View Full Version : Marilyn Hudson

Doug Loudenback
07-03-2012, 03:15 AM
My latest blog post introduces you to Marilyn Hudson who has written some fascinating books and articles on Oklahoma City history, among other topics. See Marilyn Hudson, Bizarre History Genie (

Although Marilyn has been writing for several years, I only became aware of her last week. In the start of the post, I said,

I am constantly reminded, one way or another, about how much I DON'T know about Oklahoma City history and what a relatively untapped and deep well that it truly is.

The thing which eventually led to my awareness of Marilyn Hudson was an unsolicited email on June 24, 2012, from Mr. Roland Miller, an African-American man living in Chicago. He inquired if I knew anything about his great-uncle, Bird Gee, who lived in Oklahoma City on or shortly after the April 22, 1889, Land Run, and who remained here until sometime in 1913, he said. I replied that I didn't but that I would ask around and look through the Oklahoman's archives.

Bird Gee was the name of the ancestor, a great-uncle of the gentleman from Chicago. I wasn't optimistic that I'd find anything about the black man with an unusual name — during the referenced period of time. As I have reported previously, the Oklahoman took a decidedly dim view of African Americans and rarely reported anything particularly good about them.

To my complete surprise, I found a good bit of information about Bird Gee in the Oklahoman's on-line archives. Among other things, an October 2, 1907, article said that he was "understood to be the wealthiest negro in Oklahoma City." Articles reflected that he owned considerable amounts of land in the county, operated his real estate sales and rental business smack in the middle of downtown among the town's wealthiest white folk, and lived around NW 13th and McKinley, a white part of town.

But, this post isn't really about Mr. Gee — later, a different article will be just about him. This post is about Marilyn Hudson and her work as a historian and story teller, even though I'm being circuitous and mysterious in getting to the point.

Among several other things, Marilyn has written this fascinating account of some early-day stuff in Oklahoma City ...

Part of the book focuses upon what came to be described as the trial of the century in Oklahoma City, trials about the sensational alleged murder of James Meadows in 1907. About that, Marilyn says,

It was little wonder the story remained a major headline event for over a decade. The tale had it all: a murder mystery with titillating intrigue, illicit lust, yellow journalism, city officials on criminal payrolls, a guilty till proven innocent public sentiment, clairvoyant mediums, shady peripheral characters, lying witnesses, plots and shenanigans, a grand standing defense attorney, a lovely and frail widow, a virile young villain, and lingering rumors of a man thought dead still being alive.

Lila Meadows, the Widow
* * *
She was frequently ill, court testimony identified it is a morphine addiction, and then later she has dramatic appendicitis surgery in 1910. Good woman cruelly used, grieving widow, seducer of the young killer, it is hard to classify the woman but some clues lead to ideas about underlying truths. She is known to have been living in 1908 with Annie Wynne Bailey aka “Big Annie”, and one of Annie’s former courtesans Fannie Ritchie, at the notorious Arlington on West 2nd Street. About this time, Annie left for California after her first unsuccessful run-in with local law. Did Annie cut a deal? Was Lila a charity cause or one of Annie's own girls?

Significantly, a few days before June 4, J.O. Green of the Sun Accident Insurance company calls to remind Mrs. Meadows of the due date of the life insurance premium on James was due June 1.

Mother Myers aka Rose Myers aka Ronie Myers, the Psychic
The boarding house had provided some income but it had also brought Meadows' wife into contact with some questionable people. The so-called "Mother Myers", who convinced people she was a clairvoyant with powers to see things, had also swindled people so that she had to flee to avoid arrest or worse. There were others, women mostly, who may have had been giving his wife ideas that were not to her betterment and were detrimental to a happy home. Dorothy Keith was one such friend and confident. He urged them to leave the boarding house and he set out to find somewhere in Capitol Hill for them to live.

Labeled a fortuneteller, medium, clairvoyant, and physic, Myers had been operating in Oklahoma City, in the boarding house, prior to the death of Meadows. It was suggested at one point she was the real mother of Lila and after some searching was finally located in Doxie near Elk City. One of Annie's connections?

There's lots more. Here's a pair of the many Oklahoman headlines associated with the alleged murder: ( (

07-03-2012, 09:06 AM
Wow, thanks Doug!

I didn't know about Marilyn's work either.

You are right, the more you learn about OKC the more you know you don't know. :)

07-03-2012, 09:38 PM
That sounds like a natural for a movie.

07-03-2012, 10:26 PM
reminds me of 'and satan came also'... would love to get that book but it doesn't come cheap. -M

07-04-2012, 08:44 AM
I think the production crew behind "Deadwood" or "Carnivale" could do a GREAT job of tellling this story . . .

07-08-2012, 07:07 PM
Wow Doug. Can we arrange for Ms. Hudson to speak at Retro Metro OKC and to sign some books?