Milo Creekmore

Our family bad boy: Milo Creekmore

My great-grandfather Milo Creekmore. He’s the gentleman standing. He doesn’t look like a bad boy, does he?

We went to the movies the other night to see “True Grit” (the original version). The movie follows a young girl who goes to Fort Smith, Ark., and then heads into the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) with John Wayne to track down her father’s killer. It’s a great film.

Watching it, I realized I’ve never blogged about the most interesting person in my family tree.

Milo’s first wife was Cora. She was not my great-great grandmother.

My great-great grandfather Milo Creekmore lived in Fort Smith, Ark., and often ventured into the Indian Territory during the 1890s. Milo¬†killed his girlfriend’s father, served time in prison, got into a gunfight with Ned Christie while working as a U.S. marshal, joined the Henry Starr Gang after leaving the U.S. marshal service and robbed a couple of stores. I’m not glorifying any of that (except for the U.S. marshal part). I’m just saying he led a full life in his 61 years and ended up as a character in a Larry McMurtry novel.

Here’s Loss Runyan, the man Milo killed.

If you Google Milo, the first thing that pops up is a forum discussion about the murder he committed. According to the newspapers of 1893, Milo fell in love with a “very pretty Cherokee maiden” named Cora Runyon and killed her father, Loss Runyon.

Hanging Judge Parker

Apparently Loss Runyon didn’t approve of the relationship, confronted the couple and ended up dead. Cora stood by Milo, and it was a good thing. The judge in Fort Smith was Judge Parker, better known as the hanging judge. In “True Grit,” there’s a scene in which Judge Parker sits on top of the courthouse’s front porch and watches the simultaneous hanging of three men.

I’ll blog more about Milo in the future.