Formed by the union of the Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory in 1907, Oklahoma was one of the last states to enter the Union. At a time when most of the country was formalizing its police departments, requiring professional training and certification of its new officers, much of Oklahoma was still functionally lawless. Town and county jails were used to hold prisoners for brief periods, and federal marshals were in many cases the only form of law enforcement. Other towns had elected town marshals or constables, and night watchmen who ...

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