Western Memories of Ada

Truly The End Of The Old West


History is everywhere; day to day you create your own by the choices you make. Even this little city of Ada has a diverse history. One instance that is prominent in Ada’s history is the lynching, or hanging, in 1909 of four men in the abandoned livery stable located off of main street, that has since been torn down.

One of the more prominent figures of that hanging was John Miller, a known gun for hire, who had may have murdered around 31 others by his own acknowledgment but the total is truly undetermined. The three other men were Jesse West, Joe Allen, and D.B. Burrell who contracted Miller to kill an A. A. “Gus” Bobbit, an Oklahoma Deputy U. S. Marshal. It was said Miller’s bullets sent to death those who fell out with him. It is impossible to know how many murders might be traced to Miller and his associates.

On Monday, April 19th, 1909, at three in the morning, a mob of 30-40 determined citizens of Ada took charge and overpowered the Deputy Sheriffs Walter Goyne and Bud Nestor, and took the four men to the abandoned livery stable nearby. Miller stood stoic  as the noose was put around his neck but made two final requests; 1. That his wife be given his diamond ring and 2. To be permitted to wear his hat when he was hung. The requests being granted, he is said to have said, “Let er’ rip!” and voluntarily stepped of the box he was standing on. Later on in 1997, a monument was erected near the hanging site commemorating “The End Of The Old West.”

The people of Ada truly live in a historical city.  After the hanging of the men, a photographer was called in to memorialize the event it was even sold on post cards for many years afterwards.