Pictured above, left to right, are Oscar "Poss" Scott, Junior Record (their nephew), Elmer "Gimlet" Scott and my grandpa, Nute "Slim" Scott. The Scott boys were born in Pope County, Arkansas but lived in Scott County for a time, where both Elmer and Oscar married in the 1930's.The following is a story told to me by my grandpa Nute Scott and uncle Elmer Scott about a bank robbery that occurred in Webber Falls, Oklahoma on December 20, 1932. I have also researched this story at "Books by R.D. Morgan" and through correspondence with Mr. Morgan.
According to what I have been told, when Rabbit Collins hid in the cave, he made very clear that he was being hunted...not only by local police, but by everybody, and my grandpa and his brothers lit out of there lickity split. They ended up with the coin money from the robbery, the majority of which they put into glass jars and concealed in the area. The place was crawling with cops and everyone was suspect who had any money on them. It is probable they just took on their person enough to be able to get something to eat, fearing they would be suspect or implicated by the law if found with any money in their possession. I believe they opted for staying hungry, huntin' possum and traveling light. Two of the brothers headed for parts unknown while my uncle Elmer stayed somewhat close by. Evidently either Collins or Choate had been wearing a long, red and black checkered, wool Mackinaw coat. Due to the severely cold winter conditions and the fact that a person was lucky to have a good coat, somehow my uncle Elmer ended up with it. A short time after the robbery my uncle was walking into town; as he made his way over the bridge he could see a cop car approaching. The car slowed as it passed with the occupants giving my uncle a good lookover. He kept walking...the car kept on. Nearing the end of the bridge, Elmer looked back over his shoulder and saw the police were turning around. Nervous of wearing the coat, he hopped over the railing, about 12 - 15 feet down, he then scrambled to take the coat off, hiding it under a log. He then sauntered down the river bank, like nothing. The police stopping on the bridge above yelled at him to stop, and ordered him back up to the bridge, where they questioned him about the coat he had just been wearing...What coat? He didn't know what they were talking about. They conducted a search along the bridge, then went down along the river bank to search. To my uncle's surprise, when they looked under the log the coat was gone. He thought for a minute his goose was cooked. Fortunately there had been a small fishing boat in close enough proximity to see him stash the coat, and enough time for them to go retrieve the coat while the police questioned my uncle atop the bridge. As they descended down the embankment he said the boat was a good ways from shore, and he hadn't suspected they had come ashore, but obviously they had. The police hauled him in anyway, knowing he had to know something, hoping his incarceration would make him talk. They kept him in jail for quite some time, but Elmer, glad to have a meal a day and a bed, wasn't as put off as they had hoped. They to my knowledge didn't have any charges on him, if so it may have been alcohol related. I think they kept him a couple of months, and then one day opened the door and told him to start walking...right out of Oklahoma and not to come back unless he wanted trouble. So he did. Times being hard, the jar of coins never was worth the trouble that was sure to come if he went after it. They scraped what living they could, making 'shine and riding the rails to work at harvest time. My grandpa ended up coming to California in the early forties. Uncle Elmer, after serving in the war, ended up in California, too. He had always thought that Rabbit Collins had figured him on being the snitch, as was related to him by mutual friends. Sometime around 1982, while jawing with boys down on the corner in Oakdale, California, my uncle Elmer was greeted by none other than Rabbit Collins, where they enjoyed a good cigar together, glad to have lived through such hard and desperate times, glad it was all behind them. Elmer's first words to Rabbit - "Rabbit, I want you to know I never said a word to no one." Rabbit replied, "Gimlet, I never thought you did." So as to any loot that might still be stashed in a jar, it ain't no fortune, that's for sure. I think it's more the treasure in the story and tying it in with actual events that appeals most to me.
Return to Scott County Ancestor Photos
Copyright 2006-2015 by Delaine Edwards and the submitter.
All rights reserved.