It’s Possible That Abraham Lincoln’s Killer Fled To Texas
It isn't often that you think about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The facts are pretty much settled. We know the story and how it ends...or at least we think we do. There's a place in northwest Oklahoma that wants you to rethink what you think you know.
According to legend, John Wilkes Booth died in Enid, Oklahoma; not on a tobacco farm.
What History Class Told Us About John Wilkes Booth
Think back to your school days. The story about John Wilkes Booth assassinating President Lincoln, leaping to the stage, and hobbling away into the night is one we're all familiar with.
History tells us that Booth died twelve days after assassinating the president. While hiding out in a barn, he was fatally shot. It all happened on a tobacco farm.
Conspiracy theorists jumped on the story and pointed out that he was a brilliant actor and master of disguise. Some believed that the real Booth escaped.
The Many Legends of John Wilkes Booth
Stories popped up claiming that Booth went on to South America and entered the mining business. Others said he went to Egypt and wound up owning one hundred camels.
One of the most interesting stories has him entering Texas, and eventually making his way up to Oklahoma.
According to the lore, Booth started going by the name, David St. Helen, while living in Texas. Legend has it that he became very ill, and confessed to be John Wilkes Booth, before making tracks up to Oklahoma.
He wound up in Enid, Oklahoma. It's four hours northeast of Amarillo, Texas. There, he went by the name of David E. George.
Who The Heck Is David E. George?
The legends say that David E. George had a bad limp due to a broken leg he suffered when he was younger. He also claimed to be a house painter by trade, which is interesting because he was horrible at the job.
Legends also say that David E. George loved quoting Shakespeare. Booth's family was well versed in all things Shakespearean.
David E. George committed suicide in 1903, in his room at the Grand Avenue Hotel. Accounts vary was to which poison he drank, either strychnine or arsenic. Prior to ingesting the poison, he supposedly confessed to a physician that he was, in fact, John Wilkes Booth.
This Is Where Things Get Really Weird
If you're thinking to yourself that this is all rather weird and strange, buckle up. We're just getting started.
A coroner took David E. George's body and embalmed it using arsenic, or so the story goes. This left the body in a very "life like" state.
While they waited for someone to claim the body, it was dressed up and placed in a rocking chair in a storefront window. They even put a newspaper in the corpse's lap.
A Tennessee lawyer eventually bought the remains, and took them home. He kept them in a barn for 20 years hoping to get some kind of reward from the government. Still, this isn't the craziest part of the story.
Legend goes that eventually the body was sold to some carnival folk who took it out and showed it off, claiming it was the body of John Wilkes Booth. The mummy was sold and swapped between carnivals and fairs to the point that it eventually wound up at the St. Louis World Expo.
Then one day, the body just...disappeared.
True Or False? Either Way, You Can Visit Where George Stayed
The Grand Avenue Hotel no longer exists in Enid, Oklahoma. It was sold and became a hardware store. That hardware store was sold, and became a furniture store.
That furniture store, Garfield Furniture, still exists. They're proud of their heritage, and will even take you upstairs to where it is believed that David E. George breathed his last.