click picture to
enlarge |Artist: Wayne
Sponsor: Senator Owen & Charlette
Size: 30" x 40"
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: 5th Floor, South
hall, Senate wing
A rock fortress known as Robber’s Roost was built
by a band of outlaws led by Captain William Coe in No Man’s
Land in the late 1860’s. Coe’s followers
were estimated to be from 30-50 in size, but seldom were
all of them at the stronghold at any one time.
The Roost was a 16x36 foot house with stone walls 30 inches
thick. It had one door and no windows. Instead, there were
27 tall and narrow portholes, 4 inches open to the outside
and 18-20 inches on the inside. This made for a small target
on the outside and plenty of room to maneuver a rifle on
The region near Black Mesa
had been a sanctuary for outlaws and renegades. In 1850, Congress established
the boundaries for Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. When
they finished, they were shocked to discover a parcel of
land unclaimed by any territory. Congress declared
it “neutral” or “No Man’s Land” and
promptly forgot about it. The result was a strip of
land 167 miles long and nearly 35 miles wide without any
kind of government or law.
The army finally grew tired
of Coe’s gang and brought
in a cannon to fire on the fortress. The hideout took a direct
hit and eleven of Coe’s men were captured and hung
in the cottonwood trees on the nearby north Carrizo. Coe
escaped and traveled along the Cimarron River to Madison,
New Mexico. Mrs. Emory, wife of Madison Emory, fed
Coe and gave him a place to sleep in the bunkhouse. While
Coe slept, her 14 year-old son rode to catch up with the
army and his stepfather. They returned, arrested Coe and
brought him to Pueblo, Colorado. Coe was hung that night
still handcuffed and shackled.
Today, only the foundation
Roost is still standing.
Images are copyright
of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund,
Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton at
521-5663 or email@example.com for
further copyright information.