DescriptionChris Madsen Document Signed. Partly printed receipt, 7" x 3", Frederick, Oklahoma; December 14, 1907. Madsen signs in the engrossment as Deputy Marshall, for payment made in a Bankruptcy case. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.
Condition: Except for a small punch hole at the top left hand corner, the draft is in fine condition.
Chris Madsen (1851-1944), a famous lawman in the Old West, was born Chris Madsen Rormose in Denmark, but dropped his last name when he immigrated to the United States in 1876. He had been involved in criminal activities, serving several prison sentences between 1869 and 1874 for begging, vagrancy, fraud, and forgery. Possibly paid by the Danish government to leave the country, Madsen arrived in New York City in 1876 and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving served fifteen years in the Fifth Cavalry.
While serving in the army, Madsen was court-martialed, but acquitted, for stealing government grain; but later convicted for larceny, he served five months in the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary. Discharged in January 1891, Madsen became a deputy U.S. marshal under Marshal William Grimes in Oklahoma Territory, a position he held until 1893. In 1898 he joined Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, serving as quartermaster sergeant. After the Spanish-American War ended, Madsen returned to Oklahoma and served as a deputy U.S. marshal. After John L. "Jack" Abernathy became U.S. marshal of Oklahoma Territory in February 1906, Madsen worked as his chief deputy, where he had a long career. He was known as one of the "Three Guardsman," along with two other deputy U.S. marshals who were responsible for arrest or killing of several leading outlaws of the era.
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