Rufus Cannon was commissioned on September 15, 1892 according to the Ft.
Smith National Historic Site. He served directly out of Ft. Smith under
He was of African Cherokee origin and was familiar with many of the Cherokee
native customs and the language. Cannon captured the father of the outlaw gang,
The Christian brothers in Pottawotamie, Indian Territory in 1895, when William
Christian was among his captives. Cannon was on the posse that tracked Bill
Doolin. But one factor to note is that all posse men were rewarded for the
capture of Doolin—all except Cannon. It is not known exactly why he was not
paid, though Heck Thomas was believed to have shared part of his reward with
Cannon.He was later known to have been in a gunfight with outlaw Henry Starr.
Not much is known of his life after the capture of Doolin. He later left
the Ft. Smith region, and moved to Kansas City where he resided till his death.
Return to Black Marshals Page
Back to Front Page