Other Boomer Leaders Colonel Samuel Crocker, Major Gordon W. Lillie (aka Pawnee Bill), and the Honorable Sidney Clarke

Colonel Samuel Crocker, a native of England, led the movement not by leading expeditions, but by editing the mouthpiece of the Boomer Movement, the Oklahoma War Chief. Topping his list of scoundrels were cattlemen whose immense herds and sweetheart grazing deals were a major impediment to non-Indian settlement. "Millions of acres fattening countless heads of steers and all rented for two cents an acre!" seethed Crocker in one of his editorials. "Do not ask why Oklahoma has not been opened to the thousands of home-hungry farmers, but face Jerusalem and pray: "How long, Oh, Lord, how long?'" In July 1885, Crocker was arrested and charged with sedition, conspiracy, and inciting insurrection. He was placed in the Cowley County, Kansas jail and languished there for several months. His case never went to trial, and charges were dismissed. Colonel Crocker accompanied Captain William L. Couch on forays into the Indian Territory and camped at one time in the area that was later developed as the state capitol complex. In addition to being a skilled journalist and typesetter, Colonel Crocker was an accomplished public speaker. After the opening, Colonel Crocker remained active in Oklahoma Territory politics and civic affairs.

Another Boomer leader, Major Gordon W. Lillie, is known to history as Pawnee Bill. Best known for participating in Wild West shows with Buffalo William F. Cody, Lillie learned enough about showbiz to launch his own extravaganzas. Following Captain Payne's death, Lillie leveraged his fame to assume leadership [????] of the Boomer Movement. When the Unassigned Lands were opened for settlement in April 1889, Major Lille led 4,000 pioneers into the middle of what later became Kingfisher County.

Rounding out the list of Boomer Leaders was the Honorable Sidney Clarke, whose political career included a distinguished record in Kansas and election to the U.S. Congress. Such was his stature among true believers that he was selected to deliver a speech at Captain Payne's gravesite on the first anniversary of his death. Following the Run of '89, Clarke became one of the most able peacemakers [?????] in townsite arguments. He was elected to the provisional Oklahoma City town council on May 1, 1889, and served as provisional mayor when Couch resigned in November. In later years, he worked closely with Henry Overholser and Charles G. "Gristmill" Jones in securing railroad connections. Clarke was a prime mover in the statehood fight, served in the Territorial Council (Senate), and was twice chosen as its president. With Couch and three others was a founding trustee of Seminole Town Company. Grand Ave was originally named Clark Street, before the Seminole sooner controversy demanded a name change.

Clarke retained a register of Payne's Oklahoma Colony of 1884, which lists 61 Boomers who later settled in or around Oklahoma City, most of them presumably as Sooners. Lillie's settlers in Kingfisher???


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