Monday, September 11, 2023

One of The First Female U.S. Marshals Gets Her Due

 September 11, 2023

   We're hard at work on a U.S. Marshal feature in the next issue (November). I volunteered to spruce up a couple thin illustrations for the article. The first one involves one of the first female U.S. Marshals.

Daily Whip Out: "Ms. Ada Curnutt"

   There are no known photos, so this is my extrapolation from a contemporary newspaper illustration of her.

   And, I also took another crack at her, trying to be true to the original etching but give it more of a historical spin.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Ms. Ada Curnutt Deputy U.S. Marshal"

News Report of Ada Curnutt's Daring Collar 

The Champaign County News (Champaign, Illinois) on December 3, 1893, reported that Miss Ada Curnutt, the clerk of the district court at Norman, Oklahoma received a telegram that two "desperate characters and perjurers" who were "badly wanted," were in Oklahoma City, and to send an "experienced deputy there at once to arrest them." All the available deputies were out on assignment, so Ada simply took the train to Oklahoma City, learned that the miscreants were in a gambling house and saloon and immediately went there and sent a man inside to tell them that "a lady wanted to see them outside." When the two came out, she noticed they were "heavily armed" and "under the influence of liquor" but she simply read them the warrants and placed them under arrest. She was described by the newspaper as "a slender woman, about twenty years of age, well dressed, modest, but with determined grey eyes and unflinching courage."

   "The perjurers allowed her to fasten them together with handcuffs," and she marched them to the railway station and telegraphed the marshal at Guthrie that she was bringing them in. Which she did!

    The newspaper also reported Ada "is the daughter of a Methodist clergyman, and was born in Illinois, adding, "she devotes most of her spare time to—China painting!"


Ada Gets Her Men

   Speaking of great hats, my Kathy wants to get a hat that is NOT a cowgirl hat, but something more funky and unique. I thought she should get something, somewhere between Annie Hall and Boy George (I made that up, Kathy would hate it). Ha. Any ideas? Besides, the girl rocks a cowgirl hat. Period.

Kathy Sue as Honkytonk Sue, circa 1979

"Part of the thrill of being told a story is the chance of being hoodwinked."
—Jonathon Swift

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