Rufus Buck, Maoma July, Sam Sampson, Lucky Davis, and Lewis Davis

The five men known collectively as the Rufus Buck Gang were notorious around Okmulgee, Creek Nation, in the summer of 1895. All except for Lucky Davis were Creek; Lucky Davis was white.

Their first recorded crime is a store robbery that led to the murder of Deputy Marshal John Garrett on July 30. Following in short order were a series of rapes, robberies, and assaults, as well as the murder of Sam Huston on August 4.

Following a gunfight with marshals, four of the five men were apprehended on August 8. Lucky Davis escaped, only to be apprehended the next day.

In a fast-moving series of events, the five men were taken to Fort Smith to stand trial. Tried first for the rape of Rosetta Hasson, they were found guilty on September 23. A separate trial for the murder of John Garrett led to guilty verdicts against Buck, Lewis Davis, and Lucky Davis on September 24.

After unsuccessful appellate and clemency efforts, Rufus Buck, Maoma July, Sam Sampson, Lucky Davis, and Lewis Davis were hanged at Fort Smith on July 1, 1896. They were the only men hanged at Fort Smith for rape.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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