The Woodward News

Local News

May 19, 2014

Gun from famed outlaw up for auction

It’s a story many Woodward residents know well.

The shootout that took place between Temple Lea Houston and Alphonzo (Al) J. Jennings in October of 1895 is featured in many historical accounts and books.

Jennings was an attorney who moved from El Reno to Woodward in 1895 to join his brothers, Ed and John in a law practice Jennings' brother Ed was killed and his other brother John was wounded in the exchange of gunfire with rival attorney, Houston, according to historical accounts.

Al Jennings later ran for Governor in 1914, according to historical accounts. He was also credited with several train robberies as well forming a gang known as the “Jennings Gang.”

On June 5 at the Hampton Inn in Woodward, a .45 caliber, single action Colt revolver owned by outlaw Al J. Jennings will go up to auction in a live and simulcast auction event, said Ira Smith of Smith and Company Auction and Realty, Inc.

The gun will be sold with a letter of authenticity from Colt Manufacturing which also includes the date of shipment to the owner, January 18, 1898, to Al Jennings, Smith said.

“I think the first thing is, this is the real deal,” Smith said. “It has been authenticated and the opportunity to purchase these kinds of things is rare – you get to hear about it - but you don’t get to see it very often.”

Smith, who typically deals in real estate, took the sales project because he wanted to help family of the late Lester C. Stout of Higgins, Texas – the current owners of the historical items – ensure that Jennings’ personal effects ended up with one collector, not divided.

Stout was related by marriage to Jennings, Smith said.

Along with the pistol, other Al Jennings memorabilia will be sold at auction in single lots including items such as his own wallet, engraved with his initials, his passport, his marriage certificate recording his union with Maude Jennings, screenplays and manuscripts from movies he had been in and even campaign cards from his run for Governor in 1914 among many other effects will be included in one lot.

“I want to help these people keep all of his personal effects - the books, scripts from movies, even a pair of his shoes together as the family intended,” he said. “So all of his effects will be in one lot and someone will get all those items for one money, not because we are wanting to make good deal city, but because it is the right thing to do.”

The auction begins at 6 p.m. on June 5.

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