• Dennis McCaslin

Tales of the US Marshals: Eli Hickman “Heck” Bruner - June 21, 1899


On June 21, 1899, Deputy "Heck" Bruner, 40, had thirteen (13) arrest warrants from the Muskogee Federal Court to serve east of the Grand River.


He was in a hurry to serve the warrants while the court was still in session.


When he and his posse arrived at the West’s Ferry Crossing near Spavinaw they found that the ferry was on the other side and the ferryman was gone.


Deputy Bruner took his clothes off and attempted to swim across the rain swollen river to get the ferry and bring it back over for his team but drowned before reaching the other side.


His body was not recovered until the next day.


His wife Laura and three children in Pryor Creek survived him.


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