the jury this afternoon. The defense is represented by J.B. Champion and H.H. Brown and the state by County Attorney Hardy. Assistant Attorney Bass, James H. Mathers and Moman Pruiett."


The Daily Ardmoreite
Sept. 3, 1916

"More Arrests Follow
As a sequel to the tragedy near Hoxbar that resulted in the death of Officer Alexander, Tom and Ed Ford were placed under arrest yesterday afternoon and confined in the county jail. Just what the charges may be was not learned but it is thought that they may be directly or indirectly interested in the ownership of the liquor that was in transit at the time of the shooting."


Sunday, Nov. 12, 1916
His Brother Was Discharged. Case Attracted Considerable Attention Throughout This Section.
Friday afternoon in district court the case of the State vs. George and Mose Love, charged with killing Oscar Alexander returned a verdict of not guilty as to Mose Love but guilty as to George and assessed his punishment at 8 years in the penitentiary.

Attorneys for the defense immediately filed a motion for a new trial which will be argued Monday morning.

The case attracted considerable attention owing to the circumstances surrounding the killing as was hard fought throughout. Alexander was a poplar young man and his death aroused considerable feeling at the time it occurred. The jury was out several hours before coming to an agreement. ... ."


Ardmore Daily Ardmoreite
Sunday, November 12, 1916

George Love who was convicted in the district court on the charge of having killed Oscar Alexander a member of the police force, was granted a bond on appeal yesterday in the sum of $7000 and was released from jail. Love is represented by J.B. Champion."

George and Mose, both residents of Legate, OK, were sentenced to serve time in the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas on the charge of "Introducing Liquor." George was fined $200; Mose $100. Both were transported from McAlester to Leavenworth on June 24, 1917.

Mose served one year and one day in prison, being released on April 13, 1918; George served two years and two days, being released on March 1, 1919. His original sentence was to serve until June 23, 1919, but he was allowed to leave 144 days early because of "good time allowed."

Leavenworth Prison Record
George and Mose's records from Leavenworth Prison showing their mug shots have been interesting to view. These records have provided information that would otherwise never be known.

on the "Trusty Prisoner's Agreement" upon entering Leavenworth, George pleaded guilty to alleged charge of Introducing Liquor.

Prison records dated December 14, 1917, indicated that he was "Paroled from the bench" for 2 years for Manslaughter in 1905; his case in 1916 to serve 8 years for Manslaughter was shown as "Case now on appeal."

George, age 38, was given a physical examination. He was five foot six inches, and weighed 134 pounds. He was in general good health and had an old superficial scar from a gun shot wound on his right side. and was noted to be a tobacco user. He could read and write; having attended a common school. His religion was shown as Christian. The name of his parents were W.J. & Hattie Love of Legate; his wife, Nettie Love of Legate. They were on his list of correspondents, which also included his sister, Belle Ford, of Ardmore.

George was assigned to do general prison work in prison; those days shown in his record.

His record included a list and date of articles he received while in prison. On November 11, 1917, he received one gallon of pecans; on January 1, 1918, 3 violin strings, which indicated took his "fiddle" with him to prison; throughout the year he received various types of tobacco, etc.; and in December, candy and a cake with nuts.

A long list and dates of visitors, which includes family members, his legal team, and others, are in his record.

On March 29, 1918, George had a temperature of 100.8 degrees and was admitted to the hospital at 8 a.m. where stayed for three days while he was being treated with various medicines.

On May 10, 1918, he was reprimanded for "Continually talking and laughing during breakfast. He was reproved and excused.

On Sept. 12, 1918,
George, age 39, while in prison, registered for the WWI draft. His name was shown as George Thomas Love, born on Sept. 2, 1879. He was serving as a clerk at the prison. His physical description was medium height & build, light blue eyes and dark colored hair. His nearest relative was shown as Nettie Love living at Legate, OK. It was signed George Thomas Love.

On March 26, 1919,
after his release from Leavenworth, George was sent to McAlester Penitentiary where he was imprisoned for killing Oscar Alexander.

Feb. 11, 1920,
During the time he was in prison, George's wife, Nettie, age 32, & their children lived in Wilson, OK with his parents & his siblings. They were shown as: Thelma, age 14; Jewel, 12; Pearl, 10; Howard, 8; Bertha, 6; & Dortha, 4 years & 1 month.

George was released from McAlester on good behavior on May 6, 1925. He has served a little over six years.
-----

Ardmore Daily Ardmoreite
Monday, December 1, 1930
"Funeral to Be Held for Miss Thelma Love
Funeral services for Miss Thelma Love, 24, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Love, were held Monday afternoon at the McMillan cemetery. Rev. C.R. Bigbie of the Baptist church conducted the graveside services with the Bettes funeral home in charge of the burial arrangements. Miss Love died Saturday night at the home of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Love, near Legate."

On April 16, 1930,
George & Nettie, ages 50 & 43, were renting a home in Haskell Township, Tillman Co, OK. Their children were Thelma, age 23; Jewel M., 22; Pearl, 20; Howard W., 17; Bertha, 15; Dorthy R., 13; Claud W., 7; Frances L., 6; & Ted A., 2 years & 11 months. In 1935 George & family lived in Rural, Carter Co, OK

On APRIL 18, 1940,
George T. & Nettie, ages 61 & 53, lived on Ardmore-Madill Road in Wilson, Carter Co, OK where they rented a home. George made a living by self-farming. Their children were Claude, age 17; Frances, 16 (female); Ted, 12; & Jewel, 31. Their granddaughter, Mary Frances, 3, lived with them.

"Neighbors Aid George Love
Farm Folk Rally to Help Family Whose Home Was Destroyed by Fire.
Farm neighbors of George Love, well known Carter county farmer living 12 miles southeast of town, were busy today collecting furniture and household goods to enable the family to start a new residence following a disastrous fire that destroyed the home and possessions of the Loves night before last. Love himself had a narrow escape from the blazing building in his efforts to save a few belongings. Everything was destroyed save a few clothes that members of the family managed to take from the building."


The Daily Ardmoreite
Wednesday, December 6, 1933

"Neighborliness Remains
The Daily Ardmoreite the other day carried an item which refuted the frequently heard statement that 'old time neighborliness has gone.' The home of George Love, 12 miles southeast of Ardmore, was destroyed by fire with its contents. Bright and early next morning the neighbors of the Love family got into action and soon trucks and cars loaded with furniture, household goods and food were arriving at the improvised home and men were volunteering to aid in the construction of a new house. This action is striking proof that the spirit of human kindness continues to reign and that is one of the greatest assets of the American people."


The Daily Ardmoreite
Friday, December 8, 1933

"A Correction
George Love, whose home 12 miles southeast of Ardmore, was destroyed by fire recently, stated Saturday that the Daily Ardmoreite had been misinformed concerning assistance rendered by neighbors. He said that small cash contributions totaling $12.26 were received, but no food, furniture or household goods were given."


The Daily Ardmoreite
Sunday, December 10, 1933
-----

Nettie died on September 14, 1961. George died almost 11 years later on September 10, 1972.

George Love
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Bettes Funeral Chapel for George Love, Ardmore, who died Sept. 10 in a local nursing home. Rev. Bill Smith, Church of Christ, will preside with burial in Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Love was born Sept. 2, 1879 in Cleburne, Tex. His wife, Nettie, preceded him in death Sept. 14, 1961.

Survivors include three sons, Howard and Ted, Ardmore, and Claude, Ft. Walton, Fla.; five daughters, Mrs. Jewell Edwards, Mrs. Bertha Naylor and Mrs. Frances Smith, Ardmore, Mrs. Pearl Jones, and Mrs. Dorothy Stevenson, Oklahoma City; one brother Bob, Ardmore; 33 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

Bearers will be Kenneth Slover, Bobby Riner Jr., Bob Riner Sr., Ray Love, Johnnie Forson and Earl Love.


The Daily Ardmoreite
September 12, 1972
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William James Love (1852 - 1939)
  Hettie Jane Williams Love (1863 - 1949)
 
 Spouse:
  Nettie F Wilson Love (1886 - 1961)*
 
 Children:
  Thelma Love (1907 - 1930)*
  Howard W. Love (1913 - 1984)*
  Dorotha R Love Sparks (1916 - 1980)*
  Claude Thomas Love (1922 - 2002)*
 
 Siblings:
  George Thomas Love (1879 - 1972)
  Mose Love (1881 - 1959)*
  Jack David Love (1882 - 1963)*
  Samuel William Love (1884 - 1943)*
  Elisha Edward Love (1887 - 1944)*
  Rosa Belle Love Ford (1888 - 1941)*
  Robert Lee Love (1894 - 1982)*
  Jesse James Love (1898 - 1899)*
  Emma Love (1901 - 1914)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Together Forever.
 
Burial:
Hillcrest Memorial Park
Ardmore
Carter County
Oklahoma, USA
 
Created by: Virginia Brown
Record added: Mar 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35051229
George Thomas Love
Added by: Virginia Brown
 
George Thomas Love
Added by: Marian Bryson McGowen
 
 
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Great Grand Uncle.
- HoneybeeDeb
 Added: Mar. 8, 2015

- HoneybeeDeb
 Added: Dec. 18, 2014

- HoneybeeDeb
 Added: Nov. 22, 2014
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