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Frank Wildman, the Gold Rush and the town of Wildman

From Nora Anderson’s genealogical publication, based on La Verta Thomas’ and Lynn Wildman’s research and from 'Kiowa County Ghost Towns' by Ethel Taylor, as well as his obituary

After being denied the opportunity to further his education, Frank, along with his brother John, went to Kansas to see their Aunt Agnes Holtby. He married his first wife, Mary Catherine Campbell, in 1888; she died in 1889. They had one child, Carrie.

After remaining there for a while, Frank and John elected to go into Oklahoma Territory. They established a store in Purcell, OK, and a gin at Lexington, across the S. Canadian River. Frank became friends with E. A. Williams - whose daughter Liuella married Frank - and together they illegally establised the first mining camp in the Wichitas.

E. A. was well versed in obtaining post office permits, and as a result of his efforts, the new mining camp was granted a post office (despite the fact that it was in Indian Territory) and the name of Wildman was given to the town that had grown up. The Indian Agent for the area received work of the unauthorized intrusion. As the minders continued pourint in, the Depoartment of the Interiour decided that something would have to be done, and soldiers from Ft. Still were sent to destroy the camp.

Frank and Liuella lived in Carnegie for some time, and them moved to Monahans, TX (where Frank's brother John had settled) where they died. Frank had one daughter by Mary Catherine and two by Lieuella.

from 'Kiowa County Ghost Towns' by Ethel Taylor

WILDMAN.....Sec. 22, T4N, R17W......The last great gold rush east of the Rockies, happened happened at Wildman, located at the head of Otter Creek 4 miles southeast of the present town of Roosevelt. Wildman was the overnight place for the lawless. Gambling, drinking and fighting went on day and night. Some of the names of the more famous citizens were "Nine Fingers", "Scandalous John", Sam Bibe, Joe Johnson, Carle Zerkle, H. Foster, who was a government claim jumper, and Judge Fox, a former probate Judge in Canadian Co.

It was established illegally on Indian land by Frank Wildman and Elisha Williams. In a few weeks it had grown to over 300 miners and prospecters. The postoffice was established almost a year before the Reservation was opened. Saloons and gambling houses, 2 grocery stores, 2 blacksmith shops, a general store, an eating joint, a drug store,4 assayers offices, a smelter, mining company offices and a 2 story hotel developed. This was a wild west, hard shooting, tough mining town. Though the "gold fever" was great, the federal government decided the ore could not be marketed, and a railroad would be farther away, causeing Wildman to be abandoned, much to the benefit of the homesteaders in the area.

Obituary - Monahan News

Frank Wildman Dies At Monahan, Texas

Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church, Monahans, for Frank Wildman, one of Monahans oldest, and most beloved citizens, who passed away at his home, 220 South Stockton street. Rev. J. N. Whetstone of the Methodist Church conducted the service.

Despite his 84 years, Mr. Wildman had continued to manage his real estate and furniture business until the early part of this month when he entered a Dallas hospital for treatment. He returned to his home here on July 3rd and suffered a heart attack the following Saturday morning from which he never recovered. He had been in declining health for the past several years.

A native of Canada, Mr. Wildman had been a resident of Monahans for the past 21 years. Born in Greenbank, Ontario, Canada, on October 18, 1864, he came to the United States when he was 18 years of age and homesteaded in Kansas where he married Miss Mary Katherine Campbell in 1889. To this union two children were born, one of whom, Mrs. S.S. Farrell of Carnegie, Oklahoma, survives. Mrs. Wildman died in 1889.

In the meantime the Wildmans had moved to Oklahoma where he took part in the " Oklahoma Run" in 1895. He came to Texas in 1920 and made his home in several places including Mexia and Colorado City before coming to Monahans.

In 1901 he was married for the second time to Miss Luella Williams of Mountain View, Oklahoma. To this union three children were born of whom Mrs. J.C. Hogg of this city and Mrs. Norris Lovett survive.

Untold kindness and generosity have marked Mr. Wildman's life and he was known all over this area as a " friend of man."

Surviving are his widow, three daughters, Mrs. J.C. Hogg of Monahans, Mrs. Norris Lovett of Corsicans, and Mrs. S.S. Farrell of Carnegie, Oklahoma; four sisters, Mrs. Maggie Kight, of Utica, Ontario; Mrs. Minnie Bartley, of Port Perry, Ont.; Mrs. Nellie Spence, Whitby; and Mrs. Mary Corbman of Utica Ontario.; four brothers J.N. Wildman of Monahans, Texas, Duke of Vici, Oklahoma; Dick of Carnegie, Oklahoma,; and Edward of Greenbank, Ontario.

Five grandchildren and two great grandchildren also survive.

Linked toFrancis "Frank" Robert WILDMAN

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