White, former Texas Ranger, solved mysterious Osage case


The discovery of oil transformed communities and entire states in the closing years of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.  Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana saw their economies transform overnight with the discovery of oil.  For the Osage of Northeast Oklahoma, they saw their impoverished, dilapidated reservation transformed into one of the richest communities in Oklahoma almost overnight.  It attracted great jealousy and then hatred and then murder. In the end, it took one former Texas Ranger, Thomas White, to help solve the case. 

Bridges

When the Osage were forced onto the reservations, the lands that once stretched from almost to the Mississippi River in Arkansas to Central Kansas were whittled down to a small area of North-Central Oklahoma.  The land was poor, but the Osage were determined to hold onto it.  As early as 1894, oil was suspected to lay far beneath the surface of the Osage reservation, with the first successful well dug in 1897. In 1907, the Osage tribe managed to secure the mineral rights to all the lands on their reservation. The timing was fortunate as the wells only became more successful.    



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