Updated: Oct 9, 2019
"Was L.J. Crocker Really William Clark Quantrill?"
- By Rebecca Lane Boyles
Today another Augusta resident enters our story. Mr. W.E. Ferguson was a member of the Augusta Masonic Lodge. There he met Captain Crocker, who was also a Mason. The two men became friends outside the lodge.
In 1882 Ferguson was elected Sheriff and tax collector, serving Woodruff County until 1886. When carrying out his duties in the Gregory area, he would stop by Crocker's store & chat.
One day he and Crocker were shooting the breeze, talking about the fine horses in front of Crocker's store. Crocker Casually asked Ferguson what he thought about Frank and Jesse James? He must have given the right answer for Ferguson soon found himself in the back room face to face with both, as well three of the Youngers!
Rumors abounded for years that you could sometimes meet The James Gang, The Daltons, as well as the The Youngers out at Crocker's store. Ferguson discovered the reason for this was Crocker was married to the sister of the father of the The Younger Boys.
One night about 7 years before Crocker's death the weather turned bad after a masonic meeting in Augusta. Rather than let his friend ride home in the storm, Ferguson invited Crocker to stay the night at his home. At some point in the evening Crocker confessed, he was in fact William Clark Quantrill. "Quantrill" was his assumed named he used during his time with the raiders. Ferguson asked, "How could this be? Quantrill is dead!"
Hear the amazing story he told tomorrow!