The Story of the Marlow Brothers

From the National Police Gazette, New York, New York. June 1891 Issue:

"Hunted in the law's name - four men in shackles against a hundred - border life in Texas - the famous Marlow Mob Case.

"There is no more startling story in all the turbulent annals of the southwest than the one that will be told when the 'Marlow mob' cases are called up at the next term of the United States Supreme Court.

........The story, now told for the first time, would certainly be incredible if it were not supported at all points by official records. In 1885 five sons of Dr. Marlow, a Missouri man, who had moved to Texas, were living with their mother, in the Indian Territory...

Their names were Boone, George, Alfred, Charles and Lewellyn - the latter better known as 'Epp'. Of these, all but Boone were married. The boys led a semi-nomadic life, and were the types of frontier plainsmen - brave, honest, shrewd and loyal.

Late in August, 1888, the first step was taken in the series which led to the bloody affair at Dry Creek, outside of Graham, TX.

Two deputy United States Marshals.... went to the Indian Territory and arrested four of the Marlow boys.. The arrests were made without any evidence whatever, as was afterward proved, but simply because the officers had failed to connect any of the rustlers with reported thefts. The officers felt as if they must make some kind of a showing in order to hold their official positions....

The four Marlow boys were carried to the jail at Graham, the county seat of Young county....

They managed to get an order from United States Marshal Cabell, of Dallas, to have the four desperate prisoners removed to Weatherford, sixty miles distant, for greater security. A large mob was organized.. .

The prisoners were brought down still shackled and chained and placed in one of the hacks, driven by County Attorney Martin... The three carriages had not gone two miles before they reached Dry Creek, where the tragedy of the night occured. The hack containing the prisoners stopped suddenly.


"Boys,' Charley said, 'the mob is hiding somewhere in that bush." Hardly were the words out of his mouth before the leader of the mob rose up out of the brush and shouted: 'Harlt! Hold up your hands'! Soon the mob made another rush, firing as they came. Alf Marlow fell dead, with a bullet in his brain, and Epp was also stricken down....
The trial of the conspirators and mob leaders was held in Graham before Judge A.P. McCormick.
From Judge McCormick's verdict:
'This is the first time in the annals of history where unarmed prisoners, shackled together, ever repelled a mob. Such cool courage that preferred to fight against such odds and die, if at all in glorious battle rather than die ignominiously by a frenzied mob, deserves to be commemorated in song and story.' "
Come to Marlow to learn the whole story. As Marlow continues to share its historical heritage with the world, we hope you'll visit often.